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Africana Prof Accused of Making Sexist Comments
© 2010 The Cornell Daily Sun ^ | April 12, 2010 - 2:43am | By Lawrence Lan

Posted on 04/12/2010 7:07:03 AM PDT by Behind Liberal Lines

ITHACA, NY-Two months after an Africana professor allegedly called two black graduate students “black bitches,” members and allies of the Africana community — undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and alumni alike — have begun to speak out more fervently about the issue.

Earlier this year, Prof. Grant Farred, English and Africana studies, invited two of his advisees — both female graduate students who wish to remain anonymous — to attend a Feb. 5 and 6 conference at the University of Rochester entitled “Theorizing Black Studies: Thinking Black Intellectuals.”

The two students arrived late to a conference panel, after which Farred walked over and thanked them for making it out to the conference. According to one of the two students present, Farred then lowered his voice and said, “When you both walked in, I thought, ‘Who are these black bitches?’”

When the two students visibly expressed shock at the remark, the student said Farred changed the subject and, soon after, walked away. She said that both she and the other student later told Farred that his comment was offensive. She said he quickly apologized, saying that that he had meant no harm.

Following the incident, the two students informed other graduate students in the Africana community of the matter and also contacted several faculty. Eventually, word reached Prof. Salah Hassan, director of the Africana Studies and Research Center, at which point a University investigation was launched.

The students involved in the incident questioned the lack of propriety in Farred’s remark.

“In what context did [Prof. Farred] think such a remark would be appropriate to say,” the one student interviewed for this story said.

In the wake of Farred’s remarks, members of the Africanaand larger Cornell community have expressed concern and outrage through open letters addressed to Hassan in addition to University administrators, including President David Skorton and Provost Kent Fuchs.

Most recently, an open letter signed by 39 alumni and released last Tuesday and reprinted in today’s Sun publicly condemned the actions of Farred and the inaction of Hassan; it also advocated an open meeting for “all concerned members of the community.”

When asked about the details of the incident and his alleged remark, Farred declined to comment.

“This [incident] isn’t an allegation. Professor Farred has already admitted making these remarks to Deputy Provost David Harris,” one student involved in the situation said

Hassan, the director of the Africana Center, issued an e-mail response to an open letter that several alumni issued condemning the incident last week.

“The remarks are certainly racist, sexist and utterly ugly. No one deserves to be addressed in such a manner, let alone two black women graduate students in a program, like Africana, borne out of the struggle against injustice and all forms of discrimination,” Hassan stated in the e-mail, sent Apr. 6. “What makes the remarks even more egregious that they were [uttered] by an educator.”

Hassan’s written response included a letter detailing the comprehensive steps that have been taken to address the incident. According to the letter, Farred, who was Director of Graduate Studies in the ASRC at the time of the incident, was promptly removed from his position. Additionally, a special faculty meeting was held amongst Africana faculty to discuss the incident, and Fared was asked to not participate in the 40th anniversary of the ASRC occuring this week. Hassan declined to comment beyond his written statement.

Faculty and students who have heard about the incident have expressed dismay and disappointment not only with Farred’s alleged words, but also the handling of the incident by Africana leadership.

According to Candace Katungi grad, Hassan’s response last week was the first public acknowledgement of the incident.

“I think [Hassan has] been forced to address this issue now that many alumni have been alerted about [the situation],” she said. “I don’t understand why there has been so much silence around this issue, because it’s one that needs to be addressed.”

Prof. Margaret Washington, history, decried the incident as “absolutely disgusting and despicable” and discussed how the situation has cast doubt upon the notion of Africana as a safe space.

“This [institution] is supposed to be a safe environment,” she said. “Black female students should feel safe in Africana, but they don’t right now. They feel vulnerable right now.”

“What really tore at my heartstrings was to hear [one of the two female students involved] admit that she feels uncomfortable walking into the Africana Center and that the incident has created enormous tension among graduate students and faculty,” La TaSha Levy M.P.S. ’06, who has been advising the two students about the incident, said. “I could not fathom that these two students could attend a conference on theorizing black intellectuals and still be reduced to ‘black bitches’ by their professor and advisor.”

Another professor, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retributive action, denounced Farred’s alleged comment to the two graduate students as an “[extremely] racist and sexist” remark that projected an image of patriarchy.

“Incidents like this only serve to foster a sexist environment that is becoming even worse. We are supposed to be nurturing students, not demoralizing them,” the professor said. “In the 40 years that Africana has been here, it has never seen a female director. All that does is promote a culture of fear and terror rooted in male chauvinism.”

