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Dinesh and me

On Tuesday, Media Matters for America reported that Dinesh D’Souza has been hired by CNN.  They duly noted a 1995 Washington Post article which mentioned some of D’Souza’s Krazy Kollege Hijinx with the Dartmouth Review, but they didn’t note that one of the gay undergraduates who was “outed” by D’Souza at Dartmouth actually became depressed and suicidal as a result. 

How do I know this?  Well, I didn’t go to Dartmouth, but I did have an extended textual run-in with D’Souza in 1991, just after he’d published Illiberal Education, the book that catapulted him from wingnut obscurity (his first book was a hagiography of Jerry Falwell, which concluded, “listening to Falwell speak, one gets a sense that something is right about America, after all").  I told some of the story in my second book, Public Access (1994), which I’m happy to reprise here for the benefit of CNN-watchers and D’Souza fans everywhere.

___________

On May 13, 1991, David Corn reported in the Nation that D’Souza had maliciously “outed” some gay students at Dartmouth, and that he had later gloated over having done so at the New York Athletic Club.  Corn was right about item one, and wrong on item two; D’Souza wrote to the Nation asking for a full retraction, and got a partial retraction instead.  This prompted a second letter from D’Souza, who by now had grown nasty:  “My friends tell me not to waste my time because I should expect lies from the ‘loony left,’” he wrote.  “I hope I am not naive in holding you to a higher standard."[1] He sent Corn faxes of documents he believed would clear his name, and also wrote to the Village Voice, in more measured tones:

Michael Bérubé, in a June 18 article, alleged that while I was the editor of the Dartmouth Review, I “proudly published the stolen private correspondence of Dartmouth’s gay and lesbian students.” This claim, which was first printed by the Nation, is false.  Indeed, when presented with the facts, The Nation retracted the claim.

What really happened was this:  the Review’s article concerned the Gay Students Association [sic] as a college-recognized and college-funded group.  The article named the five officers of the group who were listed with the college’s Committee on Student Organizations.  Such listing is a requirement for funding and the names are open to public scrutiny.  No other names or identities were revealed and all the information in the article came from the public file.

Later, one of the officers named claimed he was not affiliated with the group and had been erroneously named.  Apparently, the young man was not openly gay, but made the error of accepting an officers’ position with the group, thus putting his name on the public record.  The Review was in no position to know this and regretted in print having named the young man.[2]

By the time the Voice apprised me of D’Souza’s letter, I had gotten in touch with both David Corn and Victor Navasky of the Nation, wanting to know the status of their initial report and what they called its subsequent “clarification and amplication.” Corn sent me copies of the documents D’Souza sent him, and I dug up an old story I recalled having been published in the New York Times about the time I graduated from college.  And here’s where the story gets weird.

D’Souza’s third paragraph to the Voice was gratuitous, since I had written nothing about any subsequent exchange between the Dartmouth Review and the Gay Student Alliance.  But stranger still, his entire letter was contradicted by the very documents he had sent to Corn, which clearly showed that the Review, in an article under D’Souza’s name, had in fact published excerpts from students’ correspondence—as well as facsimiles of official and unofficial GSA documents, whose legal-pad scrawls revealed the name and official position of the student who had requested that the Review not associate him with the GSA.  I then made a few phone calls to Dartmouth, and soon I had the text of my reply to D’Souza, which ran as follows:

What really happened was this:  D’Souza’s May 18, 1981 Review article also included anonymous excerpts from what he called “personal letters from students confessing their gay sentiments.” The New York Times revealed D’Souza’s source in 1982, when it reported that some “membership and correspondence files of the Gay Student Alliance disappeared from the College Center, and . . . were printed in The Review.” Dolores Johnson, former director of Dartmouth’s Council on Student Organizations, confirmed to me that none of D’Souza’s information could have come from a “public file,” because “no administrative office keeps lists of the membership of, or letters to, any student organization.” (The July 8 Nation has retracted its previous retraction.) As for D’Souza’s last paragraph:  what can he possibly mean by saying that the Review “regretted in print having named the young man”?  D’Souza offered no apology; on the contrary, he intensified his previous allegation? by publishing facsimiles of the stolen GSA documents.  His only sentence of “regret” was “we are sorry that it has come to this.” I cannot guess why D’Souza has now chosen to heap one substantial distortion atop another.  But I fail to see how any responsible person can continue to take D’Souza seriously; conservatives should begin shopping around for a more credible representative.

