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Boston U Center for Antiracist Research controversy

Started by Langue_doc, September 26, 2023, 08:43:00 AM

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Wahoo Redux

Imagine what $55M could have done for scholarships for people of color or grants to minority-owned small businesses.
Come, fill the Cup, and in the fire of Spring
Your Winter-garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To flutter--and the Bird is on the Wing.

Wahoo Redux

Quote from: Caracal on September 27, 2023, 07:31:47 AM
Quote from: Hegemony on September 26, 2023, 11:43:02 AMI have no idea what's going on with the antiracism center, but it's an undisputed fact of history that those who espouse worthy causes do not always have good management skills, and those who espouse horrible causes do not always have terrible management skills. Many a good cause has been brought down by lack of practical skills. And many have been hijacked by selfish or nefarious interests. It's not like the trope in TV and movies, that the good guys are always better shots than the bad guys. However, of course when something on the other side fails, the opposition is full of glee.

Exactly. I'd also argue that this kind of thing is often the result of mismanagement by administrators who want the credit and publicity but don't actually care enough about the results to set up structures that will make a program or institute sustainable and functional. A huge part of the job of director of a center like this is fundraising, and Kendi is clearly quite good at that and his status as well known public intellectual is something he can leverage to raise money. The problem is that the same things that make him a good fundraiser aren't conducive to good administration and management.

There are ways you could have made this work. There are a lot of academics who would be thrilled to be a co-director of a center, where they were mostly responsible for making sure the huge piles of cash coming in were being put to good use while Kendi did the fundraising and glad handing.

Never having read his books and knowing nothing more than what I read in the NY Times, I imagine that Kendi simply let his pen write a check that he cannot cash.  How can a "center" end racism?  Can one dude, no matter how brilliant, appropriate $55M intelligently in so short a period of time?

One thing that we can't forget, however, is that this is still a very new project.  A decade from now we may we watching a documentary on the Antiracism Center, its turbulent early days, and its rise to Nobel Prize winning prominence as a voice for equality.  This is also a likely scenario.

Or not.

I think the frustration is understandable, and sometimes a necessary catylist, but I do wonder about activists who attempt change through aggressive rhetoric as Kendi has done. 
Come, fill the Cup, and in the fire of Spring
Your Winter-garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To flutter--and the Bird is on the Wing.

ciao_yall

Quote from: Wahoo Redux on October 07, 2023, 08:40:55 AMImagine what $55M could have done for scholarships for people of color or grants to minority-owned small businesses.

Same reason billionaires donate to study homelessness instead of giving it to organizations that actually house homeless people.

spork

It's terrible writing, used to obfuscate the fact that the authors actually have nothing to say.

Caracal

Quote from: ciao_yall on October 07, 2023, 09:38:24 AM
Quote from: Wahoo Redux on October 07, 2023, 08:40:55 AMImagine what $55M could have done for scholarships for people of color or grants to minority-owned small businesses.

Same reason billionaires donate to study homelessness instead of giving it to organizations that actually house homeless people.
d

I would assume that he's become convinced (hopefully through talking to people actually working on the ground)
that a lot of the approaches being used are based on mistaken ideas about the causes of homelessness and that there's not enough research to correct those ideas and that money to do that research, which could include funding pilot programs or whatever, could really help point to better solutions to an intractable problem. San Francisco alone spends over a billion dollars a year on things involving the homeless population, so it's not like he could just take this money and end homelessness...

apl68

Quote from: Wahoo Redux on October 07, 2023, 08:52:11 AMI think the frustration is understandable, and sometimes a necessary catylist, but I do wonder about activists who attempt change through aggressive rhetoric as Kendi has done. 

They certainly do a good job of alienating and frightening people who might otherwise be open to working with them. Yes, I know that their enemies are quick to take advantage of their gaffes, but the activists' own all-or-nothing, you-either-let-us-dictate-what-you-think-or-you're-against-us rhetoric is a brilliant way of making new enemies where there could have been allies.
If any will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it.
For how does a man profit if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul?

ciao_yall

Quote from: Caracal on October 09, 2023, 06:19:00 AM
Quote from: ciao_yall on October 07, 2023, 09:38:24 AM
Quote from: Wahoo Redux on October 07, 2023, 08:40:55 AMImagine what $55M could have done for scholarships for people of color or grants to minority-owned small businesses.

Same reason billionaires donate to study homelessness instead of giving it to organizations that actually house homeless people.
d

I would assume that he's become convinced (hopefully through talking to people actually working on the ground)
that a lot of the approaches being used are based on mistaken ideas about the causes of homelessness and that there's not enough research to correct those ideas and that money to do that research, which could include funding pilot programs or whatever, could really help point to better solutions to an intractable problem. San Francisco alone spends over a billion dollars a year on things involving the homeless population, so it's not like he could just take this money and end homelessness...

Quite a bit of that San Francisco homeless money doesn't go into direct aid, but into paying social workers, case managers, accountants, program staff and the like.

Just found this article pointing out that a lot is also unspent.