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1 (I Stand By What I Said Whatever It Was)  Sun, May 13, 2012 1:38:18am
- in which she dismissively brushes aside a handful of dissertations without reading them.

It's a little more than that. She called for Black Studies in general to be abolished – based on her not reading any dissertations in that field.

Writes Ta-Nehisi Coates in The Atlantic:

Calling for the abolition of a department based on the seeming esoteric nature of its dissertations strikes me as silly. I'm willing to bet I could make the same case against English and Anthropology departments around the country. But calling for the abolition of those departments based on the dissertations, and then bragging that you haven't read any of them is journalistic malpractice.

Schaefer-Riley isn't merely saying she's ignorant of Black Studies (that would be bad.) She is saying she is ignorant of the very evidence she used to condemn black studies. And amazingly she says this as though it were somehow evidence in her favor!

Thus buying Andrew's defense of Schaefer-Riley doesn't simply mean buying the right to criticize black studies. We're all in agreement there. It means buying the right to criticize black studies without doing any substantive research into the field. It means buying the right to speak out of ignorance.

Put aside Black Studies--Why should anyone like that be covering academics and the work of collegiate scholars? If I wrote that Israel should bomb Iran, but confessed to only reading the headlines in the Times, would you take me seriously? Would you take my publisher seriously?

How is this even an issue? Why would anyone defend the right to be stupid? I'm serious here. This looks really open and shut to me.

[Link: www.theatlantic.com...]

2 Randall Gross  Sun, May 13, 2012 4:55:50am

The author who was dismissed was also spent more time on ginning up and writing about potboiler right wing outrage of the day posts than anything else. Her past contains bucketloads of articles on how Christians and other right thinking people are being persecuted.

3 Dark_Falcon  Sun, May 13, 2012 6:27:05am

The difference, to me, seems that Riley was calling for an end to a discipline of studies, whereas John Derbyshire was calling for shunning black people in general. She was talking about university courses, he was saying that black people are generally (though not universally) inferior to white people.

4 John Vreeland  Sun, May 13, 2012 7:45:39am

re: #3 Dark_Falcon

The difference, to me, seems that Riley was calling for an end to a discipline of studies...

...while admitting she had never actually examined any of the material.

Riley's issue here is not one of race but egregious incompetence in her chosen field. Why would any serious venue want to be associated with her?

5 Jymn  Sun, May 13, 2012 9:41:20am

Not to mention that Riley's husband is an editor at WSJ. Coinkydink?

6 Lidane  Sun, May 13, 2012 2:56:40pm

re: #3 Dark_Falcon

The difference, to me, seems that Riley was calling for an end to a discipline of studies

...without knowing a damned thing about it except that it's called Black Studies. She hasn't read any of the dissertations she's ripping into, hasn't researched any of the materials taught in Black Studies programs, nothing.

Ta-Nehisi is right. This is arguing for the right to be stupid and ignorant. She's admitting that she hasn't done any research into Black Studies but she wants to end it anyway. WTF.

7 SidewaysQuark  Sun, May 13, 2012 3:51:14pm

re: #3 Dark_Falcon

The difference, to me, seems that Riley was calling for an end to a discipline of studies, whereas John Derbyshire was calling for shunning black people in general.

Not exactly true - he said certain successful black people should be used as commodity acquaintances so that one can make the "I'm not racist, I have black friends" claim. That makes it all okay. :facepalm:

8 Mostly sane, most of the time.  Sun, May 13, 2012 6:21:30pm

Having majored in history myself, I would say that if it is a rigorous blend of sociology and history, it's all good.

I haven't actually looked into it.

Also, neither of those majors pays particularly well, and someone should warn the students who declare black studies as their major of that fact.


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Some Scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe.