The American Scholar is the house magazine of the Phi Beta Kappa honorary society, with the journal’s name taken from a speech given to that society by Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1837. It’s published a number of distinguished articles, but a new one stands out: “On political correctness: Power, class, and the new campus religion“. It’s by William Deresiewicz, a widely published author and literary critic; and I wish I’d written the piece.
It’s long, and covers a lot of territory, but I highly recommend it. Its thesis is that “political correctness”, which Deresiewicz defines as “the persistent attempt to suppress the expression of unwelcome beliefs and ideas”, is proliferating in American private universities (not so much in public ones), and has many pernicious effects, including these
- Homogenizing the student body, so that anyone with dissident views (read: conservatives, religious people, moderate feminists, pro-Israelis) is afraid to express them for fear…
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