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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

One More Progressive Criticizes Cole


Juan Cole has called on his readers to defend Professor Joseph Massad of Columbia University, under attack from "a concerted campaign..by the American Likud, aimed at getting him fired." It's not so clear what makes Massad's critics -- the NY Daily News, NY Sun, and Congressman Tony Weiner -- "American Likud," but we'll let that slide.

To his credit, Cole doesn't defend Massad's ideas, only his academic freedom. I agree that Massad shouldn't be denied tenure because of his political views -- although he's someone who's political views hardly seem distinguishable from his scholarship, which is what tenure reviews are supposed to be about. Looking at some of Massad's writings on the web, my favorite quote is this (from a newspaper column):
"Such practices [as the torture of Abner Louima by NYC police] clearly demonstrate that white American male sexuality exhibits certain sadistic attributes in the presence of non-white men and women over whom white Americans (and Brits) have government- sanctioned racialised power."
Progressive blogger Stuart at the New Appeal to Reason has more, particularly noting the irony that Massad's leading defender (who runs the web site Cole links to) is someone who banned Israelis from serving on the editorial board of her academic journals.

 
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