Walter Block vs. ‘Diversity’

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On the Attack: Racists and Sexists at Loyola University New Orleans and of Loyola University in Maryland, Beware

by Walter Block by Walter Block Recently by Walter Block: Privatizing Rivers and Voluntary SlaveContracts

I am renewing the defense of my integrity, regarding unjust charges of racism/sexism leveled against me by the Loyola University Diversity Task Force.

I am also pursing a "second front" against Fr. Linnane, SJ, President of Loyola University in Maryland, and the members of the economics department at that school, apart from Prof. Tom DiLorenzo and Fr. Hank Hilton, SJ, who did not sign their letter of condemnation against me. More about that, though, anon.

This present correspondence comes in three parts.

I. Interchange of letters with Prof Wing Fok. II. An unanswered letter to Mr. Ted Quant. III. A letter to all of the members of the Loyola University Diversity Task Force.

I. Interchange of letters with Prof Wing Fok.

From: Walter Block Sent: Sun 10/11/2009 1:54 PM To: Wing Fok Subject: date to decide by?

10/11/09

Dear Prof. Fok:

At our meeting of 10/9/09 I asked you to consider repudiating your support for the report of the Diversity Task Force criticizing me for racism and sexism. You said you would consider doing this.

Please allow me to reiterate my reasons for making this request.

First and foremost, this is a matter of elemental justice. Loyola University in general fashions itself as the "social justice" university. How is your support for the Diversity Task Force’s unjustified trashing of my reputation compatible with "justice?"

Consider the following: this report grounded its claim that I am a racist and a sexist not on the basis of anything I said (it did not directly quote me, despite the fact that I have a long paper trail on issues relevant to these charges), but rather justified its finding of my guilt on a report in a New Orleans newspaper of what I had said in Baltimore by someone who did not attend the lecture and, in fact, was not even in Baltimore when I gave the speech. The Diversity Task Force did not invite me to testify at its meeting before condemning me. How is this different (except of course in severity of penalty) than a white jury making up its mind about the guilt of a black defendant 100 years ago, before even having heard from him in his own defense? For more in this vein, see this response of mine to the Diversity Task Force:

How would you feel if the Diversity Task Force reported that you were a Nazi; if they did so not on the basis of anything you had actually said or published, but rather, merely reiterated something written by a newspaper columnist? How would you feel if the Diversity Task Force did not even have the decency to ask you about this charge, before publicly condemning you? How would you feel if this led to students avoiding taking your classes?

Professor Fok, I note that you did not attend the lecture I gave at Loyola University, in which I attempted to reiterate what I had said in my November 6, 2008 speech in Baltimore, the subject of the vicious condemnation by the Diversity Task Force. (The former speech was given on March 25, 2009 in New Orleans, LA, sponsored by the Loyola University New Orleans Economics Club. Its title was: "Is the capitalist system guilty of racism, sexism? No.: Walter Block responds to his politically correct critics, defending against charges of racism and sexism.) I now ask you, some six months later: have you been able to fit a viewing of this speech of mine into your busy schedule? If so, after watching it, do you still condemn me as a racist and a sexist? If not, surely, that is ground enough for now repudiating your support of that vicious report of the Diversity Task Force.

I make a sharp distinction between your signing on with the Diversity Task Force’s report, on the one hand, and your disagreements with my views on race, sex, the male female pay gap, the pay gap between whites and blacks, issues of IQ, etc. If you still disagree with me on these matters, and want to take a stance indicating to the Loyola community that you see these views of mine as erroneous, and/or, racist and sexist, I challenge you to publicly debate me on them.

I note, also, that you have made the claim that it is not the duty of the Diversity Task Force to demonstrate that I am guilty of racism and sexism; rather, it is my obligation to prove that I am not. This, of course, runs directly contrary to the essence of law, established over millennium, "innocent until proven guilty." But, stipulating, arguendo, that your legal maxim has validity, why did not the Diversity Task Force invite me to testify before it, before finding me guilty of these charges. If it is really my obligation to establish my innocence, why not offer me the opportunity to do so? Does not this oversight, alone, invalidate the report of the Diversity Task Force? For more in this vein, go here.

In any case, I did indeed attempt to do what you asked: prove that I am not a racist and sexist. So, I initially asked my black and female students to write letters attesting to whether or not I am a racist and/or sexist in their opinion. But then, chastened and chastised by the Diversity Task Force, and, quickly becoming politically correct on these issues, I realized that ignoring my white male students might lead to further charges from the Diversity Task Force, I called upon them to write letters in this regard as well. Needless to say, none of these letters stated that I was a racist and/or sexist. Did you read these letters? Have they convinced you that I have met my so-called positive obligation to prove that I am not a racist/sexist? In case you have misplaced these letters, I offer them to you again, see here (MS Word document).

Please give me the date by which you will decide whether or not you will disassociate yourself for the report of the Diversity Task Force, purely on matters of procedural justice.

