Throughout my four years at Boston College, The Heights alternated from being vaguely, if superciliously, tolerant of those critical of its left-wing editorial stance—to being unduly belligerent of anyone anywhere to the right of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—to (at least once, to me) being kindly apologetic for having droned out centrist and center-right voices during its belligerent stage. I am disappointed that the editorial board has seemingly re-embraced its anti-moderate and anti-conservative belligerency.
The BC Republicans, of which I’m a proud alum and former vice president, invited Andrew Klavan to campus. Klavan’s politics aren’t radical in the least, but he’s conservative and works for Ben Shapiro’s Daily Wire, so those on the campus left feel he’s simply evil—or, to put it another way, a “provocateur by trade” with a “history of Islamophobic, sexist, and racist comments” who seems to “actively pride himself on worsening the divide between viewpoints.”
At least, that’s what The Heights’ editorial board wrote Wednesday, in an attempt at character-assassinating (and, apparently, mind-reading?) Klavan and, by extension, the BC Republicans. The Heights’ standard is not only odd but also, I think, untenable: According to the board, groups should only invite speakers who are not provocateurs (who defines “provocateur”? The Heights’ editorial board?) and who “contribute meaningfully to academic debate on campus” (what does “meaningfully” mean? It’s a filler word).
To that, “Pfui.” By that standard, BC (and/or The Heights, acting as censorship arm) would have to ban, say, just every comedian or musician who comes to campus. Many of them are provocateurs, at least by some vague standard, and comedy and music probably aren’t going to “contribute meaningfully to academic debate.” How dull Stokes Lawn would be.
What all this really gets back to is that The Heights doesn’t like Klavan or the BC Republicans because The Heights has once again decided it doesn’t like conservatives in general. Maybe, if the editors were to listen to Klavan, or Shapiro, or Jordan Peterson, or (God forbid) attend a BC Republicans meeting. Maybe, then, The Heights would actually understand those whom it decides to vituperate.
Karl J. Salzmann, MCAS ’19