Professor canned for unchallenged remark!

FRIDAY, MARCH 12, 2021

Our Town's high elite, born to lose: We seldom make predictions here. Today, we'll at least author a guess.

Our educated guess would be this:

Tucker Carlson will start tonight's show with the events described in this Washington Post news report. We saw him work with a somewhat similar set of events just this past Wednesday night.

We're linking you to the news report in today's Washington Post. But those recent events have been widely reported, even across the pond.

Before we discuss those recent events, we'll offer a confession:

We have no opinion about any aspect of Georgetown University's Law School. We don't know squat about its professors or about its students. We don't know much about law.

We do have a few provisional opinions about recent events which have rocked the school. One adjunct professor has been "terminated." Another has been placed on leave.

What has happened at Georgetown Law? Hard-copy headline included, the news report in this morning's Post starts with this basic outline:

LUMPKIN (3/12/21): Law professor fired over ‘reprehensible’ remarks

A Georgetown law professor was terminated and a second was placed on leave after a video clip showed a conversation between the pair that included what an official called “reprehensible” statements about Black students, officials said Thursday.

The conversation between adjunct professors Sandra Sellers and David Batson had triggered an investigation by Georgetown University’s Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Affirmative Action. The school’s Black Law Students Association had called for Sellers’s firing.

The video clip—which was shared on Twitter this week—showed Sellers discussing student performance.

“I hate to say this. I end up having this angst every semester that a lot of my lower ones are Blacks,” Sellers said in the video. “Happens almost every semester. And it’s like, ‘Oh, come on.’ You get some really good ones, but there are also usually some that are just plain at the bottom. It drives me crazy.”

The conversation was being recorded. Apparently, the professors didn't know that. Here's the part of the episode we find most striking:

Sellers' quoted statement has been attacked as "reprehensible" and "abhorrent" by the  law school's dean. 

Needless to say, her statement has also been attacked as "racist." To see a journalist go from zero to racist in maybe ten words, just drink in this dunking at Slate.

That said, we see no one saying that Sellers' statement, such as it is, is factually inaccurate. Questions of accuracy don't seem to have arisen in this high-volume dispute.

No one is saying the statement is false. People have gone straight to racist.

For the record, Sellers has been an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law for the past twenty years. We don't know how the adjunct system works, but it seems that no one thought she was reprehensibly racist until she uttered those recent words.

Batson has merely been suspended; we'll review his career below. 

For now, let's consider what Sellers said. Is there any possible way her statement could be accurate in some sense, to some degree or another?

As noted, we have never set foot at Georgetown Law School. We have no idea how competent its various students are.

That said, we're all living in the wake of hundreds of years of brutal racial history. That brutal history has had many gruesome effects. You can't run a society the way ours was run and expect to emerge free of harm.

By conventional reckoning, one effect of that brutal history is put on display in our so-called "achievement gaps." On average, our white kids score substantially higher in reading and math—on average!—than our black kids do.

That doesn't mean that they're better people. It simply means that, on average, they're somewhat better at math.

The liberal world has spent the past sixty years looking for ways to claim that these punishing gaps are illusory. We'd be inclined to assume that they aren't. 

So too with the substantial achievement gaps which exist, on average, between our Asian-American kids, who score higher, and our white kids who, on average, don't perform as well.

We'd assume that those gaps are also real—that those gaps are real on average. Let's try to reason from there:

Stating the obvious, when schools like Georgetown engage in certain (perfectly sensible) forms of "affirmative action," a possibility is created—the possibility that the white students who get admitted may be higher performing  academically than the black kids who get admitted.

Higher performing on average! And does that mean that they're better people? Everyone knows that it doesn't!

In Sellers' assessment, some of her black students rank among the best students she has. On balance, though, she seems to be saying that a discouraging number of her black students are at the lower end of Georgetown's scale.

Georgetown Law is a quality school. If some kid is performing toward the lower end of its scale, that doesn't mean that he or she is a lousy student. It means he isn't as good a student as most of his classmates are.

For the record, we have no idea if Sellers' assessment is accurate—how could we possibly know?. But yes, her assessment could be accurate. On what planet are we supposed to think that this couldn't be true?

Statements like Sellers' may seem embarrassing; also, such statements may hurt. This is one of the prices being paid for our brutal racial history, but that doesn't mean that Sellers' statement has to be false, or that it has to be racist.