Because of the Voice’s strict space limitations (dang those space limitations!), I could not go on to say that the 1982 Times article had also reported that “one student named, according to his friends, became severely depressed and talked repeatedly of suicide.  The grandfather of another who had not found the courage to tell his family of his homosexuality learned about his grandson when he got his copy of The Review in the mail.” [3] Nor could I explain that, for whatever reason, D’Souza himself had provided David Corn with precisely the material I needed to contradict the extraneous claim in his third paragraph.

So first, let it be noted that D’Souza, however unwittingly, drove a fellow student to contemplate suicide because of his article on the Gay Student Alliance.  (To put this in terms that craven cable news organizations will understand, Michael Savage merely told a gay caller to die; D’Souza in his youth was somewhat more, shall we say, proactive.) Second, let us acknowledge that in the ten years between that event and his exchanges with the Voice and the Nation, D’Souza learned that his behavior in 1981 was a political liability, and would have to be met with nothing less than complete denial.  Third, let us marvel at the cockiness with which D’Souza demanded a retraction from the Nation, proclaiming his knowledge that he would meet with “lies from the loony left.” Fourth, let us wonder what the Sam Hill is going on with a character who sends his critics the evidence that convicts him, presumably in the belief that it exonerates him.

[1] Dinesh D’Souza, letter to The Nation, July 8, 1991, p. 38.
[2] Dinesh D’Souza, letter to the Village Voice, July 9, 1991, p. 5.
[3] Dudley Clendinen, “Conservative Paper Stirs Dartmouth.” New York Times, May 30, 1982, p. 23.

____________

-- All right, now, does any of this matter 13 years (or 23 years) later?  Not necessarily, save for the fact that D’Souza has never apologized for, or even acknowledged, his conduct in this affair.  But for those of you who are more interested in the Mature D’Souza, here are some highlights from his magnum opus, the D’Souza Moby-Dick, more commonly known as The End of Racism:

-----> “[The Civil Rights Movement] sought to undermine white racism through a protest strategy that emphasized the recognition of basic rights for blacks, without considering that racism might be fortified if blacks were unable to exercise their rights effectively and responsibly.”

-----> “Most African American scholars simply refuse to acknowledge the pathology of violence in the black underclass, apparently convinced that black criminals as well as their targets are both victims:  the real culprit is societal racism.  Activists recommend federal jobs programs and recruitment into the private sector. Yet it seems unrealistic, bordering on the surreal, to imagine underclass blacks with their gold chains, limping walk, obscene language, and arsenal of weapons doing nine-to-five jobs at Procter and Gamble or the State Department.”

-----> “Increasingly it appears that it is liberal antiracism that is based on ignorance and fear:  ignorance of the true nature of racism, and fear that the racist point of view better explains the world than its liberal counterpart.”

-----> “The American slave was treated like property, which is to say, pretty well.”

-----> “The popular conception seems to be that American slavery as an institution involved white slaveowners and black slaves.  Consequently, it is easy to view slavery as a racist institution.  But this image is complicated when we discover that most whites did not own slaves, even in the South; that not all blacks were slaves; that several thousand free blacks and American Indians owned black slaves.  An examination of these frequently obscured aspects of American slavery calls into question the facile equation of racism and slavery.”

-----> “If America as a nation owes blacks as a group reparations for slavery, what do blacks as a group owe America for the abolition of slavery?”

-----> “How did [Martin Luther] King succeed, almost single-handedly, in winning support for his agenda?  Why was his Southern opposition virtually silent in making counterarguments?”

Passages like these lead readers like me to believe that the easiest way to slander D’Souza is to quote him directly.  But I don’t want to suggest that this 700-page tome can be summed up in its pull quotes; let’s look at the main argument, too.  It was not long after the book was published that the Wall Street Journal devoted half a page of op-ed space to an excerpt from D’Souza’s concluding chapter-- the part where he finally gets around to delivering his payload, arguing for the repeal of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

D’Souza’s rationale for repeal is clear:  ever since the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment, he claims, the federal government has been “the primary threat to black prospects.” In a truly free market, by contrast, racial discrimination would not exist, since “discrimination is only catastrophic when virtually everyone colludes to enforce it.” D’Souza’s case in point is major league baseball, about which he poses a truly novel thought-experiment:  “Consider what would happen,” he writes, “if every baseball team in America refused to hire blacks.” Lest we are unable to imagine such a thing, D’Souza guides us step by step:

Blacks would suffer most, because they would be denied the opportunity to play professional baseball.  And fans would suffer, because the quality of games would be diminished.  But what if only a few teams—say the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers—refused to hire blacks?  African Americans as a group would suffer hardly at all, because the best black players would offer their services to other teams.  The Yankees and the Dodgers would suffer a great deal, because they would be deprived of the chance to hire talented black players.  Eventually competitive pressure would force the Yankees and Dodgers either to hire blacks, or to suffer losses in games and revenue.

