No Justice at Loyola
To: Readers of LewRockwell.com From: Walter Block
Below, is a letter I sent to my contacts at Loyola University New Orleans. If you have any such contacts, I would appreciate it if you would forward this letter to them.
Open Letter to the entire Loyola University New Orleans Community 12/9/08
Dear Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Colleagues, and others:
Earlier this month, the Loyola University New Orleans Affirmative Action Task Force sent out this “statement” to the entire Loyola community (students and faculty).
I regarded this “statement” as highly problematic. It stated in part:
“… our responsibility to respond critically to statements made by members of Loyola University that run counter to our commitment to inclusion and that marginalize women and African Americans, a majority of our community."
“Professor Walter Block’s reductionist statements about the productivity of African Americans and women in the marketplace ignore critical factors and structural patterns of inequality. His flawed remarks are dangerous, fueling those with prejudices to confirm their biased views. We must recognize the reality of racism and sexism in our society, whose impact has had long-lasting consequences in the lives of African Americans and women.”
You will note that this “statement” is highly critical of me and my professional work. Yet, it fails to specify any evidence, whatsoever, to support its criticisms. It does not quote me. It does not cite any of my publications, or public speeches of mine, demonstrating my errors or flaws; it strongly implies, but does not quite clearly state, that I am guilty of racism and sexism. The "statement" does mention this, but that is an op-ed about me, not something I had myself written.
I responded to this statement, asking the task force members to make good this oversight of theirs, asking it a series of questions. I attempted to share this letter of inquiry with the same audience to whom the “statement” of the task force had been sent. This was not allowed by those responsible for messages to this audience. I appealed this decision. I was told by a highly placed member of the university administration "I agree and support the decision by XXX to deny your request for an exception to the University policy regarding Broadcast Mail, specifically u2018The message may not be of a personal … nature.’"
I have no doubt that this is the correct decision, if the rule is interpreted narrowly. It cannot be denied that my response to the task force was of a "personal nature." I had thought that this applied, too, to the task force, but was told that their “statement” was a legitimate communication to this audience, in that it consisted of an official report made by a duly constituted committee of the University. So, I have given up on trying to reach the entire university community through these official channels.
Yet, I hope I may be forgiven for thinking that this decision of theirs simply isn’t just. An official committee was allowed to besmirch my reputation, in front of our entire academic community; I was not allowed to share my reply with the same people who had been sent their highly critical report.
However, I did indeed write a response. It was published elsewhere: here.
So, I have a request to make of you. Please forward this present communication of mine to as many Loyola people as you can, and ask them to do the same. In that way, what I conceive of as unfair treatment can at least partially be rectified.
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 [email protected]