Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Twitterstorm

Inside Higher Ed
May 12th, 2015

Incoming professor makes controversial remarks about a group of people on Twitter. The university initially backs the professor’s right to free speech but quickly distances itself somewhat from said remarks. The case probably sounds familiar to anyone following free speech issues in higher education, but it’s not that of Steven Salaita at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Rather, this recent Twitter controversy involves a new faculty hire at Boston University, and free speech scholars are waiting to see what, if anything, the university does next.
First, some background. On Friday, Fox News ran a report about Saida Grundy, an incoming assistant professor of sociology and African-American studies at Boston University. The report revolved around Grundy’s tweets about race, collected in recent months and posted at SoCawledge.com, a conservative blog about college life. Some of the more controversial posts attributed to Grundy include one from March asking, “Why is white america [sic] so reluctant to identify white college males as a problem population?” Another from January allegedly says, “Every [Martin Luther King Jr.] week I commit myself to not spending a dime in white-owned businesses. And every year [I] find it nearly impossible.” At the end of April, capping off a multitweet conversation about the uniqueness of European slavery, Grundy allegedly wrote, “in other words, deal with your white sh*t [sic], white people. Slavery is a *YALL* thing.”

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