Monday, December 8, 2008

Rosemary Choate's Reply to Kim Bruce


Kim Bruce's assurances to the contrary notwithstanding, since the Songs Committee deliberated in secret, we obviously don't KNOW how and to what extent they considered the report. However, his response provides some indication. 

The mere fact that Kim Bruce "provided a link" to my report on the Song Committee's web page one month after he received it does not mean that the committee considered it in any serious manner. The fact that Kim Bruce first titled it "Skepticsreport" speaks volumes as to how seriously it must have been considered. And, for the record, it was changed only after I telephoned Prof. Bruce and demanded he do so because of the insulting tone the title leveled at my objectivity, research, and character. It might as well have been titled "Crank's Report." 

Question: Exactly how and in what manner did the committee consider or discuss the undisputed facts that the January 21, 1910 Student Life reported that a different song by Loucks, The Blue and White, was the one performed in the minstrel show and that Hail, Pomona, Hail! was never even mentioned? The mere fact that Mr. Bruce describes the uncontested evidence in the Student Life article as "the gaps in contemporary documents" provides a good indication and window into how the committee considered these facts. "Gaps?" What "gaps?" "Gaps" in what? Gaps are missing parts, missing pieces of information. The only thing missing here as far as they're concerned is the Alma Mater which clearly failed to appear for minstrel show duty. The TSL review contains a specific and detailed account of the show – the skits that were performed, the performers, and the songs that were sung. There were no "gaps." Use of this term is disingenuous and casts aspersions both on the TSL review's veracity and on my report of it. 

How invaluable a gracious, forthright, and factually-based response would have been for all those involved in the effort to ban Pomona's Alma Mater! The Committee might have rejoiced that new research absolved the song of an undeserved lynching based on bad history and false guilt by association! Everyone makes mistakes; everyone can even arrive at different conclusions, but to hold to a position after being shown to be factually wrong is the error of arrogance. As Daniel Patrick Moynihan exclaimed, " Everyone is entitled to his opinion. No one is entitled to his own facts." 

There is one point on which Kim Bruce and I do agree: "It IS always disappointing when allegations are presented as facts." This has been the case in point regarding the racist accusations surrounding the origin of Pomona's Alma Mater.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do you have the rights to these words? Don't they belong to Mrs. Choate and the CI? Given that you have not added anything to them (such as your opinion or response) this seems to be a copyright violation.

Charles Johnson said...

Anonymous,

I am a member of the C.I. and no, they fall under fair use doctrine.