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Should BU withdraw the job offer?


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Oh I agree I could be wrong, and I'm glad she apologized for the tweets.

 

I just wanted to point out some other possible interpretations instead of having a landslide of "what an idiot / racist". I did some AA studies classes and this kind of talk is not completely outside the realm of normal as a gauntlet to throw down as the start of a conversation.  Conversations that lead to interesting places that are much more nuanced and thought provoking than the opening  shot might suggest. 

 

I thought her comment about shopping during MLK week was thought-provoking when taken the right way - the idea that so few stores are owned by black people. That could be a positive and educational discussion. Tweeting is the wrong place for it, and it was worded in a way that was not conversational. 

 

But there could always be something "much more nuanced and thought provoking" in the statement "this country's problem is black males."  Couldn't there?  Let's not be closed-minded.

 

Yes. But again, Twitter. It's not for nuance, it's for shock value. 

 

Why shouldn't there be ?

 

I would agree, if we lived in a post racial world, but we patently don't.

 

Holding those without systemic power to the same verbal analysis as those with systemic power, is just another way of reinforcing privilege, imo.

 

I do critique her tweets for lack of intersectionality....white university educated men are not a homogenous mass - they are powerfully differentiated by class and sexual orientation, for example.

 

After the Freddie Gray riots I watched an interesting video from a (black) female college student (wish I could remember which college. I'll try to find the link.). She stated that those who said they understood the riots were racist, because if the rioters had been white they wouldn't have understood. She said holding the black community to a lower standard (accepting that the rioting was inevitable or understandable) was racist. You seem to say the opposite - that there should be different standards. How do we untangle this and do the right thing, if we are really trying to do so?

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This professor would not affect my decision to send my kids to BU.  One professor? Nope.  

 

Should they rescind the job offer?  Not enough info from the tweets, to be honest.  I'd want to know more about her writing, her teaching style, etc.  

 

 

Although many schools seem to be moving away from a liberal arts education, I think it would be wonderful if all college students had to take a course in African American studies and Women's studies.  These are topics that most Americans, even those who are women and/or black, are clueless about.  I regret not taking more advantage of the consortium in DC and taking a class or two at Howard or Gallaudet.  Opportunity lost.  I was an undergrad business major.  I took a world poli sci course freshman year, and that was basically it.  No history.  No other poli sci.  

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As  aside note: I looked at the lady's CV and what I found really interesting is that, apparently, in her particular discipline you can get hired as an assistant professor the year after completing your PhD with one single published publication.

 

Completely unthinkable in science.

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I thought her comment about shopping during MLK week was thought-provoking when taken the right way - the idea that so few stores are owned by black people. That could be a positive and educational discussion. Tweeting is the wrong place for it, and it was worded in a way that was not conversational. 

 

 

Yes. But again, Twitter. It's not for nuance, it's for shock value. 

 

 

After the Freddie Gray riots I watched an interesting video from a (black) female college student (wish I could remember which college. I'll try to find the link.). She stated that those who said they understood the riots were racist, because if the rioters had been white they wouldn't have understood. She said holding the black community to a lower standard (accepting that the rioting was inevitable or understandable) was racist. You seem to say the opposite - that there should be different standards. How do we untangle this and do the right thing, if we are really trying to do so?

 

That's not true. We only have white riots where I live, or at least, mostly white, and everyone gets it. And they get why black people stay home those days.

 

Black people face different circumstances than white people across the country. Here, there is not the same discrimination history as in Maryland or the south. But there is discrimination. So you don't get many people besides the black panthers out there with the anarchists, because who wants to get arrested except white kids whose parents kicked them out of the house? Or, in the case of the WTO riots, my friends, apparently. 

 

Different people have different experiences. So they behave differently to react to different circumstances and treatment.

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The tweets show her to be somewhat dysfunctional, I wouldn't expect fair or reasonable treatment from her, I wouldn't spend my hard earned money for my son to sit in her classroom. That said, I have a good idea of how she arrived at her feelings. She is entitled to her thoughts, but the bad judgment involved in her tweets makes her someone who should not be influencing young people.

