Today, The Providence Journal became the latest publication to weigh in on the horrendous treatment that Professor Donald Hindley has received at the hands of administrators at Brandeis University. The Journal‘s sharply worded editorial follows on the heels of recent articles from Nat Hentoff in The Washington Times, Margery Eagan of the Boston Herald, and Stephanie Siek of The Boston Globe, among others.
Numerous journalists and pundits both on and off the Brandeis campus have exposed the abuse of power that occurred last fall when Hindley was found guilty of racial harassment and had a monitor placed in his classes after criticizing the use of the word “wetbacks” in a politics course.
As The Providence Journal editorial states: “The university has repeatedly refused to comment on the case, saying it is a ‘personnel and private matter’ and that it must protect the ‘confidentiality’ of the individuals involved. But that has not stopped people who care about freedom of speech and fairness in higher education from commenting.”
Not only have people commented on this situation, but many in the Brandeis community—including faculty—have recognized the seriousness of this grave affront to protected speech and due process. As FIRE has reported previously, the faculty have roundly condemned the actions of the Brandeis administrators who are responsible for this travesty.
Ending the editorial on a stirring note, the authors of the editorial write:
The mere notion that someone somewhere might be offended should never be cause enough to intimidate speakers and silence speech. Universities, in particular, should be places where complex ideas may be intelligently expressed and debated by grownups. And those caught in the crosshairs of political correctness should be given the opportunity to explain themselves and be treated with a modicum of due process.
FIRE will continue to encourage the public shaming of Brandeis, until the school’s administration finally recognizes and repudiates its deplorable treatment of Professor Hindley.