You may have read about a guy described as a Dartmouth professor who spoke up to endorse violence by the likes of Antifa. The guy is Mark Bray. The Free Beacon quoted Bray telling Chuck Todd last week: “I think that a lot of people recognize that, when pushed, self-defense is a legitimate response to white supremacy and neo-Nazi violence.” He explained: “Fascism cannot be defeated through speech.”
I’m beyond embarrassment about Dartmouth. Not so Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon, who served as a prolific source of embarrassment to me about Dartmouth before I overcame. Hanlon went so far as to issue a statement expressing disagreement with Bray (quoted by the Free Beacon). The statement describes Bray as a lecturer in history.
The Free Beacon notes that Bray is a visiting scholar at the Gender Research Institute at Dartmouth (GRID). GRID is relatively new to Dartmouth. If I hadn’t overcome, I would find it embarrassing. GRID sounds to me like something out of C.S. Lewis’s That Hideous Strength, which brought us the scientific think tank Lewis named the National Institute of Coordinated Experiments (N.I.C.E.). As readers of Lewis know, N.I.C.E. was not nice.
What about GRID? GRID “encourages, facilitates, and showcases gender-related research, teaching, and social engagement that address why the 21st century is still a time profoundly structured by gender, racial, ethnic, sexual, and economic inequality.” I’ll come right out and say it. GRID is not nice either.
Mark Bray and Garnet Kindervater are GRID Visiting Scholars. They sound like they might have been named by Lewis as well.
Bray’s profile explains what he’s up to: “At GRID, he will begin work on his next project which explores the cultures of violence and street resistance that emerge in the social movements of postwar Western Europe and their impact on conceptions of leftist masculinity in the context of the emergence of competing conceptions of feminism.” I love “leftist masculinity.” Students of rhetoric may want to add that to their list of classic oxymorons.
We have reached the reductio ad absurdum of the liberal subversion of liberty with the coming of the bathroom wars in North Carolina. In the name of equal dignity and equal respect, the transgendered (whose freely constituted “gender” has no connection with biology or human nature) have the right to use the public restroom of their choice, or so the Department of Justice tells us. The rights of parents and children, or those reasonably concerned with safety and propriety, are dismissed out of hand. The notion of dignity affirmed by Attorney General Loretta Lynch is incapable of honoring commonsense distinctions. Every choice and affirmation is worthy of our respect (except, of course, the views of those who challenge the regnant relativism) even if it flies in the face of common sense and common decency. In the name of equality, and a groundless and relativistic conception of dignity, we erode the self-government of the American people. And more reasonable accommodations for the transgendered are dismissed out of hand. A point has to be made at all costs, and it must be directed at those Americans “on the wrong side of History.” One will have noticed one more affinity with the totalitarianism of old.
Professor Mahoney is professor of political science at Assumption College. He is not a a visiting scholar at GRID.