I’ve been staring at this article in the Chronicle of Higher Ed for twenty minutes trying to figure out if this is meant to be some sort of a parody or if it’s all for real:
You’ll have to forgive the lateness but I just got around to reading The Chronicle’s recent piece on the young guns of black studies. 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. . . Then there is Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, author of “Race for Profit: Black Housing and the Urban Crisis of the 1970s.” Ms. Taylor believes there was apparently some kind of conspiracy in the federal government’s promotion of single family homes in black neighborhoods after the unrest of the 1960s. Single family homes! The audacity! But Ms. Taylor sees that her issue is still relevant today. (Not much of a surprise since the entirety of black studies today seems to rest on the premise that nothing much has changed in this country in the past half century when it comes to race. Shhhh. Don’t tell them about the black president!).
On the one hand, I don’t think it’s possible that Chronicle of Higher Ed would publish something this racist and egregiously stupid. I mean, people who are at least marginally familiar with the academia have got to know that we, the scholars, study things that happened long before the 1970s and do consider them relevant today. Some of us even write dissertations on the Medieval Spain or the Ancient Greece because the study of the past is something we find to be useful and enlightening. And we do proceed on the assumption that things that happened a long time ago are still relevant today because the present is a result of everything that happened in the past. I feel like an idiot explaining all this because it’s very self-evident.
On the other hand, there is no indication that this article is supposed to be a joke. It is written in a very uneducated language of a person who cannot possibly be part of the academia. Has it been placed there to ridicule brainless uneducated people who criticize research they are not intellectually equipped to understand? Was this the goal of publishing the article?
I’m very exhausted from round-the-clock grading at this moment and I feel like I’m missing something important here. Has anybody been able to figure this out?