When I was in grammar school there was a kid on my block named David. He often tried to make others look like idiots by accusing them of saying things they never really said. For example, he used to lean over to people as if they were whispering something to him. He would then recoil in apparent horror exclaiming, "No, I will not pull my pants down for a dollar."
At first, he was successful in making others look like idiots. But, eventually, people figured out that David was the idiot. Unfortunately, David's tactic has now been adopted by Ian Newbould, President of N.C. Wesleyan College.
Following a couple of columns-one by Jon Sanders, one by yours truly-President Newbould has issued the following statement in defense of embattled political science professor Jane Christensen:
"North Carolina Wesleyan College seeks to foster freedom of expression and freedom of inquiry. The College believes that the students' educational experience should include a balanced and open approach to learning. As a United Methodist institution, we value diversity of opinion. The College fosters just and fair treatment for all groups in our society and does not condone hatred or violence of any kind. We seek to foster Judeo-Christian values. We value First Amendment rights, and academic freedom for our faculty and students..."
The first problem with this statement is obvious. Neither of the columnists criticizing Christensen argued that she should be censored in a way. We are not enemies of the First Amendment. Nor are we enemies of academic freedom as his statement suggests. In other words, we did not ask Newbould to pull his pants down. As soon as he stops insisting that "he will not pull his pants down" we can move on to other, more important, issues.
For example, Newbould says that NC Wesleyan values intellectual diversity and does not condone hatred. But how does that statement square with the following quote from Professor Jane Christensen?: "I rather think the 'Holocaust' denial sites have a great deal of credibility since the 'Holocaust' was the greatest hoax of all."
Before you read the rest of Newbould's statement, consider that Jane Christensen is the only political science professor at NC Wesleyan. And, just for fun, ask yourself what Christensen thinks about Newbould's use of the word "Judeo" in his defense of her.
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