22 October 2009

Qualified To Comment

Kevin Levin made more ill-informed comments recently in his continuous obsession with my blog. He dedicated the better part of a whole post to me and said the following regarding my recent post about H.W. Crocker's book:

"I can't believe that Williams actually copied all of those comments into that post."

Amazing, since Levin told me ahead of time to "go ahead and post them on your site if you need them." I did, since he either could not recover them (or didn't want to) after losing them when changing servers. Maybe he was just playing "Gotcha Blogging." How could I have possibly responded to the ridiculous charges in the comments if nobody could read them?

Evidently, Levin also has ESP:

"there is no evidence that Williams reads much of anything."

And this:

"For someone who has never stepped foot on a college campus as student (as far as I can tell) he sure feels comfortable offering commentary about the problems therein."

I've never hidden the fact I did not finish college. That is not something I'm proud of--I wish I had finished. My original intent was to go to UVA and study law--it just so happens that at that point in my life, I was more interested in what was going on at the local bar than I was in what was going on in class. (See, I would have made an excellent lawyer.) But I was a college student in the late 1970's and have returned to my local community college for classes several times since then, as well as taking college level continuing education classes professionally. The most interesting class I had was Western Civ, where Professor Griffin was obsessed with the Hittites. No, I don't recall why, only that answering any of his questions with "the Hittites" guaranteed a better than 50% chance of being corrrect. So, once again, Levin spreads misinformation about that which he knows nothing. (No, I don't anticipate an apology.) By the way, even if Levin was right about what he was implying, (only those involved in education can offer commentary) then following his logic, he has no business offering commentary on homeschooling since he's never done it.

For those who care, I do have extensive technical training in law and finance and hold a professional designation in the financial services industry, but I've never claimed to be anything other than a writer and amateur historian--notwithstanding the fact that I'm a published author, have written for national publications and newspapers, and co-produced two documentary/historical films--one which garnered a national award. The fact I attract so much attention from liberal academics is something I find rather curious and entertaining. Maybe they feel safe taking on someone they deem beneath them. Just imagine what I could do if I was only half as educated as they are. I'd really be dangerous.

All that aside, even if I had never set foot on a college campus, that does not disqualify me (nor anyone else) from commenting on the current state of education in the United States. My wife and I have 6 children and 13 grandchildren--ya think we might me just a little concerned and involved in education? Three of my six children attended college, one completed a degree in history and is state certified to teach. (She wisely chose to homeschool her four daughters instead). My youngest took a break from college recently for motherhood, but plans to complete requirements for degrees in English and history at some point. My wife and I home educated 4 of our children, were very active in leading a group of students in a 4H group we started; including field trips, participation in spelling bees, music competitions, and were involved in several homeschooling organizations. I consider myself every bit as qualified to offer commentary and opinion on educational matters as Mr. Levin. Levin's comments only expose an elitist attitude so common in much of academia. The more he writes, the clearer that becomes.


Michael Bradley said...

I have found over the years that when an opponent in a debate has nothing to say they deliver a personal attack. I have been the object of such more than once. However, such tactics only demonstrate intellectual bankruptcy on the part of the attacker.

Bloggers (and anyone else who depends on personal attacks) reminds me of the preacher who wrote in his sermon notes "This argument is weak; pound the pulpit and shout."

BorderRuffian said...

"Kevin Levin made more ill-informed comments recently in his continuous obsession with my blog. He dedicated the better part of a whole post ["Gotcha History"] to me..."

...and in that post he writes: "according to Williams the book [Complicity] has been ignored by academics because they wish to steer clear of the fact of Northern slavery. As I stand here typing this post I look to my left and notice at least four shelves of books about the history of slavery and race in the North."

And how many posts has Levin made on his blog about the North's involvement with slavery?

About none...and that proves your point.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...


Yes, and he further proves my point (and contradicts the point he's trying to make) with this statement:

"There is little doubt that the general public assumes that slavery was specific to the South . . ."

So what difference does it make if the information sits on an academic's shelf? What matters is what is actually known. "Complicity" went much further reaching a general audience with this information than have any other book in recent memory.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Professor Bradley - true, as others have recently experienced.

Anonymous said...

Here here, great post!
~Johann Van De Leeuw

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks JL