Some suggested reading for both sides of this debate: http://libjournal.uncg.edu/index.php/ijcp/article/view/249 (on 'white fragility')
Also: we would like to point out that, since this is a public discourse and the comments section of this blog makes it very difficult to protect one's identity, there are many young, untenured scholars—people of color and white allies alike—who feel too professionally vulnerable to intervene. Their outrage is invisible, and this only perpetuates structures of oppression in this society.
We are appalled at the original post and shocked to see many senior scholars responding so cluelessly to the debate (and we are grateful to the brave few who have entered into the fray to call out the spectre of white supremacist colonialism that still haunts the academy).
We are embarrassed at how the discipline to which we have devoted most of our productive lives disseminates unexamined bigotry to the world at large.
We are disheartened that the discipline upon which we've built our academic identity is somehow becoming MORE toxic to people of color.
We are infuriated that any complaint we make is met with condescending defensiveness instead of serious listening—let alone respect.
Please note that, in the relative privacy of Facebook group-chats, Whatsapp, and email, we're:
- mocking these defenses mercilessly
- venting our frustrations, "three times in a frightening crescendo."
- commiserating about the burden of having to not only suffer racial oppression, but to also do the affective labor of making the racially privileged feel better about coming to terms with their complicity in it. Y'all are killing us, here.
- comparing and compiling strategies for the inevitable "dinner with racist senior scholar at AMS" scenario.
- learning how to *not* control our unruly brown emotions, but instead to focus and channel them towards change
- taking names; noting who complains about a 'tempest in a teapot' on social media—and noting who likes them
- developing classroom interventions
- plotting, scheming, planning.
This is not our AMS. We can do better.