Lucy Sherriff, Huffington Post, June 25, 2012
A Cambridge academic responsible for mentoring students has come under pressure to resign over his controversial views which have been dubbed by some as racist, sexist and pro-Hitler.
On his website, Martin Sewell, a supervisor in the university’s Faculty of Economics, describes black people as having “lower intelligence” than whites and dismisses racism as “natural”. But he has defended his views, telling the Huffington Post he is “neither racist nor sexist” and saying the right to freedom of speech should be respected.
The 43-year-old, who also works for a think-tank in Cambridge to develop policy solutions, believes feminism “harms women” and says perhaps it is time to “reconsider” eugenics, the study and belief synonymous with Hitler’s Nazi state.
Cambridge’s student union has now called for Sewell to resign, calling the academic an “unacceptable individual”.
Reading-born Sewell currently mentors 27 undergraduates at Homerton, Newnham, Queens’ and St Edmund’s colleges.
His website lists links to articles published on various subjects, including one on racism. In a piece published in 2010, Sewell states:
So-called racism [sic] is a perfectly natural in-group bias which has been stigmatized by the politically correct West. The most likely reason for the high incidence of black crime is blacks’ lower intelligence and greater impulsivity, which themselves are probably biological in origin.
In another section, titled “Eugenics”, Sewell states:
Hitler gave eugenics a bad name. The modern objectives are actually highly desirable: eugenics can help eliminate genetic diseases, reduce personality disorders and increase intelligence via human biotechnology. Time to reconsider.
But Sewell told HuffPost in an email: “I am neither sexist nor racist, nor am I pro-Hitler.
“The real fascism lies with attempting to compromise an academic’s career on the basis of his synthesis of peer-reviewed scientific research. The university has a long tradition of ground-breaking science and freedom of speech, which Cambridge University Students’ Union (CUSU) would do well to respect.”
[Editor’s Note: Prof. Sewell can be reached at [email protected]]