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Harry Stein
Chronicle of Servile Education « Back to Story

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commies still hard at work taking us down from the inside through moral corruption. The game hasn't changed since the sixties. Its merely gotten more deeply entrenched... so long, now, that no one even questions it.
B. Samuel Davis May 10, 2012 at 3:25 PM
Even in the 70's we knew that BS was, well what it says. But, the college administration didn't care because it was believed it was what "they" wanted, just like separate whatever else 'they wanted' - fraternities, lounges etc. A sickening situation, given the civil rights movement of the previous decade, which fought for an end to segregation.

Who knew that, according to Democrats (who are, after all, the left), the answer to segregation was...segregation.

And so it still goes, with the Democratic caused ruin of the black family and criminalization of its community.

And this is another example of white liberal Democrats who support a college program that is worthless, but who cares since if the result is poverty, joblessness etc. that's all the better for Democrats since it is among these groups they get the most votes. It can't be sins of omission - on some level they have to know what they are doing.

And, as I have written elsewhere one day there will be a reckoning when those when they have destroyed finally wake up to just who is really responsible.
Janice -- and Thomas --

If you are tenure-track, I certainly hope you'll find your backbones, and your names, the moment you're granted tenure at the latest. Otherwise, I have no sympathy: you're no better than them.

I've seen too many good people destroyed -- quite frankly, intellectually brutalized. I don't use those words lightly. I was in graduate school when the giant boulder was falling on the job market, and as people scrambled to get out from under it, things grew very ugly indeed. My school's administration treated us, once, to a harangue from a black woman who scolded a room full of fellow graduate students about the "oppression" of being offered too many jobs. It was our fault, of course, that she had to live with the burden of largesse. Few of the rest of us became permanent faculty anywhere. That's just bloody perverse. It was like being in a re-education camp run by escapees from an insane asylum.

The bad guys won. If you think they're not taking over K - 12, you're not watching.

I used to think of my students as kids who had mastered the thousand-yard stare whenever some professor started ranting about their hidden racism or accusing them of "privilege" or heteronormativity. Are you going to abandon the students, too?

We all make sacrifices. I watched my husband make some terrible ones, and he isn't the least bit political. I've met 60-year old women in community college adjunct lounges who whisper that they've spent 20 years watching completely incompetent and far less qualified minorities skate past them to receive the occasional full-time job -- one was even asked to fill in classes (for free) for one such woman who just didn't bother showing up to teach much, for a job the woman herself had applied for (the slacker retained her position, title, salary and benefits, of course).

It's far more screwed up than you'll hear in the wishy-washy-right forums run by people with full-time work.

