Admitting to his own intolerance on Facebook, a liberal is dumbfounded by the response

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When liberal journalists come out and confess their bias, it’s tempting to say, “The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.” … Writing at the New York Times recently, columnist Nicholas Kristof took that hard first step. The title of his piece says it all: “A Confession of Liberal Intolerance.”

Nicholas Kristof.

Nicholas Kristof.

“We progressives,” he writes, “believe in diversity, and we want women, blacks, Latinos, gays and Muslims at the table, so long as they aren’t conservatives.” (Or, one might reasonably add, evangelical Christians). … “We’re fine with people who don’t look like us,” he writes, “as long as they think like us.”

Universities, once recognized as bastions of tolerance and diversity, bear perhaps the greatest blame. Kristof cites studies showing that just 6 to 11 percent of humanities professors are conservatives. Fewer than one in ten social-studies professors call themselves conservative. For perspective, consider that twice that number identify as Marxists!

Kristof took his concerns to Facebook, where he asked his mostly liberal followers why those who pride themselves on tolerance can be so intolerant. The replies he got were stunning. “Much of the ‘conservative’ worldview consists of ideas that are known empirically to be false,” commented one fellow liberal. Why stop with conservatives? asked another. “How about we make faculties more diverse by hiring idiots?”

Wow. Kristof was understandably dumbfounded. “My Facebook followers have incredible compassion for war victims in South Sudan, for kids who have been trafficked, even for abused chickens, but no obvious empathy for conservative scholars facing discrimination.”

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