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The proper education of America’s youth is arguably the most important social responsibility the university has. But does a lack of intellectual diversity in school create pedagogical issues? Our panel of current and former law students weighs in.
This panel was presented at the Stanford Intellectual Diversity Conference on Friday, April 8, 2016, at Stanford Law School.
Student Perspectives on Intellectual Diversity in Academia
- Dr. R. Sohan Dasgupta, University of California, Berkeley
- Mr. Roland Nadler, Fellow, Center for Law and Biosciences, Stanford Law School
- Mr. Ilan Wurman, Associate, Winston & Strawn LLP
- Moderator: Mr. Jud Campbell, Executive Director and Research Fellow, Constitutional Law Center, Stanford Law School
- Introduction: Mr. Jonathan Mondel, Co-President, Stanford Student Chapter
Stanford Law School
Jonathan Mondel: Hi everyone. I think we are ready to get started with our second panel today. This is a student perspective panel and I am going to turn it over to our qualified moderator, Jud Campbell, who is the executive director of the Constitutional Law Center here at Stanford Law school.
Jud Campbell: Ok. Thanks John. So I'll briefly introduce the panelists. We are going to be invaded by one hour, so about 12:10 or 12:15, who have a class in here for lunch, so --- so the first off will be Ilan Wurman, Ilan is an Associate at Winston and Strawn in DC. These are 2013 graduates of Stanford Law School. He clerked for Jerry Smith on the fifth circuit. And my next bullet point is to write a lot of law review articles. This is kind of an understatement. Ilan has often sent me an article before I had a chance to read the last one he sent me. [Laughing]. And he has one coming out in the Stanford Law Review which I am delighted about. Roland Nadler is the --- is a Fellow at the Stanford Center for Law and the Biosciences, locally known as one of hangs people around here. He is the 2015 graduate of Stanford Law School. He is going to clerk for Rob Cornby in Portland Main next year and his research focuses on Law and Neuroscience and also on Synthesis policy. And last up will be Sohan Dasgupta. He is the 3L at Berkeley Law School. He has a Ph.D. in International Law from Cambridge, a Master degree from Oxford and B.A. from Columbia He is going to be clerking for David Favorbron, the District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia and for Corney Kellingham on the 9th circuit. And he is the author of a book on International dispute resolution. And so, without further ado, I'll turn it over to Ilan.
Ilan Wurman: Thanks Jud. And so when we were discussing among the panelists what we will be talking about and we saw Sohan's credential, we all agreed that he would be going last so we don't have to follow his act. But I was the President of the Federalist Society here, I guess in 2012 when I was the student and this is my first time speaking at the Federalist Society event so it is a great honor and privilege that to be invited to speak here. But at the same time, I am not sure that I am worthy of the honor of giving remarks on the topic such as this, Intellectual Diversity and Political correctness. Because I think the question raised in this conference and on this panel goes to something very profound and important. They go to the very foundation of Western civilization, to the root of what it means to be a Western man or woman. Now, I did something there. I elevated to the certain extent Western civilization. Now, abnormal call to your environment, I would perhaps have been kicked off the stage already. But, I think Western civilization, it's history and it's future. It's intimately connected to the question of intellectual diversity and political correctness. Because ultimately, as others, wiser than I, have suggested before, there has been no civilization in all human history that has been more open to self-criticism and more open to that diversity of ideas than has been Western civilization. Now, I do not wish to be misunderstood on this point. This is not to say that Western civilization is better in all respects, or even in most respects, on the contrary, Western political philosophy requires a question of the existence regime. It demands the search for truth. It seeks to discover better regime and ultimately, I think the best practical regime. And that requires seeking the flaws in the existing. We might recall, from undergrad or if you took a political seminar from Michael McConnel as I did here at Stanford that Socrates the founder of Western political philosophy undermined the gods of his city and was put to death by it. Western political philosophy, in other words, does not require acquiescence in or [Inaudible][00:04:50] to the gods of our time on the contrary. It demands a thorough examination of the existing regime and the idea on which it rests. But that is all to say, that Western civilization is inequitably better. In at least one respect, then those cultures and civilizations that defer from it in that regard. And that is in its openness to self-criticism and the diversity of ideas. Can you imagine having this conference on this topic in modern day authority in China? Can you imagine having this conference in many, the many Middle Eastern countries that routinely deny their citizen's based secured and rights today, the right to free speech? Can you imagine having this conference in Canada? That might be a little of exaggeration but Canada does have, a so-called human right commission that halls people before it, to answer for speech they have made, including political speech. So we should all therefor take a moment to reflect on this proposition, which I firmly believe to be true, that all philosophical discussions, all the political and legal debates that we used to having, as lawyers and law students, intellectual diversity itself can only exist in a regime that it is profoundly respectful of this enterprise if we incorporate. And we all therefor should have a profound respect for that regime which allows us to engage it, and so my indication of Western civilizaiton at the beginning of my remark. So why do I mention it here? To a law school audience? Because it is here, at the law school and the universities and campuses across the country and now also, among the wider body politics that this Western culture, this culture that prices intellectual diversity, that prices philosophical according to the good and bad of other cultures and into the good and bad of its own culture. This culture is come to be replaced by altogether different kinds of cultures, the culture of multicultural This, I think, has been something of a raw deal. Multiculturalism is kind of variant on Western civilization openness to other cultures, but it works that openness from the inquiry into the idea of a culture, which stamped from a combination of things, like the innate characteristics of its people, their environment, their historical experiences, their interaction of other cultures, random variation, human will and ingenuity, into an inquiry, into the innate characteristic only. Multiculturalism defines culture. It defines diversity, along with the characteristics one cannot choose, being black, being gay, being Jewish, and as soon the cultural perspectives that somehow share, as the a result predominantly of these innate characteristics. But this multiculturalism seriously degrades the enterprise of free inquiry, I think for at least three reasons. First, if culture is a product of these innate characteristics, how can one be better than another? What does it mean to search for