[Vision2020] UI and WSU statement on slavery (Questioning Authority)

rodney johnson rodneyjohnsoniii@hotmail.com
Fri, 14 Nov 2003 05:49:02 +0000

Melynda wrote:
“‘Fascism,’ if you're looking, appears in the penultimate paragraph, as part 
of a quotation from Slavov Zizek, describing the movement variously known as 
Theonomy or Christian Reconstructionism.”

Actually, the quote I refer to, in the penultimate paragraph (for us common 
folk, that would be the next-to-last paragraph), is as follows:  “One 
controversial cultural critic has argued that the difference between 
neo-conservatism and fascism ‘consists merely in the fact that the latter 
says openly what the former thinks without daring to say.’”

This might be due to lack of departmental communication between History and 
PoliSci, but the distinguished professors showed their ignorance.  They 
equate the subject matter with “neo-conservatism.”  Irving Kristol, Norman 
Podhoretz, and the other founders of the neo-conservative movement would 
have something to say about that!  Any portrayal of the South in non-demonic 
terms can only be possible for a person with a “paleo-conservative” 
persuasion.  Southern sympathies are anathema to neo-conservatives; the same 
with theonomy, reconstructionism, etc.  But as I’m sure you really don’t 
care to know such politically sectarian melodramas as why William Bennett 
was chosen by Reagan over M.E. Bradford to work in the White House, let’s 
get to the point.

The piece by Quinlan and Ramsey was an attack piece.  It was not a 
point-by-point historical rebuttal.  It was not a seasoned analysis.  It was 
a political tract, laced with all the hyperbole one would expect for such 
occasion.  It was also ad hominem, a la Idaho taxpayer.  Now I understand 
why you might not find it offensive, but to those of us who would like to 
see some consistency in the application of “diversity,” and for those of us 
who are generally put-off by this type of genteel hypocrisy (especially when 
we help fund it), the fact that the piece is being promoted right alongside 
the findings of the Respectful Climate Survey is pretty sorry.  Melynda, if 
you refuse to acknowledge the disconnect in all of this, I can’t help ya 

Melynda also wrote:
“Why wouldn't the University make clear that it did not associate itself, as 
indeed the scholarly community does not associate itself, and as most of our 
local community does not associate itself, with crypto-academic crackpottery 
which has created considerable anxiety among students, staff, and faculty?”

Considerable anxiety?  Over a cryptic cracked pot?  Helloooooo?!

I would first turn to the chill pill, and if that doesn’t help, slowly count 
to ten.  If the panic attacks still do not cease, then sit back, breathe 
deeply, and remember: Not everybody may share your exact views.  There are 
some people who think differently than you.  It’s a big country; it’s a big 
universe of ideas.  That’s why we call it a “university.”  One of the 
wonderful thing about the college setting is the opportunity (so long as it 
is permitted) to be challenged by different viewpoints.  It’s unsettling 
sometimes, I know, because it points to all that is sacred to us, all that 
we have been taught from K-12, and in First Day School, and says, “a-HA!”

Nevertheless, Melynda, I think this can be a great opportunity for you to 
hone your diversity skills!

- Rod Johnson

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