Reflections on 'The Ivory Tower of Babel'

Posted: Jul 07, 2004 12:00 AM

Dear Dr. Adams:

I am writing this letter in a state of frustration and disenchantment, but also, I believe, in a state of enlightenment.  Friday evening I was preparing for a weekend vacation, and I was trying to decide what reading material I would take with me.  I thought about your book and headed for the nearest bookstore.  Rather than waiting until I was lounging on the beach, I began reading about five minutes outside of Wilmington.  After browsing through the Table of Contents, I could not help but immediately turn to those chapters that most sparked my interest (e.g., ?Smile! You?re On Councilwoman?s Camera?).

I made it through the better portion of the book before I ever checked into my hotel that Saturday afternoon, and I seriously considered canceling my plans to go out that evening so I could finish the book. I understand that you are incredibly busy right now, but I hope that you will find the time to read this attempt to explain how much I appreciated your honest, direct writing, and the effect it has had on my own opinions and views.

I do not know if you were aware of this when I was a student, but I was a self-proclaimed ?Liberal.?  While I was too immature at the time I entered college to have developed my own valid political ideals, I had grown up in a very small, conservative southern town.  Obviously, this had an impact on what I thought I believed.  Upon my arrival at the first university I attended, I began to encounter what I later came to understand were liberals.  At this particular university they are generally found in the form of irregularly-bathed, shoeless Hippies (that includes both professors and students).  The students? liberal arguments were not exactly persuasive to me, but the professors seemed to share what I considered to be radical opinions. 

Bear in mind, this is my first personal contact with Ph.D.s.  I naturally assumed, since these individuals were the most highly educated people I had ever met, and they were chosen by university administrators and faculty to teach me, their ideals must be correct.  For a majority of my college career I was bombarded with liberal ideology, and I was nearly consumed by those ideals until I met my fianc?who convinced me to ?change the channels,? if you will, to watch Fox & Friends rather than Today on NBC.

After about nine months of listening to conservatives in the media, mainly Sean Hannity, I was beginning to question my own political beliefs and ideals.  I was having a sort of ?identity crisis.?  After completing Welcome to the Ivory Tower of Babel, the crisis was over.  I hesitate to say that I agreed with 100% of what you had to say in your book, but all of your arguments were valid and clear.  Also, it was incredibly refreshing for someone to discuss opinions that so many of us, including myself, share, but do not have courage to express.

I mentioned previously that I have been feeling incredibly frustrated the past few days.  However, I believe angry or enraged might be more appropriate.  It is very clear that liberal biases have overtaken most college and university campuses across our country, and the more I think about that fact and the effects it had on me, the more betrayed I feel.  I was, as many have been and will continue to be, taken advantage of by the university.  Instructors and administrators took advantage of the fact that I was immature and quite impressionable, and they used that to satisfy their own agenda, which was ensuring no student leaves the university as a conservative.  I am also quite upset with myself for being so naive and accepting so many claims and explanations only because of who they were coming from.

I want to briefly make a few more specific comments regarding the content of the book. I laughed uncontrollably, and I literally had tears streaming down my face as I read one professor?s accusations of sexual harassment by ?margin tampering.? I also laughed to the point of crying when a member of the UNCW Board of Trustees accused the police of lizard harassment (by dumping thousands of lizards in her house).  That was probably an incredibly ?insensitive? reaction, but I certainly had a good laugh.  As for Rosa Fuller and her parents, I do not even know what to say.  I wish I had been more aware of these events as they were happening.  I will say that it is probably much easier to make crap ?sound? eloquent, perhaps even convincing, with mommy and daddy serving as your very own personal spell-checkers, editors, etc.  I regret that I did not catch Neal Boortz? reaction to this situation.

Regarding the rape issues you raised in the book, I tend to agree with your ideas.  You might remember that I was a volunteer advocate with the local Rape Crisis Center for a number of years. I decided that it was time to take a break from that work after I began to question my capacity to do my job as I had been instructed to by the center.  As volunteers, we were instructed, during training, that our job was not to determine the honesty of the victims we were called on to assist. Instead, we were to support those victims at all times.

This requirement seemed appropriate to me until I was lied to by not one, but two ?victims.?  By the time I arrived at the hospital for the first call, the individual had already admitted to the nurse that she was lying about the events that had occurred and that she was only attempting to avoid punishment from her parents for breaking curfew and coming home with a ?hickie? on her neck.  The second individual never actually admitted that she was lying, but there was a four hour time period that she remained at the accused person?s home for which she could not seem to account. 

This memory lapse occurred after consuming one 24-ounce can of beer and smoking a relatively small amount of marijuana with the accused.  Additionally, her ?attacker? voluntarily submitted to a lie-detector test, which he passed, and the rape kit turned up no evidence of the attack. 

Needless to say, I began to have a great deal of trouble supporting these individuals under these circumstances, and I am not certain that I am capable of meeting the center?s requirements under such conditions.  My point in sharing this with you is that I am deeply concerned about the treatment of dishonest accusers and the accused victims.  It seems to me that the message these centers and other agencies are sending is that victim?s rights apply only to those claiming they were raped, regardless of whether or not they are being truthful.  The wrongfully accused essentially have no rights, and really should not even be taken into consideration.

As I mentioned earlier, this was my attempt to explain the impact Welcome to the Ivory Tower of Babel has had on me.  It put a number of things into perspective, and really allowed me to clarify my own ideas and beliefs.  I want to thank you not only for openly discussing all of the ideas and situations from the book, but for taking the time to read this response.

Mike Adams ( is an associate professor at UNC-Wilmington. He plans to start writing his second book on August 1st, 2004. That means that he will soon take a break from shamelessly promoting his first.