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That wasn't my experience. I was speaking from my experience. I also said I found the class terrifying.

 

If something doesn't matter then saying it doesn't matter is not necessary. I was just being descriptive.

 

I guess I'm getting confused about whose prof said what, or something.

 

Wrt me writing: "I'm not sure why it'd matter if something is a sociology class or a history class". That was because I thought you were saying it mattered. If we agree it doesn't matter, okay, cool. If you think it does matter, that's fine too - I'd just be curious to know why.

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There are deeper questions to ask about 'civility' though - such as, does 'civility' benefit all, or does it benefit the few ? Who sets the rules for 'civility' ? In what ways is 'civility' used to repress discussion ? Do we listen when the other is civil, or do we only listen when the other steps outside the bounds of civility ? Do all societal issues require civility ? Whose civility ?

 

I actually didn't find her tweets un-civil.

 

One way to judge the civility of a comment would be to consider how it would sound and/or how it would make you feel if it was applied to you/your population.   

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I don't find it frustrating, and I'm white. 

 

I think a huge thing is what some of the really good posters on race (slojo and others ) tell us about the lens we use to view situations - micro or macro. It's good to switch lenses when you have a knee jerk reaction to something 'other'.

 

Acceptance of privilege. Yeah, I know. But really.

 

Did you know there are plenty of studies that show racism hasn't been resolved in the general population, but has gone underground ? That is, that people's explicit views on race often differ quite drastically from their implicit, often unconscious views. So awareness of one's implicit views, not in a guilty way, but in a curious way. 'Oh, I seem to feel like that. Think I'll make an active effort not to act on that.'

 

Not policing the other. Keeping your attention on your own white biases. We don't need to sort out black biases for people of colour. 

 

Understand the tendencies of ingroups, especially majority ingroups. To make themselves look better, and to overemphasise the differences between their group and minority outgroups.

 

To practice awareness of dehumanisation - when you feel someone is not quite as human as you, and to recategorise them as a sister or brother.

 

And that's just the cognitive stuff. The political and practical arena are bursting with things white people as a population can do. 

 

As an individual, I'd recommend choosing one practical arena to focus on, and keep racial equality in mind at the ballot box. Along with cognitive change and exploration, that's enough for one individual. No need to feel frustrated, guilty or angry. 

 

Anyway, that's just my 2c, because you asked :)

 

Thanks. That's actually very clarifying, not because I'm not doing those things, but because I am. It makes it easier to distance myself when I hear comments about 'all' white people being inherently racist. I agree that there is a good deal of racism in this country, but at least I can do what I can and teach my children better. 

 

But back to the topic at hand - Simcha Fisher had an interesting and timely piece on her blog. It's not about racism, but about learning things we may have been unaware of, or that make us uncomfortable. Here's the link: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/simchafisher/2015/05/14/columbia-students-lay-siege-to-themselves/

 

Here's an excerpt: Did you pay the university tens of thousands of dollars to install you in a sorority house and stroke your hand and tell you you're smart? Why would you do that?  Didn't you come there to learn? How can you learn, if you won't let anything in?

 

 

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I completely agree that people in positions of authority who abuse their positions to harm people without cause should be held accountable. The difference is I think that principle applies to all people - even when the person abuses his or her power against non-minorities. So, a professor in a position of authority ought to be held accountable.

There are several ways to engage in useful and worldview changing discussion about race. She did not choose those methods. She chose to be divisive and hurtful. And the BU president agrees.

 

"At Boston University, we acknowledge Dr. Grundy’s right to hold and express her opinions. Our community is composed of faculty, staff, and students who represent widely varying points of view on many sensitive issues.At the same time, we fully appreciate why many have reacted so strongly to her statements. Boston University does not condone racism or bigotry in any form, and we are committed to maintaining an educational environment that is free from bias, fully inclusive, and open to wide-ranging discussions. 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. I believe Dr. Grundy’s remarks fit this characterization....

 

It might be interesting to note that when this story was first published on SoCawlege, BU spokesperson Colin Riley said that the posts came from Grundy’s personal Twitter account and that she was "exercising her right to free speech and we respect her right to do so." It wasn't until negative feedback from alumni and threats to withhold donations did the university seek to amend its statement. While basing statements on stereotypes is problematic, perhaps appealing to the general population for approval or disapproval of one's profession ought to be a bigger concern. Public support is hardly a reliable reference for professional credibility. We are the society that replaced education on tv with Honey Boo Boo and aliens. Because profit. I hate to think this is the community that determines an educator's value. 

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I think the problem here is that she wasn't speaking to a classroom full of students to challenge their ideas within the context of a particular type of course.

 

She was ranting to the world in general on her Twitter account. She wasn't "educating;" she was posting her personal racist opinions.

 

Borrowing from Southern Poverty Law Center, I understand racism as

 

a doctrine or teaching, without scientific support, that does three things. First, it claims to find racial differences in things like character and intelligence. Second, racism asserts the superiority of one race over another or others. Finally, it seeks to maintain that dominance through a complex system of beliefs, behaviors, use of language and policies. Racism ranges from the individual to the institutional level and reflects and enforces a pervasive view, in whitedominated U.S. culture that people of color are inferior to whites.

 

Off the top of my head, I can't recall a tweet from Professor Grundy that includes identifying markers such as character or intelligence to be assigned by race, only trends of behavior. For this reason, I'm not sure the accusation of promoting an ideology or system of superiority by virtue of race (racism) is appropriate. Stereotypes? Perhaps, but racist? I'm not sure. Surely there is no black dominance in Boston University, so the idea of promoting some system based on superiority would be impossible today (and likely for a long time). According to Charles Stith, BU's African Presidential Archives and Research Center,

 

“Among BU’s self-identified peers BU ranks 14 of 15 in terms of African American students,†he wrote. “In 1976, 2.4% of BU’s faculty was African American, it is less than that today…

 

“The irony of this state of affairs is that at its founding the university saw educating African Americans as central to its mission. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., BU’s most distinguished alumni, was attracted here for that reason. I am sure he would be ashamed of the university and the current situation.â€

 

On a related note, I wonder if we'll see equal outrage regarding a Duke professor criticized for online comments about African Americans

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I AM prejudiced toward ANYONE who makes statements like "The problem with this..."

 

I would encourage anyone to try to divorce the delivery of a message from the message itself. I think that's a more logical approach to analyzing information. I see this sentiment to be similar to the one about catching more flies with honey than vinegar. The reason this idea bothers me in general (I'm referring to you specifically here Anne, but speaking about the argument about catching flies as it relates to promoting "good will" with regards to unflattering issues) is because it assumes the receiver of the message is emotionally fragile enough to require some kind of safety protocol, and the onus is on the messenger to respect that. That safety protocol usually looks like ending the conversation. The conversation stopper often falls along the line of accusing the other of being intentionally contentious and offensive. A "big fat meanie" if you will. Conveniently, one is usually justified in ignoring the bfm. 

 

I can't help but to think of Victorian women of Society who were shielded from such "unsavory" things in public, such as politics, crime, or social injustice. These women were considered too fragile to handle such difficult and unpleasant notions, and so were duly protected from them. Besides, the idea was, these things are immutable conditions of the human being. There's nothing that can be done anyway. When people make some comment about honey and vinegar, I can't help but think they are appealing to the same expectation of protection - they want quickly end the discussion should it prove to be too emotionally upsetting. I think it's a self-degrading thing to say as it suggests the individual cannot handle indelicate information or complex, or unflattering issues. 

 

I find that being encouraged to soften the blow, as it were, is a thinly veiled way to pander to one's fragile ego, and that puts one in the position of being condescending, as if they are talking to a child who does not have the maturity to handle such stress, or ignore them and carry on the conversation with those who are willing and able to listen and consider the actual message, regardless of how they may initially react to such emotional triggers. Not everyone has diplomatic skills, nor should that be an expectation, and facts don't care what we feel. So at some point, those who won't listen get left out of the conversation, and I have very little sympathy for their complaints. 

