by Sam Hieb
I generally don’t give News & Record ed page editor Allen Johnson much praise, but in yesterday’s column he breaks the news that the racial equity workshop to which a Duke University divinity professor spoke out against was staged by the Racial Equality Institute, which co-founded by Guilford County school board member Deena Hayes-Greene.
Just reviewing here:
In February, a Duke professor sent a mass email to fellow divinity school faculty inviting them to take part in a two-day racial equity workshop. “Those who have participated in the training have described it as transformative, powerful, and life-changing,” Assistant Professor Anathea Portier-Young wrote.
Later the same day, Paul Griffiths, a professor of Catholic theology, fired off an impassioned response.
“I exhort you not to attend this training,” he wrote. “Don’t lay waste to your time by doing so. It’ll be, I predict with confidence, intellectually flaccid: there’ll be bromides, clichés and amen-corner rah-rahs in plenty. When (if) it gets beyond that, its illiberal roots and totalitarian tendencies will show. Events of this sort are definitively anti-intellectual.”
OK I’ll be fair– I have never attended a workshop put on by the Racial Equality Institute. Maybe it would change my life, I don’t know. But based on the institute’s recent field of study, I sure don’t where the amen-corner rahs-rahs will be coming from because it all looks pretty grim to me:
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
Why The Academic Achievement Gap Is A Racist Idea
The Black Maternal Mortality Rate in the US Is an International Crisis
All this after eight years of hope and change, too. Anyone who knows Gboro politics knows Hayes-Greene is the school board’s race-baiter, and it just so happens she’s also chair of the board of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum, which has had had trouble paying its light bill, a situation that–you guessed it—has racial overtones.
As for Johnson’s conclusion that while Professor Griffiths “is entitled to his opinion and shouldn’t have to resign for expressing it,” it’s unfortunate that in spite his academic achievement, “basic manners apparently are not among his gifts.”
First of all I didn’t see where Professor Griffiths’ email was rude, and second that’s rich, considering nobody on the left ever seems worried about offending me with bad manners….