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Snooty Concord prep school invites Black Pulitzer Prize winner to address students during Black History Month, then disinvites her
By adamg on Wed, 10/20/2021 - 12:25pm
Dan Kennedy goes through the trustee list at the Middlesex School to see if any of the trustees might have particular reasons to have pressured the school to uninvite Nikole Hannah-Jones.
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It sounds like
Dan Kennedy is threatening the school and it's trustees.
Nikole Hannah-Jones is not a non controversial person, in fact many scholars say she is not very scholarly and her 1619 project is not actual history.
The NY Time did a stealth edit and removed any mention of 1619 being the true founding of the United States. Yes she won a Pulitzer but does that really carry any weight anymore?
Got a source for the "many
Got a source for the "many scholars" claim?
It’s in the Stephens column
He talks to and cites a number of scholars who are unhappy with 1619, including the Battlecry for Freedom author who’s unhappy that white people (the non-salveholders) get insufficient credit for their abolitionist efforts.
Many scholars say!
I think that’s the line of the day.
Come on, naming and shaming trustees at an elite public school that publicly disinvited a scholar is good sport. Something happened behind the scenes, and we’d like to know what it was. I hope these poor helpless billionaires can afford enough tissues to dry their tears when Dan Kennedy’s done outing them.
It sounds like…
…Middlesex students are too fragile to consider controversial subjects and not smart enough to decide for themselves whether 1619 stands up to critical scrutiny.
Or at least that is the message the school’s administration is sending.
Hannah-Jones is not a scholar by trade, and she only contributed 1 essay out of 26 pieces to her own project; she has answered her criticism repeatedly. Also, “many scholars” who are well-regarded in their disciplines contributed solid pieces that stand up to academic rigor.
Why are people so afraid of this project?
The student's parents or the trustees, not the students themselves.
I'm not saying cancel her
She should be heard but she is controversial.
This statement strikes me much as someone who throws mud at another person and then calls them out for being dirty.
She is obviously controversial, hence the disinvitation.
Broaden your mind a tiny bit. You'd be surprised by the diversity of opinions out there.
Do you really think you can just say something and it's automatically true?
Show your work, please. Assertion without evidence buys you nothing.
Perhaps you could consult a work of Noah Webster
To find out what "controversial" means.
Just because something is controversial doesn't mean the controversy has merit.
The 1619 Project has been a source of controversy, just as the charitable giving of certain chicken restaurant chains has been a source of controversy. That one is on one side or the other means nothing.
You're doing it again
I'm well aware of the meaning of "controversial", thanks. You still haven't demonstrated that this controversy exists, merited or not. Perhaps you should consult a work of the Scott corporation to learn the difference between grass and astroturf.
on the panel is a Fox News-ogling beatoff and flipped his wig over a Critical Race Theory boogeyman and went unopposed because they can only get away with this s*** when nobody’s watching.
The Pukes have been invading school boards and the PTAs countrywide over the last decade. Enough.
All Republicans are terrorists or terrorist sympathizers. None aren’t.
You lost my "like" what that last line
Actually most people who vote Republican are very similar to the rest of America. "Republican" and "Liberal" (etc) have been turned into slurs. Rash statements like this are false, insulting for the sake of being insulting, and do nothing to advance the discourse.
Got a cite for that?
Got a cite for that? Or at least a definition of what criteria you're using to label people as "very similar"?
i thought we were supposed to hear a diversity of ideas
on our school campuses?
"We want a diversity of ideas in our children's education!"
"OK, let's hear from someone speaking frankly about America's racist history--"
"Not like that!"
Dan Kennedy is reporting the news
That's what he does, being a professor of journalism, and a former writer for the Boston Phoenix. It isn't all that different from what Adam does here on this site.
Where do you see a threat here?
Pointing out that someone is making a stupid decision is not a threat, any more than "danger 3rd rail" is a threat.
Also, the edit you and the bedbug are complaining about is incredibly minor. It should be clear to any intelligent reader that the original version was speaking metaphorically and it was edited when its clear that ideologically opposed idiots were going to find any excuse they could to trash the project before it ever even finished.
