Brown University: Would You Spend $40,000 to Send Your Kid?

Recently, the Brown University faculty voted not to observe Columbus Day, but rather to observe “spring weekend,” or some such thing. This was because some students were balking that old Chris was an oppressor. Never mind the fact that he suffered discrimination for both his nationality and ideas in Spain and overcame these to prove that you could sail west and find land, and that he was merely conforming to the social mores of his time when he met aboriginal peoples, since he didn’t have the benefit of being a member of the enlightened Brown faculty in the 21st Century.

And let’s not consider the fact that Brown is named after a descendant of one of the most heinous slave traders in history, whose family still retains wealth generated from those beginnings. Why not change the name of the university? Now that would be a remarkable act of social conscience. Of course, that could endanger endowments, faculty salaries, scholarships….. Okay, forget it.

I wonder how long before Brown’s faculty passes a resolution condemning the Navy seals, the U.S. government, and the crew of the civilian ship for killing poor, oppressed, maritime freedom fighters by shooting them to save the captain’s life? Stay tuned.

Is this where you really want to send your kid to be educated?

© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.

9 thoughts on “Brown University: Would You Spend $40,000 to Send Your Kid?

  1. Alan…this won’t work. Have they forgotten that Columbus Day is about the time the Fall colors peak in Massachusetts and everyone needs a 3-day weekend? Sheer insanity!

  2. These faculty members and students, who have nothing better to do, could be descending from the hill Brown occupies and helping out the people out of work and out of luck in Providence, but the university poobahs rarely venture outside of their tax-free, manicured grounds. No sense getting dirty in the trenches when you can preach from the mountaintop.

  3. Alan – You ask reasonable questions. Political correctness of the sort that results in Brown U. not observing Columbus Day, however, rarely takes into consideration the context in which an historical event or act occurred.

  4. African tribes and aboriginal people elsewhere routinely practiced brutality, enslavement, torture, and subjugation of others. The Aztecs were notorious in this regard. It doesn’t make it right by contemporary standards, but the idea of the “noble savage” was a fictional construct of novelists long ago.

    Our misdeeds shouldn’t be ignored, but revising historical mores to conform to contemporary beliefs and values is dysfunctional and a waste of time when we should be addressing contemporary issues of poverty, health care, education, and so on. Let Brown start providing fee, quality classroom teaching for Providence’s public schools, and I’d be more apt to listen….

  5. Alan,

    It’s political correctness taken the height of stupidity. Something tells me a there will be a backlash from a certain segment of the community of the same ethnic background of Columbus that will keep their wallets closed when it comes time for the annual alumni contributions.


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