Education: The Friendly Professor

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Taken at face value, John Owen Beaty, professor of English at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, would seem to be a, most sedate sort of scholar. An affable, ruddy-faced man with a Ph.D. (Columbia, 1921), he has been a member of S.M.U.'s English department for 34 years, served as its head for 13. But of all the professors the university has ever had, none has proved more embarrassing than friendly Dr. Beaty.

At 63, John Beaty has developed some strong opinions and theories about the U.S., and he has never been one to refrain from spouting them in class. Once he spent a whole hour blasting Felix Frankfurter and Henry Morgenthau Jr. ("Now, I haven't a thing to say against the Jews . . . But for God's sake, do you think we can trust the Government of the United States to them in a crisis?"). Last year a Jewish student complained that his dominant impression of Beaty's course was "reference after reference . . . made in a slurring manner, against members of the Jewish faith." In 1951 Beaty also wrote a book. Published in Dallas, it was called The Iron Curtain over America.

Anna & Ana. Professor Beaty's main theme was ostensibly an attack on Communism. Actually, it was a diatribe against the Khazars (i.e., Jews), who, Beaty insists, were largely responsible for the triumph of Communism in Russia. Apparently, the Khazars also practically captured the Democratic Party, helped drive the U.S. into an "unnecessary war" with Germany ("the historic bulwark of Christian Europe"), watched with cruel calm the slaughter of "as many as possible of the world-ruling and Khazar-hated race of 'Aryans.' " Everyone from Justice Brandeis to Anna M. Rosenberg was brought under fire. "Who is it," asked Beaty at one point, "that enjoys the highest military position held by woman since Joan of Arc? . . . For an introductory answer, see the article on Mrs. Anna Rosenberg in the Reader's Digest of February 1951. For an interesting portrait of another modern woman . . . see the similar article on Ana Rabinsohn Pauker in the same magazine . . ."

To the race-baiting Rev. Gerald L. K. Smith, Beaty's book was "the greatest ... of its kind ever to appear in print." But to S.M.U.'s President Umphrey Lee, an ordained Methodist clergyman, it was frankly disturbing. "I do not know how to put the matter any stronger," said he, at the Dallas Salesmanship Club, "than in the words of the supreme legislative body of my church: 'AntiSemitism is a deadly sin.'" Nevertheless, since Beaty kept insisting that he was not really antiSemitic, he remained at his post, partly because of the two-way laws of academic freedom. Last February he trained his sights on a new target: S.M.U. itself.

New Gestapo? In a pamphlet called "How to Capture a University," Beaty charged that "a certain powerful, non-Christian element in our population" was trying to "dominate Southern Methodist University." For one thing, the university's own Southwest Review seemed to be highly susceptible not only to anti-McCarthy authors (e.g., President Henry Wriston of Brown University) but also to B'nai B'rith, which, according to Beaty, "is sometimes referred to as the 'Jewish Gestapo.' "

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