To silence racism or let it speak 3

Your editorial on the Frank Ellis saga ("Leeds must endure Ellis", March 10) suggests that self-confessed racist lecturer should not be admonished because doing so would canonise him and his beliefs. Yet The Times Higher finds it fit to editorialise the issue and even makes the careless point that "in any case his Russian and Slavonic studies students do not appear corrupted".

How The Times Higher judged this only its editors may be able to explain. It seems that the fact that there are people of colour who teach alongside Ellis is a side issue. And the fact that students of colour have to attend Ellis's classes is not a moot point.

The Times Higher claims that academic freedom has to apply to extremes of Right as well as Left. But unfettered freedom does not lead to more freedom; it actually breeds anarchy.

If, by dealing with Ellis, Leeds canonises the man, people of colour such as myself will not feel cheated.His very exposure offers us some form of catharsis.

If there is a group that buys into the idea of race determining intelligence, Ellis will not make a difference. But he must be allowed to bask in the shame or glory of his racist rants if he so wishes.

George Ogola

University of Central Lancashire

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

  • Woman taking homeopathic medicine

Alternative treatments in healthcare plan is latest in a series of homeopathy-related controversies

  • Man lying beneath rugby pile-up

Six academics share their experiences before delivering a verdict on the system

  • Zygmunt Bauman with hand over mouth

Eminent sociologist has recycled 90,000 words of material across a dozen books, claims paper

  • Foot about to step on banana peel

Kevin Haggerty and Aaron Doyle offer tips on making postgraduate study even tougher (which students could also use to avoid pitfalls if they prefer)

  • Sorana Vieru, National Union of Students

Sorana Vieru says exams and essays 'privilege' more advantaged students, calls for changes to 'Middle Ages' format