|"Hello? Yes, let me tell you something about this Andy Nowicki fellow..."|
by Andy Nowicki
Note: I composed the missive below after it came to my attention that fellow faculty members at my college were receiving phone calls from a supposed "reporter," who, in addition to asking probing questions clearly intended to uncover dirt on your humble—and exceedingly virtuous and remarkably dirt-free correspondent—was also eager to "out" me as an undesirable sort of person, obviously unfit to collect a salary at any self-respecting institution of higher learning, based upon my writings at this site and elsewhere.
I don't at present have any further information concerning this caller's identity, or the group he represents. For reasons I won't go into here, I have no real fear concerning my continued gainful employment (though one never knows... and if anyone is inclined to pray for my family in this regard, I certainly wouldn't object!). At the same time, I feel it is important to expose the low, treacherous methods of those who would blacklist everyone who begs to differ from the enforced beliefs of the age, forcibly marginalizing, terrorizing, and impoverishing all those who find themselves "on the wrong side of History."
It was with these considerations in mind that I addressed my colleagues thusly in the following general email:
It's come to my attention that some mysterious character has been contacting other faculty members of this department, apparently in an effort to mount a kind of whispering campaign against me.
From what I understand, this caller (who claims to represent an online media site, although from what I'm told he has declined to say which one) begins by asking if he could ask you some questions about "your colleague, Andy Nowicki," before proceeding to draw your attention to things I have written online or in print which are allegedly scandalous, wicked, and indefensible.
This caller also seemingly wishes to imply that due to my associations with certain ostensibly ideologically-untenable groups (such as Counter-Currents, the publisher of some of my books, or Alternative Right, the website I co-edit), I really shouldn't be able to draw pay as a college instructor. Obviously, the idea is to whip up outrage that one such as me is in your midst, and to get you to take action against me by demanding my removal from this position.
I am aware that some of my expressed views are outside the bounds of what are generally considered to be "acceptable" beliefs by contemporary (and quite arbitrary) standards of discussion and discourse. Be that as it may, I make no apologies for anything I have written... though I also think it's quite possible that certain articles have been misunderstood by some of you.
I also don't deny keeping company—both professionally and personally—with people who many of you would find to be dubious characters. Again, so be it. My writings are my writings, and my friends are my friends, and I don't repudiate anything or anyone, although it should be kept in mind that professional association and/or friendship with someone shouldn't imply a presumption of identity of viewpoint with said person. (Surely y'all have friends who hold different fundamental principles than yourself; you keep and enjoy their company even though you disagree on various issues... the same applies, of course, to yours truly and many of his acquaintances.)
However, I'd like to think that we can agree that academic freedom means that there oughtn’t be an ideological litmus test to determine who is allowed to take a job as a college educator. Should my ostensible status as a "thought-criminal" mean that I should have to forfeit my ability to provide for my family, even if I show myself to be a perfectly competent instructor who knows his subject well? Should the fact that some people might find my views "racist," "sexist" or "homophobic" be grounds for my dismissal, even if there is absolutely no evidence that I have ever treated any of my students unfairly based on their race, creed, gender, or sexual orientation?
Further, isn't there something downright disgusting about a person or group of people who would actually seek to deprive a man of his livelihood by such sleazy, underhanded means as those clearly employed in this case? If any one of you were targeted in such a manner, I can tell you that I would find it highly objectionable, no matter what I thought about your beliefs and opinions. I would immediately let the caller know that I wanted no part of his sneaky and deceitful push to get one of you branded with a scarlet letter which rendered you undesirable and unhirable in academia...And I'd speak with you about it at once, rather than gossiping about you with others in my absence. Afterwards, I would stand in solidarity with you, even if I couldn't stomach where you were coming from intellectually or politically.
Though I believe strongly in my convictions, I just can't comprehend the perspective whereby those who disagree with me are seen as having no right to hold a job without being harassed or having his ability to earn a living threatened. I truly have no desire to maim, cripple, or wipe out my ideological opponents. Call me old-fashioned, but I actually find such behavior indecent and appalling.
However, we seem to be living in a time where more and more people are being ruthlessly taken out, not for any actual wrongdoing, but for the deadly social sin of "ThinkingWrongly." Dissent from contemporary cultural orthodoxy is being demonized, and (as is demonstrated with me in this case) individual dissenters are put in the crosshairs, and targeted for professional destruction by sociopathic hacks. I don't really think I need to start quoting Martin Niemoller ("First they came for the Communists") to communicate how much of a slippery slope we're treading. You may think you're safe now, but tomorrow they'll be out to eliminate YOU. In short, maintaining the ideals of academic freedom and acceptance of diversity of opinion is in everyone's best interests: right-wing, left-wing, or otherwise.
I hope to hear back from some of you concerning the issues raised in this email. If not, I wish y'all the best.