Does someone have direct links to her tweets?  It's actually hard to tell from the way the article "chops them up." The article doesn't provide full sentences, so it actually is hard for me to assess whether she is irrefutably "racist" (I'll let that term stand for now). If I understand correctly, she actually doesn't say "White college males ARE a problem population" - she rhetorically asks "why is white America so reluctant to identify white college males as a problem population?" Is this within the context of her responding to the numerous instances in which black people are called to account for young black men and some social problems associated with them (higher incarceration rates, lower academic achievement rates, etc...)? Because black Americans are often asked to do so -- even for instances/individuals that they do not personally know. I assumed she was being tongue in cheek. There have been a rash of comparative discussions of late about how rioting black youths are considered -- and treated -- as thugs, but the numerous instances of white (college) youth rioting are treated as youthful indiscretions, and certainly not something people want held against these "future upstanding citizens" and ruining their career potential. White college males are associated with the highest campus rates of binge drinking, and frat-inspired sexual assaults -- and it's a problem on many college campuses. 

 

I think the tweets were inelegant, to be sure. And as a new professor trying to establish herself, she may have caused more of a headache for herself than she needed, and I just don't think most scholars should tweet precisely because their research and their arguments do require a bit of nuance to truly follow them - but we live in a world where everyon feels the need to tweet.   But it's not a slam-dunk instance of "reverse racism" for me. The "white masculinity" comment -- it is possible to interrogate the impact of "white masculinity" without necessarily thinking every individual white man is individually a problem. Have the legal, social and psychological preferences given to white men over women and people of color not been a problem in this country? within our institutions? Ever heard of the vote being extended only to white male property owners, the institution of slavery, Jim Crow laws, the history of most prestigious colleges being historically only available to white men (women could not apply and very, very few people of color could get into those institutions), the number of white male CEOs (oh, that's current, not history - my bad), the home loan rates, the GI Bill (only available to white men), etc....  Now we might debate whether the attempt to dismantle those INSTITUTIONAL advantages based by and large on the assumption that white men, and only white men had the aptitude, capacities, moral fiber, etc... to be afforded those rights and privileges have reached far enough, fast enough. I'd say no, others might say yes -- but that's an enduring debate about race that we are not going to solve tonight. 

 

And on the "shopping at black businesses only" comment -- well, have you seen the stats on black business ownership. It is actually quite difficult for black business owners to succeed -- by every metric we use, and there's strong evidence that structural racism plays a strong role in the disproportionate failure rates. I've heard calls to "support black businesses" before, and there was one book in which a black family actually tried to only shop at black businesses for a year -- and found it very difficult. No other community approaches the level of difficulty in business ownership -- that is a problem in this country. It is a racialized version of "support your local businesses" and really isn't about being discriminatory against other businesses as it is about trying to help the viability of a segment of businesses that is struggling much more than any other segment. I don't see anything wrong with black people actually wanting more black people to succeed in business. Sorry. 

 

 

 

While it's not as simple, what she's saying can have a profound effect upon how people view races and race relations.  If the crux of her course becomes "whites ARE the problem" and her students are taking that to heart, is that helping or hurting discussions/issues WRT race? Is she creating the foundation for situations on campus now and in the future where if something happens -- regardless of circumstances -- the answer is ALWAYS "it's the white person's fault, simply because they are white?"

 

I find blanket statements like those of this professor unhelpful to discourse.  Where does that leave interracial marriages?  Where does that leave blossoming friendships?  Essentially these types of statements come down to "us" vs. "them" -- one can't be a true friend to someone of a different race, because "whites are the problem."  One can't really support interracial marriage or adoption if "whites are the problem."  There can be no Allies to racial problems, because "whites are the problem."  It totally disregards the individual and lumps everyone who is white into one category on the basis of their skin color.  While I cannot possibly understand at a deep level the difficulties experienced by many of my friends (regardless of their race), I can empathize, I can share their pain, I can be there for them -- and I can learn and grow because of those interactions.

 

While she may be someone else's professor, she wields a lot of influence within her sphere -- and that sphere of influence is not isolated and does have ripple effects.  I'd like to know more of what is meant, and how she teaches.  But, my initial reaction isn't favorable -- because so many other things that fall on the "wrong" side of certain ideological issues far less divisive than race/gender have gotten profs canned, or passed over for tenure.

 

"Race relations" is actually not the goal of African American studies departments, no more so than gender relations is the goal in Womens Studies departments. The academic goal is to interrogate the construction of race (or gender in the latter case). It is often a provocative, contentious space -- certainly not a space for "comfortable" notions on race. That does not mean that the professor was totally in the right -- but I'm not ready to skewer her just yet. 