the good and bad in black culture, or the good and bad in Jewish culture, or in gay culture and so on? If there is nothing we can do with that knowledge. If there is nothing we can change. Secondly and this obviously follows from the first point, multiculturalism no longer values choice or rational thought. It devalues what makes human human, the capacity to think about the future and the consequences of their actions and thus their ability to make choices. Third, multiculturalism is seemly wrong as a descriptive manner. Culture is not the son of its people's innate characteristics. And its people's innate characteristics surely or not the highest expression of a culture, rather a culture is, descriptively, a product of much more, of all the things I previously described, environment, historical experience, interaction with other cultures, random variation and most importantly, a human will and ingenuity, it's a combination of these traces and these experiences that form the highest expression of culture, that if it's idea and especially if it's important idea. Those are about the good life and about its political regime. So too often I think, I see interest groups of even student associations, like here on campus, form around these innate characteristics. There maybe many legitimate reasons for the associations, particularly social reasons. But the extent, their perspective or values solely because of the innate characteristics of those who hold them. This is a hollow diversity. Stanford and please report for my time here, I think was quite a Western Law school in the sense that I have described. For as bad as some conservatives might think they sometimes have it here, we have it pretty good here. This school to its credit and more importantly the benefit of its students, still take seriously, this notion, that higher education is ultimately the search for answers to the most important questions, to those about how we ought to live our lives and to those about how we ought to order our political regime and to find these answers, we have to ask the right questions, questions that transcend far beyond its person's color, ethnicity or sexual orientation. These are the questions over which people and cultures have profoundly disagreed across time and place. But these disagreements, this intellectual diversity, if I may borrow the words of a political philosopher the last century, the secret to the vitality of Western civilization and its stewards of the legal regime that continues to support and repel that civilization. It is particularly incompetent upon us here to recognize that that is the kind of diversity we are fighting for, it might even make life worth living. So I conclude on this note, I'm often asked: "How can I be both gay and conservative?" and I'd like to say that being gay doesn't define me, at least not that much. Of course, it defines in the same way that being born male defines me or being tall or short might have defined me or being Jewish might define it that because I didn't choose to be gay. In the same way, I didn't choose to be born Jewish. But being conservative, I should say, for those who know me, being classically liberal and occasionally [Inaudible][00:12:03] here and there, those are choices that I made that are rational, free thinking human beings. Those choices are act of intellect and it is those acts, it is those choices, which even if wrong, should be celebrated, as belonging to that great diversity, which is the secret to the vitality of our civilization.
Jud: Alright, Roland, thanks.
Roland Nadler: So I'm afraid lacking the rhetorical flare that Illan has brought to the table. I am going to endeavor to keep my remarks on the short side and that's in part because of the role that I have styled myself on this panelling, in discussion with ---
Illan: The gap fly?
Roland Nadler: That's what the gap fly as the [Inaudible][00:12:55]. I am here as an avowed campus lofted trees to be poked and brought and asked questions without me accusing you of --- of oppressing me. And to that end, I very much want to thank the organizers, Jonathan and Michael for asking to be on this panel. This is not an act of empty tokenism but rather an admirable putting into action of the principles that animate the conference and I'm quite appreciative of that. Mhm --- when I was asked, I thought, well, what really are my qualifications, of course sitting on this panel, besides yelling on Facebook alot about campus [Inaudible][00:13:35] and political culture issue. And I thought about it a bit. You know, for instance, when I was trying to decide where I wanted to look for clerkship, I did think, "Oh gosh, I don't want to be clerking with the judge which whom I am going to agree all the time. I like to clerk for centrist judge who will change my mind, hopefully many times, at least once and maybe I will attempt to change the judge's mind at least once." I'm also on the record in favor of intellectual diversity in my other discipline, the discipline that I came to law firm, which is neuron ethicists and sort of on that note, I wanted to [Inaudible][00:14:20] a little bit from a piece that I published with the co-author talking to our sort of disciplinary cohort, in which we said: "Our field must not remain a political." We do not mean that it mush take sides in broader culture world, rather we urge our neuro ethicists to recognize that the field has its own internal politics that is a set of competing visions about what is healthy for the field? Whose interest to favor? Which ideas are treated as asymmetric? How research agendas are prioritized? And why the field exists? It is crucial that neuron ethicists engage in discussion and yes disagreement about the competing visions, failing to do so will not preserve a stage of comfort on neutrality, rather it will leave neuron vulnerable to cover colonization, by which ideology happens to be most neutral, most effective or [Inaudible][00:15:17] most profitable. So, as you may have inferred from [Inaudible][00:15:22] presenting myself as a panelist, there are many kinds of Republicans, I am not the one kind of Republicanism I very much believe in. It's Civic Republican. And that's the theme that I think I want to highlight throughout my remarks and my answers, which is that I am freely very invested in a kind of Civic Republicanism of the viable [Inaudible][00:15:43] variety, I think that it is important and good and healthy for members of a polity to hash out the political disagreement in open for an attempt, not only to convince each other but really to actually convince third parties who maybe watching. And a lot of what you will see in certain way I think about free speech is --- is that there is a deep challenge when it comes to striking a balance between the arena of passionate more of emotions which are a key part of free speech and mitigating the chilling effects that might be, you know, caused by overheated discourse. And this is an issue which I think has been quite lined in many past year discussions over campus activism and in particular, so there is a --- there is a blogger that i follow a lot who covers these issues in a quote from him that I think is really key here is that; "Assertive aggressive hyperbolic speech is not in itself censorship, rather you can say, speech act and it's wrong to claim that it is censorship." Maybe another way of approach this is to say that, we are very invested of course in a role of principle in these campus debates. And one of my focuses is, again, both in my remarks and in my Q&As is going to be that, we already often let our principles yield too competing concerns