It’s hard to get two people more different in background than my Chicago colleague and law professor Geoff Stone and former basketball great (and subsequently actor, filmmaker, author, and cultural ambassador) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Yet they agree on one thing: college students need free speech and the opportunity to have their ideas challenged in courses. And both have just written pieces in national venues promoting their ideas.
Abdul-Jabbar’s piece, “Ignorance vs. reason in the war on education,” is in Time Magazine online. A few exerpts:
Last month, a freshman at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill wrote an article criticizing a Literature of 9/11 course for requiring reading that “sympathizes with terrorists.” The student hadn’t taken the class nor read the actual works, but relied on his personal research to form his conclusions. At Duke University, some students objected to the school’s Common Experience Summer Reading Program selection, Alison Bechdel’s powerful…
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