Friday, February 10, 2017

Laugh of the day: Australian academics want to boycott the USA

Trump must be biting his fingernails over that one

An academic boycott of the United States is warranted, writes Dr Christopher Peterson. But the Australian tertiary sector’s response so far is too weak.

Today I signed a petition calling for a boycott of international academic conferences held in the US. The boycott has been organised in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order to ban entry to the US by Muslims from seven selected countries.

The boycott currently has over 5,000 signatures. I also signed another petition imploring Australian Universities to explicitly denounce Trump’s polices as well as to support international students by funding scholarships for students from countries affected by the ban.

I am an American citizen by birth, and a naturalized Australian citizen. So it’s disorienting to say the least to be boycotting my home country.

Detractors of boycotts point to the collateral harm they sometimes inflict on those whom we are intending to help. Yet the preservation of American democracy outweighs whatever temporary inconveniences American academics might incur if the call for a boycott receives widespread support.

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