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Bigotry on Campuses

May 18, 1988

The Times and Bob Secter are to be congratulated on this necessary, important and comprehensive summary.

The findings are not surprising.

Neither free enterprise, communism, education or any other catchall, are guarantees against racism, black, white, or otherwise, which are anchored in man's intuition and feelings as often opposed to reason.

Accordingly, free speech and press, which are anchored in the 17th-Century idea that man is controlled by reason, and that reason will prevail in an open marketplace of ideas, are insufficient protection against racism.

That is the lesson implicit in Freud's findings and exemplified by the Third Reich, World War II, the Holocaust, the slaughter of the Ibos by the Nigerians, your article, and innumerable other proofs.

And since intuition and feelings can be molded fatally by racist incitement in speech and press, we shall have to reconsider the outworn notion that free speech and press (Constitution, First Amendment) are absolutes, and give heed to the restraints necessarily implicit from the rights to life, liberty and property (Fourth and Fifth Amendments).

And in the meantime, there is much to be said for the Vanderbilt University senior's comment to your interviewer, that there is more to be gained by all of us "going out in the community and proving themselves as individuals" than by "complaints about discrimination" and "demands for special treatment."


Beverly Hills

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