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.