8 I CHRONICLESnsaid Wilhelm Joseph, president of thenNational Conference of Black Lawyers,napropos the latest jury acquittalnof Bernhard Goetz.n”What we are being told by thisnverdict is that the society cannot guaranteenand assure people of Africanndescent life or liberty—and certainlynwe are frustrated at every level in ournpursuit of happiness,” said C. VernonnMason, black lawyer for DarrellnCabey, the subway assailant who wasnparalyzed by Bernhard Goetz’s fifthnshot.nMr. Mason’s charges have a familiarnring to them. Soviet officials, whennpressed on their record of rights abuses,ntypically respond that the Americannrecord with its own citizens ofn”African descent” is much worse thannanything the USSR can be accused of.nBut, according to Newsweek, inn1986 a grand jury acquitted a blacknman who killed a “white punk” whonhad threatened subway passengers withnhis fists. This unpublicized case seemsnto have been overlooked. In 1986, nonone came on record saying, like DemocraticnRepresentative Major Owens ofnBrooklyn, “the hysteria in the whitencommunity will be, ‘Yeah, we werenright, let’s go get them.'”nHow many black Americans sharenthe outrage of their “spokesmen”? EugenenMitchell, who actually lives innthe neighborhood of Goetz’s fournyoung assailants, said, “I think if I hadna gun in that situation, I would havendone the same thing.” Goetz casenjuror Eileen Dudley, a black secretary,nis also quite definite. “I can understandnwhat Goetz did,” she said, “I wasnheld up once. You would do anythingnin that situation.”n”In this country we no longer employnfiring squads,” said David N.nDinkins, black president of ManhattannBorough. Even if guilty of robbery, henwent on, the four youths who assaultednGoetz “would not have been shotnfor it in our system of justice.” Butnwho was talking of robbery? In hisntaped confession, Bernhard Goetz wasnadamant on that point: The $5 he wasnasked to turn over meant little ornnothing. What Goetz was concernednabout, and what he made very clear innall his testimonies, was his desire tonavoid humiliation. But in Mr. Dinkins’nbook, and to most other participantsnin the debate over the Goetzncase, humiliation—loss of pride andnhonor—seems to carry no weight. Innour new age, only crimes against thenflesh matter, while the spirit, beingnindestructible, will take care of itself.nThere is an immense chasm betweennthose who purport to speak fornthe American people and the peoplenthemselves. Three New York juries,nmade up of blacks, whites, Chicanos,net al., were firmly convinced of BernhardnGoetz’s innocence. What theynseem to be saying—and what the powersnthat be are unwilling to hear—isnthat man has a right to protect himself,nemploying the best means at his disposal.nOnce this right is relinquished, thenmembers of the juries imply, nothingnwe may ostensibly gain will equal thatnloss.nThe maggots are still marchingnthrough the classics. Some time backnwe took it upon ourselves to defend thenclassics profession from the WashingtonnTimes, which accused the AmericannPhilological Association of insultingnthe Secretary of Education fornpolitical motives. A more recent casenof academic Stalinism in classics castsndoubt upon our defense. Three yearsnago the book review editor of an academicnquarterly. Classical Journal,nasked me to do a review article on thenstate of feminist scholarship in thenclassics. I was, at that time, teaching ansummer course at Colorado and researchingna book of political theorynthat relied heavily on anthropology,nsociology, and social history. Since Inwas plowing through heaps of feministnscholarship in other disciplines, itnseemed natural to apply this hard-wonnerudition to what had been my ownndiscipline. I accepted, read a dozennbooks I would ordinarily have avoidedn(as well as two or three worth theneffort), and wrote the piece, whichnfinally came out at the end of 1986.nI argued, basically, that feministnsocial history, while distorted, wasnoften invaluable in exploring the un­nnncharted territory of women in antiquity,nbut that feminist literary criticismnwas simply propaganda. I suspectednthat this article would generate a certainnamount of controversy, but I wasnnot prepared for the storm that broke.nLetters to the editor were concocted,nexpressing outrage. The best camenfrom an allegedly male professor atnMiami of Ohio who wondered whyn”progressive” books were not assignednto progressive reviewers. A senior professornin Chicago could make no substantialncriticism but was indignantnthat such an article was published bynsomeone who had made no contributionnto the field. But the biggest movementncame at the directors’ meeting ofnthe American Philological Association,nwhen the Committee on thenStatus of Women and Minorities madena formal complaint and asked for anresolution censoring Classical Journal.nUnfortunately, a majority of thendirectors are not fools, and, also unfortunately,nC] is not owned by the APAnbut by the Classical Association of thenMidwest and South. As a result, thenpresident of the APA sent a polite letternto the President of CAMWS saying, innessence, the ladies were upset.nThe satisfaction of their woundednvanity had to await the next CAMWSnmeeting in April, at which it took onlyna few minutes to read and pass anresolution ousting the reviews editorn—a distinguished male scholar—andnreplacing him with an unknown female.nThe former editor was, ofncourse, E. Christian Kopff, the contributingneditor to Chronicles whosennational humanities council appointmentnwas torpedoed by a remarkablynsimilar coalition of long-haired mennand short-haired women (to borrow anphrase from Henry James).nOf course, not every classicist isncrazed. Two distinguished womennscholars wrote in to praise the article,nand mutterings are apparently heardn—even from leftists—that the maenadsnhave gone too far this time. Butnnothing will be done. The feminists,nhomosexuals, and creeps own the universitiesnnow, and taxpaying parentsnwho send Johnny and Suzie oflf tonState should realize into just whosenhands they are entrusting their childrennand count their blessings if theirnprecious darlings are seduced by anprofessor of the opposite sex. (TF)n