On Friday afternoon, the INDY published an open letter signed by 2,943 Duke alumni—as of this writing, that number exceeds 3,200—to fellow alum Stephen Miller, now President Trump's senior adviser and a force behind such controversial policies as the Muslim ban. In it, the alumni wonder how, given his diverse, multicultural experience at Duke, he can work in an administration like Trump's, which, in their view, degrades the contributions of women, minorities, LGBTQ individuals, and the free press.
"We, the undersigned members of Duke's Class of 2007 and beyond, see nothing in your actions that furthers the values of intellectual honesty, tolerance, diversity, and respect that we seek to promote in the world," they wrote. It was quite the tongue-lashing.
Commenter Kayt, however, sees it as yet another example of liberals not respecting the very free- speech rights they claim to cherish.
"It has become overwhelmingly clear, not in this instance alone, that our colleges and universities are narrow-minded and judgmental," she writes. "Opinions that are not in line with their liberal mindsets are ridiculed and labeled as prejudiced or intolerant. Individuals whose politics are not in line with their current belief system are called Hitler or dangerous. Here's some advice from an American woman of average intelligence who lives in the real world. The reason that Donald Trump was elected is that America is tired of you: we are tired of you advocating the taking away of our rights and freedoms—the very foundations that our country was founded on—under the guise of tolerance and diversity. We are tired of politicians, the press, the wealthy, the 'intellectually elite' thinking they know what is best for us and skewing news, polls, and studies to make sure that they are proven to be correct. Average Americans are not nearly as stupid as you think we are. It appears that all of you may wish to enroll in a new institute of higher learning—the school of common sense. It seems that it is seriously lacking in our current educational and political system."
"The university has nothing to do with this letter," counters RBeck. "It was written by fellow classmates and signed by several thousand fellow alumni, all exercising our own right to free speech. No one has muzzled him; we disagree with him." Indeed, as RBeck notes, Miller had a column in the Duke student newspaper while he was there.
"Fortunately, you are in the minority," commenter Human Being chides Kayt. "There are more of us, millions more, than there are of you. Most of us celebrate diversity and the reasons that people come from all over the globe to join us in our freedom. Through a fluke, No. 45 won the election by about eighty thousand votes. He lost the popular vote by more than three million. If we are allowed to have free elections in 2018, we will squash the conservative social policies your ilk is trying to enact and begin the process of putting fairness and equality back into our everyday lives. If we are still allowed to have free elections in 2020, we will elect a powerful (hopefully female) president to help us show ourselves and the world that we are not an unhinged country of racist, homophobic bigots that is intent on becoming the next Third Reich."
"I'm seriously puzzled at people who feel oppressed and abused because they can't exercise their racism, homophobia, and socioeconomic sense of superiority over others," writes EveM. "You're not victims; you create victims. No one's forcing you to convert to a different religion, nationality, sexual preference, or economic status. We just don't want to be like you. Your rage comes from not being able to force your dogma on everyone. We never voted to ban your religious schools, we just don't want to go to yours, nor do we want to have your dogma imposed on others in a nonreligious school. And please don't give me the old "but Obama and HRC were evil!" blather. Look up the 'tu quoque' fallacy. That's you."