Another week, another letter to the editor, well, almost. After some graduate students published an immature moan fest about an upcoming speaker, I decided to respond as follows:
To the editor:
This letter is in response to the letter to the editor from three Philosophy students in your September 28 issue.
Before delving into their “argument”, I would like to point out the fundamental hypocrisy and set of weaknesses at the basis of the TA’s letter.
You cannot be in favor of free speech in a “not in my backyard” manner. Either Professor Levin has the right to speak or he does not. To say that because UB happens to be connected to an event that they don’t agree with the event should not take place is an immature argument to make. If it were not, us students should be protesting our football team for being division IA and almost never winning a single game while being funded by our fees and or complain that professors are deprived of compensation because of Jewish holidays. I wonder if they truly have never wanted their taxes refunded because the US government, for example, spends money on protecting foreign dignitaries whose countries are taking a hostile stance towards the United States. Free speech means that you will have to tolerate the inconvenience of funding or being in the vicinity of activities you don’t agree with. Grow up!
Having said that, I also object to their flawed approach to demonstrating the professor’s alleged discriminatory attitudes. Quoting statements out of context without providing opposing factual statements does not prove any point apart from the authors’ lack of common sense.
While Professor Levin may indeed have the wrong idea about women’s career prospects, he may contrarily also have a point in his arguments on matters of race. I would have, for example, liked to hear why, in the TAs’ opinion, the fact that Asians comprise the lowest percentage of the national prison population cannot be extrapolated to conclude that they are the ethnic group statistically least likely to commit serious offenses.
Also, if race were indeed an invalid measure of ability or behavioral characteristics, the TAs should be telling Senator Obama, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, BET, the National Institute of Health and various other government institutions and representatives to quit being so racist and “see the light.”
What a sad state the science of Philosophy must be in if such nitwits are allowed to teach…