Here in the streets of Our Town, we go from discomfort to claims of racism in a social media minute. And as at Smith College, so too here:

Up jumps the president and/or the dean, huffing and puffing and blowing things down. Tucker Carlson then goes on TV and a few more Trump voters get born.

(If you think this doesn't happen, what planet are you living on?)

Reaction to this unfortunate incident is straight outta Chairman Mao. Sellers was forced to admit to her WrongThink. Batson has been suspended for failing to report his colleague for her ideological crimes.

Our American history has been brutal. Terrible prices are still being paid. That said:

On their face, reactions like these don't exactly make sense. Meanwhile, our tribe has spent the past sixty years looking for ways to pretend that academic gaps don't exist. 

(Academic gaps on average.)

Alas! Almost surely, academic gaps do exist, and pretty much everyone knows it.

Those gaps are one price that is being paid for our brutal history. The price we progressives and liberals pay for our decades of unrelenting dumbness (and insincerity) will be seized by Tucker tonight, seized as a form of tribute.

Professor Kendi says it's racist just to report or discuss those gaps! Perhaps in reaction to such stresses, the Post and the Times have agreed not to do so. As they do this, they throw the interests of millions of low-income kids under a big yellow bus.

But then, who cares about them?

Tucker is going to start here tonight. Because Our Town's conduct makes so little sense, new Trump voters will likely be born.

Concerning Professor Batson: A name-calling dean has suspended Professor Batson. The running-dog Batson failed to report his colleague's WrongSpeak crimes.

Eventually, Batson himself may be frog-marched away. According to Georgetown itself, his background once went like this:

Professor Batson, Senior Alternative Dispute Resolution Specialist and ADR Counsel with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, serves as a mediator, consultant on effective public/private collaboration, trainer, and dispute systems designer, providing support for the resolution of conflicts to representatives of government, regulated industry, and the public.

Professor Batson has over 30 years of conflict resolution experience spanning all major environmental programs. As former Senior Counsel with EPA’s Office of Enforcement, he negotiated numerous legal actions, including several of the nation’s largest settlements for noncompliance with environmental laws and regulations. He also served as primary counsel for development of regulations and enforcement policy pursuant to the CWA, SDWA, and CERCLA. As EPA ADR Counsel, Professor Batson represented the Agency in legislative endeavors, including reauthorization of CERCLA and enactment of the ADR Act of 1996. He also drafted the first national policy on the use of ADR in federal litigation and serves as a federal subject matter expert on confidentiality and ethics in ADR practice.

As an ADR professional, Professor Batson has convened and mediated over 500 matters, from settlements of administrative litigation to hazardous waste disputes involving over 1200 parties. He has also facilitated numerous public meetings and public policy initiatives, including restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and implementation of the National Ocean Policy. Professor Batson’s expertise and skill as an advocate and ADR professional have been recognized with numerous awards from the US Attorney General, the General Counsels of OSHA and FAA, and the EPA Administrator. 

A highly regarded trainer and lecturer, Professor Batson has spoken and conducted a wide variety of training on environmental programs, negotiation, and the effective use of ADR for private organizations, federal and state agencies, professional associations, and foreign governments, including several in Eastern Europe and the Far East, Russia, Canada, and Brazil...

He was once an impressive person. For failing to inform on the running-dog Sellers, he'll now be frog-marched away by a panderstrong dean.

New Trump voters will be born. This is the way the stars in Our Town insist on refusing to win.


71 comments:

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  2. "No one is saying the statement is false. People have gone straight to racist."

    When you generalize about the performance of students on the basis of skin color, before the semester has started, that is clearly racist.

    As a professor, I know that it is also not accurate. You cannot know by looking at a student what kind of student they will be.

    These two professors are adjunct faculty. That means they are not tenure track, not part of the permanent full-time faculty, and teach classes on an as-needed basis. I would get rid of them too, in a split second. Their attitudes are not conductive to good teaching for ALL students.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sellers didn’t judge anyone on the basis of their skin color.

      She issued a lament based upon her experience that too often the people who are struggling in her class are black.

      Why would any professor at an elite school not be concerned that some students were going through the ordeal of not measuring up at this sort of institution, when they could be successful at very good schools that were a bit less rigorous?

      Delete
    2. What do you think it means when someone refers to black students always being at the bottom?

