Usually, we at Harvard are more than happy to see Yale students make fools of themselves on camera. The video that emerged this week of Yale students screaming down one of their professors might make for a good laugh, if its implications were not quite so serious. It’s a scene we’ve seen played out far too often at college campuses in recent years, and it deserves to be called by what it is: a nascent form of fascism.
In case you haven’t heard, Yale has recently endured a firestorm of protest after a lecturer that presides over one of the undergraduate colleges questioned whether concerns about the offensiveness of Halloween costumes had gone too far in impinging on free speech.
In response, hundreds of protesters gathered on the quad, calling for Nicholas and Erika Christakis to be removed from their roles. Nicholas voluntarily came to discuss the matter with them, and soon, a crowd of students enveloped him.
The video is chilling.
One student is heard saying, “Walk away. He doesn’t deserve to be listened to.” When Nicholas started to explain himself, a student yells, “Be quiet!” and then proceeds to lecture him. When Nicholas calmly and politely says “I disagree,” the protestor explodes, screaming, “Why the fuck did you accept the position?! Who the fuck hired you?! You should step down!” Then, finally, “You’re disgusting!”