An Ill Wind At Stanford

Stanford’s motto is “Die Luft der Freiheit weht,” usually translated as “the winds of freedom blow.”


In my essay on free speech at Stanford that has just appeared on Minding The Campus I argue that perhaps it should be reconsidered; “An Ill Wind That Blows No One Any Good” would unfortunately be more accurate.

Charlottesville Still Roiled By Race

The Jefferson School, founded in 1926, was then one of only ten African American high schools in Virginia. It now houses 11 nonprofit organizations, including the African American Heritage Center, and is managed by the Jefferson School Foundation. The Foundation’s executive director, Sue Friedman, formerly chair of the Albemarle County School Board, has just filed suit against one of the building’s resident nonprofit partners for defamation.

At an April meeting of the resident partners Elliott Brown, executive director of Common Ground Healing Arts, complained about how Friedman was hired, especially since, she claimed, she “was fired from her last job for exhibiting unethical behavior in fundraising.” Friedman had been executive director of the Alzheimers Foundation for 12 years. Brown later stated in an email that he should have said “left” rather than “fired,” but stood by her allegation of impropriety.

What makes this controversy a revealing sign of the times is that Brown had another objection to Friedman’s hiring, stating in that same email that “she believed a white person must be ‘overwhelmingly justified’  to run the former African American school—a standard she said Friedman didn’t meet.”

Wait, there’s more! In the last paragraph of the article from which I’ve quoted, C-VILLE Weekly could not refrain from a sly bit of guilt by association:

Tom Albro, the lawyer representing Friedman, is also representing Edward Dickinson Tayloe II (a plaintiff in the lawsuit fighting City Council’s vote to remove Confederate statues) in a defamation suit against C-VILLE, news editor Lisa Provence, and UVA assistant professor Jalane Schmidt for this feature story. A copy of that complaint can be found here.

That complaint is well worth reading. It shows, among other things, that Charlottesville is fertile ground for an attorney who develops expertise in race-based defamation.

Virginia Democrats: There They Go Again

Just when you thought Virginia Democratic officials could not possibly embarrass themselves more than they have with the governor and attorney general being exposed in old blackface photos, the lieutenant governor being caught with his pants down in sexual abuse allegations from several quarters, and the governor defending fourth trimester post partum-abortion, they have proved […]

Maureen Dowd Defames Puritans …

… by claiming Democrats embody their values. In her recent column, “Progressives Are The Modern Puritans,” Dowd tiresomely reprises the often-quoted comment of H.L. Mencken, “Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” Responding to lefty scolds, she writes: Yo, proletariat: If the Democratic Party is going to be against chocolate, high heels, […]

Busing Redux, Again

About two weeks ago I had an essay in City Journal on Biden and busing. I could have said more about Biden, such as how utterly unconvincing his attempt to qualify his longstanding opposition to busing was. For example, the day after his disastrous debate performance he argued, according to the New York Times report, […]

Justice John Paul Stevens: May He Rest…

Former Justice John Paul Stevens has just died, and his praises are being sung far and wide. No need to link any of those paeans; just look anywhere. Far be it from me to interrupt this celebration by criticizing the dead, but on the other hand perhaps not so far. In any event, I offered […]

More On Jefferson

A little over a week ago I posted, here, a link to my letter in the Charlottesville Daily Progress criticizing the recent decision of the Charlottesville City Council to stop celebrating Thomas Jefferson’s birthday. Today the Daily Progress published a much more important letter on that decision, complete with a fascinating discussion of the Jefferson-Sally […]

Charlottesville Nixes Jefferson’s Birthday

Biden, Harris, And Busing

Patriotism? The NINTH Recycling Of July 4th

Thomas Jefferson: Asked And Answered

Money, Admissions, And Bob Jones

News And Fake News About College Admissions

Still More On Harvard!?

Harvard Flinches?

Excuses, Excuses …

Politics In Academia: Sauce For Both Geese And Ganders?