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An Unintentionally Funny Article by Former Duke Law Professor Michael Byers

explaining why he gave up his U.S. green card and returned to Canada, in the Globe and Mail (hat tip: Leiter). For example, he claims:

[After 9/11], fear replaced curiosity as the standard response to things unknown. Before 9/11, my wife's English accent often generated a friendly response, including the comment "You sound just like Princess Diana." After the attacks, the warm chatter gave way to a strained silence.

Right. I remember that wave of anti-British fear and loathing that swept over the U.S. after 9/11. Is it possible that Professor Byers is both playing to (and encouraging) the stereotypical view of the Canadian left of Americans as a bunch of ignorant, parochial, anti-foreigner goobers?

Byers also fails to notice the irony that when he went to return his green card, he "saw scores of Mexican men tending lawns and flowerbeds. Later, a woman from Guatemala cleaned my hotel room." He sees this, apparently, as a sign of American exploitation of foreigners (he compares the migration of immigrants to the U.S. to "moths coming to a flame"); no thought about why immigrants are eager to come here to do manual labor.

But the real punchline comes later, when he describes Duke as (drumroll please) "a conservative law school at a conservative university."

(For the unitiated, Duke can certainly be considered conservative--if your worldview is in Indymedia-Counterpunch-Ward Churchill territory.)

UPDATE: Reader Cornellian delivers a thorough Fisking in the comments, concluding with "Good riddance Mr. Byers, and thanks for creating a job opening at Duke."

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77 Comments
Some of My Best Friends Are Law Professors,

but I can't say that law professors' fleeing the country for Canada makes me worry about the future of America. Now if it were physicists or medical researchers or engineers (a nontrivial risk, incidentally, if we burden noncitizens in the wrong ways), then I'd be worried.

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86 Comments