      There are stats on the performance of black students at such universities and they do not support Sellers' generalization and that is part of what makes her statement racist.

      When you have difficulty with a class, you work harder, you don't switch to an "easier" school. She should have been agonizing over what she could do to help such students -- that is her job as a professor. If black students, selected using criteria suggesting they CAN succeed, do poorly in her class, she should be wondering what barriers she is erecting that is causing so many black students in particular to do poorly.

      Delete
    3. You make sound as though the majority of her black students are at the bottom.

      How do you know that she hasn’t tried to help all the students who need it?

      Delete
    4. Cecelia: And how do you know she is “Lamenting.” That’s one way to describe what you can’t know about her, ie her state of mind or her motivation for her remarks. Is she really concerned about those “black” students, or is she concerned about her “angst?”

      What we do know is that she views her students in racial terms, despite Somerby assuring us that biological “race” doesn’t exist. Hey many at the bottom are white? She doesn’t say.

      Delete
    5. I watched the video. It was a lament.

      I don’t know who taped this and released it to the public, but it was cruel and sickening.

      She’s not a public person. They could have done it privately.

      Delete
    6. Cecelia: Oh, OK It’s a lament because you’ve decided it was. You can see into her heart, apparently.

      And how old are you, Cecelia? Do you keep up with technology? The two professors had just been on a Zoom call with students, which was recorded for later reference by the students. That’s kind of a thing with Zoom. No one did it as a “gotcha.” In fact, it took two weeks for anyone to notice what she said.

      Delete
    7. Well, I hope you’re feeling all warm and snugly after this latest sacrifice to Viracocha.

      I don’t know who is hungrier, Viracocha or his followers.

      I suppose you’ll now go light up a cigarette.

      Delete
    8. So you resort to snark when you’re out of arguments, I see.

      If she had said “I end up having this, you know, angst every semester that a lot of my lower ones are Trump voters. Happens almost every semester”, Carlson would have demanded her liberal head on a platter, and so would you.

      And it still would have violated university policy.

      What she said seemed racist to me. At any rate, the university has to consider all parties in a case like this to ensure an appropriate academic environment.

      But you go ahead and ascribe it to some massive conspiracy to silence people, and just lump me in there, asshole.

      Delete
    9. I'd have to say that describing it as a lament is accurate, in the context of the quote: 'I end up having this angst every semester that a lot of my lower ones are Blacks,” Sellers said in the video.' And, this drives her crazy, which support the idea that it's a lament. This argues against characterizing her as racist.

      Delete
    10. Wouldn’t your silliness go both ways?

      You would have no trouble with the prof making such a declaration even if she said “black Trump voters”,

      mh, I’m sad to say the shoe not only fit you, you made it yourself.

      Delete
    11. Cecelia, read more carefully. Mh said he would have trouble no matter which group that professor targeted as being substandard, even Trump voters. You have taken the opposite meaning to what mh said.

      This is the kind of thing that confuses people about your comments. Mh is arguing for equal consideration for all groups, no disparaging statements should be made about any of them, so no, the shoe doesn't fit mh and he didn't make it himself. But you are an idiot.

      Delete
    12. No, he didn’t. He said that both formulations would violate university policy without stating what that policy is.

      He was suggesting that only the Trump formulation would bother me, while simultaneously arguing that there are societal reasons for Sellers to be correct in her assessment, which is one he disdains.

      Of course you swallow that silliness and inconsistency without coming to the conclusion that it’s based upon nothing more than political dogma of the sort that he’s accusing me of harboring.

      Delete
    13. Universities such as Georgetown keep records about the graduation rates of their white and black students. For black students, the graduation rate is 86.5%.

      Here is the statement of the black law professors at Georgetown:

      "We, the undersigned Georgetown University Law Center Black faculty, condemn the statements reportedly made by one of the school's adjunct professors deriding the capabilities of Black students in her class. Her taped Zoom comments reveal what we see as an underlying, damaging perception of Black law students that is grounded in white supremacist thought. Our classrooms should be intellectual and humane spaces for learning and growth. Every student deserves to be free of pre-set notions of their intellectual capabilities.

