Syndicated conservative columnist and renowned pundit George F. Will has been disinvited from speaking at the all-female Scripps College, allegedly over a column he wrote last June that questioned nationwide campus sexual-assault statistics, the Claremont Independent reports.
Will, a Pulitzer-prize winner with The Washington Post, was originally tapped to speak at the Southern California-based Scripps College for the Elizabeth Hubert Malott Public Affairs Program, which aims to “bring speakers to campus whose political views differ from the majority of students,” reports the Independent, a conservative-libertarian campus student newspaper.
The newspaper adds there are apparently no Republican professors at the school, citing an ongoing survey. The program Will was set to speak for strives to provide students with “a range of opinions about the world – especially opinions with which we may not agree, or think we do not agree,” Scripps’ website states.
“A prominent conservative political pundit was uninvited from speaking at Scripps College, in a program designed to promote conservative views on campus, because of his conservative views,” reports the Independent’s Brad Richardson.
Other conservatives who have given guest lectures at Scripps as part of the program include Charles Krauthammer and Peggy Noonan.
Will told the Independent he believes his controversial column was the reason for his disinvitation.
“It was in the works and then it wasn’t in the works,” Will said. “They didn’t say that the column was the reason, but it was the reason.”
Former president of the American Enterprise Institute Christopher DeMuth reportedly resigned his role as a selection committee member of the Malott public affairs program due to the rescinded offer, Will told the Independent.
The “controversial” column in question was published on June 6 and alleged the “epidemic of rape” was being fueled by the feds’ micromanagement interventions. Will also questioned statistics on college rape touted by the Obama administration.
“It is salutary that academia, with its adversarial stance toward limited government and cultural common sense, is making itself ludicrous,” Will wrote. “Academia is learning that its attempts to create victim-free campuses — by making everyone hypersensitive, even delusional, about victimizations — brings increasing supervision by the regulatory state that progressivism celebrates.”
After the column was published, Will faced extreme backlash. His column was dropped from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and “thousands contacted The Washington Post urging them to drop Will’s column for excusing, if not encouraging, ‘rape culture’ at American universities,” the Daily Caller reported.
A group of Democratic U.S. senators had also criticized Will for his column, saying “you trivialize the scourge of sexual assault, putting the phrase in scare quotes and treating this crime as a socially acceptable phenomenon.”
Scripps College officials have yet to comment publicly on the Independent’s report, published Monday. But a comment under the story says Will had the disinvitation coming.
“If you make the decision to publish — in a national column, in a major paper — the statement that being the victim of a sexual assault is a ‘COVETED STATUS that confers PRIVILEGES’ and thereby makes ‘victims proliferate’ (emphasis obviously added), you need to be ready to accept the harsh and critical responses that you subsequently get,” one student wrote. “It’s his prerogative to write that. It’s also Scripps’ prerogative to use the column as an indication that he isn’t someone they want representing intellectual diversity on their campus.”
Will’s disinvitation marks the latest in an ongoing trend at colleges nationwide.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice removed herself from Rutgers’ commencement ceremonies in May after some students protested that Rice is a war criminal who backed enhanced interrogation tactics. Also last spring, Brandeis University rescinded an honorary degree it had planned to give to women’s rights advocate Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a strong critic of the way women have been treated in Islamic countries.
Christine Lagarde, director of the International Monetary Fund, withdrew from the all-women’s Smith College commencement ceremonies in June after protesting students said that Lagarde “represents a corrupt system that fuels the oppression and abuse of women worldwide.”
At Azusa Pacific University, a Christian university in California, the American Enterprise Institute’s Charles Murray was disinvited at the last minute last semester as well. The university’s president, John Wallace, said in a statement that “given the lateness of the semester and the full record of Dr. Murray’s scholarship, I realized we needed more time to prepare for a visit and postponed Wednesday’s conversation.”
College Fix reporter Derek Draplin is a student at the University of Michigan.
IMAGE: Penn State/Flickr