Skip to comments.'Shut up,' they explained (writer gets fired after criticizing black studies dissertations)
Posted on 05/09/2012 4:43:31 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
The trade paper of the academic industry just fired a writer who dared express skepticism about the academic worth of a number of doctoral dissertations in the field of black studies. Liz McMillan, editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education wrote a "Note to readers" explaining why Naomi Schaefer Riley's blog posting on Brainstorm last week ("The Most Persuasive Case for Eliminating Black Studies? Just Read the Dissertations" merited her dismissal and an abject apology from the editorial honcho.
Reactions are mostly predictable, from both leftists and conservatives.
Riley is, of course, being widely termed a racist. She summarized her critics in a second post, her last before she was fired from the CoHE blog titled "Brainstorm":
The comments regarding my post seem to boil down to the following:
I am picking on people because they are black (and I am a racist).
I am picking on people even though I don't have a Ph.D.
I am picking on people who are too young and inexperienced to defend themselves.
I am picking on people even though I haven't read their entire dissertations.
Let me take the first two criticisms first. My qualifications to post on this blog consist of the fact that I have been a journalist writing about higher education for close to 15 years now. My work has been published in every major newspaper in the country and I have written two books on the subject as well. The editors at those papers and those publishers and at The Chronicle have all been aware that I hold no advanced degree. Black studies is now an academic discipline at most universities, which means I get to comment on that too.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
His Black Studies graduate degree will qualify him (sic) for a six-figure salary from the fedgov.
Fired from a blog. How bad is that? She now has more time to write another book!
Naomi Schaefer Reilly had an excellent article in the WSJ this morning discussing her “firing” and the reactions to what she said.
The grievance majors (black studies, women’s studies) should never have been given reputable academic status, IMO. Anyone who wished to focus his research in, say, anthropology, sociology or economics on a particular group could certainly have done so without this artificial world of [name the aggrieved group of your choice] studies.
From what I observe, the “black culture” is totally and exclusively obsessed with race.
Paging through an “Essence” magazine (target audience is black women), all one will see are angry race based articles and ads centered on the reader’s “blackness”.
Hey, folks, there are other topics and issues in this world!
“Black Studies, Women’s Studies, Asian Studies, etc”
Use the general term “Grievance Studies” to describe these majors and watch a lib turn purple.
Love the term and cannot wait to use it.
As predicted by some notable people in the past whom were ridiculed for their commentary, the Balkanization of the US will lead to a broken society and a disaster for our Republic.
Grievance studies leads to two carrer paths.
Job with the fed gov or
Job that requires the phrase, “you want fries with that?”
Blacks in this country have a special right not to be criticised in any manner or your day will get rained on.
I hope that doesn’t get me banned.
Assuming a student has a couple of common East Asian languages under his belt, these are graduate level programs and the folks going after the degrees already have jobs that put them in close contact with East Asian people who may or may not also speak English, but who live in those countries and do business with the United States.
So why is Brewer down on Asian studies? Does she imagine Asia will disappear from American trade interests?
I certainly hope she doesn't imagine Asian Studies to be something like Women's studies where all a guy needs to do to find out all about that is go on a hot date eh!
...or working at the University teaching others how to have a worthless degree.
Like English and Philosophy?
I'm an English major with a minor in Philosophy. I've been a physician for >30 years and I would say that's a reasonable job.
Actually, my major-minor prepared me very well for the work I do. Medical school is for the nuts and bolts stuff.
The issue isn't liberal arts (of course, it goes without saying that any "discipline" invented since 1968 should be eliminated) - the issue is way, way too many "students" going to college.
Liberal arts, properly done, makes smart people better people. Liberal arts are not ABOUT finding you a job.
I thought that’s what trade school was for.
As for the grievance studies, most of that could have been handled in a chapter of a sociology test.
Disclaimer: I didn't take sociology, it was all over the place and all you had to do was look, for Pete's sake.
I took Archaeology courses for my required 'humanities' and never regretted it.
Thomas Lifson supports the firing — but his argument for it is lame. She chimes in that Naomi Schaefer Riley should have read the theses she flamed. But, why should she? The titles and summaries alone are outrageous assaults on common sense and scholarship and illustrate her point vividly.
Sorry I called Thomas Lifson a “she.” That was inadvertent.
There’s an actual demand for East Asian Studies majors since there’s an economic interest in, and return from, that region and those cultures. Along those lines, I would think that perhaps African Studies majors would have more of a demand than Black Studies. As mentioned earlier, the latter and others like it are just about grievances, not education or investment.
I have a liberal arts degree with a major in foreign language (Spanish). That degree allowed me to support my 4 children when their father decided he couldn’t handle the situation and left. I added a few hours of education courses from Baylor University, and we survived. They, all 4, are tax-paying citizens, and I’m retiring.
I won’t disagree with you about too many people going to college but the unemployment rate differential for college no college is stark.
I have always felt as you do but the world is changing and it’s more difficult to find work without.
or “First Lady”
I’ve never taken a Black Studies class (or a Women’s Studies..er Womyn’s Studies) or any other victimology class. The tragedy is the students taking these next to worthless classes are being taken advantage of by leftist profs. These majors are nothing more than feel-good exercises which will benefit the students taking them nothing. There is room in other majors (history etc.) for classes dealing with ethnic groups and their role in shaping America. But a whole major devoted to telling the student how awful their country is and what victims they are is patently worthless.
You reminded me.
Michelle Obama graduated Princeton in Sociology with
an African American studies minor!
