one man's margins

By Diogenes (articles ) | Oct 25, 2006

Boston College is going through one of its semi-annual revivalist scrutinies in which it has been proposed that the trace elements of racism be purged by replacing study of "the white male European understanding of the world" with "the history of marginalized people." It occasioned an un-typical op-ed, contributed by one Paul Keonen and printed in the BC student paper:

I think I agree with the proposal: We indeed should be teaching the history of marginalized people. And indeed this will probably lead to a reduction of hate crimes. So I offer a provisional list of topics and questions to be included in such a course.

1. History of Christians during the time of Diocletian and Nero; 2. History of Monasteries during the dark ages; 3. History of Muslims in the Middle East during the Crusades; 4. History of Christians and Jews living under Muslim rule, both in the past and today; 5. History of Catholics under Elizabeth I; 6. History of Huguenots in France; 7. History of non-Muslims in Spain during the six centuries before 1492, and of Muslims in Spain after 1492; 8. History of Protestants in Catholic countries before and after the Reformation, before and after Henry VIII's excommunication to include John Hus, John Wycliffe, Martin Luther, John Tewkesbury, Richard Bayfield, William Tyndale, and Ulrich Zwingli; 9. History of priests during French Revolution.

10. History of the Irish under British rule; 11. History of Jesuits living among the American Indians, to include Isaac Jogues and John de Brebeuf; 12. History of American Indians before arrival of Europeans, and how tribes in power dealt with marginalized, weaker tribes; 13. History of black people in the United States pre-and post-Civil War; 14. History of gypsies -- where did they thrive, where were they persecuted?; 15. History of dissent within Soviet Russia to include: Natan Scharansky and Alexander Solzhenitsyn; 16. Catholics in Poland under Soviet Rule, to include Cardinal Wyszinsky, Pope John Paul II, Lech Walesa, and others; 17. Christians in Vietnam and China today and in Cambodia under Pol Pot.; 18. Communists under rule of Alexander II, Napoleon Duarte, Somoza, Batista, or Franco; 19. Nazis under Weimar Republic.

20. Jews, Catholics, Gypsies, and homosexuals under the Nazis; 21. Blacks in South Africa under Apartheid, to include Nelson Mandela; 22. Christians in China today and in the time of Mao; 23. Christians in Sudan; 24. Jews living in Europe in the 19th century or in Germany and Poland in the 1930s and 1940s ...

And, closer to home, such a course would definitely need to include: 29. Republicans in Massachusetts today; and 30. A survey of BC professors who are admirers of Pope Benedict.

I do not predict a glorious future for Mr. Koenen -- at least within the precincts of Chestnut Hill's University in the Jesuit Tradition.

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  • Posted by: - Oct. 27, 2006 11:26 AM ET USA

    Could it be? A glimmer of hope...the white male defends himself!

  • Posted by: - Oct. 26, 2006 12:24 PM ET USA

    34. Priests faithful to the Magisterium in the last quarter of the twentieth century.

  • Posted by: Clorox - Oct. 26, 2006 11:59 AM ET USA

    Hey, I thought he'd make a great bishop, too. But is he a good fundraiser?

  • Posted by: parochus - Oct. 26, 2006 3:18 AM ET USA

    33. Habited nuns at the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 26, 2006 1:19 AM ET USA

    Kudos to Koenen! And, Gertrude!

  • Posted by: rpp - Oct. 25, 2006 2:17 PM ET USA

    This is so great! Thank you for some good news here! There really are people who don't deny aspects of the truth or live the life of a sheltered Catholic in a "christian" (lowercase intentional) country.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 25, 2006 1:15 PM ET USA

    I have no idea who Paul Keonen is but I would love to see him appointed Bishop of Milwaukee.

  • Posted by: Gertrude - Oct. 25, 2006 11:14 AM ET USA

    32. Stay at home moms under the feminist regime.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 25, 2006 10:51 AM ET USA

    31. 'Unrenewed' Catholics under the post-Vatican II Catholic establishment - sub-titled, "Slapped to near-death by your own Mother"

  • Posted by: - Oct. 25, 2006 10:23 AM ET USA

    I know Mr. Koenen. He is neither a student nor a faculty member of BC, which is why he can be so free in his comments about the emperor's wardrobe. He's a serious Catholic, an Air Force vet and father of 8, so his future is secure. What is amazing is that the student editors of this newspaper published his contribution! As a faculty member of BC, I've long noticed that on some things the students have more common sense than the faculty.