 

Besides, I wonder how consistent this thought is. I can't help but wonder if same prejudiced you mention having would be applied towards one who makes statement like "the problem with Common Core is...", "the problem with new-atheists is..." "the problem with free cell phones to inner city people is..."? You don't have to answer either way. I'm just sharing how this line of defense sounds to me.

 

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I hope not, I like having my own personal forum police. It keeps me on my toes! LOL

 

Isn't it interesting how logical arguments go from discussing a position based on facts, and opinions supported by facts, to being in the position to defend personal integrity? To be accused of being "aggressive" and "manipulative" is to attempt to shame one into silence. That speaks volumes to me. It suggests one seeks to distract from the facts of the conversation in such a way as to not draw attention to their inability or unwillingness to support their claims. It suggests to me some people want to be heard, but not at the price of being held accountable for what they say. I see it not only in the discussion in a wider sense (the whole distraction thing and focus on the professor's character and intent I was talking about earlier), but even here on this thread against personal online acquaintances. You're now the recipient of the kind of character attack that Professor Grundy is receiving. Because you are defending her words, you are defending her character, which implicates you in some moral crime. I find this to be a fascinating response to unpleasant concepts. You're an "aggressive" and "manipulative" person, don't you know. And who can take seriously a person with such a moral flaw? You're just a big fat meanie yourself, and so people shouldn't have to listen to what you say. Why, you bully, you! ;-) My favorite name for this logical defense is called the Shut Up, That's Why defense (coined with reference to arguments about theism, but the point applies here as well I think). 

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See, stuff like this is very frustrating for the average white, middle-class person (me). WE ARE TRYING. I've had in-depth conversations with black and Hispanic friends about what this is supposed to look like. I'm not racist, but in our culture it feels like I have to walk on egg shells sometimes to prove it. I try to be aware, and understanding, and do and say the right things. Yet I still don't have my shit together. I know there are racist white people, and as a whole the 'establishment' has been and still can be racist. But I believe that the vast majority of white people would really like all this to be resolved, and for us to go forward as the human species. 

 

And I'm aware that some could say that my saying 'white people would really like all this to be resolved' is racist in itself. Because clearly I don't care that people have been marginalized and I just want it to 'go away'. But this isn't true! It begins to feel like a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' situation. For example, if I support welfare, I'm racist because what minorities need isn't a hand-out, but if I don't support welfare I'm racist because minorities are valuable and need the help. 

 

My genuine question (no snark, no sarcasm, no manipulation) is - what should we do? How can we do better?

 

I linked this source just upthread (in my reply to Cat), but I think it's a good one to look at in more detail. It's a nice introduction into what white privilege looks like and how we can learn to recognize it. In general, I would encourage you to read first person experiences. You can find them here, when people talk about their experience with welfare (not related to race but to cause and effect), when people talk about getting pulled over by the police, when people talk about having to stretch their dollar (not for savings, but for tonight's dinner). You can find them in bind books, magazines, blogs, tweets, documentaries, and other Day In The Life experiences. Arm yourself with information. As you develop a good database of knowledge, you should become aware of the differences between your experiences and others. Then start to question the assumptions you take for granted as being accurate. You know how they say don't believe everything you read? Try to put a spin on it, and don't believe everything you think. Question what you think. Look at the details that support what you believe. Rely on facts, not assurances. Don't assume your experiences are universal, or are pointed closer to some undefined-but-assumed Moral North Pole. 

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I actually didn't find her tweets un-civil.

 

Neither did I. Originally they were called out as being factually incorrect as well as attacking whites, an exposure of bad education. Attacking whites is all that caught people's attention. In the article linked by the OP, 

 

 â€œDeal with your white (expletive), white people. slavery is a *YALL* thing."

I'm not quite sure what this means, but I'm guessing it means the effects of slavery present modern problems and it does us no good as a society to ignore that. I fail to see this as racist or uncivilized. Sloppy? Sure. It doesn't make sense to me on the surface, anyway. Then again, this is Twitter, rapid-fire-mental-impulse-arena where anything goes so long as its contained in 140 characters, and I'm not familiar with any Twitter culture. 

 

“Every MLK week I commit myself to not spending a dime in white-owned businesses. And every year I find it nearly impossible.†

I cannot understand how this is racist, uncivilized, or problematic in any way. It's an admission to the difficulty in finding a business owned by people of color. I would find it difficult in my area, too, and we have plenty of immigrants from all over. It would be easy enough to find ethnic foods, but grocery store? Book stores? I would have to look into it and I would imagine the statistics would favor your traditional WASP population. I confess, it never occurred to me to think this, even though I am sensitive to bias against atheists in my community and my society. I just don't really take the time to gain sensitivity with regards to race. In what way is this problematic to express personal frustration over such a fact? 

 

Apparently, Twitter has its own culture of language where racist words and sentiments are common. I'm not familiar with it, so I don't know if that reflects a degradation of social mores or an evolution of expression. "Dumb" used to be an offensive word, "idiot" was a medical term. Words change meaning, and one way to reduce the offense of a word is to take charge of it and use it from a position of control rather than vulnerability. I have no idea how culturally normative Professor Grundy's tweets were, I just see a collective gasp that one of "them" would refuse to mind her place and make "us" feel endangered. That's saying something, eh?

 

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Borrowing from Southern Poverty Law Center, I understand racism as

 

 

 

a doctrine or teaching, without scientific support, that does three things. First, it claims to find racial differences in things like character and intelligence. Second, racism asserts the superiority of one race over another or others. Finally, it seeks to maintain that dominance through a complex system of beliefs, behaviors, use of language and policies. Racism ranges from the individual to the institutional level and reflects and enforces a pervasive view, in whitedominated U.S. culture that people of color are inferior to whites.

Off the top of my head, I can't recall a tweet from Professor Grundy that includes identifying markers such as character or intelligence to be assigned by race, only trends of behavior. For this reason, I'm not sure the accusation of promoting an ideology or system of superiority by virtue of race (racism) is appropriate. Stereotypes? Perhaps, but racist? I'm not sure. Surely there is no black dominance in Boston University, so the idea of promoting some system based on superiority would be impossible today (and likely for a long time). According to Charles Stith, BU's African Presidential Archives and Research Center,

 

 

“Among BU’s self-identified peers BU ranks 14 of 15 in terms of African American students,†he wrote. “In 1976, 2.4% of BU’s faculty was African American, it is less than that today…

“The irony of this state of affairs is that at its founding the university saw educating African Americans as central to its mission. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., BU’s most distinguished alumni, was attracted here for that reason. I am sure he would be ashamed of the university and the current situation.â€

On a related note, I wonder if we'll see equal outrage regarding a Duke professor criticized for online comments about African Americans.
See I read the Duke professor's statements as being comparable to the BU prof - a slightly more wordy way (since he wasn't limited by Twitter) of saying that one group needed to get their sh!t togeter. I find it just as obnoxious. I think it will be interesting to see what happens. Will anyone justify his words by saying that he is bringing up some important issues that need to be dealt with so its ok for him to say offensive things? Think any students wil think that Asian students will have an easier time in his class than black students? I sure would. This is a great example of why I think both of the profs are wrong and have no business writing something like that and then being in a classroom.
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I just see a collective gasp that one of "them" would refuse to mind her place and make "us" feel endangered. That's saying something, eh?

Who here said she needs to mind her place? Who here discounted the value of discussing racial issues and challenging worldviews? Who here said "we feel endangered?" I don't even know where you are getting that. People are objecting to the way she expressed herself not the fact that she spoke up. If I say to my kid, "hey get your effing work done now you slacker" can you see how someone could object to the way I expressed myself but still agree that kids should do work?

