Sunday, April 23, 2006

Because Terrorists Have Feelings, Too

Every time I get one of those alarmist fund-raiser e-mails from David Horowitz, I think the right's campaign against academic political correctness has gone too far.

Then I read things like this:

For Penn State student Josh Stulman, years of hard work ended in disappointment yesterday when the university cancelled his upcoming art exhibit for violation of Penn State's policies on nondiscrimination, harassment and hate.

Three days before his 10-piece exhibit -- Portraits of Terror -- was scheduled to open at the Patterson Building, Stulman (senior-painting and anthropology) received an e-mail message from the School of Visual Arts that said his exhibit on images of terrorism "did not promote cultural diversity" or "opportunities for democratic dialogue" and the display would be cancelled.

The exhibit, Stulman said, which is based mainly on the conflict in Palestinian territories, raises questions concerning the destruction of Jewish religious shrines, anti-Semitic propaganda and cartoons in Palestinian newspapers, the disregard for rules of engagement and treatment of prisoners, and the indoctrination of youth into terrorist acts.

"I'm being censored and the reason for censoring me doesn't make sense," Stulman said.

Charles Garoian, professor and director of the School of Visual Arts, said Stulman's controversial images did not mesh with the university's educational mission

Emphasis added.

Hat tip Solomonia, who adds:

I have no idea what Penn State's reputation is, or if they have a particular and obvious pattern of bias as say, DePaul University does, but it seems apparent that Penn State's Zero Tolerance for Hate policy also extends to being a prohibition against hating terrorists. The University's policy has wound up where all such well-meaning policies seem to end up, in stifling important expression and the examination of truth.

Those who are kind to the cruel, will in the end be cruel to the kind.

And David Bernstein e-mails Penn State for clarification and finds them twisting and writhing as hard as they can to weasel out of the embarassment. Excellent blog-work there. Rather than simply repeat the story, go to the subject for an explanation, get one, then compare it with the record and the university's own published policies and watch them stumble into their own web of words.