You don’t value freedom of speech. You have written thoughtfully and eloquently against freedom of speech in magazines such as The Nation and Los Angeles Review of Books. That’s fine. You can benefit from freedom of speech even if you don’t like it. And you have benefitted from it. One of the remarkable ironies of your career is that your tenured position was protected by the principles of free speech and academic freedom even when members of the California legislature were trying to get you fired for your provocative remarks about killing cops. (The cowardice of tenured professors is a curious phenomenon — but, to your credit, Jane, you have never been afraid to say what you think.) You have also benefitted from engaging with people like me, people whose ideas and values are different from yours. But you don’t see the value in an open society, and you don’t see how blacklisting corrodes an open society. It doesn’t bother you that literary editors are not able to use their own judgment, but feel compelled to accept the dictates of someone else’s blacklist. Even so, if you can’t see the difference between editorial rejection and editorial blacklisting, I don’t know what to tell you. Do the editors at Commune Editions refer to a list of enemies when they make their decisions? I guess it wouldn't surprise me if they did.

Poet, critic, associate professor of English at Pomona College, author of LOVE THREE: A STUDY OF A POEM BY GEORGE HERBERT and several other books.

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