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January 8, 2016 2:59 PM
Dershowitz Denounces Political Correctness on Campuses
Posted by Staff

On today's show, Alan Dershowitz, a law professor at Harvard University, assailed the culture of political correctness on college campuses. His remarks follow a string of protests at campuses across the country with calls for “safe-spaces” and increased diversity; recently, Dershowitz has taken heat for suggesting students hoping to study in a “safe space” should simply steer clear of universities. Dershowitz, a self-proclaimed liberal, elaborated on his view, explaining, “if a place is open to the public, there's is nothing wrong with tape recording or quoting what goes on in there.”

Professor Dershowitz also discussed the large and growing number of new departments - immigrant studies, women’s studies, etc. - on college campuses. He designed his own rule, advising, “you can have a Jewish studies department but you can't take any classes in it if you're Jewish.  You can have a women's studies department but you can't take any classes if you're a women.  You can have a black studies department, but no blacks are allowed.” Following this rule, he explained, prevents students from going through several years of college studying only their own cultural group. This type of identity politics, Dershowitz lamented, is “a very dangerous implicit form of censorship.”

Partial Transcript: [LISTEN]

Dershowitz: My view is that if a place is open to the public, if everybody can come in, then there is nothing wrong with tape recording or quoting what goes on in there.  Whether it's a Mosque, whether it's a classroom, whether it's anything else.  If you and I want to have a private conversation nobody has the right to intrude without a warrant, but if I make a speech in a classroom or in a public domain where people are allowed to walk in and walk out there is no right not to have that speech recorded, not to have the content of that speech disclosed, and not to make it part of the market place of ideas. (10:06)

Ingraham: Now it seems like it’s actually gotten worse on college campuses with the microaggression, the macroaggression.  Anytime someone says some else is fat, or you’re stupid, or anything offensive not offensive. (10:43)

Ingraham: Before we let you go, professor, what is your view on all the proposed, actually they're demanding all these new studies departments at universities.  Now there's immigrant studies about the plight of the illegal immigrants.  (13:16)

Dershowitz: I have a rule.  The rule is you can have a Jewish studies department but you can't take any classes in it if you're Jewish.  You can have a women's studies department but you can't take any classes if you're a women.  You can have a black studies department, but no blacks are allowed.  You cannot go to college and study yourself.  You cannot go to college and limit yourself to studying your own culture.  I think that has been a disaster on colleges and universities to have these self-referential departments, and there are people you go through three of the four years of college studying only their own group and I don't like it.  It's identity politics and it creates a very bad atmosphere for the future.  And, students do it in the name of multiculturalism.  They're not interested in multiculturalism or diversity of ideas they just want more people like themselves. And it's not critical.  You can't do women's studies and critique the feminist movement, or black studies and critique, or Jewish studies and critique, you can't do it.  And, that's why it's a very dangerous implicit form of censorship. (13:29)

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