There is rarely a work so singularly moronic as this defense of Madonna Constantine, the serial plagiarist of Columbia’s Teachers College, on whose case Candace, Robert, and yours truly previously wrote.
Declaring himself “an advocate of black radical feminism,” Anthony Kelley, a columnist for the Columbia Spectator, supports the view that:
[T]his is just another instance of white supremacy and sexism at work wherein a black woman’s credibility is systematically made illegitimate. … [S]o few black women are in academia, and those who are there face tremendous opposition from their institutions, especially if their scholarly work centers around the intersectional nature of black women’s oppression (i.e. as the subordinates of both white supremacy and sexist oppression because they are both black and women simultaneously). These allegations of plagiarism, some claim, are continuations of the historical devaluation of black womanhood and should be recognized as such.
Moving beyond the fact that it takes Mr. Kelley 72 words to identify Prof. Constantine as a black woman, it doesn’t seem to occur to him that a white professor faced with these charges would probably be shown the door; that the evidence is overwhelmingly stacked against Prof. Constantine; and that calling an Ivy League school of education, the flakiest of all schools, institutionally racist not only makes one wonder what an non-racist institution would look like, but also is at odds with the decision to employ Prof Constantine in the first instance and then give her tenure.
The best part, though, comes after Mr. Kelley invites us to “assume” that Prof Constantine is a plagiarist. Hard to do, I know, but let’s just try… He writes:
Instead of punishing (or “sanctioning”) her, we should be making special efforts to extend compassion to her and those who feel wounded as a result of her actions. … Imagine a forum in which Professor Constantine and her accusers engage in the life-sustaining practice of dialogue, actively listening to each other’s concerns and extending heart-felt compassion in understanding each other’s pain. Imagine the reconciliation that could arise from such a space. Imagine the impact such a forum would have on our community. Instead of just giving lip-service to the idea of dialogue, we would be demonstrating its importance and effectiveness, even when it is difficult and uncomfortable. Imagine an end to the lies. Imagine embracing truth. Imagine healing.
Were this a parody, it would be a very bad parody for the simple reason that the rhetoric is so over-the-top that I could not imagine anyone, even a Columbia undergraduate and exponent of radical black feminism, writing or saying it. As usual, reality always outperforms the most fanciful farce.
Many thanks to the good people of IvyGate for drawing attention to this specimen.