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See I read the Duke professor's statements as being comparable to the BU prof - a slightly more wordy way (since he wasn't limited by Twitter) of saying that one group needed to get their sh!t togeter. I find it just as obnoxious. I think it will be interesting to see what happens. Will anyone justify his words by saying that he is bringing up some important issues that need to be dealt with so its ok for him to say offensive things? Think any students wil think that Asian students will have an easier time in his class than black students? I sure would. This is a great example of why I think both of the profs are wrong and have no business writing something like that and then being in a classroom.

 

I am just curious to see if Fox News covers it just as enthusiastically as they did the BU professor.

 

I actually don't think the BU professor is that out of line with the standard  "soft bigotry of low expectations" talk you see in GOP circles. I do think he is  clueless, though.  "“Virtually every black has a strange new name that symbolizes their lack of desire for integration."   Even aside from the "virtually every" nonsense.  I wonder how much he  has lived up to his responsibility to "integrate" with black culture?  Or does he just think everyone should aspire to be more like him?

 
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Who here said she needs to mind her place? Who here discounted the value of discussing racial issues and challenging worldviews? Who here said "we feel endangered?" I don't even know where you are getting that. People are objecting to the way she expressed herself not the fact that she spoke up. If I say to my kid, "hey get your effing work done now you slacker" can you see how someone could object to the way I expressed myself but still agree that kids should do work?

 

Certainly no one here said these exact words. Nor did I suggest that was the case. Rather, that's the impression of a general sentiment I'm interpreting from a number of comments. Upthread I posted examples of words and phrases used to attack her character as a means of distraction from or discrediting her point. In the same way I can offer some examples of phrases that contribute to my opinion of a fear of vulnerability if you'd like. I don't agree people are objecting to the way she expressed herself, but the content of what she said. Are you suggesting by your last comment that the content of what she said is valid, but her delivery is problematic? 

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Certainly no one here said these exact words. Nor did I suggest that was the case. Rather, that's the impression of a general sentiment I'm interpreting from a number of comments. Upthread I posted examples of words and phrases used to attack her character as a means of distraction from or discrediting her point. I can offer some examples of phrases that contribute to my opinion of a fear of vulnerability if you'd like. I don't agree people are objecting to the way she expressed herself, but the content of what she said. Are you suggesting by your last comment that the content of what she said is valid, but her delivery is problematic?

I don't know. I think you can judge someone's character in some measure by what they choose to post/tweet/send to the paper- not because of the content necessarily but by the delivery. I do think less of someone who says all x group are the problem. (Trying to include both the duke and bu prof statements in that remark.). I respect them less for how they phrased their thoughts. They may have valid points but phrasing those points in such ignorant or inflammatory ways makes them look less credible.

As far as your last question, no I was not suggesting that I agree with the content of her tweets. I was merely giving an example. I find what some pps and you have said in trying to explain what you think she might be trying to say much more compelling than her tweets.

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See I read the Duke professor's statements as being comparable to the BU prof - a slightly more wordy way (since he wasn't limited by Twitter) of saying that one group needed to get their sh!t togeter. I find it just as obnoxious. I think it will be interesting to see what happens. Will anyone justify his words by saying that he is bringing up some important issues that need to be dealt with so its ok for him to say offensive things? Think any students wil think that Asian students will have an easier time in his class than black students? I sure would. This is a great example of why I think both of the profs are wrong and have no business writing something like that and then being in a classroom.

 

Compare the two piles of virtual crap being encouraged to clean up.

 

BU professor: White America, be accountable to oppressive behavior.

DU professor: Black America, be accountable to work expectations.

 

I think the first has precedent. There does exist a system of oppression, formal, informal, and even internal. That's problematic not only to the individuals and communities being oppressed, but to all society in general. Furthermore, this system is well documented and constantly illustrated in various events, both newsworthy and simply within private, personal experience.

 

I think the second is based on assumed characteristics of laziness (and he goes on to include unwillingness to integrate). I wonder what his evidence for this is, and how evidence to the contrary is included in this assessment.

 

In short, it seems to me the first is based on factual, noted behaviors, the second based on characteristics assumed by virtue of belonging to a race. Thus the two are not equal just because on the surface they "call out" problems pertaining to a specific racial demographic. 

 

Duke spokesman Michael Schoenfeld... quoted from the Faculty Handbook, which says every faculty member has the right “to act and to speak in his or her capacity as a citizen without institutional censorship or discipline.â€

 

I recognize these are two different universities, but I do hope Professor Grundy gets this same consideration. 

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I am just curious to see if Fox News covers it just as enthusiastically as they did the BU professor.

 

I actually don't think the BU professor is that out of line with the standard "soft bigotry of low expectations" talk you see in GOP circles. I do think he is clueless, though. "“Virtually every black has a strange new name that symbolizes their lack of desire for integration." Even aside from the "virtually every" nonsense. I wonder how much he has lived up to his responsibility to "integrate" with black culture? Or does he just think everyone should aspire to be more like him?

Heaven help us if everyone is aspiring to be like him.

Your questions are very interesting. To which culture ought an American assimilate? I think it's fair to say that in some ways we have a white culture, black culture, Asian culture, Hispanic culture, etc. Is there one American culture? I personally would hate to see everyone mush into one monolithic boring group. I love the different ethnicities and cultures that we have in the us. But I also can see his and your point that we all have to find some common ground that binds us together as fellow citizens. So perhaps instead of culture he meant values? Are there certain values that every American ought to have in order to be considered assimilated? Eek, the homeschooler in me hates that word. It's like socialized. Or moist. Or puce.

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I don't know. I think you can judge someone's character in some measure by what they choose to post/tweet/send to the paper- not because of the content necessarily but by the delivery. I do think less of someone who says all x group are the problem. (Trying to include both the duke and bu prof statements in that remark.). I respect them less for how they phrased their thoughts. They may have valid points but phrasing those points in such ignorant or inflammatory ways makes them look less credible.

 

I hear you with regards to respecting a diplomatic, articulate speaker more than a crass, impulsive one, but to what extent should one's perceived character play in the role of the content of their argument? Are ad hominem attacks valid in a logical argument like this, kwim? 

 

As far as your last question, no I was not suggesting that I agree with the content of her tweets. I was merely giving an example. I find what some pps and you have said in trying to explain what you think she might be trying to say much more compelling than her tweets.

 

That article about how common generally accepted racist terms and otherwise derogatory content happens on Twitter makes me wonder if there's not a kind of "culture shock" going on here. I'm just guessing about this, thinking out loud really. I prefer a more classic argument, point / counterpoint, complete with proof of concept and all those things I probably should have learned in high school. That's the culture of communication to which I am accustomed. I could be wrong about Twitter, but I wonder if what she said really wasn't so controversial in that medium simply because it's a medium for, pardon the crassness, "brain farts." Ideas burst out of someone's brain, they type it down, they then plop the phone back in their pocket and off they go. In any case, I wouldn't judge her argument on her tweets, but on the content of her classroom experience. As of this point, I don't think we really have any knowledge about what that is. The university does, but if they are pressured to decide her employment based on the public reaction to her tweets, I think that would be a shame. 

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I hear you with regards to respecting a diplomatic, articulate speaker more than a crass, impulsive one, but to what extent should one's perceived character play in the role of the content of their argument? Are ad hominem attacks valid in a logical argument like this, kwim?

