race

NOTE: This post has been updated. See below.

The mainstream media love police shootings and the subsequent reactions, sometimes violent.

No, I don’t mean that way — I mean that they give the twenty-four hour news cycle something to pontificate about endlessly (usually from the left) … but most especially they open up opportunities for academic “experts” to jump in and opine.

Too often, quite doltishly.

The protests/riots in Baltimore this past week certainly were no exception.

Take Vanderbilt’s Tony N. Brown for starters. Professor Brown, a member of the school’s sociology department, argues that “white privilege” is to blame for Baltimore’s woes.

“White people act ‘routinely to harm, demean, and damage black and brown people’ … These actions ‘explain the lofty levels of frustration and despair among black and brown youth,’” he writes in The Tennessean, Nashville’s largest newspaper.

Brown also castigates white parents for “sending children to ‘racially homogeneous’ schools and churches, living in predominantly white neighborhoods, and failing to read children’s books featuring minority characters.”

The professor then offers a solution to help “combat” white racism: “create a massive, grassroots surveillance network to capture video evidence” of it.

Use cell phones and GoPro camcorders to “record the discourteous way co-workers or service industry workers or police officers treat you,” Brown writes in The Tennessean.

“Record your friends talking about the indignities and micro-aggressions you as a person of color, for example, face in all- or mostly-white spaces,” the professor instructs. “If you happen to identify as white, then record Uncle Roy talking at a private family gathering about the good old days when blacks knew their place. Record how pleasant your interactions are with police officers doing routine traffic stops.”

“Then let’s all post our videos,” Brown declares concerning the vague last step in his racism surveillance scheme.

Tufts University’s Peniel Joseph, the “founder of a growing subfield that he characterizes as ‘Black Power Studies’ — which is actively rewriting post-war American and African American history” — says that “we’re missing the deeper historical roots” behind Baltimore’s protests … two generations of African-Americans have been shaped by a criminal justice system that ‘criminalizes black people en masse.’”

Augustana College’s Dr. Christopher Whitt offers up an all-too typical progressive retort — that we need “real discussions” about the “high level of frustration” many in Baltimore have due to “lacking hope” and “lacking opportunity.”

Does anyone think that these “real discussions” will include the fact that (liberal) Democrats have run the city for over two generations? That African-Americans have held significant power in the city for years?

The “white privilege” mantra rolls on with Professor Cody Pogue of Houston Community and San Jacinto Colleges. Pogue says that “White people nearly always get the benefit of the doubt, but black people rarely ever do.”

He continues:

“In America, we subject an entire race of people to this unfair treatment” and then “we send white police officers into their communities who often expect them to be criminals in the first place. Then those white police officers mistreat them and often wrongfully kill them. Then we expect them to smile and take it.”

Pogue apparently is not aware that the Baltimore Police Department is about half minority, and that half of the accused officers in the Freddie Gray case are African-American. And he definitely isn’t aware that white officers “often wrongfully kill[ing]” black suspects is an outright falsehood.

BaltimoreProtest-FibonacciBlue-flickrLastly, Pogue, sounding like President Obama’s “You didn’t build that!” attributes his success in life to … luck: “I am a white college professor with a masters degree, but I am no better than the people rioting in the streets. I just got a little more lucky somewhere along the way.”

Young Conservatives’ David Rufful writes that Stacey Patton, a professor of American History at American University, appears to argue that “mothers shouldn’t stop their children from participating in violent protests because they are part of an effort to resist white supremacy.”

How come? Regarding the now-famous mother who, all caught on video, tracked down her son and smacked him silly, Dr. Patton says that “in this country, when black mothers fulfill stereotypes of mammies, angry and thwarting resistance to a system designed to kill their children, they get praised.”

Georgetown’s always-verbose Michael Eric Dyson included in the protesters’ “concerns” “the slow terror of expulsions from schools, the rising rates of lead poisoning, the export of jobs to places across the waters.”

Fordham’s Mark Naison said the riots were the “violence of gentrification.”

The University of the District of Columbia Law School dean, Shelley Broderick, offered to delay exams for students who would head over to Baltimore and offer free legal advice to protesters.

Broderick is quite the progressive; in her law school’s 2006 newsletter (she was editor-in-chief) a conversation about race mentioned that the subject (race) is “used to divert attention from control by the ‘fascist regime.’” (Remember who the president was in ’06.)

Her newsletter also detailed the “proud” showing of the film Quiet Revolution, the Ultra Conservative Attack on Our Constitution which examines, ironically enough, the “expanding of executive power” and the “narrowing [of] basic civil liberties.”

Well-known cable talking head and Morehouse College prof Marc Lamont Hill scoffs at the idea that there are only a few “bad apples” among the Baltimore police. He calls the department “an occupying force in the hood.”