in the extreme. I am going to be emphasizing this, not in the bit to establish some kinds of false equivalences between extreme cases and more moderate ones, but to insistently highlight that what we are having is always, always the debate over where to draw the line of how to reconcile and optimally balances of [Inaudible][00:17:34] competing principles. Sort of to illustrate this, here is a quote that you might expect to hear from the mouth of the dangerous cap -- campus activist, which is the at the time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument is needed. Oh I have the ability, I can reach the nation and I can reach the nation's ear, I will [Inaudible][00:17:57] pour out the fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm and stirring rebuke. For it s not light that is needed but fire, it's not the gentle shower but thunder, we need the storm, the war and the earthquake. Now, this quote actually has its origin in one of the more extreme cases, this is Frederick Douglas invaded against slavery and in favor of abolition. And my goal, again, is not to make any suggestion that any of these issues that are currently under debate around campus activism are on any level more equivalent to chattels slavery, rather the point is to emphasize that there are times when it is true that we need the storm, the war and the earthquake that the ideal of reasoned debate that it is dispassion and calm and aimed at persuading one [Inaudible][00:18:56] rather than making a show of the important of moral emotions to observing third parties and attempt to persuade them to your cause. Those are speech act. Those are important part of free speech and to the extent that these tactics have been embraced by the campus [Inaudible][00:19:13], it's been, I think, for those of us participating in that tradition, frustrating to see a characterization of our participations in those speech acts as [Inaudible][00:19:25] too, rather than an exercise of the principles that we all care about. Mhm -- I keep on using the word "we" here, I don't mean to imply any level, any amount of consensus among campus [Inaudible][00:19:39] or activists. I think it is a highly internally fractious movement in a way that you, well, I guess today, [Inaudible][00:19:50] highly internally fractious but it's certainly no consensus that I'm attempting to speak from preserved more of my experiences. So, with that in mind and with an eye to the conference program focus on how -- the interaction between issues of political correctness and free speech on campus and their downstream effect on the heart of this conference, which is into intellectual diversity in academia. But I am going to use the balance of my time to walk through, just a couple of the hot button issues that have come up, especially in the past year around campus speech and activism. And, my goal here is of course, not in this context to convince that campus [Inaudible][00:20:36] are on the correct side of this issue, but rather that, if we are wrong, we are wrong for non-crazy reasons. What we are doing here is operating from a side of concerns and principles that are actually quite accessible to anybody who gets it, a clear look and where the disagreement arises, this much more in, like a how to reconcile the competing principles. So I am going to walk through four and then I am going to use the rest of my time. So, those four triggered warnings: micro aggression, , safe spaces and commencement speakers [Inaudible][00:21:15]. Mhm -- so, of the four issues that I mentioned, the [Inaudible][00:21:21] for triggered warning is the one that as the potential, as a hopeful one day law professor, I -- I understand the rank core over the least. I see it as sort of partnering parcel of what my job would be as an educator, to say: "Hi, potential student, I like to reach [Inaudible][00:21:38] to you and let you know that I am here to support you and work with you. And you know, should any of the material that we touched on in the course be personally upsetting or bringing up aspects of your experience that make it difficult for you to learn, I am here to facilitate your learning as an educator." It seems to me that this is the curing of information asymmetries and of course, like yes, there is a risk that's this can induce self-selection out of difficult materials. This is the risk that already exists to the extent that syllabi are circulated in advance for any class and it strikes me that it's not a huge extension of that risk. And really only if -- if triggered warnings are overdone and I think that the sort of [Inaudible][00:22:32] that they have been discussed in the media, where instead of a statement of: "Here's the content of the course and here is my commitment to support you." They are cast as you know, this course contains dangerous and wrong thinking material, that will be an example of overdoing it. It is not I think what most people that I have spoken with who would incorporate this into their syllabi are actually interested in doing. Mhm -- So when it comes to micro-aggression, this is one of the few areas where I actually feel enough confident to bring my mhm --- my sort of launch neuroscience angle into -- into the debate and -- and -- and sort of highlights the extend to which we can't unring the bell of knowing that you know, small sub-actionable harms of social rejections have a cumulative effect that when you have a brain pickle and [Inaudible][00:23:32] all over a long period of time. You have conforms. So I -- what I want to encourage is thinking when people talk about micro-aggressions and it's sort of class action legislation kind of metaphor, right? That if everybody is harmed for a penny, a harm still exists, not every open to having discussion about what exactly should be done to regress the harm. But I think that, again, we can't unring the bell of -- of waking up to realizing to actually, there are aggregated harms that exist like this. Mhm --- and so because I am short in time, I just come to safe spaces and leave it there. So safe spaces are a great example of actually an ideal that we all can get behind, existing intention with another ideal, namely freedom of association. This is a good thing, right? And sometimes, it can unbuttons free speech. This is some -- this is intention that we are familiar with. It's legitimate to wish for haling from the upsetting [Inaudible][00:24:27] and tempos of political disputes, especially when it's, I think many campuses left to dispute, you feel that what's up for debate is your basic right to inclusion and equitable state and status in your community. And we all create, you know, this little haven risk small in our daily lives. Anyway, of course, again, they can be overdone, one of the things I emphasize alot is in any situation and movement politics, assess is come with it and I am not here to you know, sit in defense of every single assess that exists. But I would similarly point out that when it comes to movement politics, a set of ground rules that are agreed upon by all participants in -- in particular space for organizing has always been crucial to making political progress if you -- it is possible to create tents that are so big that they collapse [Inaudible][00:25:20] themselves and that it never has movement politics, had has made it progress. So, those are just several examples of how and about campus [Inaudible][00:25:29] might think about some of these issues that are swirling this conference today. Mhm -- and I look forward being held to account for the internal consistencies of the positions in Q&A. Like I said, I promise I won't bite. I'm here to explain.
