Many of the prime advocates at the UCC and UCCLA are academics. And anytime they have been able to find another academic who backs up their campaign, they have celebrated the added weight academics can bring to an argument. Such was the case recently when the National Post ran an article quoting Prof. Michael Marrus, professor emeritus of Holocaust studies at the University of Toronto. Marrus said the CMHR didn’t properly anticipate the problems it was going to create by giving more attention to some human rights stories. Marrus said he thought the CMHR needs a "re-think." The UCC/UCCLA quickly seized on the Post story, using it as evidence there was a growing movement against the CMHR’s content.
However, if the sheer number of academics counts for anything, then the scales may have tipped in favor of the CMHR. This past week, a group of 91 academics from around the world with expertise in the Holocaust, European history and genocides, including the Holodomor, signed a letter (text also follows below) condemning the UCC and UCCLA for its attack on the CMHR.In this instance and as a general rule of thumb, the sheer number of academics counts for nothing (William F. Buckley's quip about his preference for being governed by the first 300 names in the Boston phone book rather than the faculty of Harvard U. being instructive here). And were we to go by sheer numbers, the number of those who died at the hands of Communist leaders (Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot) vastly outnumbers those murdered by Nazis--so where's their permanent gallery and the scholars lining up to tip the scales in their favour?
Isn't there anyone (other than me and a handful of bloggers, I mean) who can see how ludicrous, how utterly revolting it is to have to engage in these petty games of genocide one upmanship?