Thursday, August 26, 2010

* Burning Ideas

Hot Topic: Minister's "Burn a Koran Day"

The same country whose Supreme Court says free speech protects cross-buring as expression, also saw The Catcher in the Rye burned in public places in the 1950's as a symbol of public outrage at its "corrupting" influence on the young (and maybe the old too).

This same country, The New York Times reports today, has produced a Florida evangelical minister who has announced his intention to burn Korans in public in what he calls "Burn a Koran Day."

The ghost of Florida's Anita Bryant and her orange-juice drinking anti-gay campaign of the 1970's still stalks Florida's flatlands.

Academia is not exempt from this extremism.

 Does anyone recall the 1969 cross-burning on the porch of a Cornell University African American house which resulted in the armed take-over of Willard Straight Hall by Black United Students?

Or the debate at Yale in the 1970's over allowing a "scholar" to speak who claimed that African Americans were inferior thinkers because of the smaller size of their craniums?

What a goulash (or ghoulash) of contradictions America is.

No comments: