Less than one year after Brandeis University canceled plans to award an honorary degree to scholar Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Brandeis newspaper has expressed grave concern that “only five women and four people of color have been awarded honorary degrees in the last five years, out of 26 degrees handed out during the same time frame.”
Hirsi Ali, 45, is a Somali-born activist who is known for her scathing criticisms of Islam and its treatment of women.
A vocal contingent of students and professors on the fancypants, $60,300-per-year Brandeis campus balked at the idea of the university bestowing an honorary degree on such a notable critic of Islam. They feared Muslims’ feelings might be hurt. (RELATED: Brandeis U. Rescinds Honorary Degree Because Recipient Is Anti-Islam)
Editors at The Justice helped lead the charge to convince the administration to rescind Hirsi Ali’s invitation to campus.
In this year’s editorial lamenting the lack of minority and female honorary degree recipients, the editors at The Justice seemed to sense the massive rhetorical and logical hole they’ve managed to dig for themselves.
“This year’s choices will likely prove significant to both the Class of 2015 and the University’s public image,” the editors wrote (labeling last year’s debacle as a “national media scandal”).
The student editors at The Justice urged Brandeis administrators “not to let fear of controversy guide their decision process.”
At the same time, they suggested, it is imperative that school officials conduct “thorough background research on each of the potential speakers and honorary degree candidates.” Such private investigation will prevent officials from later claiming ignorance about any controversial, non-milquetoast statements prospective honorary degree candidates may have uttered.
“We urge the Board to strive to include a diverse group for this year,” the editors of The Justice implored.
Some students at Brandeis accuse the editors of The Justice of a double standard.
“The hypocrisy would be funny if it weren’t so sad,” senior Daniel Mael wrote on his Facebook page.
The “same paper that called for” Hirsi Ali “to be disinvited is now complaining that an insufficient number of women and people of color have received honorary degrees in the last five years.”
Mael suggested that the editorial board at The Justice is not concerned with genuine diversity.
“What the board seemingly wants,” he wrote, is “a non-diverse group of leftists who — based on the color of skin or gender, not ideas — are ‘diverse.'”
Brandeis is, of course, famous because another student, Khadijah Lynch, went on Twitter in December to celebrate the brutal, execution-style murder of two New York Police Department officers. (RELATED: Fancypants, College Student: ‘No Sympathy’ For Brutally Executed Cops)
Mael achieved notoriety at Brandeis for citing Lynch’s publicly-accessible tweets. For his efforts, he was slapped with a “no contact order” limiting his movement on campus. (RELATED: BRANDEIS DAYCARE: Now $60,300 College Restricts Student Journalist’s Movement)
Brandeis was named after Supreme Court Associate Justice Louis Brandeis, a famed defender of free speech.