 

I've actually taught classes in which these kinds of nuanced arguments need to be made -- questioning white male hegemony, for instance, and it is a delicate matter to separate out initial emotional reactions that some students, particularly 18 year old freshmen, have from the intellectual argument being made. It can feel like "my professor is being racist against me" when the argument a) isn't personal, and b) is a provocative statement meant to get students to interrogate social conditions and the social construction of race as it has come to be in our country. Any honest assessment of race in this county would suggest that there is something to interrogate there. Whether Twitter is the forum for that, I'm not sure. Sounds like not. This is the first generation of professors who are really having to navigate scholarship in a "sound byte," Tweetable world, and I feel a little sorry for young scholars, honestly. 5 minutes of your lecture can be recorded and posted on youtube, and it could be a 5 minutes in which you were working your way through a complex argument on race -- and that 5 minutes could very well make you seem "very biased."  

 

No one who says that white males are a problem population or that "white masculinity is THE problem for American colleges" should be teaching at one.  If white masculinity is a problem, we should get rid of it, right?  How?  By getting rid of white men?  She's crazy.  I am appalled that her offer has not already been rescinded.

 

No, you get rid of "white masculinity" - which is a world view that priveileges white male thoughts, ideas, etc... over other ones that have been and continue to be crowded out or marginalized in the academy - by asking people to change their thinking and framing of issues that have been framed almost exclusively through the experiences of white men. An example from real life would be the disparity in health research dollars that study diseases that affect men but not women, or the lack of money for diseases that disporportionately affect people of color. This is an actual problem -- the underfunding of research on health issues affecting women and people of color, and these research decisions are largely in the hands of white men who probably aren't intending harm, but may not see past their "blinders" and just don't fund other areas of research. 

 

Yikes. Is it ever ok to define someone by race and gender (or religion or whatever) as being a "problem population"?

No - I think she was being tongue in cheek. But black males are talked about over and over and over again as a problem population - both in the academy and outside of it. Lots of people are getting to keep their jobs despite those views.

 

:iagree:

 

I didn't get the impression that she was making some sort of intellectual challenge with her tweets. I just got the impression that she doesn't like white people.

 

I wouldn't want someone as a professor who posted that black masculinity was THE problem for America's colleges, or that Asian college males were a problem population, or that one week of every year she tried not to shop in stores owned by Hispanic people, so why would I want a professor who says those things about white people?

 

And as you already pointed out, if you substitute "women" for "white" in those tweets, people would be absolutely enraged.

 

It's a false equivalency. I wish she hadn't tweeted those things, for her sake. But the one-for-one substitution doesn't work. The academy as well as the business world HAS been pretty dominated by white men -- in terms of who gets tenure/promoted - there is a power structure still to dismantle there. 

 

But there could always be something "much more nuanced and thought provoking" in the statement "this country's problem is black males."  Couldn't there?  Let's not be closed-minded.

Actually, there could -- and there's plenty of "black pathology" research that's been conducted throughout the years. It has only been relatively recently that "black pathology" narratives as a way to describe numerous sociological phenomena have been discounted, and even still this is not entirely the case. 

 

To be clear, she only apologized for her speaking indelicately not for the racist content of the tweets. And should apologizing make it all ok? Towson fired a white prof who apologized profusely for using a racial slur. His apology didn't absolve him.

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2010-03-03/news/bal-md.towson03mar03_1_racial-slur-deverick-murray-marina-cooper

 

She spoke in stark, overly blunt, and inelegant terms (but that's what a lot of Tweets are) about white identity and power structures that privilege white people. I didn't see where she used a racial slur. Though you may not like her, there's actually a difference. I think she used poor judgment, and probably needs to consult a communications specialist. I don't think the one-for-one "he was fired" so "she should be, too" thinking works here. Maybe she should be fired, but not based on an apology or non-apology (that's just a decent person thing to do, irrespective of outcome), but rather based on her ability to do her job in an academic community. Maybe the media attention has spoiled that possibility for her.  

 

The point of "upset the apple cart" comments is to provoke new ways of thinking.

 

Her most controversial tweet was:

Why is white america so reluctant to identify white college males as a problem population?

