Culture

Rhodes College Professor Decries the School’s Hiring Zandria Robinson, the ‘Whiteness Is Terror’ Professor

Zandria Robinson (via YouTube)
It was 'crazy' of the school to hire Robinson, he says.

A political-economy professor at Rhodes College is criticizing the school’s decision to hire Zandria Robinson, the former University of Memphis professor who made headlines this week for a series of controversial tweets about white people.

John E. Murray said in an interview with National Review on Thursday that the school has been pushing hard for intense social-justice related reforms since last August — when it discovered that some people near the school had made racially insensitive comments on Yik Yak, a social-media app that allows users to make anonymous posts that other people in the area can see.

Since the program is anonymous, Murray says, there’s no way to know for sure whether or not the racially insensitive ones were posted by students or by other residents of Memphis.

And if the school really did want to crack down on racist attitudes, he says, hiring Robinson seemed like a perverse way to go about doing it.

“I can tell you in part why I think some of the faculty, at least some of my friends, are a little upset about this,” he says. “Whatever the students said on Yik Yak – if they were in fact students – doesn’t really sound like it’s all that different from what Robinson said on her Twitter feed. On one, the college gets flak for being racist, in the other case, the lady gets a job.”

Faculty unsettled by the hiring “in the minority, and there isn’t a whole lot we can do about it,” he says. “It does seem kind of crazy that we’re inviting a person to come teach on our faculty who seems to dislike a chunk of our students.”

‘It does seem kind of crazy that we’re inviting a person to come teach on our faculty who seems to dislike a chunk of our students.’

According to the University of Memphis, Robinson resigned from her job at the school weeks ago — not immediately following the recent controversy, as some news outlets have suggested.

University of Memphis communications coordinator Gaby Maxey told National Review that Robinson “turned in her resignation” on June 11.

Robinson, however, had also been the subject of an earlier controversy regarding posts she made on Facebook last fall in which she threatened to come after anyone who even thought that minority students get accepted to graduate programs based on their race. Those posts made headlines after being reported by Campus Reform on June 5.

#related#A representative from Rhodes College’s communications department, Ken Woodmansee, told NR that he could not confirm when Robinson accepted the job at the school, but that he did know she would be starting in January.

According to people with access to Robinson’s now-private Twitter account, Robinson posted that she had signed a contract for the new job in May.

In a statement announcing Robinson’s hire, Rhodes College highlighted the fact that Robinson’s “comments are sometimes provocative, controversial, and debatable.”

“This situation ultimately shines a light on Rhodes as a place where intellectual engagement and the exchange of ideas are among our highest priorities,” it continued.

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online

Most Popular

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More
Media

The Biden Protection Racket

Joe Biden is the most cosseted presidential candidate in memory. He’s run a minimalist campaign that’s avoided the press as much as possible, while the press hasn’t been braying for more access and answers, but eager to avoid anything that could be discomfiting to the campaign. Never before have the ... Read More
Media

The Biden Protection Racket

Joe Biden is the most cosseted presidential candidate in memory. He’s run a minimalist campaign that’s avoided the press as much as possible, while the press hasn’t been braying for more access and answers, but eager to avoid anything that could be discomfiting to the campaign. Never before have the ... Read More
Media

Jeffrey Toobin and Our Public-Hate Ritual

Oh, Jeffrey Toobin — let him among us with a free hand cast the first stone. Toobin, a writer for The New Yorker and fixture on CNN, was participating in a role-playing exercise on a Zoom call with his magazine colleagues, wargaming election-night scenarios. Toobin was standing in for the courts when he ... Read More
Media

Jeffrey Toobin and Our Public-Hate Ritual

Oh, Jeffrey Toobin — let him among us with a free hand cast the first stone. Toobin, a writer for The New Yorker and fixture on CNN, was participating in a role-playing exercise on a Zoom call with his magazine colleagues, wargaming election-night scenarios. Toobin was standing in for the courts when he ... Read More

A Few Cracks in the Progressive Wall

The contemporary progressive agenda — of, say, an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren — has rarely appealed to 51 percent of the American electorate. Most polls show opposition to Court packing and the abolition of the Electoral College. Voters don’t seem to like ... Read More

A Few Cracks in the Progressive Wall

The contemporary progressive agenda — of, say, an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren — has rarely appealed to 51 percent of the American electorate. Most polls show opposition to Court packing and the abolition of the Electoral College. Voters don’t seem to like ... Read More
Elections

Biden Is Still Underperforming Hillary

On October 20, 2016: Hillary Clinton was up 6.8 in the RealClearPolitics average in Pennsylvania. Today, Biden is up 3.8. (that race only tightened to 2.1 in the last week of 2016.) Clinton was up twelve points in Michigan on that day. Biden is up 7.5 right now. Clinton was up 6.5 in Wisconsin. Biden is ... Read More
Elections

Biden Is Still Underperforming Hillary

On October 20, 2016: Hillary Clinton was up 6.8 in the RealClearPolitics average in Pennsylvania. Today, Biden is up 3.8. (that race only tightened to 2.1 in the last week of 2016.) Clinton was up twelve points in Michigan on that day. Biden is up 7.5 right now. Clinton was up 6.5 in Wisconsin. Biden is ... Read More