< Back | Home
Professor Kevin MacDonald
Professor discussed, investigated further
Posted: 12/5/06Heidi Beirich, representative of the Southern Poverty
Law Center (SPLC) based in Montgomery, Ala., who interviewed faculty and
students about Cal State Long Beach psychology professor Kevin MacDonald's
controversial work, said that many non-tenured professors were not only too
intimidated to speak out against his writings, but that other faculty insisted
on meeting off-campus to discuss their colleague.
"The most disturbing
thing is the fear that as MacDonald is given academic freedom, it's threatening
others' academic freedom out of fear of retaliation," Beirich said. Beirich is
also the deputy director of the SPLC's Intelligence Report. "It's
astounding what his work is doing - giving people a right to hate Jews without
being a neo-Nazi."
Beirich referred to MacDonald's three-part series of
evolutionary psychology, "A People That Shall Dwell Alone" (1994), "Separation
and Its Discontents" (1998) and "The Culture of Critique" (1998). The last book
of the series has garnered the most controversy through its examination of
significant 20th century Jewish intellectual and political movements on American
politics and culture.
MacDonald, who has refused an in-person interview,
responded by e-mail to Beirich's allegations that fear of retaliation or simple
intimidation silenced some faculty members while she investigated his work at
"During the faculty e-mail wars within the psychology department
that preceded Beirich's visit, I posted a paragraph, written by my attorney,
that basically warned people that what they said and did with respect to this
controversy may result in liability if it is legally libelous or if it infringes
my civil rights and academic freedom," MacDonald wrote.
Beirich, she is just following the facts and has no intention of fabricating
anything about MacDonald. He refused to meet with Beirich while she was on
campus Nov. 11.
MacDonald has outlined his reasons on his Web site,
kevinmacdonald.org, where he said the SPLC has printed factual errors about him
in the past. The SPLC was commissioned to co-write an article for Old
Trout magazine, where MacDonald was named the "Scariest Academic" of the
"Thirteen Scariest People in America."
"The thing about MacDonald that is
really troubling and not surprising is how he enrobes himself in civil liberties
- and brings things up like he's a victim of McCarthyism," said David Shafer,
associate professor of modern and contemporary European history. Shafer said he
is concerned that MacDonald is toting his academic freedom to discourage any
investigation by CSULB into his work.
According to the psychology
department Chairman Kenneth Green, the department has considered investigating
McDonald's work concerning Jewish individuals.
"The thing that has
concerned people in the department, and myself, is [MacDonald's] connection with
people outside of the university - white supremacy groups, the National Policy
Institute, neo-Nazi groups, David Duke and The Occidental Quarterly,"
said Martin Fiebert, psychology professor at CSULB.
having any connection with neo-Nazi groups or white supremacy groups. He has
posted a disclaimer on his Web site discouraging these groups from using his
writing as propaganda to discriminate against others or advocate
"I want to make [it] clear that no one that I know in the
department has ideas similar to mine on the issues that have resulted in the
present controversy," MacDonald said. "That is, my writing on ethnic issues and
my associations with organizations like The Occidental Quarterly and
MacDonald published an article Nov. 14, titled "Heidi Does Long
Beach: The SPLC vs. Academic Freedom," at VDARE.com.
VDARE is an online
journal that states strong disassociations with white nationalists and says it
covers news stories that neither the liberal nor conservative "establishment
media" will report on.
In MacDonald's article that responded to the SPLC
and Beirich, he writes that the SPLC has grossly oversimplified his books and
has taken quotations from his books out of context.
The Old Trout
article, written by Beirich and SPLC's Intelligence Report Director Mark
Potok, said, "[MacDonald] blames the death of millions of people on the failure
of Jewish assimilation into European societies and suggests that colleges
restrict Jewish admission and Jews be heavily taxed to counter the Jewish
advantage in the possession of wealth."
MacDonald responded in his VDARE
article that this particular description of his personal beliefs and writings is
He wrote in the article that the summary is wrong, that he
has never advocated for an "ethnic spoils system," and only that he has
discussed the possible consequences if such a system were ever put into place in
America. He also writes that such a system would have a disastrous outcome and
"be the end of the country as originally founded."
"I am appalled by the
efforts of the Southern Poverty Law Center and other organizations of its type
to suppress unwelcome debate by labeling those who hold uncongenial views
fascists, anti-Semites and/or racists," said Paul Gottfried, a professor of
Humanities at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, who has also been mentioned
in the SPLC's Intelligence Report. "My own family escaped from the Nazis
in Austria and I resent the tactics adopted by highly ideological groups who
pull out the Third Reich every time they are confronted with politically
Gottfried also writes for VDARE and has critiqued
MacDonald's books. MacDonald describes him as "one of the few Jews who has had
positive things to say about [his work.]"
"MacDonald asked me to review
his books before they were published, and I wrote that I thought his works would
be used by neo-Nazis," Fiebert said. "He hasn't been able to find respectable
journals to be published in."
According to Fiebert, MacDonald made a
serious mistake by writing articles for The Occidental Quarterly and he
is concerned MacDonald is making a hostile environment on campus for Jewish
students and faculty.
MacDonald has stated previously that he believes he
works in a hostile environment.
According to Beirich, one of the SPLC's
major concerns is that MacDonald "is exposing students to racist/anti-Semetic
materials in class."
"I never discuss Jewish issues in my classes and
only deal with race as it relates to textbook material in my course," said
"I think a lot of [MacDonald's] views are way more open than
other psychology teachers," said junior psychology major Robert Tomaka, who is
one of MacDonald's students. "I enjoy that about him and I think it's good for
the psych department to have different views because it's such a subjective
The article Beirich is writing for the SPLC Intelligence Report
will be published in January and MacDonald said he has no intention of suing the
SPLC for libel.
"At this point, I do not feel that my academic freedom is
gone. I am continuing to write and have no intention of stopping, even if they
manage to get me fired," MacDonald said.
© Copyright 2006 Daily 49er