Category Archives: racism

October 7, 2007, 8:07 pm

Columbus Day in Shoreline: the Radical Ponders Her Past

It wasn’t until I first came to Connecticut, back in 1976, that I understood Columbus Day to be a major holiday — that is, if you put aside its importance as one of several opportunities each year for Clover Day at Strawbridge & Clothier’s, which were major holidays to some of our mothers. Columbus Day, or anything else ethnic, just wasn’t recognized in Philadelphia’s WASP-ier suburbs. However, my freshman year at Oligarch, since I was living in a frosh dorm named after a major Robber Baron that overlooked one of the main downtown streets, I was home one Sunday afternoon in October and heard a marching band. I looked outside and it was a huge parade, the Columbus Day parade. I discovered that a central feature of living in Shoreline, or anywhere else in New England for that matter, is a day where we celebrate the guy who never made it to New England at all, but who more or less…

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July 3, 2007, 1:41 pm

Update: the James Sherley Tenure Case at MIT

You may recall this post that I wrote in February about James Sherley’s tenure case at MIT. Since he ended his twelve day hunger strike in February Sherley, whose research is on adult stem cells, has continued his activism. He has acquired at least one ally, Frank L. Douglas, executive director of the MIT Center for Biomedical Innovation, who resigned a few weeks ago to protest MIT’s failure to reconsider the Sherley decision. I believe that Sherley has been on hunger strike at least one other time this year, and he has been holding daily vigils in front of the administration building.

The current struggle, as you can read in a Boston magazine article written by John Wolfson and e-mailed to me by an editor, Jamie Bellevance, is that MIT considers the case closed and wants Sherley to leave the campus. Sherley does not consider the case closed and does not plan to leave campus, at least …

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April 11, 2007, 12:15 pm

There’s Got to Be a Morning After

So who knew that, in writing about race, sex and media representation and using a particular group of people who will remain nameless as a counter-example to the Rutgers women’s team, that I would run headlong into a really odd coalition of people who would spam the heck out of me for 24 hours? My regular readers, from the comments left by two of them, were as bewildered as I was at this turn of events: Carine asked if anyone else thought this was like the “X-Files” — yup, particularly the coded references to “the 88.” Or realizing that you have somehow attracted the ire of a cult that is still waiting for the Confederacy to be allowed to leave the union peacefully.

Please note, if you read them (I would advocate skimming for highlights,) how quickly the comments devolve into race-baiting and race hatred, and that on the other blog, unless the blogger has had the good sense to remove …

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February 18, 2007, 5:17 pm

Racism and Tenure at MIT

On Friday, James Sherley ended a twelve-day hunger strike intended not, he claims, as an attempt to reverse the negative decision in his tenure case but to highlight racism in personnel decisions at the Massachuestts Institute of Technology. This is what I know:

1. Sherley does stem cell research, but on adult, not embryonic, stem cells. Sherley believes that the latter practice is immoral, since it involves the “killing” of day-old human embryos. I use quotes around “killing” here to give a nod to the idea that not everyone (for example, me) believes that it is unethical to use human embryos in this way. According to my research Sherley believes that he was denied tenure because of public statements he made opposing colleagues’ research on embryonic cells. A white member of the faculty would not have had to pass such an ideological litmus test, he charges, but he has been fired…

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