Jud Campbell: Alright, thanks Roland. Sohan?
Sohan Dasgupta: Thank you. Mhm I promise to genuinely be inline with Ilan and to [Inaudible][00:25:59] Roland. [Laughing].
Roland: I don't think I can experience oppression from them.
Ilan: Just feeling the vibe.
Sohan: It's such an honor and a blessing to be here with you all today. Thank you to Stanford Law School, the Federalist Society National, Michael, Jonathan and micro panelist Jud, Ilan and Roland. The other speakers have been wonderful about empirical data and very [Inaudible][00:26:19] scholarships. So I focus on more on the -- plus I am not experienced so dimensions. For those of goal orientations to what I said, Berkeley Law and -- but it is not limited to that. And I hope some of these insights are ruminating while others are entertaining and others still are booked. I am Sohan Dasguapta, currently President of the Berkeley Federalist Society and my remarks principally concern the cause of intellectual [Inaudible][00:26:48] that are born substantially by the [Inaudible][00:26:53] and that's because the great great intellectual part in Law School among students today is tied to viewpoint based shifting, even in cities of discrimination and a -- some identity politics. There are all tied together. Ladies and gentlemen, the great tumor of our age is that we often tend to care more about who is doing the speaking, rather what is being said around Law School today. This is an addition to tuning or denying the right of meaningful speech to disagreeable speakers on campus. And even what is alarming today is that today, the schools and free speech are often subordinated to mhm -- subordinated but ordinated some quarterly greater than months of making people feel comfortable. Now, whenever I hear that word, "comfortable', my first instinct is paraphrase the very elegant [Inaudible][00:27:48] who said the Constitution, I think you talked about a bit of rights in this respect, isn't meant to make us comfortable, it's meant to make us free. But it is not comfort that this could produce after all, blind us produces a slanted vision and everybody knows that slanted visions are uncomfortable in a long run. So what it sadly generates is an exclusive monopoly on speaking and the marketplace of ideas and it's [Inaudible][00:28:12] for the legal voucher and the rule of law. But philosophical isolation is not good for the individual but it's presently the price of doing business. But it's strikingly vanishing for the Law School own diet to have a philosophical imbalance. Even more delimitating for the Law School and the individual, though there is a settled discrimination, now impost on unconventional [Inaudible][00:28:36] are conservative moderates, other decanters, sort of like problematic in the [Inaudible][00:28:42] was it crying out in the wilderness? Leaves second generation barrier to entry or flourishing today, again, on conventional [Inaudible][00:28:50], it's used to against liberal in the 20s and 30s and now it's against conservatives and moderates. In Law School, a different from 1980s, more beleaguer version, now it's secular, fine art, more lethal, less discourse latent, somebody's safe space is denial of somebody else' right to speak, or even to belong on campus, that by a 1000 bucks. Then there are political which [Inaudible][00:29:14] followed, the pre-text for getting unconventional thinker [Inaudible][00:29:21] will be something entirely different at times, should you write your admission essay or have your academic scholarships be about the importance of your Catholic or Protestant faith, certain faiths are often targeted, not others. Or the freedom of religion in general are wanting to defend white collar criminals, your other credentials best be significantly high to compensate for those partners's deficiencies mhm -- or your best already been a Supreme Court Justice or a court who appeals judge, maybe even cured cancer, nobel [Inaudible][00:29:51] something like that. You need to balance it. Mhm -- And conservative academics find it disappointingly hard to make it onto law school faculties so there is an asymmetry there. I think it's greatly to the credit of judge [Inaudible][00:30:02] champing over journalism and then [Inaudible][00:30:07] of convictions that three originalists have made it onto the Harvard faculty but that's rare. Beyond one or two openly conservative faculty members, you won't find too many. Mhm -- and there are many who try to earn a position there. There is a famous story about UCLA law faculty when mhm -- one -- one academic who later on became the Dean of Chapman was interviewing there and elderly faculty member leaned over and said: "We already got [Inaudible][00:30:38], why do we need him?" Even though [Inaudible][00:30:43] and mhm --- [Inaudible][00:30:44] and this gentleman were not exactly of the same mhm -- viewpoint on every issue. Mhm -- there's [Inaudible][00:30:49] Glaw and you know -- there are --- that applies to students and faculty alike Several law schools don't consider working for the DA, US attorney office, prosecutions were to be [Inaudible][00:31:06], you don't get the credit arts for that. You are not eligible for it but if you happen to work for the public defender, you do get those hours. You do get that credit which is a --- which is a pity. Then, there is the [Inaudible][00:31:22] with some politics, recorded thesis underline inclusiveness and compassion. I love those words, which are encouraging and promising terms, heroic by law school, but too often, we disappointingly find that this inclusiveness or this compassion requires an ideological or philosophical limit test to absorb before the rewards are just plain equity or [Inaudible][00:31:44] before those bestowed. Moreover, [Inaudible][00:31:47] of safe spaces means that few with anything sort of [Inaudible][00:31:50] and enthusiastic support of this status quo, we have a meaningful right to be heard so that's where we are. So much so that even President Obama in respect to what the department of justice and education may have done in this field with their rule making and their dear colleague letters of which [Inaudible][00:32:10] of felt compelled to criticize its campus indulgence so insulating students from rigorous debate because we all lose when we begin to censor ideas and thus contract the spectrum which of ideas which are acceptable, even to be heard in the public sphere. Consequently, these factors would effectuate