Welcome different points of view

We are appalled by the reluctance of so many colleges, and so many college students, to welcome differing points of view to their campuses.

In recent weeks, too many invited speakers have found themselves disinvited because students didn’t like what they stood for or what they might say.

Perhaps, the most egregious example was Rutgers, of New Jersey, disinviting former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice because of her participation in the planning and execution of the Iraq War.

While we are no fans of that war, a pointless exercise in muscle-flexing that cost thousands of American lives, the idea that students might not want to hear Rice speak about it, or about anything else, is mind-boggling and anti-intellectual.

The hallowed halls of academia exist to inspire an exchange of views. That is an exchange of views, not a regurgitating of the same view. But that, today, seems like a quaint and antiquated idea.

Too many students certainly don’t buy into it, perhaps afraid that a challenge to their point of view would leave them intellectually frightened or helpless.

“I can’t think when you tell me you don’t agree with me.”

If your point of view is never challenged, how can you grow? That, dear students, is a rhetorical question, the answer to which is, you can’t. You won’t grow. Your little mind will atrophy, if it hasn’t already.

Challenging our own way of thinking is important. It is why liberals must read the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal, and why conservatives must read those pages in the New York Times.

Which brings us to one more anti-intellectual point:

One recent morning a sports talk host on WEEI-FM proudly announced, “I have never read the New York Times in my life.”

We can only presume it is because he disagrees with the Times’ editorial point of view, which is fine. So do we, sometimes.

But to never read it and to be proud of that is embarrassing. What? He doesn’t even read the sports pages?

What a sad commentary upon the state of our radio sports talk hosts. It’s almost as sad as the state of our colleges.