 

 

That article about how common generally accepted racist terms and otherwise derogatory content happens on Twitter makes me wonder if there's not a kind of "culture shock" going on here. I'm just guessing about this, thinking out loud really. I prefer a more classic argument, point / counterpoint, complete with proof of concept and all those things I probably should have learned in high school. That's the culture of communication to which I am accustomed. I could be wrong about Twitter, but I wonder if what she said really wasn't so controversial in that medium simply because it's a medium for, pardon the crassness, "brain farts." Ideas burst out of on'e's brain, they type it down, they then plop the phone back in their pocket and off you go. In any case, I wouldn't judge her argument on her tweets, but on the content of her classroom experience. As of this point, I don't think we really have any knowledge about what that is. The university does, but if they are pressured to decide her employment based on the public reaction to her tweets, I think that would be a shame.

Sigh. My iPad clearly grows tired of me and has lost three of my attempts to respond to this. So forgive me if this is short and jumbled.

 

Im not sure I've ventured into ad hominem attacks though certainly call me out if you disagree. Here is my thinking. I find the content of many of her tweets (or his letter to the editor) to be wrong and biased. Both professors used their own poor judgement to share these biased thoughts about entire groups and races publicly. It would not be unreasonable for students to conclude that each prof might treat students from one of those targeted groups differently in a classroom setting. I agree I have no evidence about how either prof teaches. I do have some evidence about their judgement based on their decisions to write their thoughts in such blunt and potentially hurtful ways. I can also say that I think that they have created the appearance of racial partiality which is unacceptable for professors who have authority over students. Not ad hominem attack but an assessment of the fallout from what these professors chose to do. And I do think it is fair for universities to decide that they do not want professors who have demonstrated extremely poor judgement and created the appearance of racial partiality teaching students.

As far as the content, I disagree with both professors. I do think that several of her tweets were flat out wrong or just extremely one sided. Now you are welcome to disagree with me but I don't believe I am disagreeing with her arguments because I think she's a big meanie pants.

Twitter - certainly does get a lot of people in trouble. Many have lost their jobs over fewer and less offensive tweets. Also, Im not sure I buy the argument that just because a lot of people tweet crap and brain farts what she said wasn't that bad in context.

http://www.businessinsider.com/twitter-fired-2011-5?op=1

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Heaven help us if everyone is aspiring to be like him.

Your questions are very interesting. To which culture ought an American assimilate? I think it's fair to say that in some ways we have a white culture, black culture, Asian culture, Hispanic culture, etc. Is there one American culture? I personally would hate to see everyone mush into one monolithic boring group. I love the different ethnicities and cultures that we have in the us. But I also can see his and your point that we all have to find some common ground that binds us together as fellow citizens. So perhaps instead of culture he meant values? Are there certain values that every American ought to have in order to be considered assimilated?

 

I don't know. I think this is getting into "are some cultures better than others" territory. I would argue that there are definitely problematic aspects of some cultures, past or present. For instance, some central American cultures used to sacrifice people to the gods. And the old testament says something about killing disobedient kids. You may or may not agree with those cultural practices (which don't really seem to be practiced anymore), but I think it's reasonable to say that certain cultural practices are better than others.

 

One of the problems I see is that some people think certain cultural practices are part of their race, and think you're racist if you say you've got a problem with certain cultural practices. Some people argue that all cultures have equal value. Maybe overall they do (I don't know; not sure how to compare the overall merit of a culture). People criticize aspects of their own culture/subculture all the time, e.g. women's rights movement, LGBT acceptance, etc. Are people only allowed to comment on things within their own culture? How do you know where your own culture ends and someone else's culture starts?

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I don't know. I think this is getting into "are some cultures better than others" territory. I would argue that there are definitely problematic aspects of some cultures, past or present. For instance, some central American cultures used to sacrifice people to the gods. And the old testament says something about killing disobedient kids. You may or may not agree with those cultural practices (which don't really seem to be practiced anymore), but I think it's reasonable to say that certain cultural practices are better than others.

 

One of the problems I see is that some people think certain cultural practices are part of their race, and think you're racist if you say you've got a problem with certain cultural practices. Some people argue that all cultures have equal value. Maybe overall they do (I don't know; not sure how to compare the overall merit of a culture). People criticize aspects of their own culture/subculture all the time, e.g. women's rights movement, LGBT acceptance, etc. Are people only allowed to comment on things within their own culture? How do you know where your own culture ends and someone else's culture starts?

Your point is very well taken. And I think you are correct that we are at the point where people from other cultures are not really seen as able to comment on other cultures. I also agree that not everything about a culture is positive. I wasn't trying to argue that. Inelegantly, I was trying to ask what values should all Americans share?

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Your point is very well taken. And I think you are correct that we are at the point where people from other cultures are not really seen as able to comment on other cultures. I also agree that not everything about a culture is positive. I wasn't trying to argue that. Inelegantly, I was trying to ask what values should all Americans share?

 

My own values, duh! (and I'm not even American, I just live here)

 

I'm not sure you can answer that question. You could say something vague about freedom, or w/e, but not everybody agrees on what freedoms. I think it really does boil down to people being annoyed by people who share too few values with their own, but the feeling there is probably mutual.

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My own values, duh! (and I'm not even American, I just live here)

 

I'm not sure you can answer that question. You could say something vague about freedom, or w/e, but not everybody agrees on what freedoms. I think it really does boil down to people being annoyed by people who share too few values with their own, but the feeling there is probably mutual.

Right which goes back to what poppy said. When this prof was saying that blacks were not integrating, he probably meant to his culture and values. I do think that we could start a whole thread on whether there are values that are uniquely American or uniquely another nationality and what those individual traits or values are. But you're correct that it is not germane to this topic.

 

Here is the Duke profs clarification. I'm curious to hear people's reactions to it and if it, like the assumed reasoning behind the bu tweets, justify the initial comments in some people's view.

'"The point I was raising was why the Asians who were oppressed did so well and are integrating so well, and the blacks are not doing as well. The comments have convinced me to write a book which will add the Asians to all the research I did on blacks," Hough wrote."'

 

Fyi- this link has the duke profs comment as well as reaction from duke.

http://www.dukechronicle.com/articles/2015/05/15/james-b-duke-professor-jerry-hough-makes-controversial-comment-new-york-times-editorial#.VViZ8YH3arU

This prof sums up my thoughts exactly in both cases. '"As faculty members, we must be especially careful when using our own students’ lives and experiences when trying to make a point," Michael Gustafson, associate professor of the practice of electrical and computer engineering, wrote in an email Saturday morning. "I think Professor Hough’s public statements in this case could make it difficult, if not impossible, for some students to feel they would be appropriately respected for their own academic talent, intellectual contributions, and hard work in his classroom."

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Sigh. My iPad clearly grows tired of me and has lost three of my attempts to respond to this. So forgive me if this is short and jumbled.

 

Im not sure I've ventured into ad hominem attacks though certainly call me out if you disagree.

 
Bummer about the iPad! I hope you can cajole or threaten it sufficiently to do your bidding. 
 
I referenced ad hominem from our earlier exchange. I was explaining the tone I interpret from this thread (not from everyone certainly, but still a kind of undercurrent that does exist in this and other race-related threads), a tone of frustration and even one of vulnerability in response to people who don't mind their place [in society]. "These people" try to undermine society (remember that from the first page?), and they are trying to convince otherwise innocent youths to feel unjustified guilt for having been born white (hyperbole perhaps, but not off the mark). You asked where anyone said that and I responded by suggesting no one said these words but the implication is present throughout a number of posts. I suggested such character attacks were used as a means of distraction from or discrediting the professor's point. To which you replied how one might accurately judge a person's character.  From this I concluded that your meaning is to assure me that one can indeed judge one's character appropriately, as if that was a problem. While I agree one can be more or less skilled in judging one's character, my point is that the professor's character is entirely irrelevant to whether or not she should be denied employment because the general public reads "sound bite" tweets and reacts in a similarly threatened/appalled/prejudiced way. Further, her character is entirely irrelevant to whether or not she teaches a quality class in a professional manner and provides the kind of education people expect from their tuition. 
 

