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Mr. Bollinger, Tear Down This School!

9:05 AM, Feb 22, 2011 • By RACHEL ABRAMS
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“This is a place,” says Columbia University president Lee Bollinger of his Ivy League institution,

that respects ideas, values diversity of thought and experience and, perhaps most importantly, recognizes that what defines great scholarship is not the easy acceptance of what we already know, but the relentless determination to discover what we still have to learn.

Really? When so many in Columbia's student body personify the very anti-diversity that was the word made flesh during the heady Stalin-show-trial days and the Maoist-springtime schooling of Chinese children in the art of accusation and repudiation? So keep the buildings, Mr. Bollinger—some of them are remarkably beautiful—and repopulate the place with citizens who value real diversity—of the sort you yourself profess to cherish.

For can you in seriousness call “the relentless determination to discover what we still have to learn” descriptive of people whose intolerance for ideas falling outside the known and accepted tropes of the left is so deep and wide as to render them incapable of listening without a jeering rancorousness to the words of fellow student Anthony Mascheck—a heroic wounded vet arguing in favor of reinstating Columbia’s ROTC program after a four-decade ban—who sits, wheelchair-bound, at the opposite pole? 

Never mind: It isn’t, whether you would call it so or not. These are children who know they have nothing to learn, except, maybe, from one another. (And that is barely to mention the appalling, and appallingly stupid, lock-step leftism of the professoriate: “Universities should not be involved in military activities,” Sociology Professor Emeritus Herbert Gans told The Post. “Columbia should come out against spending $300 billion a year on unnecessary wars.”)

What’s more, and perhaps needless to say (though many of your students do say so), the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” is not sufficient grounds for bringing war-mongering back to campus: What about transsexuals, some of them would like to know.

“Transpeople are part of the Columbia community,” said senior Sean Udell at the meeting, referring to the military’s current ban on transgender soldiers.

So they are, Mr. Udell; and so, despite your unhappiness about the fact, is Anthony Mascheck. He survived eleven gunshot wounds and two years of rehabilitation. He’ll survive your distaste and your tantrums.

As for you, Mr. Bollinger, the great ball of diversity is now back in your relentlessly determined court. What’s your play?

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