      The content of the video is now widely-reported. In the taped meeting, the professor recounted how "some" Black students did well in her course but emphasized over and again that "a lot" were "at the bottom" each year. Racializing student performance casually was in itself unnecessary and recklessly conjured centuries old expectations of Black intellectual capacity and performance. What the professor failed apparently to consider is that, given the makeup of our diverse student body, white students also routinely fall at the bottom of class curves. In singling out Black students, the professor flagrantly and unfairly stigmatized them and in the process both revealed and propagated racial, and overtly white supremacist stereotypes about the intellectual ability of Black students.

      The professor's comments also raise serious concerns about whether her own bias may be driving the outcomes she observed in her class. Broad statements as to the intellectual ability of students based on their race reflect more poorly on the speaker than those spoken of. Such beliefs spur behavior that is unlikely to create a fair playing field for all students in the classroom. If you expect Black students to behave poorly, your classroom performance as a professor and your grading can operate to confirm that bias. Your Black students then suffer irreparable harm as they experience the consequences of poor grades driven by racial bias. Such students find it harder to obtain letters of recommendation or pursue opportunities such as law review positions, externships, and ultimately, employment.

      From what we understand, the professor's comments also brutally undermine our Black students' freedom to focus on learning. We are deeply concerned that our Black students will (rationally) spend their time worried that their law professors may hold white supremacist viewpoints. Many will preemptively strategize how and in what ways to approach faculty who in fact are employed to educate and promote their well-being. They will worry if their class performance will be assessed through a racialized lens. Responding to anti-Black racism and bias regularly consumes our Black law students' time and energy. It is demoralizing, and it is unfair. They deserve the same opportunities as other students to pursue excellence.

      We stand in support of our Black law students. We welcome the investigation of this incident and the professor's past grading practices by the University's Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Affirmative Action.

      ...

      While reprehensible, the professor's reported statements were not unique even if not typically spoken. The legacy of white supremacy is insidious and can explicitly and implicitly impact and infect some of our most vulnerable spaces and venerable institutions. Any law professor who operates from unspoken white supremacist notions of intellectual ability, whether intentional or not, should aspire to the same rigor and thoughtfulness that they professedly demand of their students. They must examine their own flawed thought patterns and correct them."

      Delete
    14. It’s telling that you don’t ascertain how out of proportion this is for what this professor said.

      This prof doesn’t even say that these black students are at the bottom of her class or even the bottom of their class.

      She said that she is filled with angst because so often they are unable to cogently articulate an idea. They are “jumbled”. She must help them reason through...a legal principle... their own argument ... etc.

      For expressing angst— anxiety, worry, dread... she is summarily allowed to resign, gets a War and Peace reprimand that perfunctory assumes her racial bias, and is now in a position where she is unlikely to work again.

      This business should positively make you throw-up with angst.

      Delete
    15. Cecelia is finally correct. Business is the worst.

      Delete
    16. No one "generalized" about them "before the semester even started." That would have been racist indeed.

      Delete
  3. "We don't know how the adjunct system works, but it seems that no one thought she was reprehensibly racist until she uttered those recent words."

    That's right, Somerby doesn't know what other complaints may have been made over time about the dismissed adjunct professor. There is a different, lower standard for adjuncts than for regular faculty. That may have meant that borderline behavior was tolerated because of the inconvenience of finding someone else to teach the courses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Someone surely had to complain about her blazer.

      Delete
    2. What does that mean?

      Delete
    3. And?

      One of the perks of academia is that you get to wear whatever you want.

      Delete
  4. "Statements like Sellers' may seem embarrassing; also, such statements may hurt. This is one of the prices being paid for our brutal racial history, but that doesn't mean that Sellers' statement has to be false, or that it has to be racist."

    Some of the top students will be black and some of the bottom students will be black and some in-between will be black. Just as some of the top, in-between and bottom students will be white.

    This selective attention to the black students at the bottom implies that a stereotype about black performance is being confirmed by this person, a negative expectation. That isn't helpful in teaching.

    Somerby assumes that when a highly selective school is admitting black students, that those applicants will represent that entire diversity of black students and not be the cream, the top students from universities across the country. This is Georgetown university, not a state college. His belief that the top black students are not as good as the top white students is demeaning to black students and inaccurate (to use his insulting term).

    Further, quite a few studies are showing that even when black students are admitted with lower test scores, they are performing competitively with their white classmates. So, there is no reason why this observation should be accurate, nor are Somerby's concerns about black education gaps relevant when talking about law school students.

    If these professors have 20 years experience, they should know better. That they don't suggests racist is the right label for them.