And I do think it is fair for universities to decide that they do not want professors who have demonstrated extremely poor judgement and created the appearance of racial partiality teaching students.

 
I agree with you. I think it's a shame to open tenure track careers to the open and manipulable court of public opinion. 
 

As far as the content, I disagree with both professors. I do think that several of her tweets were flat out wrong or just extremely one sided. Now you are welcome to disagree with me but I don't believe I am disagreeing with her arguments because I think she's a big meanie pants.

 

Gotcha. I don't agree the two are analogous because the DU professor was referring to characteristics assumed by virtue of race (for which no evidence exists to support this), whereas the BU professor was referring to behavior trends which can be, and are differentiated by virtue of race (for which evidence exists to support this). But no, no big meanie pants. Impulsive, short-sighted maybe, but not necessarily mean. 

 

Twitter - certainly does get a lot of people in trouble. Many have lost their jobs over fewer and less offensive tweets. Also, Im not sure I buy the argument that just because a lot of people tweet crap and brain farts what she said wasn't that bad in context.

http://www.businessinsider.com/twitter-fired-2011-5?op=1

 

I wonder if in a few years we'll see public schools start to offer public relations classes for social media like they do computer technology (and before that, typing). If I were the principal of a school, I would get that going straight away. 

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Bummer about the iPad! I hope you can cajole or threaten it sufficiently to do your bidding.

 

I referenced ad hominem from our earlier exchange. I was explaining the tone I interpret from this thread (not from everyone certainly, but still a kind of undercurrent that does exist in this and other race-related threads), a tone of frustration and even one of vulnerability in response to people who don't mind their place [in society]. "These people" try to undermine society (remember that from the first page?), and they are trying to convince otherwise innocent youths to feel unjustified guilt for having been born white (hyperbole perhaps, but not off the mark). You asked where anyone said that and I responded by suggesting no one said these words but the implication is present throughout a number of posts. I suggested such character attacks were used as a means of distraction from or discrediting the professor's point. To which you replied how one might accurately judge a person's character. From this I concluded that your meaning is to assure me that one can indeed judge one's character appropriately, as if that was a problem. While I agree one can be more or less skilled in judging one's character, my point is that the professor's character is entirely irrelevant to whether or not she should be denied employment because the general public reads "sound bite" tweets and reacts in a similarly threatened/appalled/prejudiced way. Further, her character is entirely irrelevant to whether or not she teaches a quality class in a professional manner and provides the kind of education people expect from their tuition.

 

 

 

I agree with you. I think it's a shame to open tenure track careers to the open and manipulable court of public opinion.

 

 

Gotcha. I don't agree the two are analogous because the DU professor was referring to characteristics assumed by virtue of race (for which no evidence exists to support this), whereas the BU professor was referring to behavior trends which can be, and are differentiated by virtue of race (for which evidence exists to support this). But no, no big meanie pants. Impulsive, short-sighted maybe, but not necessarily mean.

 

 

I wonder if in a few years we'll see public schools start to offer public relations classes for social media like they do computer technology (and before that, typing). If I were the principal of a school, I would get that going straight away.

Have tried both threatening and cajoling. The iPad seems to take delight.

 

Ok, I get what you are saying now. I agree that rescinding employment shouldn't be taken lightly or done simply because of public opinion about sound bites. In both of these cases though, I think the professors would lose their jobs (not that it looks like either will) because they have created an atmosphere where certain groups of students feel that they would not be judged fairly in class. I think that is a valid reason to fire a teacher.

 

I also agree that one cannot accurately judge a person's entire character based on tweets, etc. I can see where my earlier post was not clear on that. No you cannot judge completely or fully accurately but certainly what one chooses to post,tweet, etc does give insight into one's judgement and character, imo.

 

We will have to agree to disagree on a professors character being irrelevant. I think character or at least certain character traits do matter. For example (not referring to either actual prof we've been discussing, just traits in general), volatile, hostile, chronically unprepared, biased, dishonest, etc professors have no business in the classroom. Of course I also think professors should be hired and evaluated more on their ability to teach rather than to publish papers - eek another thread derailment)

 

I completely agree with you on schools offering social media training for teachers, students, parents and admins. Im sure there are tons of free ones available already so it wouldn't evne be a big project to develop.

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I would encourage anyone to try to divorce the delivery of a message from the message itself. I think that's a more logical approach to analyzing information. I see this sentiment to be similar to the one about catching more flies with honey than vinegar. The reason this idea bothers me in general (I'm referring to you specifically here Anne, but speaking about the argument about catching flies as it relates to promoting "good will" with regards to unflattering issues) is because it assumes the receiver of the message is emotionally fragile enough to require some kind of safety protocol, and the onus is on the messenger to respect that. That safety protocol usually looks like ending the conversation. The conversation stopper often falls along the line of accusing the other of being intentionally contentious and offensive. A "big fat meanie" if you will. Conveniently, one is usually justified in ignoring the bfm. 

I am not talking about a method of delivery. It is my life experience that people who start off with "Everyone has a problem, but I know what it is" have some issues. Issue A) They make often make up problems where there aren't really any. (I don't believe that applies to racism, but the danger in being a person who finds fault most of the time is that no one can take you seriously when there is a real problem. Issue B) They don't really want problems fixed. They like to hear themselves complain. Issue C) They like their complaints to make others unhappy. They don't want to be happy themselves, and they don't want others to be happy either. They find power in their negative energy and don't want to give up that power to learn to harness better energy. They resent people who have better energy. This is why I called the prof "somewhat dysfunctional" in my first post on this issue. I think that is where she is really coming from. I could be wrong, no doubt, I only have my own life experience to go on.

 

I can't help but to think of Victorian women of Society who were shielded from such "unsavory" things in public, such as politics, crime, or social injustice. These women were considered too fragile to handle such difficult and unpleasant notions, and so were duly protected from them. Besides, the idea was, these things are immutable conditions of the human being. There's nothing that can be done anyway. When people make some comment about honey and vinegar, I can't help but think they are appealing to the same expectation of protection - they want quickly end the discussion should it prove to be too emotionally upsetting. I think it's a self-degrading thing to say as it suggests the individual cannot handle indelicate information or complex, or unflattering issues. 

 

Have you read my posts over the years? I am not a sugar coater of issues by ANY stretch of the imagination. No one IRL or online has EVER suggested that I need to communicate more clearly. I have worked in the hospitality industry more than 20 years and my livelihood depends on polite, direct communication. Sugar coating issues in my line of work will get your business shut down. You do not have to be rude to be completely direct.

 

I find that being encouraged to soften the blow, as it were, is a thinly veiled way to pander to one's fragile ego, and that puts one in the position of being condescending, as if they are talking to a child who does not have the maturity to handle such stress, or ignore them and carry on the conversation with those who are willing and able to listen and consider the actual message, regardless of how they may initially react to such emotional triggers. Not everyone has diplomatic skills, nor should that be an expectation, and facts don't care what we feel. So at some point, those who won't listen get left out of the conversation, and I have very little sympathy for their complaints. 

 

I spent many years working in a large hotel and heard the best speakers who came to the whole state of Oregon. I admit that I have heard the very best and have a high bar for diplomatic skills. I think a college professor should reach the high bar. If you want to influence others you should be the sort of person who can do it without alienating half the people you are speaking to.  Anyone who does not want to improve their diplomatic skills should understand that they will not be taken seriously. Have you ever seen the TV show What Not To Wear? Stacy and Clinton explain to woman after woman that they need to look a certain way to be taken seriously. These women argue, ect, complain, have break downs, but it is the same thing. If you are not willing to work on your diplomatic skills, you will be on the sidelines of the Great Conversation. You can complain all you want, but that is where you will be, and where you deserve to be if you want to discourse without actively improving your voice.

