Hank Reichman: On Blacklists, Harassment, and Outside Funders: A Response to Phil Magness https://academeblog.org/2017/04/11/on-blacklists-harassment-and-outside-funders-a-response-to-phil-magness/: 'In a recent series of tweets Magness repeatedly accused UnKoch of being Soros-funded (they are not, although I’ll bet they’d like to be) and, more ominously, of being “Soviets” or even “Stalinists.” Here’s one such tweet: “Things that strongly correlate: 1. support for UnKoch My Campus. 2. posting sentimentalism for the Soviet Union on social media.” (March 10) Here’s another: “A good expose of the type of ‘journalism’ produced by the Soviets in the UnKoch crowd:” (March 21) And then there’s the series of tweets beginning, so far as I can tell, with a Magness message to UnKoch charging that “there’s plenty of overt Soviet sympathizing in your organization to historically contextualize you with them.” (March 24)  This was followed by a tweet later that day claiming that “Your own co-founder is quite the fanboy of genocidal Soviet types” offering as proof a tweet that reveals how UnKoch co-founder Ralph Wilson participated in the carving of a Halloween pumpkin with the faces of Marx, Engels, and Lenin!  How damning! There’s more like that. Of course, to call any of the five young UnKoch staffers “Soviet” is totally ludicrous, since looking at their photographs online I’m pretty sure they were no more than children, and perhaps not yet born, when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.  As a scholar of Soviet history myself, I can assure Magness that the Soviet Union is no more and that Communism (in any meaningful sense) is dead.  But it’s not funny, since this sort of red-baiting recapitulates the kind of activity that made blacklisting so dangerous in the 1950s.  Although I don’t seem to agree with Magness about much, having read many of his comments I had hoped he would be above such base crudity...


#noted #2019-12-27

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