He also refers to the violence in the city as “uprisings” against “police terrorism.”

Lastly, our ‘ol pal Brittney Cooper, who teaches Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies (of course!) at Rutgers, calls the riots “acts of justifiable rage and rebellion” and that since a “founding principle of this republic is that Black people are not fully human … revolution and rebellion [only] remain the province and property of America’s white citizens.”

Cooper also refers to Baltimore’s mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, as well as Gen. Linda Singh of the Maryland National Guard and new US Attorney General Loretta Lynch as “white supremacists in Blackface.” Because, after all, they “do the state’s bidding.” Or something.

Don’t expect the inanity to stop anytime soon. Keep your eyes and ears peeled through the (possible) eventual trial. And if a trial is moved to a different venue and/or the officers are acquitted

UPDATE: The original version of this article attributed an opinion by Young Conservative’s David Rufful to American University’s Stacey Patton. We regret the error.

Dave Huber is an assistant editor of  The College Fix. (@ColossusRhodey)

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

IMAGES: YouTube screencap, Fibonacci Blue/Flickr

Because there is such a dearth of diversity — and discussions about it — at universities across the land, Ohio State will play host to the twenty-first National Conference on Diversity, Race and Learning this coming Monday and Tuesday.

Valerie Lee, OSU vice provost and chief diversity officer at the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, certainly earned her lengthy title by nabbing the conference:

“The (conference) has become an invaluable source to help keep Ohio State at the forefront of inclusive excellence, providing students and professionals in all walks of life a way to learn best practices, address relevant topics, and understand differing perspectives on diversity.”

The Lantern reports:

“We try to offer our attendees a number of different sessions … things that are very pertinent to today’s world as far as what’s affecting us and where are we going in regards to diversity, race and learning,” Taylor said.

Monday will be a preconference day full of training sessions, and this will be the third year it has been with the conference.

One of these sessions will be hosted by Debby Irving, the author of “Waking Up White,” and she will be the featured speaker of her sessions. According to the book’s website, the book looks critically at racism in the country and how to properly talk about it.

Tuesday will be the conference day and will feature 20 sessions that will be announced at the event, Taylor said.

A majority of attendees will be from Big Ten states, Taylor said, adding that in the past, there have been attendees from states as far California and Texas.

“In a university of this size, it is not only a microcosm of the United States but is a microcosm of the globe. Because of that scope, that breadth, it is important to not only engage, understand, but also show respect for people of other cultures,” Taylor said.

“How to properly talk” about race and racism certainly sounds intriguing. Any takers that “properly” means “how Ms. Irving — and (racial) progressives — want you to talk about it”?

Being that Ms. Irving dubs herself a “racial justice educator and writer,” and based on the reviews of her book noted above, it’s probably a safe bet.

Read the full article.

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

Members of Harvard Law School student groups want — wait for it! — diversity emphasized in the search for a new dean.

Hoping for a candidate with “professional experience with diversity and inclusion,” the groups are working with the school’s human resources department and the consulting firm (appropriately named) Diversified Search.

The departing dean, Ellen M. Cosgrove, also served as a Law School Title IX officer.

The Harvard Crimson reports:

Students who are participating in the search process said last semester’s protests and activism in response to the non-indictment of police officers who killed unarmed black men, Eric Garner and Michael Brown, brought to the forefront the importance of diversity and inclusion at the Law School.

In December, a number of student groups, called the “Harvard Law School Affinity Group Coalition,” co-signed an open letter criticizing Dean of the Law School Martha L. Minow and the Law School administration for their response to the events in Ferguson and Staten Island. Student groups part of the coalition include Harvard Law School Lambda, an LGBTQ group, and Harvard Middle Eastern Law School Students Association, among others.

“That’s something we really think is important, is finding a new dean of students who will make sure the diversity and inclusion issues that Harvard Law students have been expressing are a priority to them,” said Leland S. Shelton, the president of the Harvard Black Law Students Association.

Student leaders from groups that are not part the affinity coalition, including Isabel J. Broer, the president of the Board of Student Advisers, also said issues of diversity and inclusion are primary concerns in the search process.

But “the million dollar question,” as co-president of Students for Inclusion Rena T. Karefa-Johnson says, is “just how to ensure that student concerns convert into an ideal dean of students.”

Really? That seems fairly easy: Just find a candidate who agrees with, and will give you, everything you demand. Isn’t that the way it works today with left-wing university student organizations?

Read the full article.

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

Yeah, that’s the reason.

The University of Georgia’s Red & Black reports on a lecture by Enrique Neblett Jr., an associate professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who has researched black college students and their mental health.

But he also claims their physical health suffers from racism:

His study built on previous evidence that racism is tied with anxiety, depression, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease (among others) and tested what role racism plays in the development of risk factors that cause these diseases.