Besides, I wonder how consistent this thought is. I can't help but wonder if same prejudiced you mention having would be applied towards one who makes statement like "the problem with Common Core is...", "the problem with new-atheists is..." "the problem with free cell phones to inner city people is..."? You don't have to answer either way. I'm just sharing how this line of defense sounds to me.

 

Yes, I don't like the whole "the problem with Common Core is..." either. I am consistent across the board with this. There is no reason why people should have to listen to someone vent. If you have solutions, present them, if you don't, express concerns directly, but don't pretend that you know the whole problem. Be prepared for real dialogue. 

 

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I am a little skeptical that the folks really upset by the tone but not the message would be just fine and dandy with the "get your act together white people slavery is a y'all thing" and "white male masculinity is a huge problem on american campuses" if those messages were delivered in a extensive essay. It would be easier to ignore, though.

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I don't think that most people want discourse on problems that don't concern them, period. Does the AA professor care about animal rights, the state of the slaves in Dubai and Saudi Arabia from Sri Lanka? I am not the most informed person of human rights in the world but it looks to me like the Arab Nations are enslaving Asians at a horrifying rate and no one cares at all. I hope I am wrong. White people didn't kidnap all the girls in Nigeria. But that is not the discourse the AA professor is having. She is right to focus on the problems in front of her. I think it's great that she tries to shop at all AA owned businesses sometimes. That is helpful. What ISN"T helpful is just telling other people who wrong they are as a group. It may make you feel better, but it is not real discourse, no matter how much it might be true, or how much you want it to be.

 

It isn't right that AA are having so many problems in modern day America. Not by a long shot. I still pray for Trevon's parents. The same thing would never happen to my son, because he looks like a law abiding white kid. It isn't fair, not at all. There is real discourse that needs to be had for the sake of everyone. And I do believe that we all need to listen. But there is the problem I have with that the professor tweeted. Those remarks shut more people down than they fire them up for change. 

 

I went to a lot of work to try to raise color blind children. Two of them are, one is not. The one who is not unfortunately have valid reasons for her feelings. My younger child went to the Prom two nights ago with someone who is not white. Who drove an Escalade. It bothered me to think that if they got pulled over he might not be treated fairly by the police and there could be real trouble if a racist policeman was bothered by a young man who was not white driving such a high end car taking a beautiful white girl on a date. I let her go. Change is made when everyone does what they are uncomfortable with. Some people have to get out of their angry comfort zone and ask, what am I going to do today?

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I am not talking about a method of delivery. It is my life experience that people who start off with "Everyone has a problem, but I know what it is" have some issues. Issue A) They make often make up problems where there aren't really any. (I don't believe that applies to racism, but the danger in being a person who finds fault most of the time is that no one can take you seriously when there is a real problem. Issue B) They don't really want problems fixed. They like to hear themselves complain. Issue C) They like their complaints to make others unhappy. They don't want to be happy themselves, and they don't want others to be happy either. They find power in their negative energy and don't want to give up that power to learn to harness better energy. They resent people who have better energy. This is why I called the prof "somewhat dysfunctional" in my first post on this issue. I think that is where she is really coming from. I could be wrong, no doubt, I only have my own life experience to go on.

 

You said that you are "prejudiced towards anyone who makes statements like..." and then provided an example delivery. This is what I responded to. Are you suggesting Professor Grundy is making up problems where they don't exist? Are you suggesting she is making general statements that simplify the social experience of Americans as determined by race into small, useless sound bites? Are you suggesting she doesn't really want problems fixed? Are you suggesting she likes to hear herself complain? Are you suggesting she likes to make others unhappy and that's why she tweets what she does about race relations? Are you suggesting she doesn't want to be happy herself, or she finds power in her negative energy and subsequently resents people with better energy? I'm not entirely sure what you're suggesting with this explanation, or how it pertains to Professor Grundy. These are the questions that popped into my head when you offered this explanation for why you do not oppose arguments based on delivery. 

 

Have you read my posts over the years? I am not a sugar coater of issues by ANY stretch of the imagination. No one IRL or online has EVER suggested that I need to communicate more clearly. I have worked in the hospitality industry more than 20 years and my livelihood depends on polite, direct communication. Sugar coating issues in my line of work will get your business shut down. You do not have to be rude to be completely direct.

 
I am not familiar with your posting history. I'm responding solely to the comment you posted. 
 

I spent many years working in a large hotel and heard the best speakers who came to the whole state of Oregon. I admit that I have heard the very best and have a high bar for diplomatic skills. I think a college professor should reach the high bar. If you want to influence others you should be the sort of person who can do it without alienating half the people you are speaking to.  Anyone who does not want to improve their diplomatic skills should understand that they will not be taken seriously. Have you ever seen the TV show What Not To Wear? Stacy and Clinton explain to woman after woman that they need to look a certain way to be taken seriously. These women argue, ect, complain, have break downs, but it is the same thing. If you are not willing to work on your diplomatic skills, you will be on the sidelines of the Great Conversation. You can complain all you want, but that is where you will be, and where you deserve to be if you want to discourse without actively improving your voice.

 

We're talking about Twitter. 140 characters. Sound bites. Brain farts. Informal. The people she was speaking to were people who signed up for Twitter and followed her to hear what she has to say. 

 

I find it interesting that you appeal to the same Great Conversation, and suggest those who refuse to be diplomatic (is Professor Grundy in this group?) will be left behind. It seems to me the ones who are left behind, the ones who are compelled to catch-up, sometimes kicking and screaming, are those who advocate conservation of conventional protocol. At least, I can think of no value that has progressed faster through conservative wheels than liberal, progressive wheels. By its very definition, conservatism is disposed to preserve existing conditions, to limit the rate of change. I see neither Professor Grundy nor Twitter as maintaining conservative values. I suspect this "Great Conversation" (accountability with regard to supporting an oppressive system through racism) will continue and develop regardless of those who refuse to listen until someone delivers the message through a polite version.  

 

Yes, I don't like the whole "the problem with Common Core is..." either. I am consistent across the board with this. There is no reason why people should have to listen to someone vent. If you have solutions, present them, if you don't, express concerns directly, but don't pretend that you know the whole problem. Be prepared for real dialogue. 

 

Twitter functions to support venting particularly well. Some people do it with humor, some with style, some with class, some with off-color jokes, apparently quite a bit with otherwise racist sentiment in general. There seems to be a different culture with regard to communication via Twitter. I think there might be a bit of "culture shock" with regards to her tweets. No doubt she is prepared for "real dialog," at least as much as Twitter can accommodate. Surely she provides a more sophisticated and solid argument in class.

 

I'm addressing this comment specifically to MSNative now, the idea that "there is no reason why people should have to listen to someone vent" in the context of this subject and the professor and her tweets suggests to me expressing frustration with regards to ongoing support of oppressive regimes is nothing more than complaining. This is an example of the sentiment I interpret as expressing the idea that one ought to "know one's place" in society and stay there. Gratefully, even. Only then will their requests be considered. 

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We will have to agree to disagree on a professors character being irrelevant. I think character or at least certain character traits do matter. For example (not referring to either actual prof we've been discussing, just traits in general), volatile, hostile, chronically unprepared, biased, dishonest, etc professors have no business in the classroom. Of course I also think professors should be hired and evaluated more on their ability to teach rather than to publish papers - eek another thread derailment)

 

Gotcha. I see these things as important only insofar as the pertain to classroom behavior. A nasty person can be a fantastic educator, and a fantastic person can be a crummy educator. It's the educational experience itself, which includes, but is not limited to the professor's personality. While that personality might be the glue that holds the stuff together, a student pays for an education (the stuff), not an empowerment convention (the glue), kwim?