There’s something disingenuous about D’Souza’s plans for integration, since D’Souza had argued earlier that Jim Crow laws were “designed to preserve and encourage” black self-esteem.  But let’s assume, for the nonce, that D’Souza is serious here, and let’s assume also that franchises like the Yankees of the 1950s or the Red Sox of the 1980s could not win games without a sizable contingent of black ballplayers.  How precisely is this argument supposed to work in American society at large?  Are we supposed to believe that bankers and realtors don’t discriminate against black clients for fear that their rivals down the street will snap up all those hard-hitting, base-stealing young Negroes?  Or is it that when black motorists are tired of being pulled over in New Jersey they will simply take their business to the more hospitable clime of Hawai’i?

It’s noteworthy that two African-American conservatives (Glenn Loury, Robert Woodson) resigned in protest from the American Enterprise Institute when The End of Racism was published (D’Souza was an AEI fellow at the time).  But it’s even more noteworthy that not a single one of their white colleagues joined them.

More generally, no one has noted that Dinesh D’Souza is himself the most visible contradiction of the Right’s major premise in the academic culture wars—namely, that campus conservatives are persecuted by liberal faculty and intimidated into silence.  For here, after all, is perhaps the most vocal Young Conservative of them all, a founder and editor-in-chief of the Dartmouth Review who’s since gone on to Princeton University, the Reagan Administration, and lucrative fellowships from the Olin Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, the Hoover Institution, and now a gig at CNN.  He is, in short, a phenomenon.  No matter how diligently his critics pore through his work, demonstrating time and again that the stuff doesn’t meet a single known standard for intellectual probity, he is still taken seriously—and rewarded richly—by conservative foundations and the (hack, hack) liberal media.

Of course, you could argue that in the age of semi-literate screechers like Coulter, Hannity, and Savage, Dinesh D’Souza looks almost distinguished and donnish by comparison. But that’s their plan, folks! They’re trying to lull us into “well, at least he’s not as bad as the rest of the lineup,” when in fact any reasonably civilized society would have tuned out any one of these creeps long ago.

Please feel free to get in touch with CNN to see what they think about the work of their new “analyst.” And feel free to excerpt any of the choice D’Souza excerpts provided here.

UPDATE:  D’Souza is still at it, this time via the Washington Post.  Have we had enough yet?

Posted by on 06/10 at 05:45 AM
  1. Michael, this is great incendiary stuff. Have you placed it elsewhere recently? This needs wider readership.  CR

    Posted by  on  06/10  at  12:13 PM
  2. Dinesh D’Souza is himself the most visible contradiction of the Right’s major premise in the academic culture wars

    Yes, exactly. I would also add that his rise to fame was also in large part orchestrated by a kind of ‘affirmative action’ policy within the intellectual ranks of the right: it looked better for them to have a person of color arguing against affirmative action and multiculturalism while its most visible advocates (in academia) were white males.

    It’s not so different from the maneuvering that briefly brought J.C. Watts to the national spotlight some years ago. Unlike Watts, however, Dinesh D’Souza simply will not go away. 

    Posted by Amardeep  on  06/10  at  02:19 PM
  3. Chris-- No, I haven’t placed it anywhere.  Right now, this blog is the widest readership I’ve got for quickly-written things, since MSNBC and CNN haven’t picked me up yet.  And honestly, I’m still not quite over the irony of publishing a book called Public Access with a small British New Left imprint and selling 2000 copies.

    Posted by  on  06/10  at  02:33 PM
  4. Amardeep,
    I’m in Oklahoma, and while he’s not on national radar, J.C. Watts hasn’t gone away.  Right now he’s shilling for Kirk Humpreys senate campaign.

    ick.

    Posted by  on  06/10  at  02:52 PM
  5. Glenn Loury (no longer a conservative) used to be a personal friend of D’Souza’s, so Loury’s resignation had a significance at the time that went beyond the institutional.  D’Souza burned that bridge, but apparently it wasn’t enough to scare away his employers at CNN.  What liberal media?

