What has been called the year’s most “shameful” campus persecution case – in which university professors branded a librarian a “sexual harasser” simply for recommending “The Marketing of Evil” – continues to play itself out, as another professor is publicly defending the school’s intimidation tactics and condemning the bestselling book while simultaneously claiming the midwest academy to be “a beacon of intellectual freedom.”
Scott Savage, head of Reference and Instructional Services at the Bromfield Library on Ohio State University’s Mansfield campus, was condemned by a 21-0 faculty vote (with nine abstentions) on March 13 to be formally investigated for “sexual harassment.” Several professors, two of them openly homosexual, had become extremely upset over Savage’s nomination for a freshman reading program of David Kupelian’s acclaimed but controversial book, “The Marketing of Evil: How Radicals, Elitists, and Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised as Freedom.” Chapter one exposes the marketing strategies and tactics of the “gay rights” movement.
In a March 9 inter-faculty e-mail, J.F. Buckley, one of the accusing professors, had reacted this way to Savage’s recommendation of Kupelian’s book this way: “As a gay man I have long ago realized that the world is full of homophobic, hate-mongers who, of course, say that they are not. So I am not shocked, only deeply saddened – and THREATENED – that such mindless folks are on this great campus. … You have made me fearful and uneasy being a gay man on this campus. I am, in fact, notifying the OSU-M campus, and Ohio State University in general, that I no longer feel safe doing my job. I am being harassed.”
Calling the case “shameful,” Alliance Defense Fund attorney David French commented on the overwhelming faculty support for the attack on Savage: “It is astonishing that an entire faculty would vote to launch a sexual harassment investigation because a librarian offered book suggestions in a committee whose purpose was to solicit such suggestions.”
With the threat of legal action on Savage’s behalf by the Alliance Defense Fund, and under national scrutiny thanks to widespread media attention, the university informed Savage on April 18 that the faculty had overstepped their bounds, and dropped the charges.
Yet, even though the university said the charges against Savage were a mistake, OSU-Mansfield Associate History Professor Christopher Phelps now has jumped into the fray, defending the university’s actions, claiming the faculty didn’t actually attack Savage en masse, and condemning Kupelian’s book as “unabashed bigotry.”
Referring to “the ludicrousness of ‘The Marketing of Evil,’” Phelps writes in Saturday’s Columbus Dispatch: “Quite apart from demonstrating its unabashed bigotry … this is a book wholly unsuited to the purpose of introducing undergraduates to the life of the mind. Why would a reference librarian, entrusted with guiding students to the best possible sources, recommend such a screed?”
But the news media’s coverage has missed a crucial point: the discrimination reports did not focus on the book suggestion so much as the librarian’s unyielding defense of the book, even after the revelation of its bigotry, his disparagement of faculty expertise and his forwarding of others’ e-mails to an outside organization. The claim that his proposal was tongue-in-cheek is belied by the fact that when he was employed at Lakeland Community College in 2004, he displayed an antigay book prominently, provoking controversy there, as well.
Our faculty seeks a university that is a beacon of intellectual freedom, high scholarly standards and freedom from discrimination based upon sexual orientation. I look forward to the day when we can say with assurance that our library manifests the same principles.
While Savage is a devout and conservative Quaker, Phelps describes himself on his personal homepage on OSU’s website as being politically “on the left of the left,” and posts a link to his lengthy ode to the socialist magazine “Monthly Review,” in which he praises Marxism. The final paragraph of the 43-page article says:
In a sense, with Stalinism discredited and social democracy indistinguishable in practice from capitalism, we are all – all of us who remain on the left of the left – independent socialists now. … Most activists and thinkers on the American left have accepted the need for considerate, democratic interaction with those from other traditions and perspectives. Since fostering these values was the original purpose of Monthly Review, and since the inequalities and instabilities of capitalism and empire still generate a desperate need for far-reaching social reconstruction, there is every reason to hope that Monthly Review will continue to serve in the coming millennium just as it has for fifty years: as the flagship journal of an American Marxism in solidarity with liberation struggles the world over.
After recently informing Savage the harassment allegations against him were determined to have been unfounded, the official notification letter suggested a new round of diversity and tolerance training was in order.
“What colleges normally do in this situation,” explains French, “is to first do what is necessary to defuse the immediate crisis. Then they go into the ‘re-education process,’ where they bring in the experts to discuss how hurtful and painful it is when people discuss Judeo-Christian morality on campus.”
The prescribed re-education begins at OSU-Mansfield today.
Released in August, “The Marketing of Evil” has been widely praised by Dr. Laura, David Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, D. James Kennedy and many others and garnered over 100 five-star reader reviews on Amazon.com.
As a direct consequence of being “banned” as “hate literature” and “homophobic tripe” by the OSU faculty, “The Marketing of Evil” has become one of the hottest-selling books in the country, topping Amazon.com’s “Current Events” bestseller chart for more than a week.
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