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 Change is made when everyone does what they are uncomfortable with. Some people have to get out of their angry comfort zone and ask, what am I going to do today?

 

I agree with you, but do you think your kids (or you) would feel confident to pursue their course of action had people a generation and two ago not purposefully upset the status quo by refusing to accept the standard policy of separate but equal? Do you think polite, diplomatic discourse alone inspired change? In a time when MLK, Jr was considered undiplomatic and aggressive, what kinds of changes do you think were brought about by polite, patient conversation? Professor Grundy's comments are uncomfortable, but they don't fall on deaf ears, and they won't die even if many people forget them in the wake of the next media inspired public-frenzy-for-fun-and-profit. 

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I don't think that most people want discourse on problems that don't concern them, period. Does the AA professor care about animal rights, the state of the slaves in Dubai and Saudi Arabia from Sri Lanka? I am not the most informed person of human rights in the world but it looks to me like the Arab Nations are enslaving Asians at a horrifying rate and no one cares at all. I hope I am wrong. White people didn't kidnap all the girls in Nigeria. But that is not the discourse the AA professor is having. She is right to focus on the problems in front of her. I think it's great that she tries to shop at all AA owned businesses sometimes. That is helpful. What ISN"T helpful is just telling other people who wrong they are as a group. It may make you feel better, but it is not real discourse, no matter how much it might be true, or how much you want it to be.

 

Kind of a side track, but did you read that NY Times story about nail salon employees?  Stories like that, plus trafficking, just go to show slavery in happening in the US right now.

 

And I do think it's just fine to tell people as a group that they are wrong. Groups of people are often wrong.

 

I also don't think every tweet has to meet the standard of "real discourse". No does every post in this forum. If you hold every comment you've ever heard about anything to that standard, you would be dismissing a whole lot of really interesting, thought provoking, funny, or otherwise worthy communications.

 

 

 

 

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I agree with you, but do you think your kids (or you) would feel confident to pursue their course of action had people a generation and two ago not purposefully upset the status quo by refusing to accept the standard policy of separate but equal? Do you think polite, diplomatic discourse alone inspired change? In a time when MLK, Jr was considered undiplomatic and aggressive, what kinds of changes do you think were brought about by polite, patient conversation? Professor Grundy's comments are uncomfortable, but they don't fall on deaf ears, and they won't die even if many people forget them in the wake of the next media inspired public-frenzy-for-fun-and-profit. 

I don't think people need to be diplomatic or polite all the time. If that is what you think I mean, we are really miscommunicating. The Letter from the Birmingham Jail is an AMAZING piece of diplomacy. I don't believe there would be any social change without making people uncomfortable.

 

I have never read a blanket statement made by MLK Jr that was intended to stir up hate and fear. He was a doer, he backed his words up with actions. I LOVE action.

 

My problem with Professor Grundy's tweets is that I think they are intended to make an entire population less than equal, and I think that's the opposite of making the changes we need to make.Those college age young white men would fish her out of the ocean in she had a boating accident and the Coast Guard was called, they are serving in the military keeping her safe, they kept CA from burning up last year, ect and bad mouthing them as a group is not what a person who really wants to see things get better would do.

 

If I were doing racial relations work on her campus would she help me do the hard work? Stand in the freezing rain and chant for what's right? Meet with difficult people to to make law enforcement more fair on campus? Maybe, maybe not. It is not my business, and I don't care a bit if BU keeps her or lets her go, it's their campus to run how they see fit. I just don't think that venting is a vehicle for change. 

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I don't think people need to be diplomatic or polite all the time. If that is what you think I mean, we are really miscommunicating. The Letter from the Birmingham Jail is an AMAZING piece of diplomacy. I don't believe there would be any social change without making people uncomfortable.

 

I have never read a blanket statement made by MLK Jr that was intended to stir up hate and fear. He was a doer, he backed his words up with actions. I LOVE action.

 

Do you think MKL, Jr was considered a hero by those whose privilege he worked to upset?

 

My problem with Professor Grundy's tweets is that I think they are intended to make an entire population less than equal,

 

How so? What inequality is she advocating? Do you think racial equality exists today?

 

Those college age young white men would fish her out of the ocean in she had a boating accident and the Coast Guard was called, they are serving in the military keeping her safe, they kept CA from burning up last year, ect and bad mouthing them as a group is not what a person who really wants to see things get better would do.

 

I don't understand. What do these things have to do with her calling out inequality in the US as it pertains to race, or teaching a class of African American social studies? 

 

If I were doing racial relations work on her campus would she help me do the hard work? Stand in the freezing rain and chant for what's right? Meet with difficult people to to make law enforcement more fair on campus? Maybe, maybe not. It is not my business, and I don't care a bit if BU keeps her or lets her go, it's their campus to run how they see fit. I just don't think that venting is a vehicle for change. 

 

These tweets were on her personal Twitter account. People should be able to vent without expecting the Spanish Inquisition to determine their motives, kwim?. No one would care except that Fox made it sound like she's pushing for black people to "rise up" against "the white man." Well, where? In what way is she promoting defiance against the law, or oppression of the white race? 

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LOL,  I don't think MLK Jr was a hero to the people he upset, but this woman is not MLK Jr, not by a long shot. I am honestly not upset by her comments, so much as I don't feel they are invoking dialogue or intellectual in any way. And yes, people are entitled to make comments that do not invoke dialogue and are not intellectual. I get that is what Tweeting is all about. BTW I don't Tweet. I have a life, lol. However, what you tweet will cause people to judge you, that is all I was saying. No one gets a pass on that. I would love to see those Tweeters who make the ugly comments to Ashley Judd lose their jobs, but that is another thread. They are not the same as this prof.

 

I never said that ONLY white young males would save her if she were in trouble, there are plenty of people of color (and women too) who would, but to say that all white college age males are THE problem with society is discounting those people, who are GREAT people. They are NOT the problem with America, and I make part of my living serving these sort of people and I have great respect for them and I don't respect people who make unfair blanket statements about them. I see the Cal Fire fighter all summer long. They are AMAZING young people. They saved my home this summer and I don't like anyone talking smack about them. So anyone who says the white ones are the problem with our society is pretty clueless in the bigger scheme of things.

 

If you don't understand the argument, I can't help you, it seems very plain to me. There are a lot of wonderful college age kids in America. Statistically most of them are white. They are NOT the problem with our culture and saying they are seems juvenile. I suspect I know the sort of young college age white male she refers to, but they are only part of a large group. She would not like to be lumped with every black woman in America, and I wouldn't do that.

 

I do understand that inequality is a big problem in our culture right now, I suppose we are going around in circles since I agree with both Sadie and Albeto on lots of the things they have said on this thread. But the things I don't agree with we may not be able to agree to disagree. And that's fine, I still respect them as people. Thank you for not personally insulting me or my thoughts.

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I don't see how you can assign intentions like one to 'stir up hate and fear' or 'making a whole population less than equal' from those particular tweets, without projecting meaning related to prejudices about the speaker.

 

 

I disagree.  I feel the same way about her tweets as I feel about some of the things you say, and you have told us you're white.

 

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Well, your feelings may cause you to make assumptions. It doesn't mean your feelings lead you to make correct assumptions.

 

For example, I do not have an intention to 'stir up hate and fear' nor do I assign 'less than equal' status to my own race. You cannot correctly judge someone's intentions merely on the basis of what you feel.

 

Those weren't my words (in your second paragraph).

 

My point was that I disagree with your implication that people found her tweets unacceptable mainly because they made racist assumptions about her.

 

I also find it odd that we're being accused of being racially biased because we take issue with her racially biased statements.  But I'm sure you see the nuance that I keep missing.

 

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I'm not sure when the intention of the tweeter became the issue.  I personally think her intention was probably to get high-fives from like-minded people, and she didn't think far enough ahead to predict the fallout.

