Edmund Burke III
The email below, which is circulating among academics, solicits contributions for a full-page ad in the New York Times by the Ad Hoc Committee to Defend the University to attack external critics of academe in the "newspaper of record." (Inquiring readers will want to know: will the Times cut them a deal the way they did Moveon.org? Same politics, same "worthy cause." Stay tuned.)
If you sign the petition and they raise enough money, you can get your name in the paper! Cool. And you won't have to die first or commit a crime.
The Ad Hocs are upset -- terribly so -- that their fellow citizens (that includes nationalist Americans as well as Citizens of the World) refuse to swallow everything they say or write and, worse, actually engage in criticism of their work. Quelle horreur! Next thing you know, people will be saying nasty things about the president, the pope, and the queen.
Clearly, such signs of disrespect for one's intellectual and social superiors must be stopped! A new battle-cry rises from the ramparts: Respect Thin-skinned People! Hush Your Mouth!
I wrote about this effort last week and offered just a few of many examples of virulently anti-Western, anti-Israel statements made by some of the Middle East studies professors who signed the petition, which asserts that external critics have falsely charged academics with making anti-Semitic statements. And of course, we all know that folks with pedigrees that would make horse-traders envious would never resort to intellectually crude, race or religion-based statements about the characters and actions of others. (Read the list of such statements here.)
The Real Edmund Burke
So hurry up and write that check! Humorless professors are hurting, and they need your help!
Message from Edmund Burke III, UC, Santa Cruz, and Princeton Institute
for Advanced Studies
Many of us, on campuses and beyond, have been monitoring and condemning the recent attacks on academic freedom, including the ever more aggressive incursion of partisan politics into universities' hiring and tenure practices. Today a diverse group of academics and other
concerned individuals are joining together to collectively mark our resistance to the current abrogation of academic freedom. We are
circulating the petition below and asking for both signatures of support and financial contributions to underwrite the expense of publishing the statement, with the names of its proponents, as a full page ad in the New York Times.
If you would like to join this ad hoc committee, please let us know immediately (email@example.com
<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>) and send a signed word of confirmation, your institutional affiliation if any, and your
contribution, made out to the Ad Hoc Committee to Defend the University, c/o Joan Scott, at P.O. Box 240 Princeton New Jersey, 08540.
Visit our page at http://defend.university.googlepages.com/home, where we are maintaining a set of links to relevant reports and web sites, as well as a list of signatories.
Please pass this message on to as many friends and colleagues as possible.
Defend the University Organizing Committee: Joan Scott, Edmund Burke,
Jeremy Adelman, Steven Caton, & Jonathan Cole