Sunday, May 22, 2005

 

The Stars and Stripes in Berkeley

California Alumni Association at UC Berkeley: "In his office, he displays a small American flag on his bookshelf. 'The flag is there,' he explained in December, 'because it troubles me that most of the time when professors on this campus speak out about what we're doing in Afghanistan, it's to oppose it. I have the same post-late-'60s skepticism about imperial power that any sensible person has. But the reflexive sense among the most vocal faculty at this school that what we're doing in Afghanistan is wrong because the United States has never been a perfect country strikes me as almost anti-intellectual. I don't agree. So I put up that flag because I think that, while it is not a perfect place, there's no better country than the United States, and I'm in favor of this war.'"

I am a big McWhorter fan. He is smart, charming, beyond what his starched facade would imtimate, and curious. I saw him speak in Fresno last year, and I was quite charmed. Though he stayed on linguistics and did not speak at all on his cultural/political leanings, I still felt smarter for the experience.

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