The following story shows that life at Harvard for those sane people who consider affirmative action to be a wrong thing is becoming life-threatening and I feel very happy and safe to be thousands of miles away.
See also comments by PowerlineblogAll professors who have ever told me anything about Mr Matory agree that he is an unusually unpleasant person. But none of them would ever say this fact in the public. Mr Matory was also one of the main guys who have masterminded various shameful anti-Summers resolutions. When I informed this blog's readers about a 2005 FAS faculty meeting, the guy decided to silence me personally.
So he has contacted the whole Harvard hierarchy above me, much like numerous other nasty, mostly leftist people did during my last three years. The physics department chair was ordered to act, too. Now, you should realize that the physics department chair was a complete puppet who has no character and who has always been playing both sides, secretly helping the side that would help him personally. So guess what happened after he calmly calculated the odds. I was eventually forced to apologize to the voodoo expert, Mr Latory. I am not sure what was the justification of my apology but it had to be done anyway.
Let me just assure everyone who has ever seen this apology that it was a fake document written down under brutal pressure and they should disregard this apology.
This experience - together with the FAS anti-free-speech resolution itself - was completely stunning for me and I was down for weeks, canceled all plans to extend my visas, and prepared my resignation letter which was ready to be sent as soon as Summers would resign (which only happened one year later).
Video 1: Martin Madej (Slovakia): Canibals. (Music by Peter Nagy.) It was great to find this fun video a year ago to restore some human dignity and self-confidence. Lyrics: Canibals came to our city. They wanted to pick our babes. And the answer is: No, forget it, no. ... Our babes are ours to eat... :-)
In my opinion, apologists for dictators such as Mr Babangida should really be dealt with by the U.S. troops and not by academic officials. Because I am an extremely tolerant person, I can imagine living at the same institution where some people have these weird political preferences as long as it is guaranteed that they co-exist peacefully.
But if you imagine that this kind of "intellectual" movement becomes able to dictate you what you should say and what you shouldn't say, and maybe even what you should think and what you shouldn't think, it just becomes a complete nightmare. It's a huge problem. I've lived in a similar system for years but at least the people who were deciding about the "right" opinions were somewhat more decent than Mr Matory. The Czechoslovak communists were communists but they were still building on certain European traditions rather than some radical approaches from Nigeria. Also, they were listening to Karel Gott rather than racist rappers.
Incidentally, Matory wrote a new anti-Israel rant three days ago. I wonder whether he realizes that the existence of Israel is a part of the current international legal setup and its threatening is thus effectively a declaration of war. However, anti-Semitism is alive and well in many corners of the Academia and the likes of Mr Matory get all support they dream about.
Mrs Faust must have known very well that her event would help Mr Matory to propagate his lies and hatred and Mrs Faust just becomes a failing official. Incidentally, Larry R. has pointed out that the former Harvard president Summers was disinvited from a dinner at University of California, see the story about New McCarthyism at the UC. The disinvitation followed 300 protest signatures. With 300 people who have these opinions, they could establish a new organization to compete with the organization of OBL.
Now, should the number of blacks in similar instutions increase? I certainly don't think that it should be anyone's goal. Increasing the percentage of particular groups has become a fairly new, postmodern obsession. When schools like Harvard were the ultimate places of intellectual authority, no such rules existed. And incidentally, the number of blacks was very small.
Fine. If everyone is finally allowed to do anything, how many blacks do you expect to find among the employees of top universities?
In the general population, 12% of the U.S. citizens are black. But of course, if you start to select particular subgroups of people, the percentages change.
According to the "fundamental law of sociology", the mean black IQ is 1.1 standard deviations below the mean white IQ - about 16 IQ points. Moreover, the black distribution is narrower: its width is about 0.88 of the white width. The average white IQ is about 103 while the average black IQ is about 87. The white standard deviation is about 15, the black standard deviation is about 13.5.
Now imagine that you only pick people who are 2 white standard deviations or more above the white average e.g. at 133 or higher. According to the standard numerology of the normal distribution, there are about 2.2% of whites whose IQ is 2 SD above the average or more. But 133 is more than 3 black SD's above the black average, and less than 0.1% of the blacks are found in this interval. So the particular condition of IQ above 133 increases the black/white ratio by a factor of more than 20.
This means that assuming this condition, you shouldn't expect 12% of blacks but rather 0.5% of blacks in the departments that are affected by the particular IQ condition we have considered. In natural sciences, about 1.2% of tenured or tenure-track professors are black. That means that the proportion of blacks is twice as high then what you would expect from the cut of IQ around 133.
In other groups, you will find black proportion to be different, for example 5.8% among the non-teaching staff. In special black departments - departments that shouldn't really exist at a good university because they have virtually no academic goals because their real purpose is to promote anti-white racism - the percentage will be closer to 100%. If you look at various numbers, it is at least questionable whether the proportion of blacks is lower or higher than what you would expect in an unbiased society. And I think it is already much higher.
Having more blacks than what would be appropriate is no good news for anyone - certainly not for themselves because their colleagues realize that many of their black friends are around because of different things than scholarly results in the past of expected academic results in the future. I've known several decent black wise men who agree that it is a wrong policy to artificially increase the percentage of various groups. There are, of course, black people who disagree - usually the less wise ones.
Let me emphasize that the cold calculations above don't depend on the question whether the IQ differences between races are biological or social in character. Whatever the origin is, it is impossible to change this fact about the statistical distributions. Whether you like it or not, you can't invent too many very smart or skillful people in groups where they statistically don't exist.
But these calculations are huge taboos in the Ivy League and elsewhere and the "ideal" proportion of one group or another is actually not determined by rational calculations that takes social science as well as science into account but it is rather dictated by voodoo experts such as Mr Latory.
It may sound sad but that's the memo.