I do expect you to do more, and thanks to people like Harry Stein, there is a growing, vocal resistance. Just do the rest of us a big favor and don't jump on the anti-crazy gravy train the moment there aren't any costs attached to it.
I wonder how many graduates of Black Studies program in college have actually found meaningful jobs after graduation. I don't mean those who latch onto affirmative action positions, or who go to work for the Federal Government, which, unlike most of the states, is still hiring AND giving preferential treatment to non-whites AND paying quite nicely, thank you.
Take a look at this story that appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education:
http://chronicle.com/article/From-Graduate-School-to/131795/
This 'single mother of two' (one baby daddy, two baby daddys, who knows?) got her PhD in Medieval Studies, and now, surprisingly finds that she can't get a job 'in her field'.
Do you really think that Dayshawn or Toneesha are going to be employable in the private sector with a meaningless degree in Black Studies?
My God, it brings back to me something I saw at a newsstand in New York's Penn Station three or four years ago. There were a black college student and a Chinese college student (ok, so they looked like college students) standing at the counter waiting to pay for their magazine purchase. The Chinese student was buying a magazine that had a cover story something like "How to Customize Excel to do advanced engineering calculations with fewer keystrokes." Really heady stuff. The black student was buying a copy of Black Hair.
Enough said.
The future belongs to those who will be ready for it. The rest will be flipping their burgers and sweeping their floors.
I hope the professors and administration at Cornell 1969 are happy.
The CHE is a weekly whiner's journal. So much for academic freedom from a "journal" which purports to champion it. I was a subscriber for 10 years (Ok, call me slow) before I finally realized that all most of the lead articles do is whine about one thing or another.,e.g. It is so hard to get a tenured teaching position -- another article comes along and the writer complains that now that I have tenure, my spouse can't get a job in her field at the same school, etc. etc.
All of these 'studies ' curricula ( I use the term loosely) are frauds . Any stockbroker peddling a security of similar value would be soon rooming w/ Mr Madoff . And BTW , soc / anthro / and poli sci are of similar utility : morasses of jargon an inch deep and a mile wide . They've had their century to prove their worth and failed . In a generation the academy will be reduced to online training courses and the rest relegated to the ash heap of history . And you can take that to the bank .
Yes, Tina, I am gutless, and there are good reasons why. Anyone who disagrees with the politically correct academic cant can be ostracized and their job may even be in jeopardy. The situation is grim. The academic world is rotting away, and there's nothing I (Janice) can do about it. I'm not ready to be a martyr for the cause.
Hi....thought you might find this of interest.Pat
What about the sociology departments? My daughter recently took a college sociology course (required), and all the views promoted by the professor AND the textbook were pure left wing victimology. The professor spent many class periods ranting about the privileged whites. Sociology departments are yet another theft of taxpayer funds to support leftist ideology and brainwash the young.
To "Janice":

Why don't you stop being gutless.

Use your real name, name the institution, and keep talking. You have tenure if you're participating in hiring. Do something.

Those drummed out of academia as a consequence of this regime -- an obscenity affecting the careers of an entire generation of non-"minority" and heterosexual candidates -- look at the tenured silent with considerable disgust. Man up and speak up, or just don't bother whispering in the comment threads.

When I was a graduate student, a tenured or tenure-track professor on a hiring committee sent me an anonymous note offering details about the insane efforts being made to find a minority for a particular job. He or she assumed I would speak out, as I was also a columnist and had begun to question the relentless racial, sexual, and sexual-identity harangues occurring in classrooms and hiring committees.

I think about that a lot. I know dozens of excellent scholars and educators (I don't count myself among them) who were placed firmly on the back of the bus, or kicked under it, their careers thrown away, as preening jerks in the faculty lounges acted out their ritualistic performance of identity drama.

Worst, I think, were those of an age who actually got their jobs at a time when jobs were largely reserved for white males, which in the humanities was hardly long ago. They had the most to prove, so they were often the most eager to demonstrate their sensitivity by being most militant.

The identity regime in academia has mutilated academia itself and damaged the lives of many decent, hardworking people (and this incident barely scratches the surface). In numbers and effect, this dwarfs the (exaggerated) excesses of McCarthyism. So, where were you? Where are you?
I'm pretty sure OWS encampments around the country are rife with "Black Studies" majors who, surprisingly enough, can't find a job with their little BS major. That in itself should be indictment enough of the major's pointlessness.
I am a professor at an elite liberal arts college and this is not a all surprising. The left wing is the main enemy of free speech in the academy and, ironically, it is conservative thinkers who are me dissidents. I think Riley''s piece was a hatchet job, but she certainly have the right to wield the hatchet and she is basically correct and her observations that black studies is a field in which scholars cannot make it in other fields find refuge to indulge themselves and victimization ideologies. There are notable exceptions, of course, to this general observation but it is substantially true. Black studies would be a quite reputable and notable field if it included a diversity of epistemological and ideological positions. But it doesn't and it is fundamentally set up so that it cannot
Let's face it. The firing of Riley was sadly predictable. I have seen this kind of reprehensible behavior up close and personal. I taught in a "university" where a person had been hired, solely for his/her color, and I was complicit in the hiring, knowing that we HAD to have a person of color. I used to watch in amusement, as the professor would "mau mau" other academics who cowered in response. It really was funny, but also sad, to watch the white folk respond. Meanwhile, the black professor was sadly incompetent, did not keep up with the field of study, frequently missed class and was completely untouchable. That was ten years ago, and nothing has changed, and it will not change. Professors like Levy and many others have an enviable position and are definitely not held to the same standard. They are encouraged to write witless dissertations and promoted for the same reasons. I don't even blame black professors. They shrewdly take advantage of the situation and I might do the same thing if I were black. The Chronicle is totally gutless and so is all of academia.
Naomi Schaefer Riley might have observed,

