Category Archives: civil wrongs

July 14, 2013, 9:19 am

No Justice, No Peace: Time to #StandOurGround #AgainstRacism

At Tenured Radical we, like so many others, are appalled and heartbroken at last night’s acquittal of George Zimmerman in murder of  Trayvon Martin. Between Shelby v. Holder and this travesty, it feels like we are spinning back in time.

220px-TrayvonMartinHooded

To find a rally or Trayvon Martin protest near you, log on to Twitter or Facebook and use the hashtag #NoJustice or #HoodiesUp. Hat tip.

To join the NAACP, go here. (Update: be patient. The site is moving very slowly today, undoubtedly a direct outcome of the slow pace of delayed justice for the Martin family.)

To find your Congressperson to demand justice for Trayvon, go here.

To give money to The Brotherhood-SisterSol, a New York City community organization that organizes youth of color against racism, sexism, homophobia and violence, go here.

To call, write and email the Department of Justice to demand the reactivation of the…

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June 27, 2013, 11:37 am

After DOMA: Should Civil Rights Activists Return to the Local?

Queers for Economic Justice march in New York

Queers for Economic Justice march in New York

In the hours after yesterday’s rulings in Windsor v. United States and Hollingsworth v. Perry, social media may have racked up some of their biggest numbers ever. Every post I put up on Facebook received ten likes or comments every three minute or so, as did the pages of several of my friends.

One prominent theme was how GLBT folk should interpret these rulings, and how they should be understood in light of the week’s earlier decisions in relation to affirmative action (Fisher v. Texas) and the Voting Rights Act (Shelby County v. Holder.) Both of these decisions exemplify the retraction of civil rights accomplishments that targeted women, the poor and people of color. Indeed, many postings by progressive queers and straights expressed disappointment that in the…

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February 14, 2013, 1:36 pm

Why Tenured “Radical”? And Other Political Confessions

It appeared that my ability to join the collective hinged on my agreement with all the criticisms of my past political thinking and work, and not just a willingness to consider them….The criticism indicated that I was inferior to other members of the collective, and I wanted the opportunity to prove that I had a substantial history of work and ideas, and that I should be considered an equal. So I agreed with the criticisms in general, and said I would rethink things in light of the criticism. I thought to myself, I could always change my mind.

Cathy Wilkerson, Flying Too Close to the Sun: My Life and Times as  a Weatherman (2010)

A central theme in several autobiographies of former radical antiwar activists is the role that criticism sessions played in persuading people to adopt a new world view, one that ran counter to attitudes they might previously have valued as members of …

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January 27, 2013, 10:34 am

Want Helicopter Parents Gone? Teach Your Students To Fly

In today’s New York Times KJ Dell’Antonia weighs in on helicopter parenting, speculating that one outcome of articles like his is to give some parents the warm and fuzzies. After having read about how other people’s  kids wander clueless through their educations, “most readers get to give themselves a pat on the back. They would never do such crazy stuff! Therefore, they are not helicopter parents. Case closed — off to drive the kid to hockey practice as soon as I pack up his bag.”

Dell’Antonia missed the second audience for this article. College teachers and university administrators will be re-posting it to Facebook, with hair-raising stories about the heli-relllies who have been camped out in the President’s waiting room, grimly awaiting action on last semester’s Epic Fail. Parents intervening on behalf of young people who have screwed up in some dismal way or another is a fact …

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September 1, 2012, 10:23 am

Tenured Radical’s New Media Adventures

Yesterday I had the opportunity to participate in a new Huffington Post feature called HuffPost Live. My segment — on marriage equality — was hosted by Janet Varney, who once had a part on one of my all-time favorite shows, Entourage (2004-2011).

I can’t figure out how to embed the video (perhaps because it is unembeddable?) but you can access Tenured Radical discussing the question of whether the government ought to get out of the business of marriage altogether here.

As you can see if you click on the link, it’s a web broadcast with a live chat feature on the right. There is a central studio in Los Angeles, where they sometimes have sit down guests: our feature was done via a Google+ Hangout, a video chat feature that allows up to nine people to join a conversation.

One obvious feature of doing a digital media event — aside from the fact that it is fun — is that in a …

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June 13, 2012, 3:45 pm

Why Would We Want A Less Educated Nation? Defending the PhD

Clark Kent wouldn't really give up. He would DO something.

You who are beginning doctoral programs in the humanities and social sciences in the fall: listen up.

In September, you may have an experience similar to the one Nate Kreuter, now an assistant professor of English at Western Carolina State University, described last fall at Inside Higher Ed (November 21 2011.)

Kreuter’s “cohort was led into an auditorium….After the typical messages of welcome and run-downs of various logistical need-to-know, the graduate director delivered a very somber warning.” Of the cohort of more than thirty, “only perhaps 40 percent of us would complete our degrees and secure academic appointments. That 40 percent, he warned, would be lucky to find any sort of academic job, even off the tenure track, and even fewer …

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January 27, 2012, 12:18 pm

What a Real Education Policy Would Look Like

Photo Credit: Associated Press

I have repeatedly complained in this blog that the Obama administration has no education policy. Part of what is horrible about the Republican presidential field turning into a political version of  the Human Centipede is that Barack Obama, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and the Democratic party will not be challenged on four years of education non-policy. They are operating under No Child Left Behind with a policy nip here and an administrative tuck there. And now they want to extend this non-policy to higher education. (more…)

December 3, 2011, 12:24 pm

Friday Night Fights: Protecting Football At Every Level, Any Cost

Questions about why college football programs breed scandal and off the field violence might want to look at high school football for clues.  Today’s New York Times has a story about Wayne Hills High School in New Jersey, which will take the field against Old Tappan in the state sectional championship game tonight minus nine players.  The nine were suspended from playing only this week following aggravated assault charges filed well over a month ago: “The nine players, all but one of whom are minors,” Harvey Araton writes, “are accused of beating two students from the district’s other high school, Wayne Valley, after an earlier confrontation at a house party. One of the victims was said to have been left unconscious in the street.”  The second victim, although not beaten until he was unconscious, was kicked and stomped after having been knocked to the ground.

No sport but…

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October 17, 2011, 2:29 pm

What Constitutes Resistance? Occupying A Small Place

On Saturday, the Radical interrupted what might charitably be called a seven day grade-a-palooza to attend one of the 1500 events that have spun off around the globe from Occupy Wall Street in Zuccotti Park.  Earlier in the week, our neighborhood Blockwatch (which tends to focus its efforts on baking cookies for our “friends” the police and reminds us to watch out for African-American people who, organizers imagine, live elsewhere and drop by to steal white people’s $hit) sent out a portentous message that the demo was expected to be massive. The po-po, they warned, would be using our neighborhood as a “staging area” and we should avoid downtown. (more…)

March 26, 2011, 11:44 am

Because We Are All Bill Cronon: An Open Letter To Our Colleague In Madison

Where is this clause in the constitution?

Dear Bill:

Welcome to the blogosphere!  I like the design of Scholar as Citizen, and frankly, I’m also happy to have another age peer in the house.  Although I’ve never had a whole political party go after me (very impressive, dude!), I did suffer an attack from a fellow historian and his followers that had its hair-raising moments. 

I didn’t get the death threats on my voice mail that an untenured colleague at a prestigious flagship received from the Sunshine Band.  However, I got plenty of hate mail, as well as copies of numerous emails sent to Zenith’s president, members of the history department, and the board of trustees.  These various communications, and numerous letters, all called for my termination — something that was, of course, impossible, since I already had tenure. It wasn’t covered in the national media, but it was ugly all the same…

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