Yours truly,

Walter E. Block, Ph.D. Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business Loyola University New Orleans 6363 St. Charles Avenue, Box 15, Miller Hall 318 New Orleans, LA 70118 tel: (504) 864-7934 fax: (504) 864-7970 wblock@loyno.edu

From: Wing Fok Sent: Sunday, October 11, 2009 8:06 PM To: Walter Block Subject: RE: date to decide by?

Dear Prof. Block: Just want to clarify a procedural issue before I go further with any response: Is the current communication that you are having with me simply private discussion and communication between two colleagues? Regardless, I want to clarify my conversation with you in my office on 10/09/09. I believe my answer to your request was: “Let me think about it” which I simply meant I need time to digest your request. I had not reached the point of “consider doing this (which I assume you meant repudiating my support for the STATEMENT the Diversity Task Force made)”. In any event, I am carefully thinking about your request and will communicate with you once a conclusion is reached. Thanks.

Best regards, Wing Fok

From: Walter Block Sent: Monday, October 12, 2009 3:29 PM To: Wing Fok Subject: RE: date to decide by?

Dear Prof Fok:

The insult to me and my integrity was done publicly. Therefore, I am hoping that you will see fit to PUBLICLY disassociate yourself from the Diversity Task Force Report.

My Baltimore speech took place in November 2008. The Report came out soon after. And, my complaint about it soon after that. Thus, you have had almost a full year to think about this. Please let me know the date by which you will decide on your course of action.

Walter E. Block, Ph.D. Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business Loyola University New Orleans 6363 St. Charles Avenue, Box 15, Miller Hall 318 New Orleans, LA 70118 tel: (504) 864-7934 fax: (504) 864-7970 wblock@loyno.edu

10/13/09

Dear Prof Fok:

Let me reply, again, to your letter.

I used to consider you a colleague, and, even, a friend. I no longer do so. Colleagues treat each other collegially. Friends treat each other in a friendly manner. By your actions, you have established that you are no longer my colleague or friend. You have signed on to that Report of the Diversity Task Force. You did not attend my seminar, where I reiterated what I had said in Baltimore. You have not indicated to me that you even viewed it, afterward. You have placed the burden of proof on me to prove I am not a racist/sexist, but have given me no indication that you have read the evidence I offered to rebut this charge, those letters of my students.

But, all is not lost. I am a firm believer in redemption. If you will admit your errors, publicly of course, if you will disassociate yourself from the Report of the Diversity Task Force, I see no reason why we cannot at least try to attain the status quo ante, before this unfortunate episode arose.

Yours truly,

Walter E. Block, Ph.D. Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business Loyola University New Orleans 6363 St. Charles Avenue, Box 15, Miller Hall 318 New Orleans, LA 70118 tel: (504) 864-7934 fax: (504) 864-7970 wblock@loyno.edu

From: Wing Fok Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 3:52 PM To: Walter Block Cc: quant@loyno.edu; voigt@loyno.edu; fok@loyno.edu; lmartin@loyno.edu; aalcazar@loyno.edu; hobbs@loyno.edu; kjbindew@loyno.edu; aspreesh@loyno.edu; reichard@loyno.edu; decuir@loyno.edu

Subject: RE: Request to disassociate from Report

Dear Professor Block: After careful consideration, I have decided that I am NOT going to disassociate myself with the statement made by the Diversity Task Force per your request. I was a member of the Task Force then and continue to be a member now. Disassociating myself with the statement will be, precisely as you so eloquently stated, a "procedural injustice" to the Task Force. I believe in due process so if you disagree with the statement, please bring it up to the Task Force. As a member, I was advised not to discuss the issue with you individually so I will not comment on the validity of your arguments. Regarding your desire to disassociate with me as a colleague and/or a friend, it is unfortunate and definitely not my preferred course of action. I guess it is the price I will have to bear for standing up to my own position. I hope we can continue to co-exist in the same university, the same college and the same building, for the benefits of the students. I wish you best of luck in your future pursuits.

With best regards,

Wing

Wing Fok, Ph.D. Henry J. Engler, Jr. Distinguished Professor in Management Director of International Business Center College of Business Loyola University New Orleans Phone: (504) 864-7937 Fax: (504) 864-7970 Email: fok@loyno.edu

10/13/09

Dear Prof. Fok:

I greatly regret you have decided not to promote justice in this case.

I have indeed on more than one occasion as you full well know since I have copied you on all such letters, brought “it up to the Task Force.” None of them, with the exception of you and Mr. Quant, has ever responded to my cry for justice. I note that you have not answered my questions. You never told me whether in your view the letters from my students exonerate me from my so called positive obligation to prove that I am not a racist/sexist; you never told me how I could defend myself against these charges, in your opionion; you never told me whether you ever viewed the URL of that lecture I gave at Loyola that recapitulated what I said in Baltimore.

Yours truly,

Walter E. Block, Ph.D. Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business Loyola University New Orleans 6363 St. Charles Avenue, Box 15, Miller Hall 318 New Orleans, LA 70118 tel: (504) 864-7934 fax: (504) 864-7970 wblock@loyno.edu

II. An unanswered letter to Mr. Ted Quant.

10/11/09

Dear Mr. Quant:

At our meeting of 10/7/09 I asked you to consider repudiating your support for the report of the Diversity Task Force criticizing me for racism and sexism. You said you would consider doing this.