I tend to agree. Universities were originally designed to educate the whole person. They weren't necessarily set up to get someone a job. It's certainly nice if your major is likely to get you a good job, but an all around education is still important. People talking strictly about their jobs and little else are pretty boring to be around. My dentist can disport on a wide variety of subjects...and usually does. It makes the dental experience a lot easier to tolerate.
Then OIC will shove him into an oven for being the wrong race.
Her actual degree should have been in Sociopathy, not Sociology
Unlike her husbands, at least parts of Michelle Lavaughn Robinson’s pathetic illiterate sniveling thesis have been published, blaming white people at Princeton for either never making her feel included, or for making her feel bad when she did feel included in values like a work ethic
“So why is Brewer down on Asian studies?”
Pull your head out.
The LAW she signed in 2010 “...prohibits classes that advocate ethnic solidarity, that are designed primarily for students of a particular race or that promote resentment toward a certain ethnic group. It also prohibits classes that promote the overthrow of the U.S. government.”
Arizona is now threatening the universities with the same policy. Oh my!
“Michelle Obama graduated Princeton in Sociology with
an African American studies minor!”
How does that get you admitted to Harvard?????? Why not just get a “general studies” degree if you just want to pad your GPA?
Br'r buckeball says Brewer wants to appoint this guy who's against what are called Asian studies ~ and the law, as you cite it, has nothing to do with what are called Asian studies.
Add the word "Phony" and watch them burst an artery or two...
Actually, the post you responded to said:
“Gov Brewer (R-AZ) wants to appoint a Regent to the ASU board who believes that we should eliminate all College majors that will not reasonably allow the student to find a job. Black Studies, Women’s Studies, Asian Studies, etc.”
I haven’t heard anything about it, nor have I found anything in the press about it. However, if true, it would NOT mean they were against Asian Studies UNLESS there was no way a degree in that program would allow you to find work.
There IS a movement in Arizona to stop the teaching of racism in public schools.
“Perpetual Phony Grievance Studies”
Blame it on the stupid hippies who marched in the 60s chanting ‘Hey hey ho ho Western Civ has got to go!’
I have a graduate degree in east asia studies - although there were grievance types in my cohort it was a legitimate course & was ultimately useful in my line of work.
Now ~ let's deconstruct the thought pattern that led you to suggest otherwise ~ and it begins with "a little bit of knowledge" about Arizona's law eliminating anti-American/pro-Mexican courses in the public schools in districts with a predominantly Mexican settlement pattern.
WE ALL KNOW ABOUT THAT. The topic has been on FR several dozen times.
In this case I think the poster who started naming "programs" just pulled them out of his own nether regions without much thought ~ and, as it turned out, value!
Your response, more in righteous indignation than anything, trying to catch me in another statement YOU THINK proves I am actually a Leftwingtard (SEE: TRAYVON) ends up backfiring on you.
No, I"m hardly a Leftwingtard but I do rather enjoy going where the evidence is ~ and in this case I doubt Brewer has said to cancel Asian studies programs ~ after all, Arizona is very much a part of the business community of the Pacific Littoral and they have products they want to sell Japan, China, Korea, Malaysia, and others in that region!
Like nanoscience? LOL
Yes nigher means being near but it also means being on the left side (specifically of two horses or vehicles) -- in fact there is a "news" report that Rick Santorum said "We know the candidate Barack Obama, what he was like the anti-war government nig "
The UK Guardian goes on to ask what else could Santorum be thinking about other than the N-word? Well as several readers who are more professional than the "professional" employees of The UK Guardian asked what about niggardly? (and numerous other words.)
Actually, Chronicle of Almost Education works too.
I believe that if someone characterizes themselves as “African-American”, they should make a choice which continent they want to live in and assimilate that culture.
Like nanoscience? LOL
Looks like you may have missed the nuanced distinction between "discipline" (with quotes) and discipline (without quotes)...
It’s funny, and I guess it’s just human nature, that when a person or group is more successful than you or yours is, you seek to have the more successful person or group’s successes destroyed.
That’s the way it is with these “grievance” cultures.
Western/Christian culture, being successful, makes their cultures look bad by comparison, so instead of adapting to the more successful culture, they seek to destroy it.
I think this one of the big reasons for anti-semitism as well, besides the fact that the prince of this world has an inherent antipathy for God’s people.
They are not nearly as good as McMillan describes and that's not sarcasm.
That's just knee-jerk dumb.
Politicians should keep out of this other than to cut spending at state schools. College is not just a jobs-training center. If someone wants to waste his life on black studies that should be up to him.
It's interesting just which sorts of government intervention supposed conservatives support.
Thank you, Doctor. I am sick of the anti-cultural philistinism of so many on the right - let’s remember that Arthur Conan Doyle was a doctor AND an important writer...the liberal arts are a valuable asset to emotional and intellectual development, with countless possible applications.
I’ve got a liberal arts degree myself, with lots of English and philosophy included in it.
The value of said degree, let alone its utility, is debatable.
What I would suggest is that with a little effort you and I could have read what we read and learned what we learned without sitting in a classroom, living in a dorm, and paying through the nose for the (literal) privilege.
I loved college, had a great time and pulled down a 3.86 gpa. But a lot of what I did, and what the curriculum required me to do, really only got in the way of my acquiring knowledge, let alone wisdom.
Point is, your emphasis should be tied into something that has a reasonable chance at getting you a job, such as finance, economics, history or law.
Graduating with a degree in “Black Studies” qualifies the graduate to do exactly one thing - - teach “Black Studies”.