Riley’s piece “The Most Persuasive Case for Eliminating Black Studies? Just Read the Dissertations” cited several dissertation topics, including “‘So I Could Be Easeful’: Black Women’s Authoritative Knowledge on Childbirth” and “Race for Profit: Black Housing and the Urban Crisis of the 1970s.”
What all this amounted to in her estimation was “left-wing victimization claptrap” and reasons enough to suspend the entire field of study.
And for someone to make such a stern pronouncement about the elimination of a discipline, you would think she was armed with a trove of evidence, but, alas, we have to consider the source — she’s neither that well-versed in Black Studies and moreover, this was a 500-word essay in the blogosphere.
From a very few dissertation titles she is able to condemn the field all as “left-wing victimization claptrap,” and this designation tips her political hand as obviously she’s riled to learn some of her right-wing heroes are being taken to task, that is Thomas Sowell, John McWhorter and Clarence Thomas in one of the dissertations. Otherwise, how to do you arrive at a left-wing conclusion about midwifery?
In the end, the Chronicle apologized for Riley’s post and pink-slipped Riley. Since her firing, she has published two opinion pieces in the The Wall Street Journal, where she used to work and her husband is a member of the editorial board, including a rebuttal to the Chronicle brouhaha.
As it appears, she landed on her feet. She’s still living the life of Riley.
Herb Boyd is a journalist, activist and an author of 22 books, including Black Panthers for Beginners and We Shall Overcome: A History of the Civil Rights Movement.
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