Naomi Schaefer Riley had been hired by The Chronicle of Higher Education, a trade journal for academics to provide conservative commentary on a website that is primarily of liberal content.
On April 30th, Naomi Schaefer Riley wrote a blog post entitled, “The Most Persuasive Case for Eliminating Black Studies? Just Read the Dissertations.” It was in response to an article about the rising stars of black studies.
Schaefer Riley proceeded to single out three dissertations that she considered racist and even outright silly.
Dissertation #1 “‘So I Could be Easeful’: Black Women’s Authoritative Knowledge on Childbirth.” This black studies student was motivated to write about this particular topic because of the failure to include black experience in “natural birth literature.”
Schaefer Riley writes:
How could we overlook the nonwhite experience in ‘natural birth literature,’ whatever the heck that is? It’s scandalous and clearly a sign that racism is alive and well in America, not to mention academia.
Dissertation #2 “Race for Profit: Black Housing and the Urban Crisis of the 1970s.” In this essay, the student blames the subprime housing crash on a conspiracy plotted by white politicans:
The subprime lending crisis, if it did nothing else, highlighted the profitability of racism in the housing market.
Schaefer Riley responds:
The subprime lending crisis was about the profitability of racism? Those millions of white people who went into foreclosure were just collateral damage, I guess.
Dissertation #3: Argued that conservatives like Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, and John McWhorter “played one of the most-significant roles in the assault on the civil-rights legacy that benefited them.”
The assault on civil rights? Because they don’t favor affirmative action they are assaulting civil rights? Because they believe there are some fundamental problems in black culture that cannot be blamed on white people they are assaulting civil rights?
If ever there were a case for eliminating the discipline, the sidebar explaining some of the dissertations being offered by the best and the brightest of black-studies graduate students has made it. What a collection of left-wing victimization claptrap. The best that can be said of these topics is that they’re so irrelevant no one will ever look at them.
Well her “Brainstorm” blog generated a torrent of comments. Some supportive, but most of them accusing Naomi Schaefer Riley of bigotry and cowardice.
Gina Barreca, a teacher of English and feminist theory at the University of Connecticut, published a poem ridiculing her:
A certain white chick–Schaefer Riley–
Decided to do something wily:
Knowing her blogs
Were going to the dogs,
She got all gnarly and smiley….
MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry went on a 4 minute rant about Shaefer Riley’s blog and called Schaefer Riley’s comments “smallminded” and “cruel.” At the end of her tirade she quotes Toni Morrison:
If there is a book that you want to write, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.
Little did Harris-Perry know how ironic that quote would be considering the eventual fate of Schaefer Riley vis–à–vis her employer.
Initially an Editor’s Note was released inviting readers to debate Shaefer Riley’s opinion article, but when 6500 academics signed an online petition demanding that she be fired, The Chronicle got nervous and caved into the public outcry to silence speech that was not politically correct and spoke out against a “protected” minority:
We now agree that Ms. Riley’s blog posting did not meet The Chronicle’s basic editorial standards for reporting and fairness in opinion articles. As a result, we have asked Ms. Riley to leave the Brainstorm blog.
I wonder if The Chronicle is willing to hold Gina Barreca to the same standard for writing that snarky poem about Schaefer Riley….
But I do find the Chronicle’s response absolutely breath-taking and craven in its censoriousness.
Naomi Schaefer Riley is married to Jason L. Riley, a member of the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board and he is also African American. Surprised? So what other ad-hominem attacks are left?