15 Apr 2006

Book Suggestion = Sexual Harassment

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Ohio State University at Mansfield librarian Scott Savage suggested several books for a freshman reading program, including David Kupelian’s The Marketing of Evil, which title associates a number of cases of the evolution of the American moral perspective, most notably the way in which homosexuality is viewed, to calculated and astute marketing by the organized left, and some other conservative titles.

A firestorm of argument over book choices erupted (primarily over the Kupelian book, of course), and events culminated in a unanimous faculty vote to file sexual harassment charges against the conservative librarian. Accordingly, three professors duly filed a complaint of discrimination and harassment against him, saying that the book suggestions made them feel “unsafe.”

Ace broke the story. Eugene Volokh comments. And Morgan at the excellent group blog YARGB summarizes and adds further details.

One Feedback on "Book Suggestion = Sexual Harassment"

Denis Schulz

David Kupelian, Savagery, and gay angst at Ohio State University at Mansfield

“Do you have 101 Ways to Have Sex With a Dying Pig?”

“No, but we can get if for you through our inter-collegiate library loan system.”

“How about An Introduction to Bestiality or 101 Ways to Skin a Live Kat?”

“My you are a voracious reader.”

“Hi, I’ve been wondering—do you have How To Build a Bomb in Your Own Basement” by Che Guevarra?”

“First or second edition?”

“What’s the difference?”

“The second edition has a detailed map of the White House.”

“I’m looking for The Unvarnished Truth About 9/11: Fraud, Onanism, Deceit and Oil in the Bush Administration by Mohammed X. Esposito.”

“I’m sorry. We have five copies but they’re all checked out.”

“Excuse me, Miss…I’ve heard about this wonderful book but I can’t find it. It’s not on your computer or in you card file. It’s The Marketing of Evil by David Kupelian.”

“Why you disgusting sexist homophobic wretch! This is a university library, not a reading room for the Aryan Nation! You better get out of here before I call security! We don’t want you kind around here!”

Whoa! Was that a real live university library or a Lynn Cheney nightmare? Well, it could be either—take your pick. Or it could be Ohio State University at Mansfield, Ohio. Really? Yes, it could. Have you got your Kafka Reader handy?

This is what happed to Scott Savage, a librarian at OSU-M. Scott’s a genuine Quaker; drives a horse and buggy, and probably doesn’t like that dying pig thing a one bit. When Scott took a look at the required reading list for the incoming freshman class he suggested a few books could be added to provide some balance to the left-wing vaporings of Jim E. Carter and Maria Shriver. He suggested David Horowitz, Bat Ye’or and Rick Santorum. Well that was bad enough but when Kupelian’s book The Marketing of Evil appeared on the list that was too much for some of the school’s faculty who forgot they were college professors and not Soviet apparatchiks.

Professor Hannibal Hamlin—not to be confused with Abraham Lincoln’s first vice-president—took umbrage. Hamlin, who has a Ph.D. in Renaissance Studies from Yale, sent Mr. Savage an e-mail message. “On the matter of homophobia, I think you should be rather careful,” he wrote. “Re Kupelian’s book, would you advocate a book that was racist or anti-Semitic (sic), or are you arguing that homosexuals are not in the same category and that homophobia is not therefore a matter of discrimination but of rational argument?”

If the original Hannibal Hamlin had ever written anything comparable to the lesser Hamlin’s e-mail everyone would have known why Old Abe dumped him after the first term. Mr. Savage was not advocating or arguing anything, he was merely suggesting a book be placed on a reading list—that it should be made available. If the anti-American drivel spewed out by Michael Moore and the hatred emanating from Amiri Baraka can be considered legitimate fields of study, certainly Kupelian and Horowitz and the others should qualify.

English Professor J. K. Buckley, author of Desire, The Self, The Social Critic: The Rise of Queer Performance Within the Demise of Transcendentalism, felt threatened by Mr. Savage—so threatened, he sent Savage an e-mail that read in part: “You have made me fearful and uneasy being a gay man on this campus. I am, in fact, notifying the OSU-M campus, and Ohio State University in general, that I no longer feel safe doing my job. I am being harassed.”

Harassed? Professor Buckley? Really? Where does he think he is? Al-Azhar University? Teheran? It isn’t Professor Buckley who has to worry. It’s poor Mr. Savage. The campus SWINE (Students Woefully Ignorant of Nearly Everything) will be after Savage like Sturmbahnfuhrers chasing Jews through the Warsaw Ghetto. There’s more racism, bigotry and anti-Semitism on the college campus these days than there is in the Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan Nation. Columbia and Berkeley have banned more books than Adolph Hitler.

Buckley also attacked Kupelian in the same e-mail: “…the paucity of (his) intellectual rigor…his unmitigated homophobia and xenophobia…a pontificating, phobic, cultural atavism bemoaning the loss of an (Anglo) America that only existed on such shows as The Lone Ranger…”

Atavism? The Lone Ranger? Tell that to Jay Silverheels! Tell that to Hondo and Rooster Cogburn! Tell that to the firemen who died on 9/11! What a pathetic wretch!

Buckley and Hamlin are part of what is wrong with America. Their minds are sealed tighter than the doors to Scrooge McDuck’s vault. Education ends where radicalism begins. It would seem they would welcome the chance to expose Kupelian’s lack of intellectual rigor. Why, a Renaissance man like Hamlin and an expert on the demise of Transcendentalism like Buckley should be able to cut Kupelian to pieces, serve him on a platter to the campus SWINE and then get together on Brokeback Mountain for a Marlborough. That’s what the Lone Ranger and Tonto would have done—after an appreciable amount of time spying in barrooms—less, of course, the Brokeback Mountain thing.

Maybe it’s the comfort zone. Maybe Hamlin and Buckley are lacking in intestinal fortitude. Banning books because one does not like their content is not what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they brought forth upon this continent Abe Lincoln’s last, best hope of the world.

Buckley and another gay professor, Norman Jones, took their fears to the Faculty Politbureau and by a vote of 21-0 Savage was charged with sexual harassment. This is something that might have happened to George Costanza and OSU-M was unwilling to suffer the adverse publicity. They informed Savage that the charge of sexual harassment leveled against him by the two gay professors was without merit, but warned him not to retaliate.

OSU-M would never have treated Mohammed Atta or John Walker Lindh or Ramzi bin al-Shibh like they treated Savage. Maybe they need a Lone Ranger Studies program at Mansfield—get rid of those sidesaddle professors from the 1970s and bring in some real Americans—vigorous Daniel Boone types who think more of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington than of Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore.

Anybody ready for a 2nd American Revolution?


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