Organs play key role in modern academic world

by Mark Pleiss

Define guts:

Definition I: Standing before the top scientific-feminist scholars and scientists in academia and telling them there’s a possibility that there aren’t as many women in science and math fields as there are men because of a genetic difference.

That’s what Lawrence Summers, president of Harvard University, did three weeks ago. And there’s still a war going on about it.

Picketers marched through Harvard’s campus, masses of letters and e-mails requesting Summers’ resignation were sent and the campus newspaper is full of the reactions of other professors on campus.

All this from a guy who began the lecture by saying, “I’m going to provoke you.”

Summers said there may be more men than women in math and science fields because of a biological difference in men and women.

Albeit, there definitely could have been a better place to say what he did, but he wasn’t saying men were smarter than women.

He was noting scientific research.

Research that is very similar to research that has found women to be better than men in language and memorization.

Though many stayed and listened to what was said, Summers’ comments made one viewer, “want to pass out or puke” and several others to get up and leave.

Definition II.: Writing an essay declaring certain World Trade Center victims as “Little Eichmanns” who essentially brought it upon themselves.

This is what Ward Churchill, ethnic studies professor at the University of Colorado, wrote in an academic essay several months earlier, and it’s still red hot.

Churchill made this connection by saying a lot of the people who died in the attack were among those taking part in the “repressive American policies around the world.”

Obviously a connection can be made between America’s two symbols of financial dominance and a motive by poorer nations to want to destroy those symbols. It just took a Colorado professor in desperate need of a haircut to point out the obvious.

On a scale of academic prowess, I think he deserves about a two.

On a scale of guts, willingness to push his amendment rights to the limit and ability to get attention, the man gets a 15.

After reading the facts, anyone will see the man had at least a defendable point. But his use of the term “Eichmann” discredits his case immensely. There are far more scholarly ways to get the notion of American suppression across than Nazi-leader comparisons. Such a comparison tells us he wants to get a rise out of people, which isn’t the best reason to write a scholarly essay.

I commend him for sticking by what he said, but he truthfully is an idiot.

Throughout the last month, people have compared these two scholars, and for the most part, bashed them.

What we have to remember is that every case involving First Amendment rights is different, and these examples are no exception.

Comparing these two cases is moronic.

It’s one thing to play Copernicus, it’s another to play the boy who pokes angry snakes with sticks. Because the limelight has been turned on over this subject, it’s a certainty there will be more people going under it in the near future.

Voltaire said he may not agree with everything a man says, but he’ll defend to the death his right to say it.

What we as a state of free-thinking college students must understand is that no matter who says what, they have the right to do so.

Therefore it is up to us to research the free-speech situations that come up and make our decisions and responses logically.

That’s what having real guts is.