    Posted by Jim E.  on  06/10  at  06:50 PM
  6. Exactly-- the Loury resignation was huge, and (according to friends of mine who are friends of his) was one of the things that made him reconsider his political affiliations.  Though with a person as smart and as complex as Loury, who knows?  The important thing is that it was so completely under-reported (that is, not reported) at the time.  For roughly the same reasons that the Washington Post would suggest, this past Wednesday, that “blacks” were the only people “offended” by Reagan’s 1980 campaign kickoff in Philadelphia, Mississippi--

    Posted by  on  06/10  at  07:12 PM
  7. An excellent, excellent piece. And you’re absolutely right: the best way to slander people like D’Sousa, or Ron “state’s rights” Reagan, or Gale “we gave up too much in the Civil War” Norton is to report what they say in full. Kudos!

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  06/10  at  07:56 PM
  8. Hi ... over from Atrios.  Nice site.  We kinda rambled about D’Souza yesterday.  I’m glad someone is providing a wider context.  ... D’Souza himself barely understands the idea of context, so the novelty is appreciated.

    Racist, maybe not ... but definately an intellectual lightweight, a disingenuous oversimplifier on racial issues, and, in short, a hack.

    Posted by Nads  on  06/10  at  08:33 PM
  9. Nads,

    Enjoy your posts but jiminy Xmas, if D’Souza is a ‘maybe not’ racist, what in God’s name do you have to do or say to be considered one?

    I take your main point. Whether he is or isn’t (and it’s clear that he is) he’s an intellectual lightweight. Hell, I’m no heavyweight in that arena but I think I could make a boatload of cash if I changed my politics.

    Posted by  on  06/10  at  08:39 PM
  10. Let’s establish a right-wing intellectual hall of fame. First members would be D’Souza and John Yoo, the Berkeley law prof who was point man for probing for textual weaknesses in all those inhibiting torture treaties and laws.

    There must be some mid to upper-level CNN staffers who can at least anonymously articulate the thinking behind putting him in front of their cameras. Anybody seen anything like that? Or are the media critics entirely absorbed with trying to decide if there’s been too much attention paid to Reagan this week. That in itself is almost too meta.

    It’s difficult to keep the paranoia at bay these days. CNN just brought on a new exec to revamp their primetime lineup, so D’Souza may be just the leading edge of more horror to come. This is Time-Warner, after all, whose institutional memory consists of Henry Luce, gangster movies and Bugs Bunny. CNN may become known as the “intelligent” cable news outfit simply because its talking heads are capable of speaking in complete sentences without raising their voices.

    Posted by  on  06/10  at  08:41 PM
  11. micheal, this is really good (shocking/not-shocking) stuff.  the only reason i can think of for why cnn would hire such a ridiculously insulting non-intellectual right-winger like d’souza is some perverse search for racial balance.  if d’souza has really become a cnn anyalst, he’s the first indian-american i can think of that will be seen semi-regularly on ANY of the american cable news stations.  being an indian-american myself, this depresses me in so many ways i don’t even know where to begin.

    i’m waiting for ‘analysis’ of outsourcing to india, which i’m sure is going to follow the tom friedman school.  something along the lines that at&t paying indians $2/day is what’s keeping them from straping bombs to themselves like the palestinans (i’m not making this up).  stay tuned! 

    Posted by  on  06/10  at  10:38 PM
  12. sudeep: CNN has Dr. Sanjay Gupta on at least weekly.

    So D’Souza won’t be their first Indian.

    Posted by Jake Nelson  on  06/11  at  02:37 AM
  13. >D’Souza had argued earlier that Jim Crow laws were “designed to preserve and encourage” black self-esteem

    I’ve seem this from other idiots.  I suppose that they would also argue that racials segregation of public schools was also designed to preserve and encourage black self-esteem.

    Give me a break. 

    Posted by  on  06/11  at  04:08 AM
  14. Posted by Robert Waldmann  on  06/11  at  04:14 AM
  15. "If America as a nation owes blacks as a group reparations for slavery, what do blacks as a group owe America for the abolition of slavery?”

    So, where are all our checks from Mr. D’Souza for not enslaving HIM?

    Posted by  on  06/11  at  04:18 AM
  16. Many thanks, Robert.  I’m not the litigious sort, though (as you’ve gathered by now) I never forgot and forgave the encounter, either.  Still, I have never written to protest D’Souza’s hiring by anyone else; the right-wing thinktankers need to feed and nourish their own, after all.  But when the man starts collecting paychecks from legitimate news organizations, well, that’s another thing entirely.

