Saida Grundy, a newly hired assistant professor of sociology and African-American studies who is scheduled to begin her tenure at Boston University on July 1, tweeted this query: “Why is white America so reluctant to identify white college males as a problem population?” In another tweet, she announced that “Every MLK week I commit myself to not spending a dime in white-owned businesses. And every year I find it nearly impossible.” She’s a racist, sexist, anti-white bigot, and Boston University should fire her immediately, just as it would fire a professor who announced that black females were a problem population and that he would like to avoid patronizing black-owned businesses. If it doesn’t, alumni should withhold their contributions until the college is reduced to the status of a roadside stand. If it doesn’t responsible parents should pull their white, male children out of the place and send them somewhere that isn’t actively recruiting professors who hate them Even if BU does fire her, the school’s recruitment and hiring practices need to be thoroughly investigated and over-hauled. Saida Grundy is also a fool who thinks her future students are fools. Her “explanation” for the social media outbursts was this:
“I regret that my personal passion about issues surrounding these events led me to speak about them indelicately. I deprived them of the nuance and complexity that such subjects always deserve.”
Huh? What is the nuanced way to write that a gender and race are a blight on academia, and that one discriminates against white business owners? her statement simply means “I’m sorry that I wrote what I really think.” Her dishonest reaction mirrors the other absurd and intellectually indefensible responses on the campus. First the University told the media that she was “exercising her right to free speech and we respect her right to do so.” Then, after being deluged by angry letters and emails from alumni, BU President Robert Brown sent a weasel word tour de force to BU faculty, students, and staff acknowledging Grundy’s right to hold and express her opinions—yes, David Duke has that same right, and Pamela Geller: is BU hiring them for the faculty?–but added they “stereotyped and condemned other people.”
Not “other people”: men and whites.
“We are disappointed and concerned by statements that reduce individuals to stereotypes on the basis of a broad category such as sex, race, or ethnicity,” Brown wrote. “I believe Dr. Grundy’s remarks fit this characterization.”
By characterization, you mean “racist” and “sexist,” right? Why can’t you say so?
Then Brown concluded by saying his comments should not be interpreted as a lack of support for his new employee! Wait—so he supports racist, sexist professors? What does this letter mean? I know, in fact. It means he’s a coward. This is a double standard, undeniably, and an unsustainable one.
Adding to the sickening display of supposed scholars denying the undeniable was sociology professor Nancy Ammerman, who served on the incompetent committee that chose Grundy, who said,
“Twitter’s hard, and many of us who are in the academy are trying to exercise some voice in social media and Twitter, but we all know that it’s very difficult to make a nuanced argument in 140 characters. And we know that the words we use can often be taken the wrong way when they’re out in such a very public kind of forum.”
If a professor can’t say what she means to say in any forum, then she has no business teaching anyone. The problem that Ammerman is trying to spin, deceitfully, is that she said exactly what she meant to say, and her own ethics alarms are so rotted by ideology and bias that she didn’t even realize that what she wrote would be offensive. Tell me, professor, what is the right way for a white male to take those tweets?
Then there’s African American student Jaimee McGruder, a member of the People of Color Coalition at BU, who said, “And we really, really hope that Professor Grundy can come to BU and hopefully, maybe educate the largely white population, if they decide to take her class and learn more about these issues and why her tweets were not racist.”
A tweet saying that whites are a problem population isn’t racist! Wow, that’s good to know! Will she also teach that the sky is down and the ground is up, that hello means goodbye and birds can swim?
Law Professor Jonathan Turley offers this…
“The school must be prepared to show the same tolerance for the next professor who makes what are viewed as racist or sexist comments of a different kind. The concern is that colleges and universities are engaging in selective enforcement and content-based regulation of speech. Ironically, Grundy may lay the foundation for a future lawsuit at the school if it proceeds against a white racist or a sexist professor. Her retention would be evidence that could be used in a case of disparate treatment.”
Announced racists and sexists cannot be teachers, because they cannot be trusted to be fair to the students belonging to the groups they have expressed contempt and animus towards. Such attitudes, and the words are merely evidence of those attitudes, are antithetical to a liberal education. Racist African Americans, whether they are academics like Grundy, activists like Al Sharpton, or pundits like Melissa Harris Perry, help embed racism further into the culture, validate it, and invite more of it. The same is true of sexists: Grundy is both.
Academic freedom doesn’t apply to teachers who haven’t begun teaching yet. BU should be thankful that this terrible hire exposed her bigotry now, before July 1, and allow some school that doesn’t have its quota of racists to hire her.
Pointer: Res Ipsa Loquitur
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