 

Here are two student responses to it, from wbur.com (a public radio site):

 

From a freshman:

“The thing that startled me was all these white males suddenly being worried about a professor grading them unfairly because of how they look,†Sayed said. “I wear a hijab. I’m Muslim. I’ve had professors insinuate before that I was not able to be objective because of my religion, which is really insulting. I’m in biological anthropology, which relies heavily on evolution, and the stereotype is that religious people don’t care about evolution, or hate evolution. And so I’ve had certain people insinuate that I was unable to grasp science.â€

 

From a senior:

“When I first came to BU, I had culture shock, because I’m from Atlanta, and so I had never been around so many white people in my whole life,†said Russell. “That was crazy for me. Everyone looking like me was a far-out experience, and I was really uncomfortable for awhile, ’cause it’s just not what I was used to.â€

 

So for those two, they responded positively to it.  Not because they hate white males, but because her comment prompted conversations.

 

Saying "black males are a problem population" would not prompt similar conversations, I don't think, since it is not challenging cultural expectations in the same manner.  I could be wrong. But I think it's, as I said before, a false equivalence.

 

Yes, these comments from students. An acquaintance of mine, the first black woman to graduate from U of Michigan with a PhD in computer science endured lots of veiled and not-so-veiled comments about her intellectual abilities, including being told, "I have not taught one of you before, so I'm not sure what to do with you." Umm... how about teach me the same things you plan on teaching the others? No, people of color NEVER have to endure professors (who get to keep their jobs AND get tenure) who may or may not hold "biased views" against them. 

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My point was that her particular discipline causes her to view things through a particular lens.

 

This has nothing to do with my view about her discipline.

 

Your point was that an African American studies professor made a comment through an African American studies lens?  Your post was: Excuse me, but I can think of many serious problems of America's colleges: cost, underfunding, unprepared students, adjuncts instead of tenured faculty... white masculinity does not register on the scale of severe issues that plague this country's higher education - unless you are in a discipline that dwells on racial issues and views everything through this lens.

 

"Unless you dwell on racial issues" contrasted against "serious problems" and "severe issues" is not a particularly neutral stance, to me. 

 

It's fine if you feel dismissive of this or any other field, of course.  But talking about race is her job.... not bringing awareness to the full range of higher education issues. 

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Your point was that an African American studies professor made a comment through an African American studies lens?  Your post was: Excuse me, but I can think of many serious problems of America's colleges: cost, underfunding, unprepared students, adjuncts instead of tenured faculty... white masculinity does not register on the scale of severe issues that plague this country's higher education - unless you are in a discipline that dwells on racial issues and views everything through this lens.

 

"Unless you dwell on racial issues" contrasted against "serious problems" and "severe issues" is not a particularly neutral stance, to me. 

 

It's fine if you feel dismissive of this or any other field, of course.  But talking about race is her job.... not bringing awareness to the full range of higher education issues. 

 

My point was that I disagree with her singling it out as THE problem in American colleges.

Seeing all the other pressing problems pretty much everybody would view as severe, her pronouncement seems strongly colored by her field. Which is fine if she believes that - I don't need to share her opinion.

 

 

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I agree that black people and women have had to endure these sorts of ignorant and obnoxious comments.  Is that wrong or right?  Wrong?  Good, we agree!  I would expect a dumb ignorant person on the street to think it "serves them right" to do the same thing to whites / males, but I think people deserve to expect something better from a college professor.

 

Looking at the sampling of tweets, I have to say the suggestion that they might have some intellectual "nuance" in there is a considerable stretch.

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She herself has apologised for dealing with this issues on Twitter:“I regret that my personal passion about issues surrounding these events led me to speak about them indelicately,†she said in a statement. “I deprived them of the nuance and complexity that such subjects always deserve.â€

 

Lots of people who have apologized have been fired, cancelled, banned, etc. regardless.  Of course she is apologizing - she wants to be employable.

 

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It's interesting to read some of her other tweets:  http://socawlege.com/boston-university-assistant-professor-saida-grundy-attacks-whites-makes-false-statements-on-twitter/

 

Her CV lists teaching experience, including an Intro to LGBTQ course.  But according to her tweets, she only supported Bruce Jenner until she found out about the Republican part.   

 

What was the title of her doctoral dissertation, does anyone know? 

 

 

Wow. Just wow.  