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  5. "Eventually, Batson himself may be frog-marched away."

    He was merely suspended. Somerby exaggerates this to being fired then complains about it as if it had happened.

    Sellers and Batson are both professional mediators and they should have known better than to make such comments during a zoom call. Perhaps Sellers was fired for her arrogance or stupidity?

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  6. Somerby is seriously trying to tell us that prospective Trump voters care about what happens to professors at elite universities?

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    Replies
    1. These kinds of incidents are broadcast on Fox (Carlson’s show) and hammered on to “prove” how the libs hate white people and free speech and want to take away the freedoms of Carlson’s audience.

      That is an aspect of media criticism that Somerby never analyzes, the way right wing media massively plays up these kinds of incidents to whip their viewers into a frenzy.

      Meanwhile, Carlson and Somerby won’t notice that all colleges and universities require all faculty and staff to undergo diversity training, which informs them that they aren’t allowed to make disparaging remarks about anyone’s race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or politics. In other words, a professor on a zoom call disparaging Catholics would get reprimanded and/or fired too. I don’t see conservatives and Somerby complaining about that.

      Delete
    2. How were the comments disparaging?

      Delete
    3. It is disparaging to black students in general to single out blacks and say that they always wind up at the bottom of her classes:

      "I end up having this angst every semester that a lot of my lower ones are Blacks"

      A teacher is expected to have angst about all of her students at the bottom, not just the black ones. Her angst-generating expectation that they will be black is disparaging. Her reaction as a teacher is racist. If a certain group were always at the bottom of a class, she should be trying to figure out why, not complaining that they give her angst.

      I teach statistics. There are certain students who do poorly, but it is not because they are black, but because of their inadequate preparation in math. We give a pre-test to identify them and then give them some tutoring in the specific math they need to know for stats, before they have the chance to do poorly on a midterm or quiz.

      If black students do poorly in her class, she may be able to figure out why and address their obstacles before they encounter whatever they stumble upon. That takes some work, as a teacher. Simply having "angst" is poor teaching and that makes her someone who perhaps shouldn't be in her job.

      But someone who believes black students are just hopeless won't go through the effort of diagnosing their problems. They may not even find their thoughts about such students "disparaging" but consider it natural to have angst about those poor handicapped black students who shouldn't be at Georgetown at all.

      Delete
  7. Here is what Sellers said:

    "I hate to say this. I end up having this angst every semester that a lot of my lower ones are Blacks,” Sellers said in the video. “Happens almost every semester. And it’s like, ‘Oh, come on.’ You get some really good ones, but there are also usually some that are just plain at the bottom. It drives me crazy."

    And here is what Somerby heard her say:

    "On balance, though, she seems to be saying that a discouraging number of her black students are at the lower end of Georgetown's scale."

    She says that a lot of her lower students are black, not that a lot of the black students are at the bottom, as Somerby attributes to her.

    This is a subtle distinction. Somerby is maligning the black students whereas she is saying that too many of her bottom students are black, not that the majority of the black students wind up at the bottom.

    Somerby's agenda, that black students are too low achieving to succeed in competitive environments, colors his interpretation of Sellers' remarks, which are bad enough because they reveal her low expectations for black students.

    This is like saying "all of my red socks wind up in the bottom of the basket" instead of saying "all of the socks in the bottom of the basket are red." The latter leaves room for red socks elsewhere too, whereas the former (Somerby's version) does not, consigning all of the red socks to the bottom of the basket.

    Somerby can make this transformation, perhaps without realizing what he did, because he is a bigot too. And he is motivated to defend Sellers because he is, in essence, defending himself too.

    Today's remarks about black children are one of the clearest statements of Somerby's view of the hopelessness of educating black children, beautiful and deserving as they may be. He was right to leave the teaching profession.

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    Replies
    1. Truly, this is a bizarre post. Sommersby's point seems to be that, if we want to actually help Black students close the achievement gap, we need to be honest in admitting that it exists in the first place. And nowhere does Sommersby imply that Black students are genetically predisposed to inferior performance. I would have thought that his persistent references to our "brutal racial history" make clear that he thinks this gap is owed to this history. It is a sign of our broken conversation about race that you would accuse him of being a bigot for these views, and (seemingly deliberately) misread his post so badly.

      Delete
    2. “we need to be honest in admitting that it exists in the first place.”

