Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Why I Haven't Weighed In

You've heard about the MAA's decision regarding Arizona, and everybody who's anybody has an opinion. Mine is this: that must have been a very hard decision to make, and you couldn't pay me to be Robert Bjork right now (even though I fully wish I'd written at least half of his books myself).

Things I've been thinking about while reading other people's reactions to this: the people who run the MAA have a lot of responsibility, not only to the continued existence of (what appears to me to be) an organization in particular danger of losing its relevance, but also to the representation of its members in society at large. Does that first extend to possibly damaging the future of the organization through the loss of a substantial sum of money? Does that second extend to representing the political and/or social views of its members? Should they make a stand in this way, or in some other way? I don't know.

What I do know is that no matter what they did, they couldn't win.

So that's why you couldn't pay me to run the MAA.

At least we got lucky and the "show me your papers" section of the law has been suspended pending further judicial review. I love the ACLU.


Another Damned Medievalist said...

yep -- very difficult decision. But expressed very badly, I think. And honestly, if we want to be relevant, shouldn't we try to appeal to a membership that is broader than a largely white establishment by at least acknowledging their concerns as being valid? That's what gets my goat.

Vellum said...

Yes, it would have been nice if they had first condemned the law in all its racist glory, and then said "that said, we don't think pulling out will do anything but harm the MAA." Which is, I think, what they were trying to say without actually saying it. But I don't know, really. It's kind-of ambiguous.