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Racist and sexist ? 60% + of campus rapes are committed by white males.

http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/rsavcaf9513.pdf

 

That is a correct statement, but before drawing any conclusions from this statistic, it should be read in context with the racial composition of the college student population. In 2011, 61% of college students were white and 15% black (http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=98)

The percentages in table 7 of the link in the quote post roughly coincide with the racial proportions of the overall student population:

19% -22% of rapists are black.

 

We may conclude that there is a problem with certain male students. The problem seems, however, to transcend race.

 

 

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So what ? They are still the population of concern

 

That is exactly the issue I have with her tweets: lumping together people based on race and gender.

Male white college students are not a "problem population" .

Rather, the population of male white college students contains a number of problem individuals.

As does pretty much any demographic group one cares to consider.

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That is exactly the issue I have with her tweets: lumping together people based on race and gender.

Male white college students are not a "problem population" .

Rather, the population of male white college students contains a number of problem individuals.

As does pretty much any demographic group one cares to consider.

You don't think an African American studies professor should lump people together by race?

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I agree that black people and women have had to endure these sorts of ignorant and obnoxious comments. Is that wrong or right? Wrong? Good, we agree! I would expect a dumb ignorant person on the street to think it "serves them right" to do the same thing to whites / males, but I think people deserve to expect something better from a college professor.

 

Looking at the sampling of tweets, I have to say the suggestion that they might have some intellectual "nuance" in there is a considerable stretch.

Please tell me where anyone ever said anything resembling "serves them right“?
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Lots of people who have apologized have been fired, cancelled, banned, etc. regardless.  Of course she is apologizing - she wants to be employable.

 

 

Many more have apologized and have been kept on. Many, many, many more. "I didn't mean it that way."

 

Regarding rape statistics, I don't think it is helpful to go there. Reporting on rape is ridiculously biased. The more powerful a man is, the less people are prone to report it. I would find it perfectly consistent with the evidence if men of all backgrounds were just as likely to rape as one another, but white men were accused and prosecuted least. You think they're most likely to strike back, if for no other reason than they are more likely to say, "nobody will believe you. My dad has a great lawyer." That's a rich brat talking, but when we're looking at statistics, who is more likely to be rich? Anyway, it's a rabbit hole. Rape is horrible. Rape statistics are also horrible. :(

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You don't see how doing so undermines the concept that racial (and gender) stereotyping is problematic?

I don't think she is stereotyping. I think she is mocking stereotyping or putting a spin on stereotypes.

I know you won't agree and that is fine.

 

I will just take this moment to offer a *slow clap* to slojo‘s elegant post on this topic, especially the bits about African Americans being asked to account for problems in the black community , or the problematic instances of people thinking of Baltimore rioters as 'thugs' vs college boy sport related looting as 'youthful indiscretions'. From that vantage point, a coupe of tweets where she throws the word white around in the same kind of negative context you see for black people is illuminating. It's really not an attack on white folks. It's an attack on how our society talks about black folks.

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I will just take this moment to offer a *slow clap* to slojo‘s elegant post on this topic, especially the bits about African Americans being asked to account for problems in the black community , or the problematic instances of people thinking of Baltimore rioters as 'thugs' vs college boy sport related looting as 'youthful indiscretions'. From that vantage point, a coupe of tweets where she throws the word white around in the same kind of negative context you see for black people is illuminating. It's really not an attack on white folks. It's an attack on how our society talks about black folks.

 

Well, that's your best guess anyway.

 

But this is what I was talking about when I said we expect better than "serves them right" from a college professor.

 

For the record, you won't hear me saying that white rioters aren't thugs.  That includes leftist rioters against capitalism, so-called "environmentalist" and union terrorists, etc.

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Yes, I know, I critiqued her for her lack of intersectionality :)

 

If you want to drill down into the problems facing the university sector - well, let's just say black, female sociology professors aren't to blame...

Well, they are certainly not to blame "as a population," but this particular one certainly seems like she has some serious issues with white people.

 

I didn't think her tweets were intended to be educational or to make her students think and debate; they sounded like nothing more than her own individual nasty and bitter personal opinions which happened to be picked up and publicized by the media.

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I don't think she is stereotyping. I think she is mocking stereotyping or putting a spin on stereotypes.

I know you won't agree and that is fine.

