Many of you have noticed that I haven’t been writing much for this blog lately. Some of you have commented on that and have asked for more posts. I definitely do appreciate your interest.
My lack of posts, however, were a conscious choice I made, a choice to try and put this sordid affair behind me, to move on, to see if I could forget the incredibly defamatory statements so many in the Butler administration made about me. Although I still had a great deal to say, you’ll notice that since the middle of December I’ve only posted seven times.
Unfortunately, Butler won’t let the issue die. Just this week, a “Forum on Civic Discourse” was announced for later this month. So far so good. But Butler decided to frame the event within the context of public safety. I don’t see that as an accident. From the beginning, the president has justified his actions (when he’s bothered to say that he was aware of them rather than claiming that others acted without his knowledge) as necessary to protect the safety of various administrators and the campus in general. He raised the specter of the shootings at Virginia Tech to provide cover for his actions. In an act of unbridled paternalism and amazing hubris he claimed that the provost “was afraid, for her own safety, for her husband, for her house and property.”
In essence, he attempted to do what the Bush administration did to great effect: scare people into accepting actions that they would otherwise find completely abhorrent. There were no threats against any person or property made by anyone except by Butler’s high-priced attorney. I made a promise that I would not forget the actions of the provost. Butler’s administration opted to pretend that that was a threat and now they’re holding a forum so we can hear why campus safety is important.
The forum announcement also notes that discussion might include situations where “messages of hate” are prevalent. I doubt that this is an accident either. After all, in his first tirade to the faculty about The True BU situation, the president proclaimed “Butler does not tolerate racial and sexual epithets in the name of free exchange of ideas.” On this blog, on October 15th 2009, the day the president made that comment, I wrote the following: “Of course I agree with this statement, as I hope all of you do. The thing is, there is no hint of any such despicable language in anything I have ever written. I think that this is yet another attempt to unfairly and falsely attribute to me things that I did not say.” Since that day, I have repeatedly asked the president to point to one example in my writings of a racial or sexual epithet. He hasn’t done so because he can’t: there are NO such examples. But those facts haven’t kept him from repeating this mantra and, by doing so, continuing to defame me.
I wanted to move on but Butler apparently wants to live in the past – a past they are apparently proud of. So many of you have expressed outrage about Butler’s actions and have called for an apology, to me and to the Butler community. Butler and its president, however, don’t apologize. Instead they attack, they defame, they sue, they intimidate and they besmirch the good name of a once-proud institution.
I wanted to move on but to do so now would mean that my reputation isn’t worth anything. That’s why I’ve written this post.