The best sentence I read today….

…. is from Emily Yoffe’s excellent article “A Taxonomy of Fear“:

Institutions that are supposed to be guardians of free expression—academia and journalism in particular—are becoming enforcers of conformity.

I’ve pointed out many times that while academia pledges a theoretical commitment to “diversity, equity and inclusion” they frequently practice in reality the exact opposite — “uniformity, inequity, and exclusion,” e.g., when they require “diversity statements” that are in fact “uniformity statements.”

Here’s more from Emily Yoffe:

Campuses have bureaucracies that routinely undermine free speech and due process. Now, these practices are breaching the ivy wall. They are coming to a high school or corporate HR office near you.

The cultural rules around hot button issues are ever-expanding. It’s as if a daily script went out describing what’s acceptable, and those who flub a line—or don’t even know a script exists—are rarely given the benefit of the doubt, no matter how benign their intent. Naturally, people are deciding the best course is to shut up. It makes sense to be part of the silenced majority when the price you pay for an errant tweet or remark can be the end of your livelihood.


The process by which sinners are punished and apostates expelled can seem random. But there are rules and patterns to the ways in which speech is being silenced. Analyzing and understanding these can help us stand up to the illiberalism of this moment, whether it comes from the left or the right.