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U. of Chicago Profs Denounce Invite to Steve Bannon to Debate
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January 26, 2018, 06:28 AM
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From the Chicago Tribune:

U. of C. professor invites Steve Bannon to campus debate, prompting protest

Dawn Rhodes, Elvia Malagon and Kim Janssen

A University of Chicago professor has invited Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, to speak at the South Side campus, a move that sparked a swift backlash among faculty members and students Thursday.

Luigi Zingales, a professor in the Booth School of Business, is planning an event that tentatively would involve a debate over subjects including “the economic benefits of globalization and immigration,” university officials confirmed in a statement. Zingales invited Bannon, who has pushed for a harder line on trade and immigration, to debate an expert in the field with the professor serving as a moderator. No other details about the date and time were immediately available.

Representatives for Bannon could not be reached for comment. Zingales posted a statement on his Facebook page explaining his decision and declined to comment further.

“As a university our primary mission is to form new citizens of the world,” Zingales wrote.

So, uh, as a citizen of the world, do I get to, you know, vote for who rules the world?

Just asking …

I mean, I understand how this “citizen of the world” concept benefits those who want to rule the world. But I can’t really see what’s in it for me. If I show up in Bangladesh, do I get to immigrate because I am “citizen of the world?” No? And do I want to immigrate to Bangladesh? Like Rob Reiner, I kind of like it here.

“As a business school our primary mission is to form new business leaders of the world. I can hardly think of a more important issue for new citizens and business leaders of the world than the backlash against globalization and immigration that is taking place not just in America, but in all the Western World.” …

For the University of Chicago, the Bannon invitation provided a test of its vigorous support of free speech on campus.

“Any recognized student group, faculty group, university department or individual faculty member can invite a speaker to campus,” university officials said in the statement. “We recognize that there will be debate and disagreement over this event; as part of our commitment to free expression, the university supports the ability of protesters and invited speakers to express a wide range of views.”

But some professors and students insist inviting someone like Bannon is not an issue of free speech but rather of giving bigoted rhetoric legitimacy by presenting it as a point of view worthy of debate.

Nearly two dozen faculty members signed an open letter to university President Robert Zimmer and Provost Daniel Diermeier objecting to the invitation.

[Comment at Unz.com]