Amherst won’t disavow hate speech? I won’t contribute

From: Patterson, Eric
Sent: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 11:10 AM
Subject: Why Amherst’s failure to disavow hate speech prevents me from making a financial contribution.

Dear Amherst Annual Fund,

Although I value my education at Amherst very highly, as well as some of the friendships that I made there, I am unable, in good conscience, to contribute to the College as long as it fails to publicly disavow the hateful, defamatory public statements about sexual and gender minority people which repeatedly have been made by a senior member of the faculty, Hadley Arkes.

I recognize and respect the fact that the principle of academic freedom permits Arkes to say what he believes, but Amherst, as an institution which claims to include and respect all people, including sexual and gender minority people, has a responsibility to make it clear to the general public that it does not share the views that he has expressed and publicly disseminated, particularly his contentions that same-sex relationships are akin to polygamy, incest, pederasty, zoophilia or bestiality, and necrophilia.  In publishing these statements, Arkes repeatedly associates himself with Amherst College.  These defamatory statements directly contradict the College’s claim to welcome and respect sexual and gender minority people, and the College must make it clear to the general public, especially to people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender, and most particularly to vulnerable young people who may be considering applying to Amherst, that the College does not share the views expressed by Arkes in these repugnant and hateful insults.

Until that is done I am unable to contribute to the College, or to recommend that anyone attend it, and I have a responsibility to point out to others its failure to address this deeply troubling problem.


Eric H. Patterson,

B.A. Amherst, summa cum laude, 1970;

M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D. Yale.

About Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart, a 45-year journalism veteran, is publisher and an editor of the "Erasing 76 Crimes" and "76 Crimes en français" blogs. Contact him at Colin Stewart, un vétéran du journalisme de 40 ans, est éditeur et rédacteur en chef des blogs "Erasing 76 Crimes" et "76Crimes en français." Contactez-le à l'adresse
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1 Response to Amherst won’t disavow hate speech? I won’t contribute

  1. Pingback: Petition to the Amherst College board of trustees | Amherst Against Homophobia

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