Street brawl in academia

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For background on this letter, see here:
Walter Block: A Street-Brawl in Academia

This is my fifth consecutive Christmas in China. I have made no visits back to the UK because, in truth, there’s very little I miss about it. Maybe I’ll live out my days here or in this part of the world.

One of the things I left behind in the UK was political correctness (PC). In fact, if I had to give only one reason for not going back then this would probably be it.

What started under the banner of “equal opportunities” has now ballooned into an ideology. People don’t laugh anymore, there’s no leg-pulling, no banter. Everyone is afraid. Phrases like “getting the gender balance right” and “diversity training and awareness” abound. If anyone has the gall to offer positive criticism of such things they are in for a rough ride.

In reality, a great many people are heartily sick of it all. But beware who you say it to. The charge of “racism” or “sexism” today carries the same weight as that of “heretic” in the Middle Ages. The accusation is enough. You won’t risk losing your life but you’ll be very lucky to save your career unless you prostrate yourself, admit your guilt and beg for mercy.

How refreshing it was to see someone not only take on the PC brigade, but see them off as well. They’ve become so used to behaving with impunity that when someone actually stood up to them they were found to be wanting. His response to their charges was to repay them in full measure and more.

This was not some ivory tower academic debate but rather one mans refusal to see his reputation, character and integrity trashed by a group of highly-paid “scholars” who had made it to positions of power and prestige on the back of PC. I wonder what their collective scholarly publications list looks like?

It has been clearly demonstrated that these people can be taken on and shown up for the cowards (not one would engage in public debate) and bullies (say what we say … or else) that they are.

I doubt if he’ll get an apology, never mind justice. However on the positive side he has exposed his detractors to academic and intellectual ridicule. More importantly, as each of them slunk from the fray and headed for cover, everything has been clearly observed by all who have followed the saga, especially students. For them there is much to be learned here; if you are going to attack someone in this fashion – at least do your homework – get your facts straight first and then your arguments. If not, you are likely to suffer the destruction which Professor Block has wreaked upon the credibility and reputations of those who comprise the Affirmative Action Diversity Task Force at Loyola University New Orleans and others.

Professor Medina chose at the outset, for reasons not made clear, to attack Professor Block in a public arena. He has, to all intents and purposes, finished it where it all began, in the public arena.

“Here is a bit of friendly advice, in closing. Next time, pick your target for unwarranted ill-treatment more carefully”.

Metaphorically speaking, a “bloody nose” is usually a good indication that you did something which it may not be wise to repeat. I wonder if any lessons have been learned?

Regards

CC

2:45 am on January 15, 2009