    Posted by  on  06/11  at  04:37 AM
  17. >I’ve seem this from other idiots. I suppose that they would also argue that racials segregation of public schools was also designed to preserve and encourage black self-esteem.
    Give me a break.

    Actually, D’Souza made just that argument when he suggested that Blacks being kept behind (vis a vis pre-Civil Rights Act) would work out for the best becasue it was allowing them to develop to their limited ability (the analogy he used was “like the handicapped).

    And in answer to cc, “maybe not a racist” is giving him the benefit of a doubt (a courtesy that, again, D’Souza never extends) that MAYBE his pronouncements about what Blacks “really need to do” to get ahead are motivated by a real desire for racial equality.  From what I’ve read of him, he still leaves me with some hope that his criticisms attempt to be genuine.

    ... but I’ve been wrong before ...

    Posted by Nads  on  06/11  at  06:30 AM
  18. Here is a quote from the Amazon “End of Racism” page:

    “He is absolutely correct in stating that what is described as present day racism is actually rational discrimination, which is the sensible prejudgment of an individual based upon the factual behavioral characteristics of the group the person belongs too.”

    It seems like each review was written by the same person.  The syntax and structures were all the same and the absolute vapid quality of the arguments were barely tolerable. 

    This person seems to be arguing that racism is not racism because all a racist is doing when discriminating against someone else is judging them by the racist’s perception of the behavior of another’s race.  This is a typical Republican “Up is Down” argument in a nutshell.

    Republican:  “Racism really isn’t bad because black people really are pieces of shit.  I am not a racist, though, my gardener is Filipino - That’s almost black.  You never see Filipinos doing drive-bys.”

    Another review states:
    “For all his meticulous study of cultural relativism, rational discrimination, early 20th century eugenics, and even the Greek understanding of nature and the polis, he surprisingly didn’t extend his scrupulous analytical talents over the roots of black rage.”

    Black rage?!?!?!  If your brother got lynched becasue he whistled at a white girl, wouldn’t you feel a little rage?  if you had to get off the sidewalk because a white man was coming, wouldn’t you feel a little rage?  If you had to eat outside in the rain at a lunch counter instead of sitting inside with all the other paying customers - wouldn’t you feel a little enraged?

    Fucking idiots.  I truly hate Republicans. 

    Posted by scott fanetti  on  06/11  at  07:08 AM
  19. excellent stuff, mon frere.  cnn’s tapping of d’souza is d’sheartening, to say the least.  as for his output, i’d expect better arguments from my redneck cousins down at the racetrack on a saturday night.  what gives with this neocon celebration of hatefulness, spite, and stupidity, anyway? 

    Posted by jane q. public  on  06/11  at  07:11 AM
  20. D’Snooza is about as intellectually credible as Mickey Kaus.

    Posted by  on  06/11  at  08:22 AM
  21. It really isn’t all that clear.

    ‘But stranger still, his entire letter was contradicted by the very documents he had sent to Corn, which clearly showed that the Review, in an article under D’Souza’s name, had in fact published excerpts from students’ correspondence-- as well as facsimiles of official and unofficial GSA documents, whose legal-pad scrawls revealed the name and official position of the student who had requested that the Review not associate him with the GSA.’

    Where was the information about the student revealed?

    See if the information was only revealed in the correspondences and NOT in the official and unofficial GSA documents that is one thing.

    If the information was revealed in the official documents and in the correspondences (or not revealed in the correspondences) that is another thing.

    Even if it is the first and not the second, and I doubt it, D’Souza would be guilty of having published private correspondences that revealed that a man held a public position. Wow! The infamy!

    The leap from that to malicious, let alone pro-active is vast.

    And I am not basing this on any assumptions about the good nature of D’Souza’s character.  Rather, lacking any other evidence, I find the assumption that D’Souza would have known that the individual wanted to remain anonymous to be possible but hardly probably. 

    For me, from possible but not probable to pro-actively seeking bodily harm is just too great a leap.

    Just to be clear, I am not defending D’Souza’s character and I am not defending D’Souza’s beliefs.

    I am pointing the first half of this article in no way shape or form is some convincing condemnation of D’Souza’s lack of intellectual probity or journalistic integrity or character.  He may or may not lack in all those areas.

    Sorry to interrupt the echoes.

    (If the first case is true, I would like to know, as that would impact any impressions I might form about D’Souza.)

    Posted by  on  06/11  at  09:00 AM
  22. "Great incendiary stuff” Indeed! But not news to me. I’m in danger of revealing myself as something of a “fan,” but, so be it.

