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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 22, 2012/ 1 Sivan, 5772

She can't say that!

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | We in Arkansas have reason to remember the Chronicle of Higher Education, and not a good reason. Last time that publication turned its baleful eye on our little state, it did so only to repeat the conclusion of a "study" by Project Vote Smart listing our state legislature as the poorest educated in the country.

Lord knows our legislators have their share of faults (who doesn't?) but compared to Vote Smart's alleged researchers, they're the soul of competence.

Vote Smart concluded that fully a quarter of Arkansas lawmakers had no college at all, including the lawyers and professors among them. It was the kind of highly suspect reportage that wouldn't have got past any halfway decent editor. But all the Chronicle of Higher Education did was just repeat it. I've thought of it as the Lower Chronicle of Higher Education ever since.

As for the source of this generously dispersed misinformation, Project Vote Smart never apologized, not to my knowledge. It preferred to blame the legislators themselves. Since many of them hadn't bothered to respond to its survey, it concluded they had no college experience to report.

It was an assumption not even a rookie reporter would make, certainly not if he had a halfway decent editor looking over his shoulder. But nobody at either Project Vote Dumb or the Lower Chronicle of Higher Education bothered to do the slightest fact-checking. They might at least have picked up the phone and called. But that would have come dangerously close to responsible journalism.

Yes, I know the Chronicle of Higher Education is just a trade paper, if one of the more pretentious sort, but trade papers have their standards, too, or should. The Chronicle's, if any, fall far short.

Now this: When one of the Chronicle's bloggers criticized the current state of Black Studies on campus, she set off a mass protest. At last count, some 6,500 academics had signed a solemn petition demanding that Naomi Schaefer Riley, the blogger in question, be fired.

And fired she was. When pressed, the Chronicle turned out to have a backbone of spaghetti.

The lady's crime? She'd pointed out, as others have, that many of the courses dubbed Black Studies "appear to be a series of axes that faculty members would like to grind." And grind away they do.

Critics of academe who note this kind of ideology masquerading as scholarship are bound to be called racists, to cite one of the more polite names hurled at Naomi Riley. A long-time observer of the lower trends in higher education, Ms. Riley was subjected to a flood of taunts that, in her words, ranged from "puerile to vitriolic." Nobody can say her work had gone unnoticed.

The Chronicle's editor-in-chief -- yes, it actually has an editor, or at least someone styled as such -- claimed the blogger was fired not because her opinions were unacceptable but because, in the course of presenting them, she'd cited some of the sillier dissertation titles in the field she was criticizing.

Said editor-in-chief didn't claim the thesis titles were inaccurate. Her sin seems to have been that she'd mentioned them. And when she did, the response from those running the Chronicle was simple. Shut up, they explained.

Naomi Schaefer Riley is scarcely the first observer to note the academic crimes committed in the name of Black Studies. N.B. She wasn't asserting that the history of black Americans (not to mention the literature, religion and, good Lord, the music of Black America!) isn't worth teaching. On the contrary, she was demanding that it be taught well.

Strangely enough, the Chronicle had hired Ms. Riley to present the conservative point of view in order to balance its usual educanto. But when she did, she had to go.

Well, sure. Hers is not an unusual experience for anyone who dares criticize the banalities of academe. Indeed, it's almost a tradition. It goes back at least to the last century, when Booker T. Washington was being denounced as an Uncle Tom for asserting that self-reliance is an essential requisite for advancing the rights and fortunes of black Americans.

For that matter, the original Uncle Tom of Harriet Beecher Stowe's famous novel/melodrama that roused American public opinion against slavery was no Uncle Tom himself -- not in the current, derisive use of the term. Rather he was a stoic hero who practiced nonviolent resistance in a way Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. would later advocate.

But the grievance collectors of the world may be less interested in eliminating the grievances than in exploiting them. Booker T. Washington once wrote of those who "make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs -- partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs."

Welcome, Naomi Schaefer Riley to a long line of truth-tellers. It's a distinguished club, but the price of admission can be high.

Paul Greenberg Archives

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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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