Summers decried a “creeping totalitarianism” on college campuses, calling out what he said is the growing preference for emotional comfort over academic inquiry in an interview with William Kristol.
From The Harvard Crimson: Summers, who is a University Professor, discussed recent campus discourse and protests about race at colleges across the country during the 75-minute interview, criticizing “excesses” of political correctness on the part of students and administrators. In particular, he condemned controversial placemats that the Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion introduced in Harvard dining halls last semester. Quickly denounced by a host of students and administrators as a breach from principles of academic freedom, the placemats purported to offer advice on holiday conversation with family members about race and inclusion.
“There is a great deal of absurd political correctness. Now, I’m somebody who believes very strongly in diversity, who resists racism in all of its many incarnations, who thinks that there is a great deal that’s unjust in American society that needs to be combated,” Summers said. “But it seems to be that there is a kind of creeping totalitarianism in terms of what kind of ideas are acceptable and are debatable on college campuses.”