“If ever there were a case for eliminating the imposture of feminist studies, some of the dissertations and books perpetrated by the best and the brightest of womyn's-studies graduate students has made it.”

Out with feminist jurisprudence and all the bigoted matriarchy!
"How, prey tell" (that's "pray tell", sir) can the analysis be fact-based, when Riley didn't read the theses?

The titles and abstracts of the best of the theses she picked make assertions that fly in the face of well-known facts.

As to the rest, Riley's take was that the thesis topic itself was barren and trivial. There is, believe it or not, quite a bit of barren and trivial work to be found in academia, alongside the deep and serious. Telling them apart is something that the pros get good at.

Kafka? Hardly. Mr. O'Brien in 1984 rather. Groveling? Yes, and sniveling. I surmise not 1 any 100 or more of those folks has ever read or thought about INVISIBLE MAN. 1950? The masterpiece of the mid-century, or one of them. I could cite another by Ellison's close friend, Bellow. Having known them both and not distantly, I can hear their bitter laughter at all these people who do not belong anywhere in the precincts of education, high or low.
Not any of such persons has the least notion that there are but two sub-species in our species of featherless bipeds: the XX race and the XY race.
"...and challenge it is precisely what Riley did in her blog post, doing what she’d been hired to do by engaging in a fact-based analysis"

how, prey tell, can it be fact based analysis when she didn't bother to read the dissertations she savaged?
Oops. Meant "read" not "rewad."
Craig Burley, I rewad and reread, and rereread your comment trying in vain to find a single example of Ms. Riley's "ignorance" or any of the facts which you claim she was "wrong on." If anyone is guilty of a "drive-by attack," I suspect it's you.
David M. Bethune, Ph.D. May 08, 2012 at 10:10 PM
Excellent, excellent commentary on a very sad instance of racial consciousness run amuck. A brilliant writer is pilloried for speaking the truth by those who cannot stand to hear the truth.

Higher education seems to have a kind of totalitarian DNA. It is the institution in America today most controlled by the Left and, consequently, exhibits the most restrictions on personal liberty, especially freedom of thought and speech. In the words of Dennis Prager in his new book, Still the Best Hope, "universities are probably the least free major institutions in the United States." And there is no better example of this than the one described by Harry Stein in his piece.
Riley's blog post was a fact-free, drive-by attack, wrapping itself proudly in ignorance of what it was attacking. It was wrong on the facts and she didn't care, and when challenged she fell back on claiming it was just a blog post, and she didn't need to research or to back her claims up.

It was right for her to be dismissed.
One must keep in mind that most subscribers to CHE are academics, and they can be called to account for any defense of Riley and her observations.

Those who think she had a point are silenced by the real and justified fear of consequences.
So 45 years after the author of "benign neglect" was excoriated for his views, the discussion goes underground again, with no one willing to say what they mean.

Anyone assuming it was time for an "honest discussion on race", was just reminded that there can be no such thing. Not even on the dissertations of useless academics, who are usually fair game.

No career is worth candor on a race issue.

People steered into majoring in those areas are preordained to be perceived as victimologists. No one will tell them otherwise: they may now find it hard to find anyone or any article that expresses any opinion.


Change a few of the words around, but keep the substantive idea behind what Ms. Riley said, and she'd have a great piece on Women's Studies. What utter ridiculousness all taxpayer's are funding.
Black Studies will continue to be regarded outside the academy as a refuge for the incompetent.

If they were at all competent, they wouldn't specialize in Black Studies,