“This is not a matter of incivility or of a person making a crude joke,” Levy said. “This is a matter of a man who is in a position of power over students, who used that dynamic to degrade Black women, and they were traumatized by it. Many of us are.”

“I don’t think that any one person — especially the professor in question — is bigger than the Africana community, so his ridiculous behavior shouldn’t reflect on Africana, but I do think that the leadership at Africana could have handled this a lot better,” Navid Farnia ’09 said. “Current graduate students have been pleading for an open community forum for all who are invested in the Africana community for weeks now, and the fact that this forum hasn’t taken place yet is more detrimental to the community as a whole than any actions of one single professor.”

Undergraduate students, like the alumni, have also been calling for an open discussion of the incident as well a larger conversation regarding racism and sexism.

“There should be some open dialogue, especially since the particular comments by [Prof. Farred] represent a blatant intersection of racism and sexism that black women experience,” Tia Hicks ’11 said. “Yet there is silence. If the silence and inaction continues, then then the very basis on which Africana was founded and the scholarship that the center is producing becomes futile.”

According to Washington, Farred’s alleged remark has implications that transcend the scope of African-American women.

“As a gender bias issue, it’s so much bigger than just African American women. It applies to all women,” she said.

Thu-Huong Nguyen ’11, an undergraduate student in Africana, echoed Washington's sentiment and also expressed solidarity with members of the Africana community who have condemned Farred's remarks.

“I believe this instance of race and gender bias is very telling,” she said. “It goes to show that gender oppression continues to pose a very real and very significant problem that may sometimes be overlooked — and that is a dangerous thing to do.”

The incident will be the focus of discussion this Wednesday at the ASRC, where graduate students will host an “Urgent Africana Meeting” to “make recomendations to the University for the immediate improvement of the situation and environment created as a result.” The University is currently investigating the incident.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; US: New York
KEYWORDS: academia; cityofevil; cornell; donimus; farred; grant; hypocrisy; ithaca; pc
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Ithaca is the City of Evil.


1 posted on 04/12/2010 7:07:03 AM PDT by Behind Liberal Lines
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To: VampireStateNY; governsleastgovernsbest; gaspar; NativeNewYorker; drjimmy; Atticus; ...
City of Evil bump:


2 posted on 04/12/2010 7:08:14 AM PDT by Behind Liberal Lines
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

I’s majoring in Africana!


3 posted on 04/12/2010 7:08:40 AM PDT by Dr. Ursus
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

africana? how does that differ from african, and if this a new word that we need to be aware of?


4 posted on 04/12/2010 7:10:51 AM PDT by camle (keep an open mind and someone will fill it full of something for you)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

This never happens in the White Studies department...


5 posted on 04/12/2010 7:11:52 AM PDT by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

If it was Lil’ Wayne it would be a complement.


6 posted on 04/12/2010 7:11:55 AM PDT by struggle ((The struggle continues))
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To: Behind Liberal Lines
Wheres Sharpton? Oh that's right, this is only Black on Black hate. No need to show up and save the world unless its WHITE people doing the hating.


7 posted on 04/12/2010 7:12:13 AM PDT by scoobysnak71 (I'm light skinned with no negro dialect. Could you milk me?)
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To: Dr. Ursus

Black studies professor hung on his own petard.

Poetic justice.


8 posted on 04/12/2010 7:12:29 AM PDT by y6162
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

Yo, Homeboy be talking da language of dee streets, cuz them bitches is either bitches or ho’s. Word.


9 posted on 04/12/2010 7:13:10 AM PDT by Hodar (Who needs laws .... when this "feels" so right?)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines
WTF is "Africana"? BTW, I believe Prof Farred is immune from charges of sexism or racism.
10 posted on 04/12/2010 7:14:40 AM PDT by paterfamilias
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To: Dr. Ursus

“I’s majoring in Africana!”

That major diplays the kind of academic rigor needed for this nation to thrive in the 21st century.


11 posted on 04/12/2010 7:16:06 AM PDT by HereInTheHeartland
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

Move along , nothing to see here, he’s black so there’s no offense.


12 posted on 04/12/2010 7:16:22 AM PDT by ontap
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

Were they?


13 posted on 04/12/2010 7:17:24 AM PDT by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: camle

Ya, I wondered the same thing. Is “Africana” a new term? I haven’t heard it before. Is it a term which includes American born blacks, as well as African born students? Are they trying to show sophistication with such a term?

Is it just a new politically correct term, which will be used to show that those of us outside that community are racists because we aren’t aware of the term?


14 posted on 04/12/2010 7:20:30 AM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: Hodar

You misspelled “werd.”


