Nicholas Christakis is a giant in social psychology. And social psychology is only part of his resume. He's also a medical doctor.
Christakis wrote one of the most important books on social networks (the real kind, not Facebook), Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks. He holds distinguished positions at both Yale and Harvard and has appeared on Time Magazine's list of 100 Most Influential People in the World.
Dr. Christakis also treats homebound hospice patients, alleviating suffering for those in the final days of life.
But just before Halloween, Dr. Christakis crossed a line. He shared his opinion with his wife, who shared it with residents of a student building at Yale, setting off a firestorm that threatens to end the career of one of the America's most distinguished social psychologists.
What was Dr. Christakis's oppressive opinion? According to Nicholas Christakis's wife, in Business Insider:
"Nicholas says, if you don’t like a costume someone is wearing, look away, or tell them you are offended. Talk to each other. Free speech and the ability to tolerate offense are the hallmarks of a free and open society," [Erika] Christakis wrote in her email. "In other words: Whose business is it to control the forms of costumes of young people? It’s not mine, I know that."
Before Halloween, the school's administration sent an email to students advising them to avoid costumes that might offend any hypersensitive students.
Erika Christakis, who serves as co-Master of Silliman College residence, asked her students whether Yale, or any authority, should limit free expression. In other words, she was challenging students to think for themselves.
It turns out, Yale's open-minded, inquisitive, tolerant students want Yale's overlords dictating costume choices to students. Yale students hate thinking for themselves. So much so that one maladjusted, spoiled, brat accosted Dr. Christakis on campus:
So, an undergrad whose life's accomplishments compare poorly to Dr. Christakis's accomplishments by 9 a.m. on any given day, calls him "disgusting" because he believes in free speech and open dialogue.
Here's a shot of the hysterical brat as she stormed away from the confrontation:
This young woman is the dictionary definition of "leftist intolerance," a psychological disorder resulting from having never been told "no" as a child. To paraphrase William F. Buckley, the young woman's speech elicits the sort of sympathy we feel for the ignorance of idiots.
The proper response from Yale would be to kick her ass out, but we know that won't happen. As we saw at University of Missouri, the children run the show on colleges. Which may explain why Americans are dumber than they've ever been.