“When African American youth are going to college and leaving home, their parents are no longer right there,” Neblett said. “Youth are thinking about their identity and may experience race discrimination for the first time. Experiencing racism might lead to compromised health. For example, some students will cope by eating fatty snacks.”

And I thought binging on ice cream was something every freshman did, regardless of their skin color.

Neblett made his subjects “listen to short scenarios in which a subtle act of racism was described, such as an African American individual being passed over when waiting in line, or a blatant act of racism, such as being called a racial slur,” and also categorized them by “ideology” – such as “assimilationist,” “humanist” and “race-focused.”

Read the story.

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

IMAGE: Dry Hundred Fear/Flickr

 

 

 

Dartmouth is the latest higher ed entity to engage in the groveling affair where academics lament the “lack of diversity” at their institution.

The Dartmouth gathering, hosted by the school’s chapter of the NAACP, “was held in an effort to increase the level of transparency of recruitment and retention processes and generate campus discussion on the nature of faculty diversity at the College.”

Vice President of Institutional Diversity and Equity Evelynn Ellis told the audience that “a lack of faculty diversity at a higher-education institution will not effectively prepare students for the diversity they will face in professional world.”

The Dartmouth reports:

“I think the general student body needs to get more interested in this,” Ellis said.

According to the 2014 Dartmouth College Fact Book, 82 percent of College faculty members are white, while two percent are black or African American, five percent are Asian, five percent are Hispanic or Latino, three percent are international and one percent is American Indian/Alaska Native. Fifty-nine percent of faculty members are male and 41 percent are female.

Dartmouth NAACP chapter president Kevin Gillespie ’15 said that a “mass exodus” of faculty of color has occurred in the past few years, a sentiment echoed by panelists. English professor Aimee Bahng, one of the panelists, noted that the African and African American studies program recently lost its chair.

Gillespie commented that the organizing committee aimed to feature professors from a wide array of departments, as well as administrative staff, all of whom are committed to increasing diversity and support for underrepresented groups on campus.

The article continues with the usual litany of complaints and concerns that virtually every university offers up about (lack of) diversity, but also features — as references to the subject inevitably do — the Catch-22:

Tramon McZeal Jr. ’16, who was featured in the video, said, “I know that some of my most valuable experiences with professors have been [with] professors that look like me, professors that talk like me, professors that act like me.”

Did Mr. McZeal not hear Ms. Ellis’ words above? Students need to be exposed to different faces and voices in order to succeed beyond college. How could (some of) his most valuable experiences be those which occurred with educators … from a similar background?

Perhaps McZeal’s comfort level would be higher at a Historically Black College (HBC) feeling as he does. On second thought, then he would be surrounded by folks who look like him — he wouldn’t benefit from diversity!

Make sense yet?

Read the full article.

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

IMAGE: Matthew D. Britt/Flickr

Last week, Duke University held a town hall about the history of lynching and “how that history can inform future dialogues about race on campus.”

This event follows the hanging of a noose on a campus tree, which in turn led to anti-racism demonstrations.

It also follows the news that the person responsible for the noose had been identified, but the school won’t release any information on him/her citing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

The Duke Chronicle reports:

Speakers in the town hall meeting—which was sponsored by the history department and was standing-room only—emphasized that the noose found hanging outside the Bryan Center last week must be part of a larger conversation about race relations on campus. Members of the faculty panel spoke about the historical significance of the symbol, and tangible steps the University can take to improve relations on campus.

“Denying race is not the goal—the utter elimination of white supremacy is the goal,” said Adriane Lentz-Smith, the history department’s director of undergraduate studies. “One need not be colorblind to respect difference.”

Nancy MacLean, William H. Chafe professor of history, focused on the necessity of placing the noose in its historical context in order to understand its significance as a “powerful symbol of dominance and oppression.”

“We need to reject the feeble, pathetic excuse that such acts could possibly be just a joke,” MacLean said. “Minimizing these kinds of acts in this kind of way is an insulting evasion. To imagine that a noose in particular might be a joke suggests and unwillingness to see through the eyes of others, to look past one’s own viewpoint of privileged insulation.”

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, chair of the Sociology department, added that “Duke is not a neutral racial space,” and that the school “oozes whiteness.”

Students and faculty together came up with a few solutions to deal with this “oozing,” and yep, you guessed ’em: “increasing the representation of engaged black faculty, mandating anti-oppression training for incoming freshmen and better incorporating dialogues about race in the curriculum.”

Duke’s reticence in releasing information on the noose culprit has led to speculation that the incident was a hoax. But even it turns out to be just that, it’s highly unlikely it would stop meetings like this town hall. After all, it’s the message and intention that really matter, right?

Read the full article.

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter