Yale University

Sound Off !

How Did We Get to this Sad State of Affairs? (replying to Stephen Passek's "How Far is Too Far?")

Neil Hoffmann

December 30, 2015

Category: Society > Campus Issues


Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the state of the ‘civil-rights movement,’ and your letter to President Salovey. I completely agree with both.

I would enjoy hearing a discussion by classmates about why a large group of Yale students believes that the everyone must agree with and kowtow to everything they think, say, and feel, or be vilified as racist monsters.​ Surely this intolerant, belligerent, and anti-democratic posture is not something they acquired since arriving at Yale. Is this really about civil rights at all?

It’s my observation that if you go into any school or watch parents dealing with their children you will begin to understand what's going on. Children are always right, their feelings are always validated, and they are entitled to immediate and total gratification of those feelings at all times. Why should anything change when they get to Yale?

It seems we have created a culture of entitlement which Salovey and his generation of relativist academics totally buy into and in which the historic values of western culture and democracy are passé. Why should anyone be expected to behave civilly in a civil society? What about Ms. Christakis’ old-fashioned “civil right” to those most fundamental rights — free speech and academic freedom?

This too will pass, but hopefully, unlike France, without a Napoleon.

Neil P. Hoffmann, Yale ‘64