Enjoy this flash by Chris Mansel with us!
Art by Chris Mansel, Untitled
The Decline of New America
The benefit of silence, he wrote, is to allow the necessary voice of reason to gather itself before bringing the weight of the world to bear. He wrote this on a blackboard and his students copied it down. The next few hours were crucial in his career as a professor but he didn’t know it. He had spoken to his wife earlier in the day and she explained that she was turned down for her tenure position at the college she taught at without explanation. It was a different institution that he worked at but it was the climate they both existed in.
He was asked to come to the office of the president of the university to discuss his position, tenure etc. It was to be an informal meeting. When he arrived, he saw the head of his department, the president and two other men he didn’t recognize. One of the men he didn’t recognize spoke first. “I would like to welcome you to this informal gathering. First, I would like to ask you about a few of your positions on things that you speak about in your classes. Such as a quote you wrote on the black board just today. “The benefit of silence is to allow the necessary voice of reason to gather itself before bringing the weight of the world to bear.”
“Now who is this passage by? And what point were you trying to make?
He was ill prepared for such a meeting. He looked around the room before he spoke. He noticed the president of the university staring down at his hands. The dean of his department was staring right at him with a piercing eye. “I wrote this line, although I do not know who you are. To answer your other question, it speaks to freedom and courage.”
The man spoke again, “Freedom you say. What about when you say, “Bringing the world to bear? Are you a threatening person?
He could see were this was going. This would be ominous he thought if it wasn’t so pathetic. “Peace has been seen as threatening by every oppressor.”
Growing more intense the man turned to the president of the university who now leaned forward in his chair, “Just who is oppressing you? Are you filling the minds of the students of this university with riotous thoughts?”
He stood up and thanked the president of the university but said, “Obviously, you have no idea of the origin of free thought or free speech and I cannot work in an environment where neither one have a place.”
The man said as he opened the door, “This is a new America and we’re going to make it great again.”