July 25, 2009

The Gates story and the local blogosphere

Steve Newton of Delaware Libertarian has an additional post up about the Henry Louis Gates situation. He is upset that in the comments on his original post on the topic, I referred to Black Studies as not being a "real" discipline. I noted in the comments in his latest post that I regretted posting that statement, and that I wrote it in response to the DE Liberal-loving "anonone" saying that Gates didn't deserve what happened [merely] because he is a "pre-eminent" scholar. A comment which by itself is total bullsh**, but that doesn't warrant the comment I made, especially since Gates has done work across several disciplines.

Which brings me to my next point:

Newton seems to think that his own personal experiences make the phrase "post-racial America" a farce. He works at an Historically Black University, and relies on the anecdotes of colleagues to "make" his case. Well, Steve, it has been MY experience (at the U of D) that areas of study such as, yes, Black Studies but others such as Womens' Studies, Queer Studies and even Education (my own field) are much more ... "fluff" (for lack of a better term) as opposed to areas like economics, biology, history and business. (Again, although Professor Gates is currently located in Black Studies, his work cuts across academic lines.) Why would my experiences mean less than Newton's? In addition, would my own personal and work experiences count as a "counter" to Newton's [anecdotal] experiences that supposedly "prove" Gates was in the right on the police/arrest matter? If not, why?

Newton stated in the comments of his recent post that "What offends me most about the incident are the people who are responding to Dr Gates in profoundly racist terms ..." Really? It was Professor Gates himself, who Newton has defended from the onset, that made the issue a racial one right away, and then Newton did it himself in his initial post, titling it "What's wrong with the arrest of Dr. Henry Louis Gates of Harvard is not just the racism... " To do that, and then say you're "offended" by me saying that Black Studies isn't a "real" discipline amounts to just so much asininity. Further, why did Newton title his initial post what he did, and subsequently continue to make the "race" case when he responded here at Colossus thusly on my first post on the matter: "The issue is not so much racism (at least to me) ..."? I understand that Newton has much more of a problem with law enforcement than I do, and that is fine (Jonah Goldberg pontificated on the "two camps" surrounding the Gates matter in an update on my original post); but don't say that the issue is NOT racism and then write a couple posts based [mostly] on just that.

You've written myriad posts over the years, Steve, denouncing cheap insinuations of racism; unfortunately, you fell into this pit yourself recently.

Posted by Hube at July 25, 2009 11:24 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)


Traveling ... promise serious reply this merits.

Posted by: steve Newton at July 25, 2009 10:52 PM

I am away too, Steve. Fortunately, I found enough time yesterday to reply right here to your own post(s).

Happy travels.

Posted by: Hube at July 26, 2009 10:47 AM

Lashley's Letter To Crowley
Dear Jim,

Would you be so kind as to mention the following to Mr. Gates and President Obama during your meeting with them:

One of the major problems stemming from the events of July 16 is that I, now known as 'the black Sergeant', have had my image plastered all over the Internet, television and newspapers. Subsequently, I have also become known, at least to some, as an 'Uncle Tom.'

I'm forced to ponder the notion that as a result of speaking the truth and coming to the defense of a friend and collegue, who just happens to be white, that I have somehow betrayed my heritage.

Please convey my concerns to the President that Mr. Gates' actions may have caused grave and potentially irreparable harm to the struggle for racial harmony in this country and perhaps throughout the world.

In closing, I would simply like to ask that Mr. Gates deeply reflect on the events that have unfolded since July 16 and ask himself the following questions:

'What can I do to help heal the rift caused by some of my actions?; What responsibility do I bear for what occurred on July 16, 2009? Is there anything I can do to mitigate the damage done to the reputations of two respected Police Officers?'

Thank you in advance,

Your friend,

Leon K. Lashley

Posted by: annoni at July 31, 2009 12:04 AM