How dare you question anything Black? You're Fired

BostonTim

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http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/mob-quad_644237.html?

Late last night, in a shameful example of editorial cowardice, the Chronicle of Higher Education fired Naomi Schaefer Riley. Naomi is a good friend of mine, a sometimes contributor to THE WEEKLY STANDARD, and a fine writer. And the story of what happened to her is highly instructive.

Naomi joined the Chronicle’s “Brainstorm Blog” a little over a year ago. It was a good hire—she’s written two insightful books on academia, God on the Quad and The Faculty Lounges, along with dozens of articles on the subject. Her postings were smart and entertaining. (For a couple of samples, click over to “If this is art, your middle-school daughter is Picasso” and “No sex for you.”)

Last week she wrote about the world of “Black Studies” in a post titled “The most persuasive case for getting rid of Black Studies? Read the dissertations.” You should read the whole thing, because it’s only 520 words, but here’s the gist of Naomi’s argument:

“I ust got around to reading The Chronicle’s recent piece on the young guns of black studies. If ever there were a case for eliminating the discipline, the sidebar explaining some of the dissertations being offered by the best and the brightest of black-studies graduate students has made it. What a collection of left-wing victimization claptrap. The best that can be said of these topics is that they’re so irrelevant no one will ever look at them.
That’s what I would say about Ruth Hayes’ dissertation, “‘So I Could Be Easeful’: Black Women’s Authoritative Knowledge on Childbirth.” It began because she “noticed that nonwhite women’s experiences were largely absent from natural-birth literature, which led me to look into historical black midwifery.” How could we overlook the nonwhite experience in “natural birth literature,” whatever the heck that is? It’s scandalous and clearly a sign that racism is alive and well in America, not to mention academia.”

Naomi then went on to dissect two other incredibly silly “Black Studies” dissertations. One of these was written by TaSha B. Levy. Here’s how the Chronicle itself—not Naomi—described Levy’s work:

Ms. Levy is interested in examining the long tradition of black Republicanism, especially the rightward ideological shift it took in the 1980s after the election of Ronald Reagan. Ms. Levy’s dissertation argues that conservatives like Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, John McWhorter, and others have “played one of the most-significant roles in the assault on the civil-rights legacy that benefited them.”

Chronicle readers were outraged. Not that a graduate student was earning a doctorate by claiming that Sowell, Thomas, and McWhorter are threats to civil rights. Oh, no. They were outraged because Naomi would dare poke fun at such insanity. Because, you know, that’s racist.

Eight days and 497 comments later, the Chronicle’s Liz McMillen fired Naomi. Here’s how she explained her decision:

everal thousand of you spoke out in outrage and disappointment that The Chronicle had published an article that did not conform to the journalistic standards and civil tone that you expect from us.

We’ve heard you, and we have taken to heart what you said.
We now agree that Ms. Riley’s blog posting did not meet The Chronicle’s basic editorial standards for reporting and fairness in opinion articles. . . .
[M]y Editor’s Note last week inviting you to debate the posting also seemed to elevate it to the level of informed opinion, which it was not. I also realize that, as the controversy unfolded last week, our response on Twitter did not accurately convey The Chronicle’s message.

I sincerely apologize for the distress these incidents have caused our readers and appreciate that so many of you have made your sentiments known to us.
Which is simply craven nonsense. If Naomi’s post was self-evidently egregious, she would have been fired immediately. Instead, on May 3, McMillen defended the post as being part of the blog’s intellectual ferment and encouraged readers to debate it. Which makes it obvious that the reason they gave Naomi the boot wasn’t because of anything she wrote, but rather the effect her writing had on their readers, who generally reacted as though they were suffering from a case of the vapors. One of her fellow Chronicle bloggers accused Naomi of committing “hate speech” and an online petition called for Naomi’s firing. In fact, McMillen admits as much, saying that Naomi’s post “distressed” readers and made them feel “betrayed.”
Now, the Chronicle of Higher Education can fire and hire whomever it pleases—for good reasons, bad reasons, or no reason at all. That’s its business; that’s its prerogative. But the publication ought to at least have the sand to admit what it’s doing. They didn’t fire Naomi Schaefer Riley because of what she wrote. They fired her because their readers didn’t like it.
The great irony, of course, is that the whining and gnashing of teeth from the “Black Studies” crowd only reinforces Naomi’s point about the “discipline.” You’d never see chemists or physicists or mathematicians worked into a hysterical mob by a critical blog post. Because they study actual fields of knowledge—and don't simply tend the garden of their own feelings.




Cheers, BostonTim
 

Steve-o

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Let's see.

She dismissed a bunch of dissertations as "What a collection of left-wing victimization claptrap."

Yet, she didn't actually read any of them, and refused to.

Yeah, what a victim.

:jerkit:

"Finally, since this is a blog about academia and not journalism, I’ll forgive the commenters for not understanding that it is not my job to read entire dissertations before I write a 500-word piece about them," Riley wrote. "I read some academic publications ... but there are not enough hours in the day or money in the world to get me to read a dissertation on historical black midwifery. In fact, I’d venture to say that fewer than 20 people in the whole world will read it."
 

O_P_T

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Let's see.

She dismissed a bunch of dissertations as "What a collection of left-wing victimization claptrap."

Yet, she didn't actually read any of them, and refused to.

Yeah, what a victim.