    I can’t believe “Public Access” only sold 2000 copies. I know that I personally purchased at least 25 to give as gifts, and mainly got a response from those thus gifted similar to my own reaction upon first reading it...some sense that doing so had saved my sanity.

    It’s such an important book. Is it still in print? If not, can we start a movement to get it back into print?

    I’ve always been disappointed that no essays from that particular book are linked to here.

    The content is newer than tomorrow. It’s an “academic” book that anyone can read with pleasure; a serious book that’s seriously funny, too. Ex: title of chapter on the phenom of cultural studiesrasberryop Goes The Academy: Cult Studs Fight the Power.

    The Introduction, “American Political Culture And Cultural Politics” still strikes me as prophetic, particularly the anecdote about your op ed in response to the Quayle/Gore debate, and the chilling readiness of the Quayle campaign, i.e., Bill Kristol, to defend a lie by means of reasoned argument.

    Perhaps it might be possible to put at least that much of the book here?

    How important is it to keep track of the likes of D’Souza? Check out the Fall 1994-Winter1995 edition of Salmagundi, a special issue devoted to Race & Racism in which Dinesh is one of many august so-called liberals, and everyone pretends that his views on race are mainstream, and that he is not the chief perveyor of the great classics of American racism, restated as cultural theory. And as you say, he’s still at it, and everyone pretends its not racism.

    Posted by Leah A  on  06/11  at  09:23 AM
  23. You give D’Souza too much credit by saying he’s better than Coulter and the lot.  He’s just as disingenuous.

    Posted by Brey  on  06/11  at  09:40 AM
  24. Distort D’Newsa

    Posted by  on  06/11  at  11:29 AM
  25. BigMacAttack-- Sorry if I was less than perfectly lucid about the Dartmouth Review episode.  We don’t know if the student who asked not to be outed was the same student who became suicidal.  All we know is that in 1981, someone stole files from the GSA, and that the Review published excerpts from these files.  Subsequently, a student asked the Review to run a “correction” of some kind, on the grounds that he himself was not gay.  In response, D’Souza published-- under his own name, solo-- a response in which he noted the student’s plea, and then published actual facsimiles of the stolen documents showing that the student was a member of the organization.  And no, these were not public documents.  “Wow, the infamy,” you say-- but perhaps, just perhaps, you’re not (a) taking seriously what it meant to be outed against your will in 1981, and (b) fully appreciating what D’Souza did on the second go-round.  After all, he could very well have acceded to the request, and said, “our mistake, X isn’t in the GSA” once it became clear that the student desperately did not want his identity known.  But he didn’t do that; he got vicious instead.  And he did this precisely to cause emotional distress to gay students.  I would call this “malicious,” myself.  Then, ten years later, he lied to me both about that incident and about the nature of all the documents published and excerpted in the Review.  And, to top it off, he accused David Corn and me of making false claims, even going so far as to call Corn’s report “lies.”

    I hope that’s enough to make the case about his journalistic integrity.

    As for his intellectual probity, I believe The End of Racism speaks for itself.  Quite apart from the openly racist remarks sprinkled through the book, q.v., D’Souza’s claim that the federal government has been “the primary threat to black prospects” since the passage of the Reconstruction Amendments is either too ignorant for serious discussion, or a deliberate attempt to rewrite history.

    Let’s not be too naive about that book, either.  It was deliberately provocative. D’Souza is not a fool; he knew perfectly well what he was doing by suggesting that African Americans owe a debt for the abolition of slavery.  Well, I’m provoked.  And most decent people should be too.

    Posted by  on  06/11  at  11:40 AM
  26. And Leah, thanks very much for your kind words.  You surely can see me blushing on the home page.  Public Access is still in print, and (of course) I’m glad to hear you think it still holds up.  It turns out, by the way, that the guy who responded with a 12-page document to my Quayle op-ed in 1992-- Richard W. Porter, then general counsel to the Vice President-- went on to play a major role in the Clinton impeachment, as one of the “elves” devoted to hounding the new President the minute he took office.  But looking back over that intro now, I wish I’d gone into more detail about Lani Guinier’s work and how badly it was mangled by the SCLM (the New Republic was every bit as bad as the Wall Street Journal, as you’ll recall, and more effective to boot).  I tried to make up for the oversight by reviewing Guinier’s Lift Every Voice in 1998 (that review is available here), but of course that was about four years too late to include in the book.

