It is absolutely astounding how American academia has thumbed its noses at the the victims of the Paris attacks that occurred over the past 12 months, from Charlie Hebdo to the Jewish kosher market to the Bataclan Concert Hall and the French national soccer stadium. The scenario goes something like this: Muslim fanatics attack Jews and other non-Muslims with weapons, killing people by the hundreds. The Western world reacts in horror, except for academia, where they make the perpetrators into the victims. That’s because the victims are Jewish or otherwise white and the killers are Muslims.
Such is the case at Denver University, where a dopey communications professor named Armond R Towns and two dopey graduate students (they’re the dopiest kind) turn logic upside down once again.
“It is our opinion that, despite these emails, DU participates in making its ‘marginalized communities’ feel unwelcomed because of an implicit bias toward white life not extended to the lives of nonwhite people. Our discussion of Paris is not meant to ignore the loss of life there, but to point out the valorization of white life assumed by DU…
Put differently, if “we” are “all” French now, this is clearly not meant to apply to DU’s Muslims. If a risk of study abroad is students finding “themselves in harm’s way,” what concern does DU have for its Muslim population (and all its people of color) here? If DU’s handling of racialized issues in 2015 is a hint, the answer to this question is none.
Two examples stick out: (1) In response to anti-black racism faced at the University of Missouri, a group of largely students of color in the Fall painted the wall near Driscoll with the words: “DU Stands in Solidarity with Mizzou.” No less than a day later, the wall was defaced with the words: “Pi Kappa Phi, DU’s #1 online fraternity.” While the fraternity denies painting the wall, DU’s email response is a simplistic colorblind argument: “Over the last two days, there have been community conversations about the experiences of people of color, particularly students, at the University of Denver. And while it may make us uncomfortable to admit it, the stories that students have shared highlight the prejudices we all carry and the inequalities we perpetuate…” Who are those uncomfortable with admitting racism exists on campus? Who is this “we” that perpetuate prejudice and inequality? It is clearly not DU’s people of color.
The second are the complaints by Denver “students of color” who resented white students dressing up in “stereotypically racist Halloween costumes.”
Do these clowns really want to compare the horrific Paris attacks with American students dressing up in what they term offensive Halloween costumes? Or painting over a sign that says, “DU Stands in Solidarity with Mizzou”? Really? I think they should have waited until a bunch of white Christian fanatics burst into a gathering of Muslims and mowed them down with automatic weapons. Then they might have a case. However, that has yet to occur. (Nor is it likely to occur.)
You might surmise that Dr. Towns is some sort of radical. Judging by his faculty bio, you might say, “Case closed”.
And you call this “academia”?
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