November 28, 2006


Noooooo, there's no racism at Dartmouth!


  1. Anonymous9:43 PM


    I was saddened to see that you chose to reprint this entirely racist image. Perhaps you thought you were being ironic or exposing hatred, but as I've seen you argue before on your blog, an image (or, a comic strip, as was the case) may not intend to foster racism or a rape culture but may in fact do that. By duplicating this image or drawing attention to it in any way besides simply saying that an image exists that is fostering hate and putting a cork in progress, you are in fact an integral part of the regress.

    Science will bear me out: I refer you to the works of George Lakoff, a genius in my opinion, whose work on metaphor and the brain have shown that we cannot trust ordinary people to deal with these loaded signifiers.

    I trust that you will remove this "depiction" (in fact, an objectification of a people). If not, you will have done harm to the very people you may have intended to help.

    I hope that you will swallow your pride and do the right thing.


    A Concerned Student

  2. Anonymous9:53 PM

    I think it's fucking hilarious. But then I also laugh at dead baby jokes and the occasional "a priest, a rabbi, and an athiest" joke too.

  3. Anonymous1:09 AM

    There is a part of the Review that is into engaging its detractors in debate and in fighting the war of ideas through reason. The Review staffers I've met are some of the clearest thinkers and the best writers I know, and I found Dan Linsalata's piece in the latest issue of the Review consistent with this.

    There is also another part of the Review that is into pushing the envelope and doing what it can to shock its detractors.

    I've always admired the former part of the Review and struggled to understand the latter part. Dinesh D'Souza discussed it in an interview a while back, but I don't recall his explanation very well. As far as I can understand, the message is that the Review feels no particular obligation to respect others' claims of offense. I.e. not only to the Review's detractors get a reasoned rebuttal, but they get a stick in the eye as well.

    It's not my style, but there are times when I think it's great. Like now.

  4. Concerned Student,
    Nice try.
    Could you perhaps cite this putative statement, because I don't remember making it. I just read what I wrote about the Lerman comic and I don't see anything like what you're saying. I would refer you to my support for the Danish cartoons in my defense. I think it is important for images that are the subject of controversy not to be hidden or repressed, but rather to be displayed within sufficient contextualization.
    I'd also refer you to what I've said before about Lakoff (all these references to things I've written about--makes me feel like you're a long time reader!).

    Anonymous 2, you're a prick.

    Anonymous 3, you miss the point. "the Review feels no particular obligation to respect others' claims of offense." That may be true, but they actively try to offend people. That's something entirely different. If a professor decided not to respect any claims of extenuating circumstances for late papers, that's one thing, but if she actually tried to create those extenuating circumstances by, say, changing the assignment the night before, that's not even close to the same thing. The former could plausibly be called "reasoned" or "reasonable", but the latter, no way.

  5. Anonymous 36:43 AM

    The Review's relationship to NAD is hardly analogous to a relationship between a professor and a student. I don't think that the active/passive distinction has much to do with my point. See my "stick in the eye" comment.

    As I said, I don't completely understand their desire to offend people instead of just making arguments. But the discourse on campus about this issue has been so stupid that I'm not convinced that the NAD supporters don't deserve this.

  6. I fail to see how it is not analogous. If you're going to assert that the power dynamic is different for The Review compared to a professor, well, no it isn't really. In both cases, one party is eliciting the very responses from another party which it will turn around and judge in front of others, and in both cases, this first, judging party, is also reconfiguring the terms of judgment by interfering with the second party's ability to avoid negative judgment.

    Sticks in the eye are never just ancillary to a reasoned argument. They destroy the conditions for it. You can't have both—either you have provocation and bullying or you have a reasoned discourse, but you cannot have both. This is as basic a principle of both reason and community as you'll find.

  7. Anonymous4:07 PM

    God, how I miss these asinine, pissant, "controversies" that only occur on college campuses.

    The response to the Review's cover is exactly what they wanted and anyone without a rod up their ass could see it coming a mile away. That the NAD's and Co. bought it hook, line, and sinker is exactly what the Review wanted.

    I guess the criticism that "The Review is no longer relevant on campus" has been proven 100% wrong, too.

  8. Last commenter: So they provoked us and got a response. So what? That doesn't actually limit what we can do from now on. We actually have more options—the chance for real dialogue within and among various communities on campus, the opportunity to get people motivated, the opening for some change in what people see as normal. Silence in the face of racism shouldn't be normal here or anywhere else, and I think we proved that yesterday.

  9. Anonymous11:02 AM


    I support the review on some of their stances, but this just can't be defended.