SMU and the Bush Library: Doin' It for Dr. Farmer
You must head over this morning to The Bush Library Blog, where Michael Phillips -- a researcher at the Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity, and Religion in Dallas, 1841-2001 -- takes on the Great George W. Bush Library and Think Tank Debate. Phillips attempts to explain precisely why it is SMU's faculty -- and much of its student body -- is vehemently opposed to the creation of the W. presidential library and the ironically named Institute for Democracy on the Hilltop.
The way he figures it, Bush looked at SMU as being synonymous with Highland Park -- his base, the zip code from which he made most of his 2000 campaign moolah -- and figured it'd be, ya know, mission accomplished. Only, not so much: "SMU is blacker, browner, more Jewish, and less wealthy than its host city," Phillips writes. "The same can be said of the SMU faculty." Dr. William Farmer, a SMU prof in the 1960s mentioned in Phillips' essay and this excerpt from his book, would be proud. --Robert Wilonsky