15 posted on 04/12/2010 7:21:07 AM PDT by HIDEK6
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To: Behind Liberal Lines
“In what context did" could "such a remark"..."be appropriate to say?”

That's what I would like to know. I cannot imagine any circumstance under which such a remark would be appropriate...amusing...clever...friendly(?)...anything but ugly. Can you???

Never mind the sexual and racial aspects--under what circumstance could a professor appropriately refer to students as "bitches"?

I'm at a loss. Somebody, help me.

16 posted on 04/12/2010 7:21:11 AM PDT by Savage Beast ("True evil has a face you know and a voice you trust." ~Greg Iles)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

Worse than an Imus moment? True, Imus was speaking over
the public air waves. But he was just trying to be
funny. No way Farred will face similar sanctions.


17 posted on 04/12/2010 7:25:07 AM PDT by Sivad (NorCal Red Turf)
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To: Savage Beast

It’s only racist if he calls them “nappy-headed hoes”


18 posted on 04/12/2010 7:26:32 AM PDT by mbarker12474 (If thine enemy offend thee, give his childe a drum.)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines; null and void; Tax-chick; LongElegantLegs

I can see being insulted. Certainly. But TRAUMATIZED??????????????????


19 posted on 04/12/2010 7:27:33 AM PDT by Shimmer1 (Think. It isn’t illegal yet)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

That was his pickup line, it was supposed to turn them on!


20 posted on 04/12/2010 7:28:39 AM PDT by Shimmer1 (Think. It isn’t illegal yet)
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To: paterfamilias; Behind Liberal Lines
Looks like Farred stole Dr. Evil's wardrobe.


21 posted on 04/12/2010 7:28:44 AM PDT by bamahead (Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master. -- Sallust)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines
some text

Grant Far-red.

From:http://durhamwonderland.blogspot.com/2007/05/farreds-secrets.html

"Yet another tape of anti-lacrosse extremist Grant Farred has surfaced—this one from a September address he gave on the Duke campus. In these remarks, the Group of 88 stalwart touched on some of the same themes he raised in his Williams talk last month. But three critical differences existed between the two talks.

First, Farred much more explicitly denounced Duke students beyond the lacrosse team.
Second, Farred approvingly quoted from the March 29, 2006 letter of Houston Baker, who advocated the immediate expulsion from Duke of the entire lacrosse team.
Third, while Farred claimed at Williams (after all charges had been dismissed) that he was indicting the lacrosse team for its pre-March 13 behavior, the main thrust of his September talk was the team party and the resulting charges. Nor did he make any mention of “perjury” or “hate crimes”—the two offenses with which he specifically charged lacrosse players in his Williams talk.

The tone, and in some cases, the words of the two talks were the same. But the offenses differed. It appears that Farred has flexible criteria for denunciation, as long as he could continue to denounce the “privileged white boys.”

22 posted on 04/12/2010 7:29:40 AM PDT by ecomcon
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To: Savage Beast

Children wanting to be adults? Perpetuating racism born in ebonics, illiteracy and ignorance of the street? Why should there be cash paying students for this? Or is this stimulus money at work?

I dunno, your guess is as good as mine...


23 posted on 04/12/2010 7:30:56 AM PDT by himno hero
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To: Behind Liberal Lines
I focused on "Africana Studies" too. What the heck is that? From their website:

The Africana Studies undergraduate major prepares students for a broad range of academic and professional careers relevant to both the public and private sectors. The Center has a history of shaping students' intellectual discipline, creativity, and social and politicalawareness.

My guess is that calling students "black b__ches" is either shaping their creativitiy or making them politically aware.

24 posted on 04/12/2010 7:31:05 AM PDT by Opinionated Blowhard
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

...reminds me of a certain community organizer...

25 posted on 04/12/2010 7:32:01 AM PDT by NativeNewYorker (Freepin' Jew Boy)
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To: bamahead

Mao suits are so 1960s.


26 posted on 04/12/2010 7:32:04 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Shimmer1

You don’t understand it because yer racist!


27 posted on 04/12/2010 7:34:12 AM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 445 of our national holiday from reality. - 0bama really isn't one of US.)
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To: Shimmer1

This is so far beyond stupid that it’s almost impossible to comment. A normal person might respond, “Well, you’re an *sshole, aren’t you?” or even, “F*** you, cretin.”

But only crazy people would be traumatized by a rude remark ... and who is more likely to be crazy, in today’s world, than graduate students who are participants in the “Africana community,” whatever the FReep that is.


28 posted on 04/12/2010 7:37:02 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Reality in my rear view mirror, driving toward the beach house in my mind ...)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

It most certainly is a city of evil, find a poster who boasts of an Ithaca connection and malevolence seeps out from their oily hides.