…, a frequent critic of “cancel culture”, is, as pointed out in Kennedy’s post, a board member at Middlesex and his column is being used here to suggest that canceling Hannah-Jones’s Middlesex appearance was justified.
That guy is a real bedbug.
I pine for the days of free speech
If I bothered to look into her body of work, I'm sure I could find something that I don't like, but why invite Nikole Hannah-Jones, most likely to talk about the 1619 Project, only to cancel the event for no good reason? It's the same thing with her UNC appointment (and whatever happened with that guy getting uninvited from his MIT talk due to his stance on issues that he was not intending to talk about for that matter.)
Let her speak. Let others criticize her work. That's how the kids at Middlesex will learn how to be critical thinkers. That's how academia is supposed to work.
But being canceled from speaking is getting to be the norm, if not officially then by people not wanting the speaker to be heard by disrupting the event etc.
It happens on college. campuses all the time.
Her UNC appointment was not
Her UNC appointment was not cancelled. The faculty job offered by UNC was not tenured but tenure-track. She would need to publish and apply for tenure like other assistant professors.
She was initially offered a contract position, albeit a 5-year contract. There is a difference.
No difference. That 5-year
No difference. That 5-year contract "with an option for review" is exactly what gets offered by universities to tenure-track Assistant Professors across all of academia. You hire a new Assistant Professor. The job offer is technically a 5-year contract. In the 5th year they are expected to submit a P&T package. The department and the university faculty "review" it and decide whether or not to award tenure. If you don't get tenure, you don't stay on as a tenure-track professor. That's why it's initially structured as a contract with a finite term.
The NYTimes labelling it a "5 year contract" as opposed to a tenure-track position is pure spin.
Are you certain about that?
I don't know UNC, I don't know what the terms of the offer she was given were, but there are 5 year non-tenure track contract positions in academia. If you are right, then you are right, I just haven't seen the references to support your statement.
The 1619 Project and the historians
A number of historians have made criticisms of the 1619 Project, and many of them are valid. It is sometimes careless in research, and often overreaches, drawing conclusions that are stronger than the evidence supports. Yet there is hypocrisy in much of this opposition. Bret Stephens summarizes it by saying that the Project is a thesis in search of evidence. To most historians, this contravenes the highest law. Objectivity is all; conducting a historical investigation by looking for evidence to support the conclusion you intend to come to is a cardinal sin. It is also a sin that nearly all of them commit.
Objectivity in a historian is a chimera, an ideal never realized. Every historian has a worldview, a private set of prejudices, an opinion about what questions belong at the center of things. Some of the best know this, and yet strive after objectivity as an unachievable ideal, but many simply assume that their view is the central one, and others belong on the fringe. The 1619 Project attempts to displace them from their security. Of course it aspires to become the new center, which is usually the aspiration of revolutionaries. One need not support it in this aspiration to hope that it is successful in shaking the confidence of those who think that their perspective on this country’s history is the only one that matters.
How often? What were the overreaches besides the one controversial statement made by Hannah-Jones in the one essay she wrote?
I would rather argue
with the critics of the 1619 Project than join them, but I do think there are many overreaches. Hannah-Jones's assertion that the protection of slavery was one of the primary motivations for the American Revolution is one. Matthew Desmond's claim that the character of modern American capitalism derives from from the role that slavery played in 19th-century American economic institutions is another; it's like a just-so story; one is expected to believe that it happened that way, because it sounds like it could have happened that way. A great many economic historians, however, don't think it happened that way, and he doesn't address that. And Wesley Morris's article on White appropriation of Black music is more or less 100% overreach. Every reference to "White music" is similar to this one:
Except for the reference to "chromatic-chord harmony", which makes one question whether Wesley Morris knows what a chromatic chord is, this is nothing but derisive cliche and polemic. Of course one expects that of music journalism, but it's presented as history. In my prior comment I criticized historians who claim to be entirely objective, but I also praised those who try, knowing that they will fail. Morris isn't even trying.
"a great many"
So who's "a great many", and what do you think of the work of Edward E. Baptist?
I haven't read the work of Edward E. Baptist. I know that there have been some devastating critiques of it. Here is one, which also addresses to some degree your other question.