A few weeks back, I wrote a short piece for Public Seminar criticizing the director of the Hannah Arendt Center for his response to the disruptive protests at the annual APSA. For me it comes as no shock, then, that this Open Letter against Roger now exists. The signatories of this open letter are right. The decision to invite Marc Jongen to speak at the annual conference is a shining example of poor judgment. Roger continues to recycle twisted appeals to passages in Arendt’s writings in the name of “pluralist dialogue” – passages that do nothing to address the particularities at issue in his dubious decisions as director to formally invite this party official to Bard College, provide a platform for disseminating the views of this ugly party, broadcast such views on social media, and then misappropriate passages from Arendt’s writings to justify a series of poor judgments.
UPDATE: Masha Gessen’s account on this issue in The New Yorker (10/26) is worth reading.