While commenting on a campus survey that revealed that 75 percent of Yale students believe that right-wing views are unwelcome on campus, Dean Jonathan Holloway was accused of implying this is because conservative students say “stupid” things.
Holloway has received criticism for his remarks from those who believe he was ascribing “saying something stupid” with right-leaning Yale students. “So much of your generation’s world is managed through smartphones. There’s no margin anymore for saying something stupid,” Holloway said. “People have been saying dumb things forever, but when I was your age word of mouth would take a while. Now it’s instantaneous, now context is stripped away.”
Yale Dean implies only conservatives say stupid things. By his criteria that statement makes him a conservative #deductivereasoning
— Bill Davenport (@flatsbroke) October 27, 2016
Johnathan H. Adler at the Washington Post argues that the connection that Holloway makes between foolishness and conservative students is a clear one, stating that his words will likely serve only to further convince right-leaning students that there is a strong bias on campus against them.
“Whatever his intent, I can’t see how equating the expression of conservative views with ‘saying something stupid’ is supposed to be at all reassuring to students with right-of-center views,” he wrote.
Holloway issued a statement to clarify his remarks, claiming that he did not intend to imply that the views held by any Yale community member were stupid.
“In no way did I intend to imply that the views of any student or faculty were stupid or should be dismissed. I meant to lament the fact that meaningful conversations were too often reduced or misconstrued in the shortened messages of social media, leading to a lack of understanding,” he explained. “I apologize if my words were misconstrued and taken to mean anything otherwise.”
Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity for Breitbart. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org