Duke Professors on the Racial Divide
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James Otteson - 4/6/2009
Thank you for posting this, Jane.
I appreciate Daniel Aldridge's call for open and frank discussion of race, but it seems to me that that is the last thing most people talking about race want. Indeed, there are whole swaths of racial issues that are absolutely not allowed to be broached; for if they are, the person broaching them is immediately branded a racist and treated like a leper. "Open discussion" should mean open discussion, not merely the repetition of only one particular viewpoint.
Justin Bowen - 4/3/2009
I have a hard time respecting much of anything that Duke professors have to say with regards to race relations in America. Many of them don't exactly have sterling records when it comes to objectivity...
Daniel Aldridge - 4/3/2009
Dear Ms. Shaw:
Critical race studies (of the sort at the Duke Conference) is one of a panoply of identity politics, along with gender studies, queer studies, disability studies, etc. that are inferior substitutes for Marxism. There is much good work being done in African American studies--the whole field should not be dismissed b/c of the often silly positions taken by a faction within the field.
There are also a large number of academics who believe that critical race theory is silly and tendentious but are afraid to challenge it for fear of being called racists or being unfashionable. Academia would benefit from full and frank debate and discussion of racial and ethnic issues--moderates and liberals are doing themselves no honor by conceding the subject to the radicals.
William Marina - 4/3/2009
The Academic World is running scared in a number of PC areas that have long been consuming resources prior to the economic downturn.
Black Studies has been one of these, along with Women's Studies. At my old school, FAU, where I am Prof. Emeritus, the new Dean has closed down the latter because with only four majors, the whole apparat was consuming enormous resources.
He is not a popular fellow among these folks, long accustomed to getting their way, especially with resources.
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