The Wit and Wisdom of Cornellians

The right of Big Red Bears to babble shall not be infringed

The Wit and Wisdom of Cornellians

The right of Big Red Bears to babble shall not be infringed

December 7: A Date which Will Live in Infamy

By Blair Erics

On December 7, a date which will live in infamy, George Orwell, a fellow democratic socialist, wrote an essay entitled, Freedom of the Park. In this essay he gave us a method to eliminate any right-wing opposition to the KendiAngelonian dream of an Antiracist Cornell. Yes, I have a dream!

On that historic occasion, Orwell wrote,

The point is that the relative freedom which we enjoy depends on public opinion. The law is no protection. Governments make laws, but whether they are carried out, and how the police behave, depends on the general temper in the country. If large numbers of people are interested in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech, even if the law forbids it; if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them. The decline in the desire for individual liberty has not been so sharp as I would have predicted six years ago, when the war was starting, but still there has been a decline. The notion that certain opinions cannot safely be allowed a hearing is growing. It is given currency by intellectuals who confuse the issue by not distinguishing between democratic opposition and open rebellion, and it is reflected in our growing indifference to tyranny and injustice abroad. And even those who declare themselves to be in favour of freedom of opinion generally drop their claim when it is their own adversaries who are being prosecuted.

There are four tasks ahead of us:

  • We must ensure that large numbers of people become disinterested or uninterested in freedom of speech.
  • We must ensure that the desire for individual liberty declines.
  • We must be vigilant in announcing that certain opinions cannot be safely allowed a hearing.
  • We must insist that the intellectuals confuse the issues by conflating any and all definitions of words–especially those words that sound similar.

When we accomplish these tasks, Cornell University will become a truly Antiracist University. I have a Dream!


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