Let’s make sure my cancellation is the last. That begins by standing up and saying no to the mob. I am a professor who just had a prestigious public science lecture at MIT cancelled because of an outrage mob on Twitter. My crime? Arguing for academic evaluations based on academic merit. This is the story of how a cancellation is carried out, why it should worry all of us, and what we can do to stop this dangerous trend. On August 12, a colleague and I wrote an op-ed in Newsweek in which we argued that Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) as it currently is implemented on campus “violates the ethical and legal principle of equal treatment” and “treats persons as merely means to an end, giving primacy to a statistic over the individuality of a human being.” We proposed instead “an alternative framework called Merit, Fairness, and Equality (MFE) whereby university applicants are treated as individuals and evaluated through a rigorous and unbiased process based on their merit and qualifications alone.” We noted that this would mean an end to legacy and athletic admission advantages, which significantly favor white applicants.
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