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Hal Bush <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 2 Feb 2017 09:26:39 -0600
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Dear Colleagues;

I'm as surprised at some of the blowback on my post as anyone.

And as I wrote in the original post:  We all can see these are strange
times in America.  Strange meaning, in this case, how quickly people turn
every little thing into a chance to flare up and turn it into partisan

First, I truly meant the post to be informative (and not partisan).  Most
of the readers  on here (the ones I know, at least), are academics, and
these matters are in our wheelhouse in interest:  especially given the fact
that in 7 months we are convening our "International" conference in
Elmira.  So it is certainly relevant to us.

Second: I will say, I'm charmed by the thought that this LIST is no place
for "political discourse."  Indeed!  I suppose this may be a problem of
definition, but from where I sit, MT was almost always engaged in some
level of political discourse.

Third: as an American, I am very proud of our illustrious traditions of
protest.  MT is one small part of that tradition, of course. But this
morning, as I prepare for a class, I've been rereading Letter from a
Birmingham Jail.  This is a terrific piece of writing of course, one that
perfectly lays out a logic of peaceful protest that citizens everywhere can
be proud of.  16 months later, King was giving his Nobel Peace Prize
acceptance speech.  But please recall, when that Letter first came out, how
much vitriol and pushback he was getting.  In fact, the origin of the
Letter has to do with complaints from white clergy, saying be quiet and
wait, outsider dude.

Personally I'm very proud of our great American tradition of protest.  Even
though my circulating that article really had nothing to do, originally,
with any sort of politicking or protest, I do want to speak out here for
our right to notice that aspect of it.  Actually, I'm delighted by all the
response: this LIST has gotten a little sleepy in recent years.  It is
comical to be labeled "hard left," for example, thanks for brightening up
my morning.  I'm pretty sure nobody has labeled me "hard left," at least
since the 70s.  So I'm flattered and energized, thank you.

Over and out... -hb

Prof. Harold K. Bush
Professor of English
3800 Lindell
Saint Louis University
St. Louis, MO  63108
314-977-3616 (w); 314-771-6795 (h)