      Here we go again. Somerby has you bamboozled.

      The “achievement gaps” were recognized long ago and were one of the main drivers for implementing the naep test. The “gap” has been measured for fifty years, and has been a major driver of school reforms that Somerby has often criticized, and which have not resulted in any appreciable changes to the gaps. And yet, during those fifty years and amid all the reforms, the test scores went up. Better students? Schools? Teachers?

      And if those gaps are due to the racism of our racist past, then they represent a measurement of the structural racism of today. In other words, they don’t really measure students’ abilities.

      And who is Sommersby?

      Delete
    3. In chiding the media for not accurately reporting on the matter, Somerby says that despite the mediaspeak, the scores for all demographics have gone up.

      However,the scores for whites and Asians still significantly outpace the scores for blacks and Hispanics.

      Why would the phenomenon of structural racism make it impossible to accurately measure the ability of students in any course of study?

      Delete
    4. Look up Claude Steele and his theory of Stereotype Threat. That is one example of the impact of structural racism on individual students. It occurs with regard to Asian and white students and with Male vs Female students too.

      Another aspect of structural racism is the amount of money and resources devoted to the schools in which white and black students find themselves. Right now, there is a widening gap in learning because non-minority students have greater access to the resources needed for learning under covid conditions, where as minority students are having trouble getting online and less likely to have support for their learning during the pandemic.

      And then there are the effects of poverty and parental literacy, which are different for white vs black students. These arise from structural racism in the job market and in previous schooling of parents, and also from pay differentials. Look at access to the internet by zipcode and then look at where more black students live, to see a structural problem.

      And then there is the problem of access to food. Nutrition is important to learning. If kids do not get breakfast (or dinner) before going to school, it is harder for them to concentrate and learn. Black children have greater food insecurity than white children, again because of institutional racism that results in greater poverty for minorities in our country. The same goes for health care access and things like chronic ear infections, lack of eyeglasses, or untreated asthma or allergies which interfere with learning and get treated in white kids more than black kids.

      If you don't know about any of this stuff, you need to do more reading, Cecelia. It may be ignorance that causes people to jump to genetics as the first and only explanation for gaps, but you need to eliminate all of these other causes before you can conclude that only genetics keep black children from doing their best work at school.

      Delete
    5. Cecelia: “the scores for all demographics have gone up”

      But what does this mean? Is the test designed to measure native ability, or is it designed to measure what kids learn in school?

      Along with the naep, states mandate tests. What do you think is the result when you mandate tests and tell teachers and administrators “don’t worry, your job and the fate of your school hang in the balance depending upon the outcome of these tests, that’s all.”

      Since the naep scores for all demographic groups have improved by more or less the same amount, what does that tell you about the “achievement gaps?” It certainly suggests that black students respond in the same way as whites, and are equally capable of improving their test scores. The average score for blacks today is about what the average score for whites was 50 years ago, and whites did ok back then. So why do the gaps persist?

      And if the black-white gaps are a measure of our racist past, as Somerby asserts, couple that with an unchanging gap, and you would seem to be measuring the racism, or perhaps you could call it the “opportunity gap”, not the abilities of the students.

      He says no one pays attention to the gaps, and I’m saying that there is too much emphasis on them. Is it really worthwhile to discuss them? Or is the achievement gap a useless construct that when defined racially tends to propagate racial stereotypes and leads to shitty interference in the schools? Should we be concerned about the white-Asian gap? Does this mean whites are failing as a group and need intervention to equalize their average scores? Why not measure the Christian/Hindu gap?

      Using test scores to pit one racial group against another always leads to bad policies and more stereotyping, it seems to me.

      And how mad would Tucker Carlson be if he heard Bob Somerby say that the gaps are a legacy of racism? How many Trump voters would be born?

      Delete
    6. People, I never mentioned a thing about genetics, nor did I deny for one minute that social and cultural dynamics play a role in the ability of kids to succeed in school.

      What I argued is that the naep can most certainly ascertain where these kids are in that process.

      Anyone who argues that these gaps are insignificant or are a mere construct that should be ignored is doing no one any favors. You’re harming and condescending to kids who need to see that they can be mathematicians and scientists and attorneys.