a powerful philosophical and balance on law --- law faculties and on legal education generally. When the law students go out into the world, they expect the same rules to be observed and they are not going to be. They will be in for a --- they will be in for unpleasant awakening. Today, we hear law schools outdoing each other with enthusiastic, mhm -- excitement over globalism, and rightly want to center alumni out to legal practice across industry from the UAE to Argentina. When the students go there and expect not -- expect not to be confronted with any thing they deem politically incorrect, which inherently a culturally latent term of art with meanings are very widely between what to expect in the bear area and what's ok in national [Inaudible][00:33:14] let alone New Delhi or [Inaudible][00:33:16], those students will find themselves utterly unprepared by their alma matters egos having [Inaudible][00:33:21] over the past three years, perhaps longer. The ego chamber problem as the professor Phillip referred to it earlier, it's going to hurt moderate and liberal students for the -- for those reasons. Now the centers, you got your principle mental and that psychiatric principle, it's a matter of principle, it's not that matter of pre- of [Inaudible][00:33:41] resolves or [Inaudible][00:33:43] expediences. Several themes are important here. Let's continue with the presupposition. Cherish and some quarters that philosophical divergence, it's correlated with [Inaudible][00:33:52] typical and communal identity, what do I mean by that? Race, ethnicity, sex orientations, religions, etc. And that campus of all places become fixated on these notions. It's not unduly reductive to maintain that there is a victim in all this and that victim is the individual who dans to think for herself, whose sincere reasoning in life experience refuse to used to a certain kind of expected group thing. It's a stereotype, no doubt. But somehow, [Inaudible][00:34:21] stereotypes, one that's used to include, rather exclude more and more people into the wither people fabric of this great nation. I think I read that in the concurrence product. Mhm-- what might be forgiven for failing to accept the justification of this kind of stereotyping because for one, when did we get to the point of saying that stereotyping for good purposes ok? Those stereotypes for [Inaudible][00:34:43] purpose will not be tolerated. Stereotyping over generalization alone is the fruit of a poison tree, if not the tree itself. And stereotyping done for [Inaudible][00:34:53] good reason will fall into the hands of unofficial chief maker sometimes in the future, who doesn't have such [Inaudible][00:35:01] attention in mind. It's a loaded gun. Once a close law school friend, a conservative of conjoin and of color, was told by cilvil right activist, a fellow student that, "Of course we assume you would be a Liberal, you are Nigerian guy at Berkeley. It's up to you to clarify that you are not." The burden has shifted, ladies and gentlemen. This is jus the tip of the iceberg with respect to that intra group de-centers within the [Inaudible][00:35:36] marginalized communities and the inverted violence in exclusion inflected on them. There are stories of catcalls violences that are going on reportedly barely audible [Inaudible][00:35:39] and the life that occurred. I draw on these experiences that law school conservative, particularly those are, those who are persons of color, and or have LGBTQ sexual identities, there's almost an underline outrage, "how dare you think outside the box that has been cropped it for you? How can you do a 180 on our hard one sacrifices?" But it is to honor and cherish those early sacrifices, whose objective had been to liberate individuals from being [Inaudible][00:36:07] as members of groups and to emancipate them opportunities to be individuals with inherited dignity and hard [Inaudible][00:36:15] to think for ourselves. There's also intellectual and cultural hubris, that even to say that the dimension of the box, that is to say position on particular issues are allowed to be predetermined by certain powers that being today [Inaudible][00:36:30] guides. And for [Inaudible][00:36:34], there is no other cross one which a nail and independent thinker who goes against the expected ram to robust [Inaudible][00:36:38] some charges are in-manufacture, again, which intra groups disappointing the center can possibly defend themselves in time, but we hand up the offers upon which they are about to enter, like the source of [Inaudible][00:36:52] and mhm --- that's often the [Inaudible][00:36:56] in law school and beyond, but we have reluctant whatsoever in sustaining faith and confidence that principle awards standing for. And second, it's particular neglectful of geography history and statistics, if nothing else to assume that the origin with which person of color identified don't have conservative. India right now is dominated by the conservative BYB, who can alter national aligns in Kenya, governs countries [Inaudible][00:37:21] and so on. Since we inherit most of our philosophical beliefs from our families, it is not that conceivable that conservatives and mhm --- basically non-liberals who identity as person of color, particularly immigrants would have viewed close to those from their person of origin, from those that are origins. And [Inaudible][00:37:39] surprised that many conservatives of whatever background would think for themselves and happen to find themselves in law school environment on these shores where they continue to do so. The rule of law and intellectual simulation and education of all of us will be greatly improved. I think I am short on times so I got to the chase. Mhm -- that peace allows me to get a little bit personal and use the device of contrast to do so. One Berkeley raised scholar likes to say that:: "Many of us mhm -- for -- for people, it's easier for the sub-consious to imagine myself himself as if fire breathing lion, as if the person of a difference race or gender, he goes to dream sequence to get there." So that's the bottom line of this part experiment. Now contrast this with the lives of many of us, I grew up in large part in Asia. I like my cricket, the [Inaudible][00:38:23] I was taught by my grandmother, the hard science I never to do but mostly struggle with, the dog that my cousin and I had to go out the trees in the backyard. In my dream, I felt I deserved one [Inaudible][00:38:35] with