Harvard withdraws its invitation to Tom Paulin

November 12, 2002

This is a follow-up to the dispatch I sent this morning, Harvard invites Oxford academic who wants some Jews "shot dead".

Since the National Review article was published, the Harvard English faculty has cancelled its invitation to Tom Paulin. I attach a story from this afternoon's opinionjournal.com, The Wall Street Journal's daily blog, which makes reference to my National Review article.

-- Tom Gross


“IS IT TOO EARLY TO SUGGEST THE END OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS AS WE KNOW IT MAY SOON BE AT HAND?”

Best of the web today
By James Taranto
November 12, 2002

Harvard's English department has withdrawn its invitation to Tom Paulin, an Irish poet who advocates the murder of Jews in Israel's disputed territories, to deliver its annual Morris Gray Lecture Thursday. Here's the announcement from Lawrence Buell, who describes himself as a "chair," on the English department Web site:

By mutual consent of the poet and the English Department, the Morris Gray poetry reading by Tom Paulin, originally scheduled for Thursday, November 14th, will not take place. The English Department sincerely regret [sic] the widespread consternation that has arisen as a result of this invitation, which had been originally decided on last winter solely on the basis of Mr. Paulin's lifetime accomplishments as a poet.

Here's a sample of Paulin's poetry, courtesy of Egypt's Al-Ahram Weekly:

We are fed this inert
This lying phrase
Like comfort food
As another little Palestinian boy
In trainers jeans and a white teeshirt
Is gunned down by the Zionist SS
Whose initials we should
but we don't dumb goys
Clock in that weasel word
Crossfire

On National Review Online, Tom Gross reports Harvard president Lawrence Summers "is said in private to be 'horrified' by the invitation to Paulin, but has made no public comment." It's not clear if Summers had anything to do with the lecture's cancellation. This and other incidents, though, do lead us to think America's college professors are finally getting some long-overdue adult supervision. Is it too early to suggest the end of political correctness as we know it may soon be at hand?


All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.