      It’s no small task and Somerby makes a good point when he argues that it’s been more play acting than priority.i

      Delete
    7. The accusations of racism are an excuse for liberals to express their hostility. They mean well for the most part. They are unaware that the racism issue is something they use as a way to deal with their unresolved feelings of self hatred and inferiority. It's gives them a brief rush of power before they go back to not thinking about the issue. It's natural.

      Delete
    8. You have no idea what you are talking about @10:33.

      Delete
    9. "What I argued is that the naep can most certainly ascertain where these kids are in that process."

      I see you didn't bother looking up Claude Steele, Cecelia.

      Delete
    10. I think the professor was indeed saying that a lot of her black students were at the bottom.

      Problem is, so what? Not sure the context of the discussion, but why even mention anything at all?

      Delete
  8. "Professor canned for unchallenged remark!" -- Somerby's headline

    It isn't clear to me why the supposedly unchallenged nature of the remark matters at all. Somerby seems to think that if Sellers' remark was unchallenged then she shouldn't be fired. But that makes no sense, so I think it is more likely that he is referring to Batson, jumping to the conclusion that he will be fired, and claiming that he is being fired for not challenging Sellers' remark.

    Somerby doesn't care about the female professor who actually was fired, but is concerned about the male professor who was only suspended. Somerby lists Batson's resume, but Sellers has had as impressive a list of accomplishments outside Georgetown as Batson. No list of her qualifications. She was only the instrument of Batson's downfall and he is the one Somerby cares about.

    Somerby quotes nothing from the Dean to support his statement that Batson was fired for not turning in Sellers. But why would that be necessary when there is recorded video of what she said? Somerby tells us nothing about what the Dean said about Batson's suspension.

    This is another personnel matter at a university, being blown up to suit the propaganda purposes of Somerby and presumably Tucker Carlson. But really, this is a matter between the Dean and these two faculty members. Somerby doesn't work at a university and he doesn't understand the dynamics or why these people were disciplined as they were. His ignorance is making him say foolish things again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, in wondering why Seller’s remark went unchallenged, I think Somerby was actually wondering why the veracity of a statement that caused her outster was not germane to the discussion.

      He’s funny that way...

      Batson is in trouble for not ratting out a colleague. For the lapse of...well...not doing anything but listening...a guy who has made polluters pull out their wallets is now considered persona non grata, thus the irony of his credentials.

      Be Better.

      Delete
    2. Batson is being investigated to see why Sellers felt comfortable saying racist stuff to him.

      Delete
    3. "I think Somerby was actually wondering why the veracity of a statement that caused her outster was not germane to the discussion."

      It's because everyone knows that at Georgetown Law all the children are above average.

      Delete
    4. You don't get admitted as a student unless you can do the work.

      Delete
    5. There are reporting requirements for harassment etc. That's what he's being nailed on.

      Delete
  9. You can't cure something if you mis-diagnose the problem. Youi can't cure a problem by pretending it doesn't exist.

    Somerby attributes the education gap to our nation's brutal racial history. IMO another factor is decades of wrong solutions being foisted on black American students.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The economic anxiety of whitey, if the Right-wing, corporate-owned mainstream media (AKA the media) is to be believed.

      Delete
  10. Virtually every city and town in America has a rundown shitty section where black people are relegated to live. Fucking fascist racist right wing pricks like chlamydia and dotard would rot in hell if it actually existed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Virtually every city and town in America has a rundown shitty section where white people are relegated to live too, as you know.

      Delete
    2. And white children who live in those rundown shitty sections do less well in school and are looked down upon by more prosperous white people. Those poor whites always have the consolation that no matter how poor and shitty their circumstances, at least they aren't black. That is part of the appeal of white supremacy.

      Delete
    3. "Those poor whites always have the consolation that no matter how poor and shitty their circumstances, at least they aren't black. That is part of the appeal of white supremacy."

      You just described Republican voters perfectly.

      Delete
    4. "Those poor whites always have the consolation that no matter how poor and shitty their circumstances, at least they aren't black. That is part of the appeal of white supremacy."

      Yes, but that doesn't make them all or even a small fraction of them white supremacists. But yes, poor whites are pitted against poor blacks systematically for centuries. Divide and conquer.

      Meanwhile Pelosi and McConnell are sipping martinis and watching the sun rise.

      Delete
    5. "Meanwhile Pelosi and McConnell are sipping martinis and watching the sun rise."

      Did you add that sentence to show elections have consequences, or is that a shot at Right-wing voter suppression?

      Delete
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