 

I will just take this moment to offer a *slow clap* to slojo‘s elegant post on this topic, especially the bits about African Americans being asked to account for problems in the black community , or the problematic instances of people thinking of Baltimore rioters as 'thugs' vs college boy sport related looting as 'youthful indiscretions'. From that vantage point, a coupe of tweets where she throws the word white around in the same kind of negative context you see for black people is illuminating. It's really not an attack on white folks. It's an attack on how our society talks about black folks.

You seem to be giving an awful lot of credit to that professor for those tweets.

 

All I saw was a woman posting her personal, emotional opinions about white people. Her tweets didn't come across as being intellectual or academic; she sounded like someone with deep prejudices against white people.

 

Hey, I don't care if she hates white people. She has every right to feel any way she wants to feel. But let's not turn this into a pretense that she was performing some sort of intellectual exercise when she posted her tweets. She was angry and she tweeted about it.

 

I don't know why some people are insisting on trying to put a positive spin on her racist comments. Agree with her or disagree with her, but let's not pretend she wasn't attacking white people.

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Hmm. This goes back to the colour blind conversation we all had a few weeks back.

 

An interesting question is around the BU rules regarding Twitter use by employees. Do they have a code of conduct ? I assume they have. I assume the apology was a consequence of violating particular guidelines.

 

If the university has treated her in accordance with its own guidelines, then there really is no problem.

 

I am thinking people feel an exception has been made for her ? I wonder if that is true, or if the guidelines simply weren't violated to that extent.

 

Maybe people's problem is with the guidelines ?

 

Regarding fair not always being equal - it always brings to mind that cartoon, where people can't see over a fence. All are given stools of equal height to stand upon - of course, some people can now see over the fence, but some still can't. Some people need higher stools just to be able to see what the taller people can. Not equal, but fair.

Since she sent them from her private computer account I'm not sure if the university's computer guidelines govern that. However, BU speech codes do seem to cover it. Granted, she is a professor not a student. I would hope that BU would expect more from the adults it employs than it does from its students. I assume there is an employee handbook that has the employee guidelines. I wonder how the university would have reacted to a student tweeting comparable tweets about students another race or gender. I suspect that student would be suspended or at least reprimanded.

 

"Boston University Lifebook: Tolerance & Religion 14-15

 

Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility

Last updated: April 21, 2015

 

Respecting the rights of other students presupposes that in the close and diverse society of residence life, student expression of opinion will be respectful of others and will be exercised in good taste and decency.

 

Bigotry, hatred, and intolerance have no place in the residential community.

 

In displaying or distributing expressions of opinion, students are expected to show respect for the aesthetic, social, moral, and religious feelings of others upon whom their views may be imposed. Students living in the residences are entitled to expect that those with whom they live will demonstrate tolerance for diversity and respect for privacy."

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Of course there are perfectly lovely white male students, but a sociologist isn't commenting on individuals. Unless you have a particular aversion to the 'soft sciences' I don't see why you would quibble with a sociologist talking about populations.

 

It's interesting, that if she did tweet in order to 'turn the tables', and start a conversation about how it feels to be called 'a population of concern', that the general over-reaction from the right has proven the hypocrisy at play, because they sure as heck don't rise up all indignant when the 'population' in question is coloured differently.

 

If I was an aware white male college student at BU, the best thing I could do is to interrogate the statements with reference to my own experiences and beliefs, and the facts about my campus. I could use it as a starting point to imaginatively enter the experience of others. I could respectfully explore any questions I had with my lecturer. Those are the kind of things 'soft sciences' require of a good student, and constitute an authentic path to learning.

 

Or, you know, I could whine about 'reverse racism.' and learn nothing. 

 

The sweeping remarks tweeted clearly say that this woman considers the "problem" to be white masculinity etc.  In short, she hates white men and encourages others to hate white men.  Whether or not this reflects her "nuanced" views, this sort of expression in this medium will not encourage white men to explore opportunities for improving the white male impact on society.  Any more than that happens when ignorant white people use hateful speech toward black people.  All it's going to do is create more divisiveness.

 

She should know better if she wants to get paid for teaching young people how to think about race.

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When my brother got his first job as a professor the university he was going to be teaching at went through his blog and gave him a list of things to edit.  This was before social media became such a thing.  He edited.  Every university he's worked for since has had rules when it comes to blogs and social media for their professors.  I don't know if BU has such a policy.

