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Stanford's Exclusive Approach to "Inclusive" Speech

Greg Lukianoff: Don't confuse "upper class white liberal ways of seeing the world with truth itself”

Don’t let the Stanford Law degree fool you, Greg Lukianoff doesn’t hail from elite circles.

He was born to two immigrant parents and grew up in a blue-collar neighborhood. Many of the kids he played with were immigrants or children of immigrants. 

In his diverse neighborhood, the idea of giving people the benefit of the doubt, and other hallmarks of a culture of free speech, weren’t high-minded theories. They were practical necessities. With so much opportunity for misunderstanding, kids had to learn to cut each other quite a bit of slack. 

In this DVD extra, Greg explains how he encountered a very different environment in college.  

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Here’s some of what he told me: 

And one thing that was so clear when I got to a place like Stanford, was that people had a real tendency to confuse sort of upper class white liberal ways of seeing the world with truth itself and therefore wanted everybody to talk exactly like rich white, over educated people. And there was like this lack of curiosity about whether or not those assumptions were even correct. 

And you think about people who are on the spectrum, you think about people from other countries, you think about people who come from different economic classes or different regions or who are a little bit older or a little bit younger than everybody else, and it's just a series of landmines that you're supposed to either know they're there and if you know they're there, you're supposed to pretend you believe the following five things. It's a really messed up way for a place that is supposed to be a marketplace of ideas, to teach people to interact with each other.

Enjoy some more DVD Extras:

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