‘I worry about martyring him,’ provost tells mob
Nearly 5,500 signatures and a mob of black-clad protesters aren’t more important than academic freedom – for now.
Northwestern University, laboring under a $94 million budget deficit, is standing firm in the midst of another crisis: a visiting scholar who questioned the attractiveness of black women.
Students have been agitating for more than a month for the private university in the Chicago suburbs to kick out Satoshi Kanazawa, who researches evolutionary psychology and intelligence, citing his writing “on the relationships between intelligence, race, health and gender.”
At a Wednesday question-and-answer session during the student senate meeting, Provost Jonathan Holloway stared down the 30 black-clad protesters who got in his face to demand Kanazawa’s ejection from campus.
“I worry about one martyring him and giving him even more attention than what he’s already been getting in this process,” Holloway said, according to The Daily Northwestern. “And that would be a tragedy.”
Holloway’s point that he’s obligated to protect “the academic reputation” of Northwestern – by not throwing controversial scholars under the bus – was lost on students.
They accused him of catering to a few people who would criticize the university, rather than the majority who believe Kanazawa’s research is “blatantly racist and sexist,” and ignoring the “multiple values and multiple ideals” of the university aside from academic freedom. One even compared Holloway to … a “politician.” About 200 students attended the session, according to the Daily.
— The Daily Northwestern (@thedailynu) January 24, 2019
Kanazawa’s critics have already won, in a sense. Richard Zinbarg, chair of the psychology department, said nominated visiting scholars will now have to go before a committee, and then a vote of all faculty, before they are approved. Holloway also said Northwestern will hold a symposium on race and genetics where academics can challenge Kanazawa’s ideas.