Striking Back

Striking Back at the Forces of Barbarism and Political Correctness

by Walter Block by Walter Block Recently by Walter Block: The Case for Enrolling at LoyolaUniversityNewOrleans

I am engaged in a two-front battle against the forces of barbarism and political correctness on campus. For my most recent effort in this regard, see here. To briefly review. In November 2008 I gave a speech at Loyola University in Maryland on the pay gap between men and women, and claimed it was not due to any inherent moral weakness of capitalism. The Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., president of the University, soon after wrote a blistering attack on me for this speech, even though he had not attended it. So, the first "front" is to defend my reputation against his unwarranted critique. See below for the letter my lawyer Victor Hastings has recently sent out for this purpose. Copies of it will be sent out to all members of the economics department of Loyola University in Maryland, all of whom penned another letter critical of my speech there, except for Prof. Tom DiLorenzo and Fr. Hank Hilton, S.J. For my critique of their letter, see this.

But then, soon after, the so called Diversity Task Force at my own school, Loyola University New Orleans, wrote a report on this incident, based solely on newspaper reports of it; again, no evidence to back up charges of racism and sexism against me were mentioned. I filed a grievance against the members of this committee in the fall of 2008; the grievance committee of Loyola University New Orleans took until May 2009 to meet to consider my complaint against the Diversity Task Force; but it has not yet seen fit to share its findings, if any, with me. So, in my "second front" my attorney Victor Hastings will soon be sending out another letter, this time to the president (and trustees) of Loyola University New Orleans, Fr. Kevin Wildes, S.J. asking him to ensure that our grievance procedures are implemented. I expect to be able to post that letter in about a week.

A word about Victor Hastings, before I introduce his letter regarding Fr. Linnane S.J. I have worked with many lawyers over the years, law professors, practicing attorneys, judges, both in their professional capacities and as co-authors of my publications in law reviews. I cannot say enough about how helpful I have found Victor, especially in this time of my need. He is tireless, he is indefatigable, he is smart, he is supportive, he is likeable. If and when I ever have the need for legal advice again, I shall call upon him.

F. Victor Hastings Hastings Law Firm Tel: (504) 305-4537 Fax: (888) 797-4007 Email: victor{at}hastingslaw{dot}biz

October 27, 2009

Rev. Edwin F. O’Brien Archbishop of Baltimore 320 Cathedral Street Baltimore, MD 21201

Very Rev. James M. Shea, S.J. Provincial Superior Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus 8600 LaSalle Road, Suite 620 Towson, MD 21286-2014

Dear Rev. O’Brien and Very Rev. Shea:

On November 6, 2008, my client, Dr. Walter Block, Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics, Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business, Loyola University New Orleans, gave a speech to the Adam Smith club of Loyola University of Maryland. He did so at the invitation of Prof. Tom DiLorenzo, the faculty advisor to the University’s Adam Smith Club.

The Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., president of the University, did not attend that lecture. Nevertheless, he falsely accused Prof. Block of "racism, sexism [and] any other form of intolerance" ( Prof. Block contacted Fr. Linnane to deny the accusations and attempt to reach an understanding over these matters. Fr. Linnane did not respond.

Therefore, Prof. Block now wishes to register with you a formal complaint against Fr. Linnane on the following grounds:

  1. Fr. Linnane did not state what words of Prof. Block’s he considered to be racist, sexist or intolerant, nor did he contact Prof. Block for any clarification of those words before publicly accusing him of bigotry.

  2. Fr. Linnane violated "The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius," which are the spiritual foundation of Jesuit life, in particular Paragraph 22:

    That both the giver and the maker of the Spiritual Exercises may be of greater help and benefit to each other, it should be presupposed that every good Christian ought to be more eager to put a good interpretation on a neighbor’s statement than to condemn it. Further, if one cannot interpret it favorably, one should ask how the other means it. If that meaning is wrong, one should correct the person with love; and if this is not enough, one should search out every appropriate means through which, by understanding the statement in a good way, it may be saved.

Prof. Block discussed this passage here.

I would also ask you to consider in this regard Proverb 18:13: "He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him."

I therefore ask that you use your good offices to arrange a meeting between Prof. Block and Fr. Linnane so that they can discuss these issues in a civilized manner. Perhaps you could suggest a mediator for such a meeting. Prof. Block is also willing to submit his complaint to a canonical or ecclesiastical court. We are open to any suggestion along these lines you care to make.

Fr. Linnane should either put forth evidence that Prof. Block is a racist and/or sexist, or, failing that, apologize publicly for his vicious and baseless comments, in the same venue as they originally appeared.


F. Victor Hastings cc:Members of the Board of Trustees of Loyola University of Maryland Prof. Tom DiLorenzo Fr. Hank Hilton, S.J. Prof. Fred Derrick Prof. Vange Ocasio Prof. Andrew Samuel Prof. Charles Scott Prof. Norman Sedgley Prof. Steve Walters Prof Marianne Ward Prof. Nancy Williams