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But then again, fueling divisiveness is employment insurance for people in her field.  If we ever learned how to get along, a lot of people would be out of a job.

 

So basically, what this thread seems to be about is largely an attack on the discipline of African American studies.

 

 

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So basically, what this thread seems to be about is largely an attack on the discipline of African American studies.

 

Certainly not.  The discussion has been about one specific professor who happens to be in that field.  Nobody has suggested that others who teach that course are irresponsible.

 

And my comment that you quoted refers to many people who fuel division, not just those who teach a specific course in university.

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You seem to be giving an awful lot of credit to that professor for those tweets.

 

All I saw was a woman posting her personal, emotional opinions about white people. Her tweets didn't come across as being intellectual or academic; she sounded like someone with deep prejudices against white people.

 

Hey, I don't care if she hates white people. She has every right to feel any way she wants to feel. But let's not turn this into a pretense that she was performing some sort of intellectual exercise when she posted her tweets. She was angry and she tweeted about it.

 

I don't know why some people are insisting on trying to put a positive spin on her racist comments. Agree with her or disagree with her, but let's not pretend she wasn't attacking white people.

 

I don't think it's giving an "awful lot of credit" to say a professor who teaches about racial issues making comments about those very  racial issues is doing something other than making personal, emotional attacks. I think it's simple logic.

 

Maybe I spent too much in the ivory tower on this topic, but I'm honestly a little taken aback that white folks have no idea whatsoever how to view themselves as a racial group. If BU were 66% black, it would be a black college.  It's 66% white, but it's definitely not considered a white college. It's a normal college. Yes, it does reflect the population.  The population that is is largely white. Not "regular students plus  minorities".

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Certainly not.  The discussion has been about one specific professor who happens to be in that field.  Nobody has suggested that others who teach that course are irresponsible.

 

And my comment that you quoted refers to many people who fuel division, not just those who teach a specific course in university.

 

You said it's employment insurance for people "in her field". 

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You said it's employment insurance for people "in her field". 

 

Yes, but I didn't say all the people in her field were buying such insurance.

 

This is a pet peeve I have about many fields which profess to be trying to fix social problems.  Not just race-related ones.  A person in such fields who really cared to fix problems would be trying to work herself out of a job.  Success would be "they don't need me any more," not "my organization is expanding" etc.

 

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I don't think it's giving an "awful lot of credit" to say a professor who teaches about racial issues making comments about those very  racial issues is doing something other than making personal, emotional attacks. I think it's simple logic.

 

Maybe I spent too much in the ivory tower on this topic, but I'm honestly a little taken aback that white folks have no idea whatsoever how to view themselves as a racial group. If BU were 66% black, it would be a black college.  It's 66% white, but it's definitely not considered a white college. It's a normal college. Yes, it does reflect the population.  The population that is is largely white. Not "regular students plus  minorities".

 

So are you saying we should refer to all universities as "black" or "white" universities depending on who the majority race is?  That seems counterproductive, but maybe I'm missing some deeper nuance.

 

You think the country would be a better place if we spent all day reminding ourselves that we are white and that makes us different from people who aren't white?

 

I'm not sure I like the implications of that on my non-white daughters.

 

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Where I live, the majority of the population is black, and that means the majority of kids in the school system are black, and the majority of people in the community college are black, and the majority of people using the hospital and many other institutions are black, and so on.  But none of these are called "a black ___."  Are we doing it wrong?  Perhaps I should lobby for change.

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Where I live, the majority of the population is black, and that means the majority of kids in the school system are black, and the majority of people in the community college are black, and the majority of people using the hospital and many other institutions are black, and so on.  But none of these are called "a black ___."  Are we doing it wrong?  Perhaps I should lobby for change.

 

Sarcasm isn't helpful, you know. 

Historically black colleges have a pretty unique history, you could look into it at some point.

 

I don't think I said anything about white folks thinking about their race "all day every day" .  I basically said they are uncomfortable thinking about it at all.  Which is understandable. But not ever thinking about your own race is a privilege not all have.   So, that's something to ponder. Rather than being outraged this lady dared to mention it at all. 

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Yes, but I didn't say all the people in her field were buying such insurance.

 

This is a pet peeve I have about many fields which profess to be trying to fix social problems.  Not just race-related ones.  A person in such fields who really cared to fix problems would be trying to work herself out of a job.  Success would be "they don't need me any more," not "my organization is expanding" etc.