    I do have three essays from Public Access available here in .pdf form, though:  “Bite Size Theory,” “Just the Fax, Ma’am,” and “Pop Goes the Academy” (the credit for that title, though, goes to the Village Voice, where the essay first appeared.  I revised it substantially for the book, and that’s the version you can see here).  I can put up another three or four if you’d like-- I just need to convert them to .pdfs.

    Last but not least, thanks for buying 25 copies of the thing!  Damn, Verso should’ve given you a bulk discount and a matching coffee mug.  I mean, that’s over 1 percent of total sales right there.  Kudos on Corrente-- it’s a great blog.

    Posted by  on  06/11  at  11:55 AM
  27. I would also add that his rise to fame was also in large part orchestrated by a kind of ‘affirmative action’ policy within the intellectual ranks of the right

    Spot on. I remember when his first book came out--the Dartmouth incident was public knowledge, and while it wasn’t something the Right exactly flaunted, the day-is-night rabbit-hole denials D’Souza demonstrated recently weren’t happening either. (Back then, curiously, right-wingers on campus were all about Information, And Plenty Of It. Funny how that changed with the current administration.) But yes, the fact that he’s not “white” made him a very favorite pet of the paleocons. They don’t make much of a distinction between different varieties of brown people, y’know.

    Posted by  on  06/11  at  01:24 PM
  28. Oh, and I just recalled--didn’t D’Souza also publish information about his sexual escapades back then, too? Sort of a primitive howwasshe.com?

    Posted by  on  06/11  at  01:25 PM
  29. This I don’t know about-- and don’t want to know about, personally--

    Posted by  on  06/11  at  03:22 PM
  30. How would Dinesh D’Souza, the Dartmouth-educated CNN analyst, have been addressed in Jim Crow Mississippi? “Nigger.” So much for self-esteem.

    Posted by  on  06/11  at  04:45 PM
  31. How nice. The racists come out of the
    woodwork.

    Let’s see.

    >Posted by: mythago
    >But yes, the fact that he’s not “white” made
    >him a very favorite pet of the paleocons. They
    >don’t make much of a distinction between
    >different varieties of brown people, y’know.

    Really ? Do you know what country the
    “Indo” in “Indo-European peoples/languages”
    refers to ?

    Posted by: Chris Bowling
    >How would Dinesh D’Souza, the
    >Dartmouth-educated CNN analyst, have been
    >addressed in Jim Crow Mississippi? “n*****.”
    >So much for self-esteem.

    Really ? So how come extreme right wing
    out-and-out racists like the national alliance
    are selling books by indian women like
    ‘savitri devi’ and how come Hitler spoke
    Hindi when he said ‘swastika’ (which is
    still the holiest symbol in India, that whole
    ‘aryan’ thing you know, the core principle
    of the hindu holy book: rig veda).

    It’s only the liberals running around pretending
    to be “oh so tolerant” that are seething with
    hidden racism. Those conservatives who are
    racist don’t keep it hidden and those who
    _are_ racist, ironically, follow/revere Hindu
    (and by definition aryan) mythology.

    Posted by  on  06/11  at  08:44 PM
  32. Mr. Berube--
    Thanks for the info re D’Souza--if CNN bent over any further to be “fair and balanced” they would be lying flat on their collective backs. Please keep up
    the good work.

    Posted by  on  06/11  at  10:32 PM
  33. Oooh, look, a Nazi! And he can type!

    That’s very smart, Foo. Time for milk and cookies now. Foo good, smart boy. Stop playing with mummy’s keyboard, or mummy won’t spank. 

    Posted by  on  06/12  at  02:22 AM
  34. There’s only one rule in the comments section:  Be constructive or be deleted.

    Posted by  on  06/12  at  05:56 AM
  35. >MannyJ
    >Oooh, look, a Nazi! And he can type!
    >[...juvenile flame...]

    How nice. “MannyJ” is yet another
    racist pretending to be “oh so tolerant” by
    calling others “nazis”. No factual refutation
    (_none_) as to why this moniker was
    thrown around but hey, racists aren’t too
    bright are they ? 

    Posted by  on  06/12  at  07:51 AM
  36. >Michael
    >There’s only one rule in the comments
    >section: Be constructive or be deleted.

    So do you consider the following racist
    comments “constructive” ? Just curious !

    >Posted by: mythago
    >But yes, the fact that he’s not “white” made
    >him a very favorite pet of the paleocons. They
    >don’t make much of a distinction between
    >different varieties of brown people, y’know.

