Black Intellectuals Send Letter to Smith College President Demanding Apology for Workers Smeared as Racist
“We didn’t march so that Americans of any race could be presumed guilty and punished for false accusations while the elite institution that employed them cowered in fear of a social media mob.”
We devoted extensive coverage to the race hoax at Smith College of Massachusetts, which smeared multiple people who worked for the school as racists.
A report from the New York Times blew the lid off the whole affair.
Professor Jacobson wrote in February:
NY Times reveals the devastation after Smith College capitulated to a false claim of racism
For several months we have been covering the story of Jodi Shaw, a now-resigned Smith College staff member who blew the whistle on racist “anti-racist” training which singled out and demonized “whites”.
When Shaw first told her story publicly, she emphasized an incident of a false allegation of racism lodged against Smith College staff members. We wrote about that in our very first post about Shaw, Smith College whistleblower hits campus Critical Race Theory indoctrination: “Stop reducing my personhood to a racial category”:
Shaw alludes to the fact that she or her colleagues have been mistreated by students, and Smith College has either encouraged or permitted this behavior, stating, “And, I think we all know what I’m talking about.”
Shaw appears to be referring to a 2018 incident, where a black student accused a custodial staff member of racism for calling Campus Police. The staff member eventually was exonerated, as Inside Higher Ed reported:
Smith College released a report Monday detailing an independent investigation into a July call to campus police and rejecting the idea that the caller was motivated by clear racial bias. During the call, a Smith College custodial employee reported a black student who was eating lunch and relaxing in the Tyler House residence hall living room. The student “seems to be out of place,” the caller told the dispatcher.
But as we indicated in our first post about Shaw, an exhaustive outside investigation cleared the staff members. It was a racism hoax, a false narrative that fed into an national narrative and altered the policies of Smith College.
But it did a lot more. I didn’t fully appreciate the devastation caused by that false allegation of racism on the working-class staff members until an investigation recently released by The NY Times, Inside a Battle Over Race, Class and Power at Smith College.
I was going to write about it last night, but as I read through the investigation, I found it hard to concentrate — the evil perpetrated at many levels of Smith College brought up a lot of emotions of what I’ve witnessed and have been shared with me about life on campuses. We have covered many of these cases in which false allegations of racism are weaponized as a power play to bring professors, fellow students, and administrations to their knees. It is a powerplay unfolding with increasing vindictiveness.
Please, read the whole Times article. It’s infuriating. The Times details how the lives of several working class staff members were destroyed by this false claim of “eating while black.”
Here’s a very short excerpt on the substance of what happened in the aftermath of the investigative report:
Less attention was paid three months later when a law firm hired by Smith College to investigate the episode found no persuasive evidence of bias. Ms. Kanoute was determined to have eaten in a deserted dorm that had been closed for the summer; the janitor had been encouraged to notify security if he saw unauthorized people there. The officer, like all campus police, was unarmed.
Smith College officials emphasized “reconciliation and healing” after the incident. In the months to come they announced a raft of anti-bias training for all staff, a revamped and more sensitive campus police force and the creation of dormitories — as demanded by Ms. Kanoute and her A.C.L.U. lawyer — set aside for Black students and other students of color.
But they did not offer any public apology or amends to the workers whose lives were gravely disrupted by the student’s accusation.
As a direct result of this debacle, 44 black intellectuals have sent a letter demanding an apology from Smith president Kathleen McCartney, demanding she apologize to the people who were smeared as racists.
Tobias Hoonhout writes at National Review:
Black Intellectuals Demand Smith College Apologize to Smeared Workers, End ‘Anti-Bias’ Training
More than 40 African American intellectuals are asking Smith College to end the “forced, accusatory ‘anti-bias’ training” that was mandated for campus service workers after a student falsely accused some workers of racially-profiling her.
The letter, obtained by National Review, was sent on Monday to Smith College president Kathleen McCartney by Bob Woodson, a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement and founder of “1776 Unites,” and 44 fellow black intellectuals. The signatories ask McCartney to “rethink how you have handled” the fallout over an alleged incident of racial profiling in the summer of 2018, and urge her to “publicly apologize” and “compensate” the school’s service workers that were caught up in the firestorm…
The letter’s signatories — scholars Glenn Loury, John McWhorter, and Shelby Steele among them — express disgust at the way McCartney has handled the situation.
“Many of us participated in the Civil Rights Movement, fighting for equal treatment under the law, which included due process and the presumption of innocence,” they write. “We didn’t march so that Americans of any race could be presumed guilty and punished for false accusations while the elite institution that employed them cowered in fear of a social media mob. We certainly didn’t march so that privileged Blacks could abuse working class whites based on ‘lived experience.’”
People’s lives were ruined over this. An apology would be the least the school could offer.DONATE
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