The new bigotry
HOW crazy that Professor Richard Ned Lebow, who once bravely fought against racial segregation as a ‘freedom rider’ on buses in America’s Deep South, should now find himself accused of sexism and pressed to apologise, for making a harmless jest in a hotel lift.
His accuser has yet to explain how exactly she was ‘harassed’ when Professor Lebow jokingly asked to be conveyed to ‘Ladies’ lingerie’. In fact, her outrage is impossible to justify in any rational way.
But if she forces him to say sorry, then it will be a victory for a new sort of bigotry – under which anyone in a currently fashionable group who claims to have been offended can punish and silence anyone they choose to pursue.
Do we now need a new generation of ‘freedom riders’ to protect us against this nasty, narrow mindset, even in the lift? Or on the bus?