Please allow me to reiterate my reasons for making this request.

First and foremost, this is a matter of elemental justice. Loyola University in general fashions itself as the "social justice" university; you, in particular, with your association with the Twomey Center for Peace Through Justice, are intimately involved with social justice concerns. This Center advertises itself as "Celebrating over 60 years in the service of faith and the promotion of justice." How is your support for the Diversity Task Force’s unjustified trashing of my reputation compatible with "justice?"

Consider the following: this report grounded its claim that I am a racist and a sexist not on the basis of anything I said (it did not directly quote me, despite the fact that I have a long paper trail on issues relevant to these charges), but rather justified its finding of my guilt on a report in a New Orleans newspaper of what I had said in Baltimore by someone who did not attend the lecture and, in fact, was not even in Baltimore when I gave the speech. The Diversity Task Force did not invite me to testify at its meeting before condemning me. How is this different (except of course in severity of penalty) than a white jury making up its mind about the guilt of a black defendant 100 years ago in the South, before even having heard from him in his own defense? For more in this vein, see this response of mine to the Diversity Task Force.

How would you feel if the Diversity Task Force reported that you were a Nazi; if they did so not on the basis of anything you had actually said or published, but rather, merely reiterated something written by a newspaper columnist? How would you feel if the Diversity Task Force did not even have the decency to ask you about this charge, before publicly condemning you? How would you feel if this led to students avoiding taking your classes?

I make a sharp distinction between your signing on with the Diversity Task Force’s report, on the one hand, and your disagreements with my views on race, sex, the male female pay gap, the pay gap between whites and blacks, issues of IQ, etc. If you still disagree with me on these matters, and want to take a stance indicating to the Loyola community that you see these views of mine as erroneous, and/or, racist and sexist, I challenge you to publicly debate me on them.

I cannot end this letter without noting that of all the members of the Diversity Task Force, you were the only one who had the civility to attend the lecture I gave at Loyola University New Orleans, in which I attempted to reiterate what I had said in my November 6, 2008 speech in Baltimore, the subject of the vicious condemnation by the Diversity Task Force (The former speech was given on Mar 25, 2009 in New Orleans, LA, sponsored by the Loyola University New Orleans Economics Club. Its title was: "Is the capitalist system guilty of racism, sexism? No.: Walter Block responds to his politically correct critics, defending against charges of racism and sexism.) I shall always be very grateful to you for attending this lecture of mine.

Please give me the date by which you will decide whether or not you will disassociate yourself from the report of the Diversity Task Force, purely on matters of procedural justice.

Yours truly,

Walter E. Block, Ph.D. Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business Loyola University New Orleans 6363 St. Charles Avenue, Box 5, Miller Hall 318 New Orleans, LA 70118 tel: (504) 864-7934 fax: (504) 864-7970 wblock@loyno.edu

III. A letter to all of the members of the Loyola University Diversity Task Force.

10/13/09

To: Loyola University New Orleans Diversity Task force

Ted Quant (Twomey Center), Lydia Voigt (Sociology), Wing Fok (Management), Lisa Martin (Mass Communication), Alvaro Alcazar (Twomey Center), James Hobbs (University Library), Kurt Bindewald (University Ministry), Artemis Preeshl (Theater Arts and Dance), Karen Reichard (Women’s Resource Center), Anthony Decuir (Music and Fine Arts)

quant@loyno.edu; voigt@loyno.edu; fok@loyno.edu; lmartin@loyno.edu; aalcazar@loyno.edu; hobbs@loyno.edu; kjbindew@loyno.edu; aspreesh@loyno.edu ; reichard@loyno.edu; decuir@loyno.edu

Dear Lydia Voigt, Lisa Martin, Al Alcazar, James Hobbs, Kurt Bindewald, Artemis Preeshl, Karen Reichard, Anthony Decuir (other members of the Diversity Task Force):

As you can see from the two letters that appear below, I have personally requested that Prof. Wing Fok, and Mr. Ted Quant, disassociate themselves from the report accusing me of racism/sexism written by the Diversity Task Force. I am now contacting each of you with the same request. Please, grant me no more than 15 minutes of your time, so that I can make this request of you, personally, face to face. I teach on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30—10:45am. Other than those times, I am pretty free for an appointment with you. I will be glad to come to your office for this purpose, or, to have you come to mine, whichever is easier for you.

Yours truly,

Walter E. Block, Ph.D. Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business Loyola University New Orleans 6363 St. Charles Avenue, Box 15, Miller Hall 318 New Orleans, LA 70118 tel: (504) 864-7934 fax: (504) 864-7970 wblock@loyno.edu

Dr. Block [send him mail] is a professor of economics at Loyola University New Orleans, and a senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He is the author of Defending the Undefendable and Labor Economics From A Free Market Perspective. His latest book is The Privatization of Roads and Highways.

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