There's nothing more that I enjoy than taking apart the facile and ridiculous, whilst utterly ignoring whether the argument is right or wrong, so it seems that this particular load of old arse by Simon Woolley is the perfect candidate.
For Leeds University to abandon its race case against Dr Frank Ellis and allow him to retire early with one year's salary with his pension intact is breathtaking cowardice, an abuse of public funds, and a slap in the face for black Britain.
Ah, I see; we qare now defining ourselves as black/white/yellow/brown Britain are we? Can I say that I regard this as racism? Ain't we all British these days; surely we are blind to skin colour? Obviously not at Comment Is Free...
It was only after fierce pressure from university students and academics that on March 23 Ellis was suspended and a disciplinary inquiry launched under the Race Relations Act.
It was only after students read his (edited) speech in their student newspaper that they had a single, solitary fucking clue about his views. And, yes, it was only after their craven breach of the principle of free speech—surely something that should be vociferously defended in a university—that any action was taken at all.
The university's case was pretty strong. How could black students have sufficient confidence they would be afforded equality by a lecturer who believes them to be innately, intellectually inferior?
As the university pointed out at the time, all exams were double-marked so it would make fuck-all difference. Since one of the students seemed to admire Ellis, up until he read his lecturer's views, one assumes that Ellis's "racism" was hardly evident.
Yes, a bunch of students banded together to write a letter saying that Ellis belittled them, but they only did this after the interview and when the student uproar was in full swing [links later, chaps].
Furthermore, how could black students have confidence in the university that was unable to tackle such a shocking display of racism?
By saying, "hoorah for free speech"? Some chance with the students of Leeds unfortunately who, like most students, were unable to make a connection between the principle and the action.
That Ellis is a racist, an "unrepentant Powelite" - and a supporter of white supremacy is in little doubt.
That this is a libellous statement is also in little doubt. Nothing in Ellis's speech makes the claim that he believes that the "white race" is superior to all others; nothing that he has said subsequently has done so either.
Yes, he has said that black people are intellectually inferior, but since the evidence that he has based opinions on also points to Asians having a rather higher IQ than whites it is safe to assume that this ex-SAS fluent Arabic-speaker fully accepts that evidence too.
In an astonishing article Ellis submitted to Leeds University's student newspaper explaining his views on genetic intelligence he argued: "How is it possible for a people with such a low average IQ to achieve, let alone to sustain a technologically sophisticated civilization? ... Everywhere one looks [in sub-Saharan Africa] there is unbelievable corruption and stupidity, superstition and random savagery.
What is controversial in this statement? Seriously? Barring South Africa, the whole of sub-Saharan Africa is a fucking mess: I defy anyone to argue differently. Let's look at Zimbabwe, Somalia, Chad, Ethiopia, etc.
To this gruesome list one can add sexual incontinence. Blacks die of AIDS either because they do not believe that AIDS will kill them or because the imperatives of immediate sexual gratification are so urgent and overwhelming that the consequences are disregarded."
This is more controversial, to be sure. However, anecdotal stories that I have heard, and read, from the ground do not make this an untrue statement; just simplistic.
Ellis's analysis predicated by his profound prejudices shames academic rigour. Using his own crude methodology (IQ + social status = natural order) the worlds poor, particular black people, that number in their billions and span the four corners of the globe owe their plight, not due to global inequalities but rather their lack of intelligence.
Fine. Now ask yourself: what causes these "global inequalities"?
As unpalatable as Ellis's views are they should not be our principal concern. In reality there are many that harbour similar or even worse views than Ellis. Our principal concern should be that students to be judged by their academic ability not by the colour of their skin. This fundamental responsibility lies with the university management. Ellis has the right to espouse his views but the university has an obligation under the law to protect its students from such rabid racism.
No. It has an obligation to protect its students from their degree or their marks being affected by "rabid racism", no more. By doing blind marking and double-marking, the university did precisely that.
By paying off Ellis the university management have removed someone who's views they describe as "abhorrent". But to many, including students, and lecturers belonging to Leeds University College Union, they have failed miserably in their duty to effectively tackle racism.
And to me, regardless of Ellis's views, they have failed in their duty to protect free speech. The students have failed in their duty to attack an argument with intellectual rigour, preferring instead the blind hysteria of the rabid reactionary; it is they who have failed.