One reasonable argument I am hearing in response to my previous post is that what Minow said to the law student was wrong, so my use of this example to justify my argument that Faust should speak up is poorly grounded. I happen to agree that Minow was wrong, so the real point of this example was to put the Harvard actual-practice double standard out for scrutiny.
Let me try another example. When Senator Joseph McCarthy attacked Harvard and other universities for being Communist havens, President Pusey said, "Someday I am sure that we shall all look back on the hateful irrationality of the present with incredulity." Was he wrong to say that? After all, it's a slippery slope, isn't it? How would a Harvard president know where to stop, once he had started criticizing U.S. Senators?
It seems to me there are four possibilities.
- Pusey was wrong to go down this path.
- Pusey was right and Faust should also say something under the present circumstances.
- Pusey was right but Faust should remain silent about Porter and Libya because that's not as bad as what McCarthy was saying.
- Pusey was right but Faust should remain silent because it's OK for a Harvard president to criticize a senator but not a Harvard professor.
The saying goes, "