Volume 94, Issue 61

Thursday, January 11, 2001


Ontario finishes dead last - Education ranking puts province on defensive

Former prof talks politically incorrect

Economy slows down slightly: Ivey survey

What recession? City booms

New tax to create safety net

Drug testing could hit human rights violation snag

New club sets sights on stock market skills


Planet Me

Former prof talks politically incorrect

By Chris Lackner
Gazette Staff

Controversy took its seat last night on the throne of King's College, as the evil of political correctness was the topic of discussion.

Western played host to a lecture from former Bowling Green University professor Richard Zeller, whose research is focused on discerning the negative impacts of political correctness.

Zeller said he believes academic institutions purposely exclude controversial counter-arguments in areas such as feminism, poverty, racial differences and affirmative action.

"Political correctness is the limit of thought in science, education and culture," he noted. "It is a contradiction that we are all equal."

Zeller discussed the inherent flaws in affirmative action programs in colleges and universities in the United States, noting that when a white and black student score on the same level of intelligence the probability of the black student being admitted is 95 per cent to 15 per cent.

Zeller: Affirmative action is evil

"The big losers in this are blacks," he said, explaining the minority winner who meets the white standard is never given equal credit and that many of the minorities who are admitted have a higher chance of failure. "Despite compelling arguments in favour of affirmative action, I conclude affirmative action is evil. It hurts the people it tries to help. "

The crowd of approximately 35 students, professors and London residents also reacted strongly when Zeller said he did not believe in privileged parking spaces for the handicapped. "Anytime you give someone a break, you make someone else a second-class citizen."

King's psychology professor Heinz Klatt, who invited Zeller to speak on campus, said academics are afraid to contradict politically correct issues for fear of harassment, sanctions or a bad reputation. "We must challenge these issues," Klatt said.

"I didn't agree with everything he said," said fourth-year health sciences student James Ho. "But he did delve into some of the darker areas of academic truth."

"He dealt with many issues people are afraid of," said April Peters, also a fourth-year psychology student. "A lot of professors are scared to be labeled as sexist or racist."

Dianne Humphrey, chair of psychology at King's College, said professors deserve academic freedom to pursue topics as they see fit. "We need to be free to disagree. If we don't have that, we don't have anything."

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