I wanted to take the time to respond to your rather harsh statements about the legacy of North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms, who, like John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, passed away on the Fourth of July. I regret that I did not have the time to respond sooner.
I assume that you were serious when you said that having Jesse Helms as a North Carolina Senator once hurt the UNC system in its efforts to attract quality faculty from around the country. I further assume you weren’t exaggerating when you said that on more than one occasion (when you were a department Chairman) a job candidate declined a position, at least in part, because he did not want to live and work in “Helms country.”
Actually, Mack, I would argue that Jesse Helms really helped us out in those job searches. But, before I make that argument, I’d like to enumerate the three reasons why I think Leftist academics hated the late Senator Helms.
1. Unmitigated anti-Southern bigotry. There really isn’t much need to elaborate on this one. Senator Helms spoke with a slow southern drawl. I’ll even admit that he often sounded like he had a golf ball stuck in his mouth. But for anti-Southern bigots this is ample proof of having a below-room-temperature IQ.
Of course, the requirement that one be eloquent to be intelligent does not extend to the judgment of Northern liberals. For example, it’s okay if Caroline Kennedy does an interview with the
(Note: The anti-Southern double-standard does not apply to black men from the South. They may say “aks another question” or “nome sayin’” with impunity. For this, they will be dubbed “articulate” or “well-spoken”).
Of course, Helms hated communists - not just because they killed even more children than the feminists – but also because Helms accused them of being dishonest. Whenever we would negotiate a treaty with a communist nation, Helms would say something like “I’ve dealt these people all my life and I don’t trust them.” Helms told the truth about communist lies and so the communists hated him.
2. Helms’ Repudiation of Communism. Communists are attracted to university systems because of the tenure system. It’s all very simple. A professor only has to play the “from each according to his ability” role for about five years. After he gets tenure, he can play “to each according to his need” until he retires. That is why I call professors “parasites” – as opposed to something crude, or even sexist, like “lazy bastards.”
3. Helms’ Repudiation of Racial Propaganda. Jesse Helms was accused of spreading racial propaganda when he ran an ad in 1990 showing a pair of white hands opening a job rejection letter. In the background, a voice said something like “you knew you were more qualified for that job but they had to give it to a minority.” Liberals were incensed by this completely accurate portrayal of quota-based affirmative action, which was a) in effect in North Carolina, and b) supported by Helms’ black opponent, Harvey Gant.
Interestingly, I first became aware of that ad when Helms ran for re-election in 1996. Faculty in my department brought up the ad calling it “racist.” But the very same year, in a job search (in my department, no less) we removed a white candidate from our interview pool and replaced her with someone who reported being “African-American.” We did this solely because of race and we were duped. The person who checked “African-American” lied. She was white.
So, by now, it's obvious where I’m going with this argument – in fact, I’ve almost already explained how Jesse Helms helped our North Carolina universities in three ways: 1) He deterred anti-Southern bigots from teaching here, 2) He deterred (even more) communists from teaching here, and, 3) He deterred people who hide racial discrimination from teaching here.
Of course, I still don’t see why all of these “liberals” are afraid to teach in a state where people have radically different points of view. I’d consider taking a job at the University of Massachusetts. I might even teach a class on the murder of Mary Jo Kopeckne.