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Sapere aude - dare to be wise
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
An Open Letter from Prof. Roisman
Posted 1:29 PM by Joshua Claybourn
Prof. Roisman has requested that we publish the following open letter to Prof. Bradford. Prof. Bradford was contacted about running a response as well, but he does not "anticipate making any further public statements before either this is resolved through mediation or the suit is filed."

Professor Bradford:

1. You stated on Channel 8 that "Florence Roisman’s trying to allege that because I have viewpoints that are different from hers in terms of the war on terror - she thinks it’s an aggressive war; I think it’s a just war, to liberate the people there and help enhance our security. Because of that difference of opinion, I am a bad person. I am an uncollegial person. I need to be politically cleansed..."

This is a flat-out lie. I never have said or suggested anything of the sort. My conviction that you are not deserving of or likely to earn tenure here is not based on any political views you may hold, and I have made that clear in every statement I have made on the subject. I made that clear in the discussions in the Promotion and Tenure Committee. You can have absolutely no basis for this defamatory statement. I insist upon an immediate, unconditional, and public retraction.

2. carries a comment made by you "at the Volokh Conspiracy weblog." The statement is that "The real reason for the votes of 5 tenured colleagues not to renew my contract, as best I can tell and based on what little has percolated down to me, was that I defend the war on terror (for reasons of self-determination principally) and won't sign letters in support of Ward Churchill's assertion that the victims of the 9/11 terrorists are the moral equivalents of the architect of the Jewish Shoah." See for Monday, June 27, 2005.

The context makes clear that you are making this statement about me, among others. If anyone has "percolated" to you any basis for such a statement about me, I insist that you immediately disclose what was said to you and who said it. It is a flat-out lie, and defamatory to state that either of these things was any part of anything I have said or done about you. (As you well know, there never was a vote "not to renew [your] contract.")

3. In that same statement you write that you have "actually heard the expression 'Clarence Tomahawk' used around the faculty suites." Again, the context suggests that I have used that expression. That would be a flat-out lie; I never had even heard that expression before I read your posting on the blog, and I never would use such an expression. I insist that you immediately and publicly state by whom you "actually heard" that expression used and that you immediately, unconditionally, and publicly withdraw the deceitful and defamatory suggestion that you heard me use such an expression.

4. In a posting on on June 27, 2005, you wrote that “I’m being squeezed out by people who can’t abide by [sic] the kind of Indian I am, which is free-thinking and not colonized either in body or mind." See this comment (posted on June 27, 2005, at 5:24 p.m.)

Again, the context makes clear that you are referring to me. Again, it is a flat-out lie and defamatory to suggest that my opinion about whether or not you should be tenured here has anything whatever to do with your status as an Indian or what "kind of Indian" you may be. It also is a flat-out lie and defamatory to state or suggest that I did or would oppose anyone because she or he is "free-thinking and not colonized either in body or mind." I insist upon an immediate, unconditional, public retraction.

5. Ruth Holladay’s column in the Indianapolis Star for June 26, 2005, at page B1, reports that you said that you are "under attack" (in her words) because your views on the war on terror are different from the views held by me and Professor Mitchell. It is a lie and defamatory to state that my views on your suitability for tenure have any relationship to your views on the war on terror. (It also is a lie and defamatory to make such a statement about Professor Mitchell, but I leave her to speak for herself.) I insist that you disclose whether you made such a statement to Ms. Holladay, and if you did, I insist upon an immediate, unconditional, public retraction.

In addition to these specific statements, you have insinuated in these and other fora that my conviction that you are undeserving of and unlikely to earn tenure here is based upon your views of the war in Iraq, your views of the so-called "war on terror," your status as a Native American, your declining to sign a letter supporting the academic freedom of Professor Ward Churchill, or your status as a veteran. My long record of anti-racism and support for diversity, freedom of speech, and academic freedom thoroughly refute the first four of your untrue and offensive statements and suggestions The notion that I would be prejudiced against someone because she or he is a veteran is equally absurd and is refuted by, among other things, my recent article, National Ingratitude: The egregious Deficiencies of the United States' Housing Programs for Veterans and the 'Public Scandal' of Veterans' Homelessness, 38 Ind. L. Rev. 103 (2005). To be perfectly clear, so that neither you nor anyone else can have any doubt about what I am saying, my conviction that you are not deserving of or likely to earn tenure here is not based, to any extent, on your political views, your declining to sign a letter supporting the academic freedom of Professor Churchill, or your status as a Native American or a veteran, and there is not, and therefore you cannot possibly have, any basis for your deceitful and defamatory statements and suggestions to the contrary, for each of which, as I have indicated above, I insist upon an immediate, unconditional, and public retraction.

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