Around Wabash – March 2009
We recently learned of a tense Wabash College faculty meeting, where a certain professor launched accusations of racism against a number of superiors and department colleagues. We mention this incident not to embarrass or demonize the professor involved, but rather to make a serious point: Accusations of racism should not be taken lightly—but they should not be made lightly either. The College will doubtless investigate and examine the merits of the professor’s complaints—as they well should—but while doing so, they must be careful not to allow Wabash culture to degenerate to the point where perfectly decent men and women can be tainted by unfounded smears.
While we are on this issue of race, we have a correction to make. In our last issue, one of our stories claimed that Lerone Bennett, Jr. would not be coming to Wabash College to deliver his planned lecture on President Lincoln and his alleged white supremacy. It now seems that Mr. Bennett will indeed be delivering his lecture later on this April. We welcome what is a very provocative point of view, and look forward to the discussion it generates.
Smearing someone as “racist” can be a very powerful weapon, especially in our academic community, where racism amounts to the most egregious and unforgivable of sins. We should know. It is a weapon that has been used against us in the past. If we truly want to have an open academic environment, we need to move away from the childish name-calling that has characterized discussions on race in the past. In order to have an open conversation on race, we first have to learn to respect each other.
We are grateful to Dr. Stephen H. Webb for organizing a showing of Ben Stein’s film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed last month. We were happy to sponsor the event, and we think it went well. The film raises some very important questions. Those who reject the movie outright as religious fundamentalism
miss its most important point—that ideas which challenge the status quo of Darwinism are systematically
suppressed in academia. Such a paranoid culture is not beneficial to critical thought, and we should do all we can to guard against it.
We should also congratulate two senior members of the Wabash Conservative Union—James Inman and our former Editor-in-Chief, Sean Clerget— who received the score of distinction on their comprehensive examinations. Just reporting the facts…