Too Subtle By Half


While working on Cathy Young's fascinating story on Jonathan Bean, I came across this letter to the editor of the Southern Illinoisan, and was initially thinking about linking it as an example of the kind of madcap attacks Bean is getting. I don't know whether this speaks more to the insanity of campus sensitivity or to my own presumption of that insanity, but it wasn't until I read the letter a second time that I realized the writer was goofing. And I suspect the editors at the Southern Illinoisan didn't realize it at all, because they gave the letter the simple headline, "Bean has to go." See if it reads that way to you:

To the Editor:

My eyes were edged with tears as I read Caleb Hale's article in the Southern which exposed Southern Illinois University at Carbondale history ("His-Story") Professor Jonathan Bean as a racist hate-mongering phallocrat.

Your readers know that while Professor Jonathan Bean (allegedly) uses the teaching of Rosa Parks, Malcolm X and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., he also used an optional handout which discussed in incident that "recounted a series of 71 murders perpetrated by a group of black men against white civilians in San Francisco between 1972." The uses of these kinds of facts have no place in academia. I was horrified to see the Southern was in on his deliberately misspelling "Malcom X" (sic) as yet another means of covert oppression. Caleb Hale—Matthew Hale. Coincidence? I doubt it.

As a former student, I was aghast to learn that my alma mater has evidently become a haven for dogmatic hate preachers who us their "teaching" positions to indoctrinate unsuspecting students with the politics of racism, using taxpayer dollars.

Evidently, this "David Duke with a PhD." Will suffer no professional discipline either! He will no doubt cry first amendment violation and academic freedom, but sometimes the feelings of one or two must trump the education of many.

Clearly, he must go. It is incumbent on the university end their relationship with this suit-and-tied Klansman. I would also like to see local, state and federal law enforcement intercede and determine if he could be brought up on charges and incarcerated for such reckless insensitivity.

C.L. Stratton, Springfield