 

 

Sociological fields do not try to fix social problem.  Women's studies majors, for example, do not have the goal of fixing women, or attacking men, or eradicating gender difference.  They investigate the history and current landscape of sex and gender as a field.  It's pretty pure academics.

 

Someone who studies, perhaps, nonprofit management might be said to be working towards the goal of fixing social problems.

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Maybe I spent too much in the ivory tower on this topic, but I'm honestly a little taken aback that white folks have no idea whatsoever how to view themselves as a racial group.

 

How, please, are we supposed to view ourselves "as a racial group"?

I guess I really have no idea how to do that, because I prefer to think of people as individuals, not of racial groups, or, for that matter, of gender groups.

 

I don't quite see what your labeling based on percentage is going to accomplish. I guess you could call physics a white field. Only 2.9% of physics degree recipients are African American. I am not sure what conclusion to draw from those numbers or what a label would accomplish. It's certainly not as if departments refuse to accept black students into their programs.

 

I find this kind of thinking counterproductive.

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Sarcasm isn't helpful, you know. 

Historically black colleges have a pretty unique history, you could look into it at some point.

 

I don't think I said anything about white folks thinking about their race "all day every day" .  I basically said they are uncomfortable thinking about it at all.  Which is understandable. But not ever thinking about your own race is a privilege not all have.   So, that's something to ponder. Rather than being outraged this lady dared to mention it at all. 

 

I disagree with your view of the situation.  I disagree with the implication that white people don't think of their race at all.  I disagree that the issue people have with this lady is that she dared to mention race at all.  So I guess we will have to agree to disagree.

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Sarcasm isn't helpful, you know.

Historically black colleges have a pretty unique history, you could look into it at some point.

 

I don't think I said anything about white folks thinking about their race "all day every day" . I basically said they are uncomfortable thinking about it at all. Which is understandable. But not ever thinking about your own race is a privilege not all have. So, that's something to ponder. Rather than being outraged this lady dared to mention it at all.

So then you know that a couple HBCs no longer have a majority of black students but they are still HBCs, because of their heritage, not current racial statistics.

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How, please, are we supposed to view ourselves "as a racial group"?

I guess I really have no idea how to do that, because I prefer to think of people as individuals, not of racial groups, or, for that matter, of gender groups.

 

I don't quite see what your labeling based on percentage is going to accomplish. I guess you could call physics a white field. Only 2.9% of physics degree recipients are African American. I am not sure what conclusion to draw from those numbers or what a label would accomplish. It's certainly not as if departments refuse to accept black students into their programs.

 

I find this kind of thinking counterproductive.

 

Like  I said. ... this whole thread is largely an attack on the concept of African American studies.

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I think most universities have idiot profs.

 

I would not hire this women. Her comments in all her various tweets don't look provocative, interesting, or nuanced to me. They look ignorant, predictable, and shallow.

Referring to your first sentence.

 

Yes. I read about a professor who deliberately left her toddler locked in the car bc she was late for class.

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So then you know that a couple HBCs no longer have a majority of black students but they are still HBCs, because of their heritage, not current racial statistics.

 

Yes, and I also know there are schools that are predominantly black who are not considered 'historically black'.  Nothing is ever super neat and perfect when talking about sociology.  I brought it up to say why I mentioned that colleges are sometimes identified by race (unlike most other institutions).

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Like  I said. ... this whole thread is largely an attack on the concept of African American studies.

 

You seem to be implying that all professors of African American studies teach hate for white males.  I would like to think that isn't true.

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I disagree with your view of the situation.  I disagree with the implication that white people don't think of their race at all.  I disagree that the issue people have with this lady is that she dared to mention race at all.  So I guess we will have to agree to disagree.

Sure, I am happy to agree to disagree. I just want to clarify, I don't think anyone has an issue with her mentioning race.  People have an issue with "white males" being considered a category of their own.

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Yes, and I also know there are schools that are predominantly black who are not considered 'historically black'. Nothing is ever super neat and perfect when talking about sociology. I brought it up to say why I mentioned that colleges are sometimes identified by race (unlike most other institutions).

Right, so it makes sense not to call BU a white college, just like it wouldn't make sense to call it a women's college, even though a majority of students are female.

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