Monday, May 11, 2015

Fire Saida Grundy--not for expressing a controversial opinion, but for her anti-intellectualism

Incoming Boston University assistant professor of sociology and African-American studies Saida Grundy should have the freedom to publicly express her opinions on controversial topics. That's not in dispute.

Boston University should not employ as a professor someone who engages in vile racial and gender stereotyping. That should not be in dispute, either.

Grundy, you see, has a problem with white college men as a class. “White masculinity isn’t a problem for America’s colleges, white masculinity is THE problem for America’s colleges,” Grundy tweeted in March. In another tweet she wrote: “Why is white America so reluctant to identify white college males as a problem population?” she asked.

The university responded to concerns about Grundy's fitness to teach white males with a yawn. “Professor Grundy is exercising her right to free speech and we respect her right to do so,” Boston University spokesman Colin Riley said.

Would Boston University hire the Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan to teach sociology?  Of course not, and for good reason. We won't even talk about politically correct double standards here.

More to the point, would Boston University hire someone who claims the sun revolves around the earth to teach astronomy? Someone who teaches geocentrism isn't engaging in "controversial speech," he is espousing a view that is not consonant with the intellectual rigors of the modern academy. In layman's terms, he's a wacko.

Singling out "white college males" as a class and dubbing them "THE" problem in American academia--based, presumably, on the misconduct of a very small percentage of white college males--manifests a similar absence of intellectual rigor. Grundy seems blissfully ignorant of the fact that a not insignificant percentage of the American populace--who also should not be hired to teach at a major university--think that black males, as a class, are "THE" problem in America. For all her writings on the black experience, Grundy somehow missed the lesson about vile stereotyping. Go figure.

As the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts." Our Founding Fathers did not intend for the First Amendment to whitewash people's stupidity or that it protect inane speech from all consequence.

Universities routinely refuse to hire folks who espouse anti-intellectual ideas--except when such ideas are tinged with political correctness. You see, on modern American college campuses, any kooky, hateful, and even other-worldly idea about race or gender is just fine, so long as it is consistent with the preferred narrative.