kids all over the world and mhm --- in places that I never even visited, a boy in Holland, a girl in China, a girl in Egypt, the boy in Kenya, the girl in Switzerland I like the elves. Mhm --- it never even crossed my mind what their races were, then or now. And I don't think that only hyperactive imagination was to -- -was responsible for this. It's because that quality that confirmed on this attributes that go very hears of our personhood. Those are the qualities that make us who we are. And the who will be always be more important than the what. The checklist feature of you know typical and communal attributes. Mhm it's not uncertain to say whatsoever that one is an outlier to believe all of this, and the polity doesn't operate from these premises or employing these assumptions, maybe so, maybe not, but that's not the point. The point is -- that this idea to which we must aspire and that idea frees individuals, including those in thee law school setting to think for themselves and emancipate from the boxes to which them have been relegated, otherwise they would be a -- again to indulgence a highly [Inaudible][00:39:37] assumptions going to the 21st century. To paraphrase national reviews, Peter [Inaudible][00:39:42], the study of laws of viewpoint diversity by reminding us that what justice, a component of law, though by no means that the exclusive ones, it's --- it's the [Inaudible][00:39:52] and invisibly difficult question and as a variety of plausible answers. When the study of justice is replaced by slanted conception of social justice and inverted comma, viewpoint diversity always suffers simply because those with different views of the place and significant of justice are marginalized the wars, we should be better than this, to [Inaudible][00:40:16]. Thank you for you attentions.
Jud: Ok, we only have about 15 or 20 minutes for discussion and Q&As so I will ask for quick responses among the panelists to each other if there is any discussion and then we will open it up to the mic.
Ilan: So I have a short response and I will limit to my micro-aggressing against trolling. [Laughing]. First, I see my 45 seconds of my time to try to learn why this commencement speakers potentially justify or how liberals think about it. So --- mhm --- what did I say? What I have prepared on this is that, surely that you can think of person that you have been angry with your institution without consulting you for input, cut a large on arena check to and offer you to them as the captain audience on the day that's supposed to the day that's celebrating you and you voice your decent about it and get a branded an enemy of free speech, is the short version, I think the [Inaudible][00:41:13] has been a little misleading because often what actually happens here is not invitation, but decent and then the decent gets mhm --- grant immediately as an attempt to dis-invite. I think the --- ifs, you know, students were exercising this invitation, now I get a little more nervous, but this is not what I have seen in this debate. So I mean, I don't follow too closely to the [Inaudible][00:41:35] the adminstration to dis-invite speakers but they are doing so from a position where they don't have power to actually make good on that demand. So I am not entirely sure about that but I will ask my other, I will make another point which -- butt --- you mentioned irreducibly competing principles and I guess what you are saying is --- the two competing principles are the thunder and earthquake speech of liberals that want to shut, not hear certain things or protest against other speech or potentially shut down other speech. I am not entirely clear on what it is, but my question is: " Doesn't -- isn't the solution to the -- or how to balance these principles already in the constitution of the United States in the first amendment which allows free speech, but has the kind of [Inaudible][00:42:24] John principle embodied it, which you can't defend someone with your speech right? You can't insight violent, you know. Once the 1930, someone couldn't have fighting words, I don't know if that is still a good law but that's a harm principle and I think we can all get onboard with that. and it seems that you know -- mhm -- you are advocating in terms of that triggered warnings or I don't know advocating but explaining triggered warnings, micro-agggressions, safe spaces that people don't want to be harmed. So the principle and abstract that actually seem toe be same, but are we diluting the content of what it means to be harmed, to the point that there is such-able bar that there is no bar at all.
Roland: So I think, and this is -- this is what I sort of emphasizing with the un-ringing the bell metaphor with is what we are doing is developing a much more sophisticated ear for what it means to be harm, what it means to be harm collectively, what it means to be harm in small but then aggregate up and you know, we are shredding I think, to a great extent, mhm -- our long insistence on the notion that you know, that physical injury is -- is of some absolutely [Inaudible][00:43:39] category that it needs to be forever disaggregated from mere emotional light as those -- you know, these mere emotion lights don't ultimately register a physical system that is the brain, which is very much a product of --
Illan: Switching back a little bit, again, I guess I like to find solid in the law and doesn't the law have response to this, like the intentional [Inaudible][00:44:04] distress, you know, When someone wants to discuss the history or reading a book on the KKK, was he intentionally try [Inaudible][00:44:15] distress on someone? I don't think so. I think the law has categories that have evolved over time because they work and I am wondering if modern campus liberals are just trying to expand those categories such that they become ultimately meaningless or the ---
Roland: The meaningless [Inaudible][00:44:35] but there's -- there's no question that there is an effort to expand those categories in response to a whitely shared feeling that previously -- the previous line during exercise was premise on the assumption that no longer quite fit of our understanding of our power dynamics and society and individual experience of real harm, right ? We -- that there is this absolute a line redrawing exercise but that's not to say that the principle that animates the debate is not long respected. It very much is.
Jud: Alright, let's take some questions.
