“Campus” Is Not Quite What Nicholas Kristof Thinks It Is


When I read Nicholas Kristof’s “The Dangers of Echo Chambers on Campus” last night, I knew I would have to write in response. Drive-by commentary of this sort can’t be ignored by those of us who really are members of college communities.

Fortunately for me, John K. Wilson posted even before I had started writing, making the point that Kristof’s false equivalencies undermine his entire piece: calling someone a racist does not balance threats of violence. After all, someone might actually deserve the appellation; no one deserves violence. Given John’s excellent rebuttal, I can move on to consideration of other aspects of Kristof’s unfortunate column.

There’s an assumption in his piece that all colleges are pretty much the same, sanctuaries for the children of the upper classes while they try to work out their futures and prepare for them. Kristof writes that he fears “how insular universities have…

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