Opinion L.A.

Observations and provocations
from The Times' Opinion staff

« Previous Post | Opinion L.A. Home | Next Post »

Historical review panned

May 16, 2008 |  7:45 pm

In a cover story for the Jewish Journal, Brad A. Greenberg gives a long, fascinating profile of Kevin MacDonald, the Cal State Long Beach professor whose, um, particular interest in The Jews has created a dilemma for the college. The piece is well worth reading in its entirety, but I'll just note that praise is due to: 1) Cal State Long Beach, which is doing a creditable job of balancing MacDonald's academic rights (if you believe such rights exist, as I don't) against the need to protect itself against both anti-Semitism and lawsuits; 2. Greenberg, who seems to maintain a perfectly dry tone in the face of some pretty hair-raising stuff (and I only say seems because I'd never heard of MacDonald before reading this piece and have nothing against which to measure it); and in a strange way, 3) MacDonald himself, who blends creepiness, crackpottery and a surprising forthrightness into a weird form of amiability that I can sort of respect. I hate to use such a hoary cliché, but he's a quintessentially American type of oddball, the kind you don't want to listen to because he occasionally makes you say "Hm, he's got a point." In particular, check out his case for why David Irving's biography of Goebbels should be put back on the shelves; if the book is as he characterizes it, then... Hm, he's got a point. (Experts alert: If it's not as he describes it, the comments are open!)

As I said, I'd never heard of MacDonald before this piece, but in the way of such things, once you're aware of him, he starts showing up everywhere. Interestingly, his real pillars of support are not just among white supremacists. (MacDonald, don'tcha know, isn't against other ethnicities; he's just supportive of his own European roots.) Instead, he attracts some pretty broad interest for his particular case on immigration:

MacDonald's core complaint is Jewish influence on immigration laws. He blames passage of the 1965 Immigration Act, which abolished national origin quotas and made immigration easier for non-Westerners, on a Jewish desire to oust European Americans from the majority.

"European people in this country will be a minority in a few years," MacDonald said. "I don't think that would have happened if we had had a sense of ourselves as a culture worth defending. Now, everything is up for grabs."

Which is weird, because I thought building secure border fences was one of those areas where The Jews and the proud European-Americans were in perfect harmony. This stuff gets so confusing so fast you can drive yourself crazy. And then you get tenure, I think.

Whatever your race, creed, color or religion, enjoy this beautiful weekend.

Comments ()

Advertisement










Video