Contrary to the allegations of the Anti-Defamation League and the Etownian (2/2) editorial, the H.L Mencken Club engages in serious academic and intellectual discussions as opposed to racially-charged venting. The racist label is hurled at this group by those who prefer silencing those deemed politically incorrect rather than considering the merits of their arguments.
As a friend and longtime colleague of Dr. Paul Gottfried, I am familiar with his work. I know, therefore, he never wrote that Elizabethtown College was not “ready for diversity,” which implies that at some level he would consider “diversity” in its present manifestation to be a desirable goal. Rather, his argument is that “diversity,” as its proponents use the term, is the polar opposite from what such eminent social thinkers as Aristotle, Edmund Burke, Robert Nisbet or Russell Kirk meant when they praised the “proliferating variety of society.” “Diversity” has become a political instrument to extinguish real intellectual diversity. Too often it is used as a weapon by determined special interest groups to silence opponents as “racists.” The real end of the “diversity” advocates is to disempower people who have the temerity to disagree with them.
Even more tellingly, on the same Opinion page on which this ugly accusation against Dr. Gottfried appeared, there are two further examples of the “diversity” mindset at work. How can one explain that in President Strikwerda’s lengthy defense of the diversity plan he fails to note that an eminent, internationally renowned, retired professor had been gratuitously insulted by the same editor who attacked his beloved diversity plan?
In the second example, a letter to the editor seems at first glance to be a caricature of the diversity mindset. In this case though, I can commiserate with the author, because like him, I too have suffered the pain of stares. You can’t imagine the looks on campus I have to endure as a registered Republican when someone mutters, “Oh, there is that Republican.” “Oh, how awful,” someone else chimes in. “I thought we had dealt with that sort a long time ago.”