Male: Yeah, I have that --- actually two questions for Roland. The first is whether you realize that his argument about saying emotional harms corresponding physical harms is supported by a famous law review article by Bort who made that argument, but the more serious point, I was interested in issues of passionate speech which I observer mostly online controversies, rather than here. And I can see three different reasons for such speech, only one which I approve it. One of them is to convey listeners your feelings and the hope that that would change their views. One of them is to make yourself feel good and to raise your status with your in group by showing that and what strikes me in the online controversy is that most of the people engaging in this are in fact subverting their own side, that is to say they are making their sides look worst, other than -- that is their passion of insulting people, all sort of stuff with that story and that pretty clearly tells me that their real insane is not what they claim it is, their real insane is to feel good and to show it. Third reason and the only we count censorship is that you are using emotional means in order to make it costly to be on the other side. So if you --- lot of people, if you say x too much, they erase it. And people don't want to be considered racists, don't want people to never hurt the [Inaudible][00:46:39] don't know the context to think that they are racists and the reason you are doing this is to shut people up. And it seems to me that that third is really censorship even though it's not legal censorship [Inaudible][00:46:49] power but in terms of intensity, it is censorship and I guess part of the question would be how much of the passionate speech are you defending is in which of these categories? And I guess one more thing and I want to question the commencement speakers because I can understand the argument you don't want to give money to people you disagree with. On the other hand, if you don't want to hear people you disagree with, if you prefer people who are preaching the converted when you are one of the converted, that is the same to me as it falls to you, not in them and then the very simple test and that is, when there is a public lecture by somebody on the right or the left, which one the students on the right or left attend? You are attending the [Inaudible][00:47:37] that doesn't give anybody money. If you prefer to listen to people who would tell you how wonderful your ideas are, then you go to the ones who agree with you. If you prefer to listen to people from whom you might learn arguments against your view and the one you disagree and you can presumably collect casual data looking at that thing on your campus and figure what is really going on.
Roland: So to sort of speak to the sort of grant four of the Internet that is an issue, let me sort of answer to the different reasons you run through, kind of you give my theory of Facebook political disputing right? Mhm -- It's kind of -- the reasons are kind of a hybrid of the one you talk about. I know that like all argumentation in the sense is the process of making costly to hold the opposing view. Now whether you are making it costly in terms of how a person is --- view in with regard their moral [Inaudible][00:48:36] versus how a person view in terms of their ability to debate right? Those are different ways of making it costly for somebody. At some level right, when you show that a person is wrong [Inaudible][00:48:56] with some elaborated rhetorical ruse, you are making it costly for them to hold the opposing view. You are doing it for a much better reason when it comes to convincing the other side but this is sort of Segway into mhm -- what I want to emphasize the kind of civi republican that I am talking about, which is that I don't often engage with people that I know are going to disagree with me with the aim of persuading them. The aim rather is to convince third parties viewing the dispute that mhm---both by [Inaudible][00:49:37] of better argument and by selected recruitment of justified moral emotions right? That mine is that side of defense worth putting onto.
Male: You never consider the possibility of engagement the defend, in the debate on the parts that might change your view? That wasn't in your listed reason.
Roland: Oh no. The point is rather that primary concern in this kind of, you know, political forum is -- is first and foremost to say: "Look, people's politics are extremely [Inaudible][00:50:06] and probably the best way to generate more light than heat is to in engaging, show other people whose minds aren't yet made up, why the position that I am taking is --- is actually not only --
Male: Is correct or is emotionally satisfying? Those are quite not the same thing.
Roland: Those two are --- well those two are actually hard to disentangling. You ---
Male: And you distinguish between getting somebody to not believe something and getting somebody to not say you believe something? Because those are very different goals.
Roland: Sometimes it's the form and sometimes it's --- that's the situation.
Male: [Inaudible][00:50:47], you should not be doing it.
Roland: I would say, on the prior point, there are some good authority for [Inaudible][00:50:53] and I think it was [Inaudible][00:50:55] conservative, a young conservative radio personnel that once said: "Don't argue with the liberals, unless one or two conditions are met, you actually have to because your grade depends on it in class for example or you got an audience. You might persuade other people.
Jud: Alright, Jim?
Sohan: So I must a --- sorry very quickly, I must make a slightly tangent of point of the honorary machine for commencement speakers are you know --- not withstanding the fact that students are mhm --- are clients as it was, rather than students of the universities. Not wanting to give money to those with whom they disagree, one of the proponent of that, you know if you are going to do that, think about public sector employee wanting to give money to the public center unions with whom they disagree, just to curious of point.
Roland: I think those are pretty differentiable cases but what I want say is what I think the students in the commencement speaker issue really would like is for these decisions to be made with their input, these are decisions that are reportedly for them, they should represent. them.
Sohan: Well, right now, Roland, we haven't gotten a single outside commencement speaker because of the union boycott, which outside speakers not to accept Berkeley speaking engagement. So right now, we haven't gotten a single person coming to our graduation from -- from you know, external environment to speak yeah.
Jud: Alright, Jim?
Jim: So I want to push back as quickly as I can. So triggered warning, I think, once you know, with my own opinion on this, I think you should avoid to do this harm but we shouldn't think there was something inherently wrong [Inaudible][00:52:34] and mhm -- you talked about psychology. It's little to I know but some of my colleagues on the [Inaudible][00:52:40] academy have written that in-therapy, do they try to avoid that you fear of or do you confront it and they say, absolute consensus and theory confront it. On micro aggression, micro aggressions are real. But one of the things that my colleagues in [Inaudible][00:52:54] can [Inaudible][00:52:55] what we do is racism. And a micro aggression training is highly unlikely to reduce racism. Putting someone in the room and saying you are doing a lot of bad stuff is a terrible way to reduce racism. So even if they are real, I am not sure if they are the way to go. And then, think about conservatives. How many conservatives are subject to micro-aggression alot, which I am sure you don't disagree with. And then safe spaces. Mhm---I think everyone should be able to retrieve to the room or whatever, not being hassled. But beyond that, safe spaces are spaces where you don't hear ideas that you disagree with, that bother you. What conservative can hope to be educated in environment American Universities in which they have that kind of safe space, none of them. So I think I ask you a bit much and I am someone, I am not sure who said it but: "Safe spaces are places where cultures go to die." And that's my opinion and I am not ... You may want to comment or not or you might just want to ---
Ilan: Can I hear the last question and then I answer ... ?