 

The intention of a person in a racial or sexist gaffe is rarely to provoke backlash.  So what?  The fact is that these tweets/blurbs are little snapshots into the individual's mind.  The university now has additional information about this person.  Every employer who receives unsavory information about an employee or candidate can and does base employment decisions on that information.  If a university knows a person holds and expresses hateful beliefs about a group, and hires her anyway, well, that tells us something about the university.

 

And yes, they are hateful beliefs.  You know they would offend you if one exchanged "white masculinity" for "black men" or "homosexuals" etc.  Of course there are people who would argue that it's "factually based social commentary" to say that black men or homosexuals are "the problem."  Does that make it OK to say?  Would you hire a person if you knew they were going around saying that sort of thing, in the spirit of free speech and open discourse?

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But...I'm saying this without snark...you don't get it.

 

Way back at the beginning of this thread, I said it would be derailed by people not understanding there is a difference between a privileged class speaking about a minority, and a minority speaking about those with privilege.

 

And it has been :)

You seem to be intentionally missing the point several people have made, which is quite simply that racist comments are unacceptable, whether or not they are made by the "privileged class" or "a minority."

 

Racist is racist.

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But...I'm saying this without snark...you don't get it.

 

Way back at the beginning of this thread, I said it would be derailed by people not understanding there is a difference between a privileged class speaking about a minority, and a minority speaking about those with privilege.

 

And it has been :)

 

This is an opinion that we have heard many times, but that we do not share.

 

Nobody can be simultaneously for and against racial bias or racist speech.

 

Teaching young people that anti-white speech is acceptable equals teaching young people that racism is right.  I would rather the AA Studies teacher wasn't undermining the message that racism is wrong.  It's dehumanizing to black students, whether she means it to be or not.

 

And no, I don't think the thread has been derailed.  I didn't get the impression that the OP was trying to say black women have the right to trash various groups.

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LOL,  I don't think MLK Jr was a hero to the people he upset, but this woman is not MLK Jr, not by a long shot. 

 

I was a little apprehensive about this particular analogy for this very reason. Rather than comparing the heroic [or lack of heroic] value attributed to either person, what if instead we compared the behavior - challenging the comfortable and majority satisfied with their traditional privileges, and contributing to social pressure (uncomfortably so at times) to make progressive change rather than conserve the status quo? 

 

I never said that ONLY white young males would save her if she were in trouble, there are plenty of people of color (and women too) who would, but to say that all white college age males are THE problem with society is discounting those people, who are GREAT people. They are NOT the problem with America, and I make part of my living serving these sort of people and I have great respect for them and I don't respect people who make unfair blanket statements about them. I see the Cal Fire fighter all summer long. They are AMAZING young people. They saved my home this summer and I don't like anyone talking smack about them. So anyone who says the white ones are the problem with our society is pretty clueless in the bigger scheme of things.

 

Amazing people can support unjustified policies, knowingly or not. Of course there's no knowing what kinds of personal or public, political or social behaviors the folks you're referring to align with, but I suspect that in general, if one doesn't support an unjust system of oppression, she's not talking about them. I don't think I am supporting an oppressive system either, but you know what? I do benefit from policies in place that offer an unequal chance for my success and comfort, and the success and comfort of my children. And furthermore, I'm not always aware of it. Granted, like you I very well know there is a racist problem in America. And like you, I don't contribute to racist behavior when I am cognizant of it. The thing is, I don't always recognize just how I might benefit from a system of oppression, and I want to know because I want to contribute to a solution. I don't feel like I'm being put on the stand to defend myself as a white person, but rather I feel like I'm being given an opportunity to recognize examples of injustice of which I am generally ignorant for the very reason of contributing to the solution. "The more you know..." you know? I oppose injustice, and I don't want to be ignorant about my support of it, even if my participation was never a conscious effort on my part.

 

If you don't understand the argument, I can't help you, it seems very plain to me. There are a lot of wonderful college age kids in America. Statistically most of them are white. They are NOT the problem with our culture and saying they are seems juvenile. I suspect I know the sort of young college age white male she refers to, but they are only part of a large group. She would not like to be lumped with every black woman in America, and I wouldn't do that.

 

I think no one here would defend her tweets as being particularly helpful, but I do think Slojo explained the purpose behind African American social studies in a helpful way. She suggested the goal is one of getting 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. I will go out on a limb here and assume this is the point Professor Grundy makes in her classes, and one for which she provides evidence and support for these arguments. I could be wrong, and it might be that she does genuinely hate white men and blame them personally. I tend to think earning a position of staff at BU is requires a bit more professional and intellectual skill than blanket, run-of-the-mill stereotyping that is based on the idea that All White Dudes Are Jerks. 

 

I do understand that inequality is a big problem in our culture right now, I suppose we are going around in circles since I agree with both Sadie and Albeto on lots of the things they have said on this thread. But the things I don't agree with we may not be able to agree to disagree. And that's fine, I still respect them as people. Thank you for not personally insulting me or my thoughts.

 

Thanks, Anne. I feel the same way. I have enjoyed this exchange and am grateful that no one has lobbed cheap shots or made people the butt of jokes for their amusement (or tension relief, I figure). In any case, please do pass along my appreciate to the men and women who risk their lives fighting fires. It's a difficult, exhausting, physically and mentally challenging choice for very little money and lots of risk. I have friends who do this too, and their willingness to put themselves on the line for people they don't know is humbling. 

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You seem to be intentionally missing the point several people have made, which is quite simply that racist comments are unacceptable, whether or not they are made by the "privileged class" or "a minority."

 

Racist is racist.

Why the quotation marks?

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lol, I am definitely NOT comparing a couple of tweets to MLK.

 

Sadly, love is not going to overturn entrenched systemic racism. Would that it were so...

I am not comparing her to MLK either. But I am kind of grossed out by the idea that anyone calling for racial justice or change must match his standard . And methods. King told his followers to react passively and peacefully to attacks... Ranging from shaming , yelling, humiliating to rubber bullets, attack dogs and fire hoses. While people in their cause were being falsely arrested, tortured, assassinated. While kids were bring killed. How many here would be able to not react with anger and retribution? How many here would be willing to tell other people to face such horrible adversity calmly and with love, not anger? To not seek justice in this world but the next when directly attacked, when their friends and family are attacked? And are all political movements (let's say against gays marriage and undocumented immigrants) being held to the MLK standard?

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I am not comparing her to MLK either. But I am kind of grossed out by the idea that anyone calling for racial justice or change must match his standard . And methods. King told his followers to react passively and peacefully to attacks... Ranging from shaming , yelling, humiliating to rubber bullets, attack dogs and fire hoses. While people in their cause were being falsely arrested, tortured, assassinated. While kids were bring killed. How many here would be able to not react with anger and retribution? How many here would be willing to tell other people to face such horrible adversity calmly and with love, not anger? To not seek justice in this world but the next when directly attacked, when their friends and family are attacked? And are all political movements (let's say against gays marriage and undocumented immigrants) being held to the MLK standard?

 

It was an ideal.

 

I think that from the safety of a computer keyboard in one's home or office, it is reasonable to expect people not to make hateful, divisive comments.  Especially people who aspire to be respected in a field focused on race relations.

 

And it is wrong, in my opinion, to essentially praise her expressions on the logic that divisive speech is the way to whip white racist people into shape.

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Is this the facebook rant? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3086976/Go-cry-Hateful-words-black-Boston-University-professor-white-rape-survivor-written-Facebook-three-months-claimed-white-men-problem-America-s-colleges.html

 

I wish there was more in this article. I have no idea why they identify the other person as a white rape survivor when the rant was about equal pay, I think. I hope someone else has a better link cause this one just confused me.

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