The Spitting Fools Development

I finally managed to make the “Spitting Fools” story public. I’m like a dog with a bone when there’s something I don’t like. But here’s the question. There were 730 people at that testing site. As I now know, many of them complained to their friends. But why did nobody speak out? Why am I the only person – one in 730 – who made a public statement?

There’s no penalty attached to speaking out. To the contrary, I’m now a hero, and people have been reaching out to thank me all morning. The administration is taking measures, things are happening.

Imagine what it would be like if there were a penalty for taking a stand. Actually, don’t imagine because I experienced that many times and can share. It’s scary but it feels good. Especially when people start contacting you in secret and thanking you for giving them a voice.

But why is it always me? What is everybody else so afraid of?

And hey, before anybody says tenure or chairmanship, there are people who know me reading this and they’ll confirm that I was always like this.

I always used to say that people in safe, prosperous, comfortable countries are so easily cowed even in the best of times that it’s scary what will happen if they experience some hardship.

And now they’ve experienced some hardship.

11 thoughts on “The Spitting Fools Development”

  1. YES!

    Have you heard of Corrie Ten Boom? You would enjoy her book, The Hiding Place. She has been my hero since I was a child and I want to be like her every single day of my life.


  2. “before anybody says tenure or chairmanship”

    I’ve always felt this was an excuse to justify their inaction.

    “I can’t speak up, I don’t have tenure” becomes “I can’t speak up, I hang out with them at conferences all the time” post tenure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah, totally. Then it’s “I haven’t been promoted to Full yet… I have a sabbatical application coming up… I’m close to retirement.” I haven’t seen a single person in my life who’d become emboldened after tenure.


      1. Maybe someone like Glen Loury at Brown University who has spoken up about diversity equity and inclusion? But perhaps he was outspoken before tenure.


      2. “I haven’t seen a single person in my life who’d become emboldened after tenure”

        Those who could always find a reason to be doormats before tenure…. will just find new reasons to be doormats after tenure.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. There are no more lines. Now people come by appointment. They do social distancing at the spitting point. They organized it so that people don’t shuffle around. And there is now more personnel that administers the test.


  3. Perhaps all of the others among the 730 people stayed quiet because of the bystander effect. As for why it’s always you, I’d rather not speculate 🙂


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