Jud: That will be fine.
Jim: I guess I am here to [Inaudible][00:54:04] a little bit.
Roland: I volunteer myself with this. I am here to answer ...
Jim: Well, I think what I find most troubling about the student movement this last fall is the assumption that education should be you know, [Inaudible][00:54:21] because diversity, deep diversity which is involved classy views of the good, the good society is inherently offensive. So -- then you are debating things like ethics, abortions, right? with the good society. There is not way that conservation isn't offensive. And [Inaudible][00:54:45] education right? I think is the fundamental [Inaudible][00:54:49] right? When you go to some place like Liberty and you are not ... the whole point of education it seems to me is we are trying to shelter you from views that might undermine your faith and tradition, And so if we really value diversity right? It seems to me we really want a very offensive education, but I guess the other thing I would say is that I do think that movement -- I guess my other concern is that it's cultivating a culture, a culture that's hostile to the free expression of ideas and I think we see this in some of the climate surveys right? I would encourage you all to look at the climate survey that University of Colorado did, where the students are -- say: "Look, I am afraid. I don't speak up in class. I feel intimidated. Mhm -- that -- so free speech is not -- you know --- it requires a certain kind of culture and that culture is fragile because there is something very unnatural about creating an institution that designs to be offensive. Right?
Roland: So when it comes to like the hostility plan, one thing that I --- I want to try to underscore that's I feel there's been this huge [Inaudible][00:56:00] created of how terrible it is to be viewed as the person who said the wrong thing. One of the things that disgust in the [Inaudible][00:56:11] activists, you know activists and organizing circles is if you just do it right, it's so easy to meaningfully apologize right? To make amends if you actually sort of like take responsibility for the thing that hurt people right? This is something that has been mhm -- I think expensively discussed in these circles is like, the more we ramp up the extensive in which we are going to be sensitive to how speak can harm, the more we are going to get really clear on like, here's how you readdress like that harm as the person who accuse to [Inaudible][00:56:50]. So -- at the end of the day right like, even if I go around within like you know, campus like activists and organizing circles and I eventually say something that is you know, wrong thing right? A, that's an evitable and b, the consequences aren't all that terrible. I say, " Oh, my bad for violating the you know, shared convention of the space. Like, I will do better next time." Mhm -- So I want to sort of deflate the [Inaudible][00:57:20].
[Background question] [Inaudible][00:57:21]
Roland: So here is I think is a very expensive question is how do we neutrally optimize among the principles of charity and the constant situation that politics unfold amidst a trust gap right? Because, I think, I thin where people are coming from with this culture of uncharitable is gosh, we have been through this a million times where somebody said something that we know is actually dog whistle for you know, for a policy that hurts us and then they [Inaudible][00:58:23] into the, oh no I didn't mean it that way, be more charitable so --- I think what you are witnessing is a sense of exhaustion with the demands of that, I am going to attempt to redraw where the intersect of these two principles fall.
Jud: Time for one more question.
Male: So instead of piling on, I want to say something in defense of, at least a safe space argument as I hear Roland correctly saying, you know, I don't --- I didn't hear him defending the idea of you know, broad [Inaudible][00:59:01] campus ought to be made safe, but rather it ought be to remissible for groups to form who are like-minded to have safe space. Having to defend that proposition in the United States Supreme Court a couple of years ago unsuccessfully, I -- I am still with Roland and agains the Supreme Court decision in particular group that wanted safe space, it's the Christian legal society at a Hasting Law School in San Fransisco which among other things, one of the religious beliefs, they didn't believe in same-sex marriage. And the university, public university would not allow them to have a group of just themselves and insisted on a so-called on-comers policy which to say, ain't no safe space policy and I would just say, if we are going to have safe spaces and I think we should, I think freedom I agree with Roland, freedom of dissociation does sometimes allow self-selective group to retrieve and be just among themselves, but it's healthy for everybody. The real problem here is that some people think they they entitled to be protected against verbal assaults and nobody else.
Roland: So I am very much in agreement and glad you pointed out the the stoke and scales of --- of where we extend this freedom of association to -- to you know cover people's you know, desire to retrieve is absolutely something that has limits right? And I don't think it's actually as harmonizing as I think that as people might think [Inaudible][01:01:00] is for university wide hate them from all ideas that one might disagree with. Mhm --
Ilan: Can I interject about one point? I just want go back to something, I know we are running out of time. I said [Inaudible][01:01:10] optimized. He's different need, He's different principle. And I just start to think about personal experience and do we really need to optimize two different principles or is one principle so much better than another? Because -- I know, draw from my personal experience, you know, coming out as gay and conservative has never been an issue in my life but coming out as conservative to gay has caused [Inaudible][01:01:35] of problems and I have been macro-aggressed against, I have been shouted at in public places by other gays and I am thinking to myself as I am thinking here, would I ever try to optimize, you know, my safe space and my ability not to hear that with their ability to make some sort of speech? No. There is no question. I would never sacrifice their right to speak as aggressively, as hatefully as they want, with my right to be comfortable. So I don't think there's anything to be optimized to.
Jud: Alright, thanks.