RUSH: Now, you might have heard about this, but there’s more to this than meets the eye and that’s why I, your host, am here: to read the stitches on the fastball. I’m here to read between the lines. “A black MIT professor began a hunger strike Monday to protest the university’s decision to deny him tenure…” He claims the denial was based on race. His name is James Sherley. He is “a stem cell scientist.” Hang on. “[H]e tried for two years to persuade administrators at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to reverse the department head’s rejection of his tenure bid. ‘I’m not actually doing this to get tenured,’ Sherley said. ‘I’m doing this for the reason that I wasn’t tenured ? which is racism ? and I want this institution to admit that that is the problem and make plans to do something about it.’ After a last meal ? two bowls of Chex cereal ? Sherley stood outside provost L. Rafael Reif’s office in protest, accompanied by about 25 friends and supporters. University administrators denied Sherley’s allegations and said less than half of junior faculty members are promoted to tenured positions.”
Now, Sherley, James Sherley is 5’8″ and 254 pounds. So the hunger strike is well timed and will have a side benefit here that will be a good thing for him. He said he “planned to ingest only water and vitamins and electrolyte supplements until the university acknowledges its racism.” Well, he might get down to 80 pounds here. (Laughing.) What’s that? (interruption) Well, yeah, we did learn this. I forget the name of the case, but we have learned that starvation will lead to euphoria. A lot of people like euphoria. They don’t experience it very much, and starvation can lead to it. So, you never know. He might end up being happier. He might not even care about tenure by the time this goes on. But here is the key to this: “Mr. Sherley, who is 49, works with adult stem cells. He opposes research using human embryonic stem cells because he believes it amounts to taking human life.” Now, is this the real racism?
Is he being denied tenure not because of his race, but because he’s on the politically incorrect side of an issue of science? If you want to know — if you had any doubts — that science has become as politicized as any other institution in America, you need look no further than this story. Here’s a guy who wants tenure. He thinks he’s not getting it because it’s race based. He’s simply on the wrong side of the stem cell issue! This is MIT. They’re not going to tenure a guy who doesn’t fall in line on this embryonic stem cell business. “In September, Mr. Sherley won a prestigious $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health,” but it means nothing. Now he’s on a starvation diet, simply because he hasn’t gotten tenure.