Chronicle of Higher Education Fires a Blogger
From a Chronicle of Higher Education (paid subscription required) article highlighting the first cohort of students graduating from Northwestern University's doctoral program in black studies, including Ph.D. candidate La TaSha B. Levy:
"Ms. Levy is interested in examining the long tradition of black Republicanism, especially the rightward ideological shift it took in the 1980s after the election of Ronald Reagan. Ms. Levy's dissertation argues that conservatives like Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, John McWhorter, and others have "played one of the most-significant roles in the assault on the civil-rights legacy that benefited them." Ms. Levy says that with patronage from what she calls white conservative think tanks like the Manhattan Institute and the Heritage Foundation, black conservatives are now being "used to legitimize a larger discourse around racial progress that delegitimizes civil-rights policies."
Naomi Schaefer Riley, author, editor and blogger, responding in the Chronicle of Higher Education's blog "Brainstorm: Ideas and Culture":
Seriously, folks, there are legitimate debates about the problems that plague the black community from high incarceration rates to low graduation rates to high out-of-wedlock birth rates. But it’s clear that they’re not happening in black-studies departments. If these young scholars are the future of the discipline, I think they can just as well leave their calendars at 1963 and let some legitimate scholars find solutions to the problems of blacks in America. Solutions that don’t begin and end with blame the white man."
For that response, Ms. Riley was fired by the Chronicle of Higher Education, here's some commentary below from today's WSJ.
From Naomi Schafer Riley:
"My longtime familiarity with the absurdities of higher education did not, I confess, prepare me for this most absurd of results. The content of my post, after all, is hardly shocking; the same thing could have been written 30 years ago. And perhaps that's the most depressing part of all this. Despite the real social and economic advancement that has been made by blacks in this country, the American faculty is still stuck in the 1960s."
From a WSJ staff editorial:
"Now more than ever, too many college graduates discover that their expensive higher educations send them into a modern workplace with skills that few employers want or need. The graduates sit home, unemployed and unemployable. Meanwhile, back inside the school walls, the Chronicle of Higher Education stands ready to eliminate any writer who causes distress to the modern generation of scholars who teach these students."
From James Taranto:
"[This situation] encapsulates the intellectual corruption of academia, a profession that ought to encourage intellectual adventurousness, not pander to those who are unable to withstand the "distress" of having their ideas challenged."