IN APRIL 2003, Brown University president Ruth Simmons invited more than a dozen members of the Brown community to serve on a Committee on Slavery and Justice. The committee lay mostly dormant until March of this year, when its existence was made public (Brown arranged for the news to break in the New York Times). Since then, the committee has attracted much attention because (1) Ruth Simmons is, as the Times trumpets, "a great-granddaughter of slaves," as well as the first black Ivy League president; and (2) the committee may set precedent on the issue of reparations.
As the Times puts it, Simmons "has directed Brown to start what its officials say is an unprecedented undertaking for a university: an exploration of reparations for slavery and specifically whether Brown should pay reparations or otherwise make amends for its past."
Industrial Blog is convening a Committee On New Lilliputians to look into the matter. OK, we've reviewed the matter: Brown University's Committee wins. They are small people walking around feeling self-important; thus, Lilliputians.
God bless bilious Jonathan Swift. He knew people.