Mary Eberstadt Replies to Furman University on Campus Protest
Regarding Furman University President Elizabeth Davis’s response (Letters, March 31) to my op-ed “You Can’t Cancel Me, I Quit” (March 27): Of course there are civil, intellectually engaged students at Furman University—and everywhere else. Just this week I taught a seminar by Zoom to members of the school’s Tocqueville Program. They were upbeat, prepared and thoughtful. My op-ed wasn’t about students like those, but the increasingly militant minority that menaces and humiliates invited guests, and whose doings are whitewashed or ignored by administrators.
President Davis invites me to learn “how thoughtful our students are.” Before my scheduled visit, posters advertising my talk were twice put up on campus, and twice torn down by activists. One that remained was defaced, the word “Fascist” scrawled next to my face. (My grandparents fled fascism in Northern Italy.) In the student newspaper and elsewhere, I was called “dangerous,” “a vicious transphobe,” “homophobic” and other epithets. This isn’t “healthy dialogue” but ad hominem smearing, all met with silence from anyone in authority.