British University Lecturer Fired for Saying ‘Jewish People Are the Cleverest in the World’
A British university professor has been fired for, in part, saying that “Jewish people are the cleverest in the world.”
Stephen Lamonby, 73, a lecturer at Solent University in Southampton, made the remarks in question during a meeting with another academic, the Daily Mail reported.
The other academic, Dr. Janet Bonar, said she had a degree in physics, and Lamonby asserted Jews had “a particular gift” in that field.
Bonar objected to this, to which Lamonby replied, “I believe that Jewish people are the cleverest in the world. They are much maligned because of it.”
“I asked if you were Jewish because of your ability with maths/physics etc., which is a specialty of theirs,” added Lamonby.
Speaking at a disciplinary hearing, Lamonby said he was “excited to think she might be one of them — excited to meet a Jewish physicist, who had been my heroes since boyhood.”
He continued, “My comments were simply stating that, arising from my lifetime of experience, I have come to believe that certain nationalities have developed a higher level of skill in some areas.”
“This is directly related to the level of exposure to criteria such as industry and education,” he stated. “This is not radical thinking; it is simply a view that reflects environmental privilege in general terms.”
Lamonby said he was using “positive stereotypes” and made similar observations about other groups, such as “Germans are good at engineering” and “the Japanese and the Americans are all good engineers in my opinion too.”
He also noted, “I have a soft spot for young black males. I do think that they are underprivileged and many without fathers etc. need all the help they can get.”
Lamonby was dismissed for “gross misconduct.”
At an employment tribunal following Lamonby’s dismissal, Judge C.H. O’Rourke found, “While Mr. Lamonby sought to argue that his stereotyping (which it was) was positive, such ‘positivity’ is nonetheless potentially offensive to the recipient. A Jew told they are good at physics — because they are a Jew — may well consider that as demeaning their personal intellectual ability/hard work.”
“Secondly, it could also be simply grossly offensive, as the person may not actually be Jewish, but feel some characteristic is being ascribed to them,” O’Rourke added.
The judge concluded, “Thirdly, even if they are Jewish, they may quite properly consider it none of Mr. Lamonby’s business.”
Lamonby has claimed he was a victim of political correctness, saying, “You can’t make any comments [in universities] now because they are totally obsessed with racism and to talk about Jews in the context of racism is crazy because they are not even a race, they are an ethnicity.”
“Free speech is totally dead in universities,” he declared.