To the Editor:
Those of us who came to see and hear Robert Spencer’s ideas and were disallowed into the auditorium were shocked and repelled by the actions of Stanford’s self-elected thought police.
This was a demonstration of the most selfish and narrow-minded bigotry – worthy of a fascist state – that has no place in an American academy.
The Stanford faculty who signed the “Letter from faculty and others regarding Robert Spencer” are, in my opinion, sorely misguided by their prejudgments and uninformed attitudes. As someone who has both studied and lived in Islamic countries and who encounters refugees from “Islamic conditions” daily, I encourage these academics to consider their own plea: “For us, this means taking seriously the lived experience of the people most impacted by racism, bigotry, hate speech and xenophobia.”
This “lived experience” perfectly describes the millions of hostage peoples living under “Islamic conditions,” of which Americans are barely aware. The empathy and advocacy for freedom of these Stanford academics, instead of preventing free speech and shared ideas in the academy, should extend to those enslaved by a totalitarian ideology in the form of state-sponsored theocratic oppression.
– James Dinwiddie
Adjunct Professor, Menlo College
Contact James Dinwiddie at james.dinwiddie ‘at’ menlo.edu.