:jerkit:

Yeah, good thing she didn't criticize the editor as an idiot and point out he's married to Bill Kristol's daughter, because that really would have been over the line. :coffee:
 

Steve-o

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Yeah, good thing she didn't criticize the editor as an idiot and point out he's married to Bill Kristol's daughter, because that really would have been over the line. :coffee:

Good thing I work for a publication who gives a shit about Bill Kristol and would be fully within their right to fire me.

Oh, wait.

More ignorance of the First Amendment.

More folks wanting speech without consequences, instead.
 

Jaric

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So you're saying you can't figure out that a dissertation on the history of black midwifery would be a waste of time unless you read it?

For the record, you could exchange "black" with pretty much whatever racial group you want and my point still stands.
 

Jaric

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Good thing I work for a publication who gives a shit about Bill Kristol and would be fully within their right to fire me.

Oh, wait.

More ignorance of the First Amendment.

More folks wanting speech without consequences, instead.
Goodness Steve-O, it's a bit early for the Red Herrings isn't it? I mean, no one here has mentioned the first amendment until...well you.
 

Stevo

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To be fair, most Liberal Art degrees are pretty much bullshit these days
 

Steve-o

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So you're saying you can't figure out that a dissertation on the history of black midwifery would be a waste of time unless you read it?

For the record, you could exchange "black" with pretty much whatever racial group you want and my point still stands.

This would mean about 99% of all dissertations are bullshit, regardless of subject.
 

O_P_T

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Good thing I work for a publication who gives a shit about Bill Kristol and would be fully within their right to fire me.

Oh, wait.

More ignorance of the First Amendment.

More folks wanting speech without consequences, instead.

:facepalm:

Now, the Chronicle of Higher Education can fire and hire whomever it pleases—for good reasons, bad reasons, or no reason at all. That’s its business; that’s its prerogative. But the publication ought to at least have the sand to admit what it’s doing. They didn’t fire Naomi Schaefer Riley because of what she wrote. They fired her because their readers didn’t like it.​

Since you obviously are having a bad brain day, let me explain my post.


I was comparing your total dismissal of the Washington Free Beacon article, based solely on who the source was, to what you criticize Naomi Schaefer Riley for doing.

You made no effort to identify if their article was correct or incorrect, but dismissed it out of hand based solely on the source.

That isn't any different, than what you did here.

Oh and don't bother to fulmigate a response, I have no interest in debating this topic with you. Good day sir.
 

deec77

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This would mean about 99% of all dissertations are bullshit, regardless of subject.

On child birth yeah. Last time I check all women's anatomy including reproduction organs were universally all the same. Natural child birth is the same no matter what color you are. :shrug:

~Dee~
 

O_P_T

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On child birth yeah. Last time I check all women's anatomy including reproduction organs were universally all the same. Natural child birth is the same no matter what color you are. :shrug:

~Dee~

Racist :coffee:
 

Steve-o

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:facepalm:

Now, the Chronicle of Higher Education can fire and hire whomever it pleases—for good reasons, bad reasons, or no reason at all. That’s its business; that’s its prerogative. But the publication ought to at least have the sand to admit what it’s doing. They didn’t fire Naomi Schaefer Riley because of what she wrote. They fired her because their readers didn’t like it.​

Since you obviously are having a bad brain day, let me explain my post.


I was comparing your total dismissal of the Washington Free Beacon article, based solely on who the source was, to what you criticize Naomi Schaefer Riley for doing.

You made no effort to identify if their article was correct or incorrect, but dismissed it out of hand based solely on the source.

That isn't any different, than what you did here.

Oh and don't bother to fulmigate a response, I have no interest in debating this topic with you. Good day sir.

Except, of course, the fact that I actually wasted my time reading the Free Beacon article.

Inconvenient fact.
 

PatsFan09

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To be fair, most Liberal Art degrees are pretty much bullshit these days

Depends on how/if you use it.

I know many who have Liberal Art degrees that use the talents that they acquired as they earned that degree.

I myself use both of my degrees (Classics and Anthropology) in my profession.
 

Pyxis

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On child birth yeah. Last time I check all women's anatomy including reproduction organs were universally all the same. Natural child birth is the same no matter what color you are. :shrug:

~Dee~
I'm from the South. There are lots of babies born down here in a variety of colors. It doesn't matter who is having the baby; women-folk attend and assist. We are equal opportunity birthers and mid-wives. Silly Northerners.

/Scarlet O'Hara
Posted via Mobile Device
 

freak

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Good thing I work for a publication who gives a shit about Bill Kristol and would be fully within their right to fire me.

Oh, wait.

More ignorance of the First Amendment.

More folks wanting speech without consequences, instead.

Really?

Now, the Chronicle of Higher Education can fire and hire whomever it pleases—for good reasons, bad reasons, or no reason at all. That’s its business; that’s its prerogative.

:coffee:
 

Claremonster

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Good thing I work for a publication who gives a shit about Bill Kristol and would be fully within their right to fire me.

Oh, wait.

More ignorance of the First Amendment.

More folks wanting speech without consequences, instead.

More folks wanting only speech they agree with, and want to silence opposing views, instead. That seems to happen most often on one side of the political spectrum. :coffee:
 

O_P_T

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Except, of course, the fact that I actually wasted my time reading the Free Beacon article.

Inconvenient fact.

Well, I'd argue that is some sort of law of nature regarding balance, since we have to read your posts. :poke:
 
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