September 14, 2017

From the desk of the Cincinnati Cynic:

My gratitude to the iag-list for circulating a petition. It wants us to condemn the Third World Quarterly for publishing an article defending and advocating colonialism. What a refreshing intrusion into the IAG’s sundry notices of conferences, job vacancies, and scholarships.

  Having now read the article by Bruce Gilley that Farhana Sultana finds so “morally reprehensible,” I certainly won’t be signing the petition. Her case for doing so bears little relationship to what Gilley wrote.

   • If there are “inaccuracies and falsehoods,” she identifies none of them. She declines “engaging with him directly,” but relies entirely on undocumented innuendo.

         • If this is one of Gilley’s “shoddy racist click-bait pieces,” where is there a single link on which a reader could click?

  • If it “lacks proper citations,” what are those one hundred appended references from university presses, scholarly journals, and publications in French?

   • If members of the journal’s executive board were unfamiliar with the article, why was it in their hands from April to August this year?

   • By calling Gilley a “racist fascist author” who legitimizes “racist brutality” and calls for the return of “white supremacy,” Professor Sultana is courting an action for baseless defamation.

  • While disparaging academic freedom in the United States (“whatever that means anymore”), she nonetheless strives to suppress a line of argument with which she disagrees.

   • In my opinion, Gilley’s article draws even-handedly upon solid evidence from many post-colonial situations. He acknowledges failures and successes and assigns blame without fear or favour. Even Professor Sultana’s misbegotten “colonial apologists” and “closet white supremacists” should applaud Bruce Gilley’s practical proposals for repairing failed nations.

Bruce Ryan
5 Minnamurra Street
Kiama, NSW 2533
Ph. 61+2+4233 1525