29 posted on 04/12/2010 7:37:28 AM PDT by junta (S.C.U.M. = State Controlled Unreliable Media)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

Good thing it wasn't said by this guy or there would be real outrage.
30 posted on 04/12/2010 7:41:51 AM PDT by mrmeyer ("When brute force is on the march, compromise is the red carpet." Ayn Rand)
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To: Opinionated Blowhard
Afriana curriculum:

Victimization 101 thru 401

Racism. 101-401

Blame Whitey 101-to grad school.

Reparations 101-grad school.

Trash talk and Spin 101-401.

vaudine

31 posted on 04/12/2010 7:43:25 AM PDT by vaudine (,,)
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To: abb; Maelstorm

Ping! Another worm turns...


32 posted on 04/12/2010 7:50:55 AM PDT by Albion Wilde (Liberals love the poor so much they came up w/ a plan to create millions more of them. - Ann Coulter)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines
WOW, my home town, and the offense happened in the city of my birth. Spooky (can you still say that?)In case you don't want to read the entire Wiki page. Liberal highlights below

In its earliest years during frontier days, what is now Ithaca was briefly known by the names “The Flats” and “Sodom,”[3][28] the name of the Biblical city of sin, due to its reputation as a town of “notorious immorality”,[29] a place of horse racing, gambling, profanity, Sabbath breaking, and readily available liquor. These names did not last long; Simeon DeWitt renamed the town Ithaca in the early 1800s, though nearby Robert H. Treman State Park still contains Lucifer Falls. (100 yards from my house)

That early reputation for immorality, together with its more recent reputation as having a left-leaning population, has once again made Ithaca mildly infamous in some circles as the “City of Evil,” due to a satirical campaign by members of a politically conservative online discussion board. Some Ithacans, and those from surrounding areas, have embraced the label, although it's not certain how many.[30] According to religious conservatives, this idea is further buoyed by Cornell University's early nickname, “the godless university” which came about due to their lack of affiliation with any organized religion.

In addition to its above-mentioned liberal politics, Ithaca is commonly listed among the most culturally liberal of American small cities. The Utne Reader named Ithaca “America's most enlightened town” in 1997.[24] According to ePodunk’s Gay Index, Ithaca has a score of 231, versus a national average score of 100.

In July 2006, Ithaca was listed as one of the “12 Hippest Hometowns for Vegetarians” by VegNews Magazine and chosen by Mother Earth News as one of the “12 Great Places You've Never Heard Of.”

Politically, the city's population has a significant tilt towards liberalism and the Democratic Party. A November, 2004 study by ePodunk lists it as New York's most liberal town.[11] This contrasts with the more conservative leanings of the surrounding Upstate New York region, and is also somewhat more liberal than the rest of Tompkins County. In 1988 Jesse Jackson received the most votes in Ithaca in the Democratic Presidential primary. In 2000 Ralph Nader received more votes for President than George W. Bush in the City of Ithaca,[12] and 11% county-wide.[13] In 2008, Barack Obama, running against New York State's Senator Hillary Clinton, won Tompkins County in the Democratic Presidential Primary, the only county that he won in New York State.[14] Obama went on to win Tompkins County (including Ithaca) by a wide margin of 41% over his opponent John McCain in the November 2008 election

Ithacans are widely considered to be oriented towards peace. In June 2008, local peace activist Trevor Dougherty led almost 6,000 members of the Ithaca community in forming a giant human peace sign. This event took part during the Ithaca Festival, making Ithaca the unofficial home of the world's largest human peace sign.[10]

Ithaca has also pioneered the Ithaca Health Fund, a popular cooperative health insurance. Ithaca is also home to one of the United States’ first local currency systems, Ithaca Hours, developed by Paul Glover (building on the pioneering work of Ralph Borsodi and Robert Swann).

33 posted on 04/12/2010 8:00:20 AM PDT by faucetman (Just the facts ma'am, just the facts)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

.
Is this satire?


34 posted on 04/12/2010 8:02:06 AM PDT by Touch Not the Cat (Where is the light? Wonder if it's weeping somewhere...)
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To: Opinionated Blowhard

>>The Africana Studies undergraduate major prepares students for a broad range of academic and professional careers relevant to both the public and private sectors. The Center has a history of shaping students’ intellectual discipline, creativity, and social and political awareness.<<

If they had included “showing up on time” in their curricula, this whole thing never woulda happened...

Just saying.


