Sunday, December 16, 2007

John in Carolina Gets the Last Word

And you can find that last word HERE.

One excerpt (taken out of context, of course):

I’ve re-read your Chronicle letter, my comment on its thread, and our subsequent posts and comments concerning them and issues related to them.

I affirm everything I said. I’m satisfied with “my case” and how I presented it. I don’t doubt you feel similarly about your part of our "conversation."

I disagree with some of your comments, including some of your characterizations of what I’ve said, what the evening was like and what you say are the conditions which obtain for discourse at Duke and other universities you call “elite.”

His comments have been very useful. My triumphalism was overdrawn. Goes to show that one can always win if the standards for winning are dumbed down far enough.

Perhaps the most telling comment was actually a comment, but it captured the sense of the John's overall argument very well, also. Ralph Phelan, in commenting on one of John's posts, said, about my crowing about Duke: "We aren't Columbia yet, but give us time!" That's both funny and on point. Being better than Columbia on free speech grounds is nothing to be proud of.

I learned a lot from the exchange, and thank John for his work on this, when he has been very busy with other things. Getting to know John, and for that matter Ralph Phelan, a bit has been one unexpected benefit to this discussion.

A wonderful Christmas to all those who emailed, or commented, on this matter!