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HRBSA and the Lampoon, Cont.



ministration pretend to the role of arbiter of ideas, values, and intellectual styles within a great university like Harvard.

Sensible as Dean Archie Epps' report is, it nonetheless smacks of extraordinary naivete in its attempt to define the limits of stereotyping as a creative mode. There are no doubt aesthetic and moral boundaries beyond which stereotyping should not trespass, but it is a violation of viable intellectual values for a bureaucrat to pretend to know precisely where those boundaries bd end.

And certainly it is simply silly to suggest that survey data on the impact of stereotypes found in "All in the Family" should guide us in this matter. The social scientists who perpetrate this kind of scientific nonsense are hardly more than ideologues who, alas, pretend that all usage of stereotypes in creative works is invalid on its face, while of course celebrating those usages favorable to their own ideological predilections. Thus they would be the first to applaud or rationalize the stereotypes in the TV version of "Roots"...

Dean Archie Epps' touch in these matters is usually masterful, which makes it particularly sad to see him misled in this instance. It is always better, I suggest, to trust the principle of free speech, perplexing though it is, than to hanker after the phony comfort of bureaucratic manipulation. The black critics of the Lampoon should simply be advised by the Dean of Students to grow up. Martin Kilson   Professor of Government

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