    Posted by: Chris Bowling
    >How would Dinesh D’Souza, the
    >Dartmouth-educated CNN analyst, have been
    >addressed in Jim Crow Mississippi? “n*****.”
    >So much for self-esteem.

    And it’s funny too since as I asked earlier,
    what country does “Indo” in “Indo-European
    peoples/languages” refer to ? And what
    specifically does does “proto-indo-aryan” refer to ?

    Not only are the above comments racist but
    they are also amazingly stupid, it’s like being
    a racist against say Norwegians or something....

    Posted by  on  06/12  at  07:58 AM
  37. Foo, that was just a first warning-- not just to you, but to everyone.  Don’t be a troll, now.

    Posted by  on  06/12  at  10:42 AM
  38. Michael:

    It is interesting that you didn’t address the content of my post (refute or affirm).
    You simply declared I was a “troll” without pointing to even one trollish comment.

    Those were serious questions I raised and it
    only reflects on your “academic” credentials when
    you don’t speak out against comments like:

    >Dartmouth-educated CNN analyst, have been
    >addressed in Jim Crow Mississippi? “n*****.”

    Nigger ?

    >different varieties of brown people, y’know.

    Really ?

    Those are people who _support_ your point
    of view and those same people assume that
    Indians are “niggers” and “brown people”
    in the eyes of all conservatives.

    I pointed out that was _not_ the case and I
    asked the following questions:

    1) what country does “Indo” refer to
    in the phrase “Indo-European people” ?
    2) what country is the ‘swastika’ a holy
    religious symbol in and what language do
    you speak when you say:
    ‘swastika’, ‘shubhtika’, ‘laltika’ etc.
    3) Why did the Nazis speak Hindi when they
    said those words ? (the German word for
    swastika is ‘hakenkreuz’, [hooked cross]).

    So, no all conservatives do not think that
    Indians are ‘niggers’ as some of your other
    posters seem to think. Indians are in fact
    Aryan buy definition (the word ‘aryan’ is defined in their
    holy religion book: rig veda) and are the
    Indo in “indo-european”. Indians also come
    in all colors and sizes (from white to black)
    and they are many ethnicities in India
    (dravidian, indo-aryan etc.)

    It’s a shame that I have to point all of this
    out myself. And then when I do, I am called
    a “troll”. I didn’t make a single statement
    that was non-factual. Not a single one.

    Shame on you ! 

    Posted by  on  06/13  at  12:15 PM
  39. No, Foo.  I said don’t be a troll (which is not at all the same thing as declaring that you are a troll), and my first warning was addressed to you, to Mythago, to MannyJ, and to Chris Bowling (whose argument about racism in Jim Crow Mississippi you have thoroughly misunderstood).  And no, of course I won’t answer questions that are utterly irrelevant to my critique of D’Souza.

    As I’ve said elsewhere on this site (and I’m glad to repeat it here, just for your benefit), I have no patience with criticisms of D’Souza that rely on claims about his nation of origin, his immigrant status, his skin color, whatever. I couldn’t care if the man was Antarctican-American and was covered in pink and green stripes. It’s his arguments I can’t stand.

    Posted by  on  06/13  at  01:23 PM
  40. Er, I wasn’t trolling--I do in fact recall that part of the controversy during his tenure at Dartmouth was printing private details not only about gay students, but about some of his (let’s call them) dating escapades with details enough to identify the young lady in question. Am I getting him mixed up with some other doyenne of the Right?

    Posted by  on  06/13  at  02:52 PM
  41. Nobody’s trolling.  But, to answer your question, mythago, I don’t have any info on this, and for my purposes it’s irrelevant.  Being a cad is one thing (if the story is true, which I can’t say).  Deliberately harassing gay students and then lying about it to reporters ten years later is quite another.  But as far as I’m concerned, the things that really should disqualify him from being considered as a news “analyst” at a reputable joint are all right there in The End of Racism.

    Posted by  on  06/13  at  03:14 PM
  42. True enough. 

    Posted by  on  06/14  at  05:42 AM
  43. As a scion of the Great State of Mississippi I’d like to correct Chris Bowling:  D’Souza would not be labeled with the unfortunate slur you attributed to him.  I’m quite confident that my kin would be confused by his indeterminate racial origins and, as a consequence of their perplexity, simply call him ‘colored’ yet still address him as ‘boy’. 

    Posted by  on  06/15  at  12:16 PM
  44. Yeah it is the right way of conversation. Because Way of talking creates matter. If you have impressive voice then no one can say you no.

    Posted by Liposuction Orange County  on  12/03  at  05:54 AM

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