Our eagle eyed reader Dafydd ab Hugh has forwarded us his open letter to Little Trunk. The letter appears in full below:
“I don’t know your aptly named Professor Sleeper — or you or Big Trunk or anyone else at Yale, for that matter — but I did spend a long time as a graduate math student at university, an undisclosed number of years ago.
“Please forgive my bluntness, but I have met a dozen Professor Sleepers in academe. He is a bully. He cares for nothing quite so much as his own self-veneration, which he sees as dignity. But he is not dignified; he is a boob.
“I have debated hundreds of times, online and in person, in print and on the radio. Regardless of his abilities at analyzing affirmative action policies or his support for the war, in the realm of actually defending his ideas in the academic arena, Professor Sleeper is an intellectual pygmie.
“But it’s his bullying nature that infuriates me most. Few freshmen are as arrogant as was I, with such a strong sense of self. I was able to stand up to ecobabblers like Bruce Cooperstein, a math professor who misused his office to teach Marxism to his math classes (a foolish blunder, as math majors are too numerate to be bamboozled by such twaddle); but most of my fellow students just pretended to agree with the ogre. Look, LT, Professor Sleeper really has far less power than he would like you to think he has. He can’t torpedo your academic career — though he will attempt to frighten you into thinking he can.
“Stand your ground. Go listen to Toby Keith’s ‘Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue.’ Yeah, I know he’s pro-war; even so. It will be a good lesson to him to discover at least one young kid (sorry) who isn’t easily bullied.
“And who knows? Even if Sleeper never ends up respecting you — don’t expect him to, not with that fragile an ego that he has to attack freshmen with the viciousness normally reserved for fights over tenure — others will. They’ll sneak up to you and tell you how much they appreciate you standing firm, and then beg you not to tell Professor Sleeper that they said so.
“Good luck, and watch out for the sucker punch, hitting you when your back is turned.”
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