I know Roland Fryer rather well in person
Roland G. Fryer Jr (*1977, pics) is a top economist. He's received the MacArthur Fellowship, the 2015 John Bates Clark Medal (second most prestigious economics prize after the memorial Nobel), and in 2008, he founded the EdLabs at Harvard – where they investigate the roots and economics of the race gap. That institution has been funded by Melinda and Bill Gates, the Ford Foundation (now a top left-wing foundation), and by Condoleezza Rice, among others.
Certain people find Fryer's conclusions such as this one inconvenient.
He has also been a fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows – and we overlapped there for a year, 2003-2004 – he was younger by some 2 years. Soon afterwards, he became the youngest black tenured Harvard professor. See some fun excited comments by Steve Sailer about Fryer from 2005; some proximity of Summers and Fryer is mentioned there, too.
So I have always understood that he didn't belong to the conventional Hard Left Party of the Academia. It doesn't mean that I viewed him as an undisputed Lïbertarian or a conservative. He always promoted his impartial and politically neutral image and he has completely persuaded me – and probably not just me – that he was one.
You know, the economists in the Society were always somewhat right-leaning, at least relatively to the hard left average. You may decide whether I was left-wing or right-wing ;-) but I was an alien and the only conventionally Republican American junior fellow whom I remember was philosopher Tom Kelly (a young colleague of Robert Nozick who died while we were fellows – I attended the memorial event). A senior fellow who is a Slavist once said (in front of all of us, during a dinner) that "had they known that Kelly was a Republican, they would have never accepted him" as a new junior fellow. This hostility against the rightwingers is such a normal part of Harvard's atmosphere that they won't hesitate to scream about it in front of dozens of witnesses.
Incidentally, Tom's soon-to-be-father-in-law, was Sheldon Goldstein, a Bohmist (anti-quantum) philosopher and leftist whom I knew from Rutgers.
But when the fellows were deciding about the charity where they could send some money, about 80% of them sent the funds to MoveOn.ORG or another George Soros NGO. I think that I have asked about a charity employing a task force that would neutralize George Soros and when they told me there was no charity of this kind on their list yet, I was allowed not to send the money to anybody, if I remember well. Maybe I sent it to some conventional old-fashioned charity – I forgot.
You may look at Google Scholar to check that his publication list (and the number of citations) is rather impressive. He has investigated lots of hypotheses – whether the quality of schools or something else may be the cause of some subsequent gap, and lots of questions like that.
And in many cases, he has obviously found the results that many of us consider a part of the lore or common sense. One particular paper from 2016 that was discussed in the media was a paper about the racial bias in shootings. Fryer found the data to be consistent with the cops' efforts to maximize the utility function – i.e. with no unjustifiable bias.
You may imagine that even though he is a black guy, a scholar who produces such results was inconvenient for many. Lots of criticisms similar to this one at Harvard were written to contradict Fryer's research. It seems obvious to me that Fryer has actually done some research while his critics haven't – they were motivated purely ideologically. There are apparently other similar papers where similar tension driven by the gap between Fryer's scholarship and the extreme leftists' ideology. See the headache at MSNBC when they had to report the inconvenient results.
Today, I opened theCrimson.com (top Harvard students' newspaper) and found out that the most widely read article on that website is
That's another typical example of the witch hunts that America is full of these days.
Strangely enough, the first word of this sex song in the first second is "píča", a Czech word for "pußy".
What is his crime? Someone has heard him as talking about sex – like the Salt-n-Pepa band above (while in the band, Pepa's name is Sandra, "Pepa" is "Joe" in Czech, by the way, and the Poles sometimes lovingly call us "Pepíci", the "Joes"). During a conversation in the group, someone talked about McDonald's, so Fryer also said something about McDonald's. And when someone said something about his or her first date, Fryer added a similar comment about that date. I don't see the slightest suggestion that he has done anything that could be legitimately considered problematic – and I've never heard him saying anything objectionable in the Society of Fellows.
But because he's politically inconvenient and influential enough (he's almost certainly the highest paid professor in the whole Harvard College, Steve Sailer says – this excludes medicine and business schools), he's in trouble for that. Needless to say, it's being said that "star professors like Fryer get away with that" – but the reality is usually the other way around. It's the visible people like Fryer who are being looked at and who are being shot at. They are likely to attract many more enemies and jealous people, too.
So the accusations are clear – he has said a word related to sex somewhere, so he must be a sexist pig, Nazi, and he's probably the mastermind of the Holocaust, too.
It's insane to have laws and habits that may prevent a top scholar like that from entering the lab he founded – even before any investigation is concluded. It's insane to have laws such as "Title IX" that may demonize people just because they say a sentence about sex. It's insane that people consider the abolition of his tenure for that (the Harvard Corporation, a top board, would have to do it).
You know, people normally talk about sexual topics. Sometimes, it may be awkward or unpleasant. I have often been a magnet for gays. A fellow (mere) postdoc NT who was gay once made an emotional monologue during the lunch – in front of some 10 Harvard physicists plus three visitors – about the millions of murders I commit if I... [allow the sperm to go to a wrong place – he implicitly suggested that the right place should have been his aß]. He said it as a response to my explanation why I was generally against abortions (therefore the "murders" in both topics). You can imagine, I had some tendency to vomit after I heard that but he was a good enough friend so I bravely swallowed it (not the sperm, however). Even if I or someone else have vomited, it would have been my or his fault to some extent – and the damage would be comparable to $10, the price of the new lunch in the dining hall.
I just can't imagine what sort of the people are those who are ready to work on the destruction of the career of the Harvard College's highest paid professor because they didn't like some sexually themed comments in a group. They're sick people. But I don't really believe anyone is this sick. I think that they don't really believe it's fair, either – they just want to use these power tools they have introduced against an ideologically inconvenient person.
Almost all the comments in the Crimson disagree with this harassment against Ronald Fryer – but as you probably know, Harvard and Massachusetts are being controlled by a very different kind of people.