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Friday, Jun 21, 2024

Letter: Response to “Response to Setting the Record Straight”

Re Response to Setting the Record Straight (online, Dec. 1)

As long as Prof. Stanger is advocating precision for the record, perhaps she could correct the description of the event at ASU, which currently reads as follows: “Professor Stanger was there to verbally challenge the speaker. She never got the chance, and the invited speaker never spoke.” There are at least two falsehoods in those two sentences, possibly three. She did get the chance to challenge the speaker and the speaker did speak. We have a link on the Middlebury website to prove that.

As to whether she “verbally challenged” the speaker, I suspect we disagree. I don’t find the following introduction to a discussion of The Bell Curve “verbally challenging”: “Please know that I believe your work has been unjustly maligned. Correlation is not causation, as you yourself have repeatedly pointed out. I don’t want to question your data from The Bell Curve. Instead, let’s assume your data is sound.”

But the other two falsehoods on the ASU website clearly distort the record to play into the dominant narrative used to defame the college and they should be corrected.

Kevin Moss is the Jean Thomson Fulton Professor of Modern Languages and Literature at Middlebury College.