35 posted on 04/12/2010 8:03:56 AM PDT by Tigerized (pursuingliberty.com)
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To: paterfamilias

Good grief, does he drive a Trabant?


36 posted on 04/12/2010 8:08:59 AM PDT by MaxMax (Conservatism isn't a party)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

“black bitches”

Outrageous. The culturally sensitive comment, of course, would have been “hos”.

This guy has got to be made an example of.


37 posted on 04/12/2010 8:10:30 AM PDT by SharpRightTurn (White, black, and red all over--America's affirmative action, metrosexual president.)
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To: Dr. Ursus

What?? Speak English jerk.


38 posted on 04/12/2010 8:30:53 AM PDT by SkipW
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To: paterfamilias

He’s got a nice Mao suit though.


39 posted on 04/12/2010 8:31:41 AM PDT by riri
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To: rockrr
Were they?

Apparently...... all snitches is bitches yo; a'ite.

Lemme go git my learn on. Im goan get my Africana mastahs; you suckas be callin me mastah.

40 posted on 04/12/2010 8:34:20 AM PDT by Repeat Offender (While the wicked stand confounded, call me with Thy Saints surrounded)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

Black Studies programs are a farce. The same goes for Women’s Studies and Homosexual Studies. The only purpose they serve is to alienate Americans and allow academic hustlers to make money.


41 posted on 04/12/2010 8:35:49 AM PDT by SkipW
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To: Repeat Offender

Huh? You quote the Scripture? You are a Christian?


42 posted on 04/12/2010 8:38:36 AM PDT by SkipW
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To: Behind Liberal Lines
I could understand Afrikaners study but I wonder what the one does with a masters in Africana Studies. I guess they could join Cornell West's rap group
43 posted on 04/12/2010 8:42:07 AM PDT by Jimmy Valentine's brother (Victory or Death)
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To: SkipW
Actually, I was paraphrasing Chris Rock. And also the menatlity so elgantly spray painted on stop signs.

The same elegance I'm paying for when the good majority of folks with this attitude quit school and get pregnant out of wedlock.... for examples of this reference "Detroit," "Chicago," "Buffalo," "Atlanta."

You must have missed the irony in a "professor" of multi-cultural classes designed to teach such enlightenment being branded a sexist...... ie the race card's sister.

Now, that's not to say that this is a representation of all blacks.... by no means. I serve with a good many and crap like what's in this article pisses them off to no end.

And further just because I am a Christian doesn't mean I can't point out ignorance or victimology when I see it.

44 posted on 04/12/2010 8:52:17 AM PDT by Repeat Offender (While the wicked stand confounded, call me with Thy Saints surrounded)
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To: SkipW
So you know what I am taking about...... Chris Rock was talking about (during his comedy routine) how stupid people thught it was more impressive to do 4yrs in prison than get a degree. So you got your mastahs, so now I gotta call you masta? The question is can you kick my @@@. (Same as when he copared a C. College to a discotec with books)

It was a pop culture reference to enhance a point similar to the topic.

45 posted on 04/12/2010 8:55:57 AM PDT by Repeat Offender (While the wicked stand confounded, call me with Thy Saints surrounded)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

Can he be a racist if he’s a lefty?


46 posted on 04/12/2010 9:47:46 AM PDT by GeronL (Entitlement Zombies will become real zombies when the money runs out)
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To: SkipW

How can you call him a jerk? He’s an intellectual.


47 posted on 04/12/2010 9:53:56 AM PDT by ladyjane
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To: Repeat Offender

You are right. I missed it. I do not watch Chris Rock. He has made a career using writers who think that anything anti-Republican or anti-conservative is funny.

I always get a little touchy about black jargon. What it represents to me is the destruction of my people by leftist politicians and teachers. I’ll never get over the idiocy of that grant proposal to spend 75 grand on teaching teachers to speak ebonics.

What it meant was that tax dollars were going to be spent teaching teachers to speak the fractured, almost unintelligable jargon spoken in the inner cities. Teachers are supposed to teach students to speak ENGLISH. They fail miserably, then want to teach teachers to speak gibberish. My head threatens to pop even writing about it.

I apologize for the over-reaction.


48 posted on 04/12/2010 10:19:26 AM PDT by SkipW
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To: bamahead

“Looks like Farred stole Dr. Evil’s wardrobe.”

HAHAHAHAHAHA!


49 posted on 04/12/2010 11:33:31 AM PDT by paterfamilias
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To: MaxMax

“Good grief, does he drive a Trabant?”

The Trabant - 2-cycle, clouds of greasy oil smoke: the Anti-Prius.


50 posted on 04/12/2010 11:36:47 AM PDT by paterfamilias
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