Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Open Wound - Racism Is Alive And Well In America


TNT Academy is a private high school located in Stone Mountain, Georgia. The school is a private, non-traditional school founded for home-schoolers and others who have problems in public schools and whom are hoping to get an accredited degree.Unlike some private schools around the country, the black middle class is well represented in the student body because of the school's record of academic success and moderate tuition.

Last Friday, May 8th was the graduation ceremony, and Nancy Gordeuk, the founder and director of the school made the mistake of forgetting about the valedictorian's speech and dismissing the crowd before the speech was given. She then got on the microphone, admitted her mistake and politely asked those leaving the room to return, trying in vain to quiet the crowd so the valedictorian - who was white - could give his speech. When a number of them kept right on walking, she accused them of being rude. Most parents who've attended these type of things would agree with her.It's common courtesy that you don't leave while another parent's kid is onstage. She then said, "look who's leaving, all the black people."

That unfortunate comment was enough to ignite a real firestorm.

Nancy Gordeuk later apologized to the parents via email:

A terrible mistake on my part was part of the graduation ceremony on Friday night. The devil was in the house and came out from my mouth. I deeply apologize for my racist comment and hope that forgiveness in in your hearts.

We all make mistakes and anyone who knows me realizes that I try my hardest to work with the students for them to obtain their goal of a high school diploma. I do not think I have discriminated against any family in the school. I just pray you will realize I am a human and make mistakes just like everyone else does and be willing to forgive and move forward instead of concentrating on the bad of the situation.

To address the incident at the graduation ceremony of May 8. Please keep the facts in perspective. An unknown man at the beginning of a speech decided to walk up to the front of the audience with his tablet, videotaping the audience and the students causing disruption to the audience and disrespect to the ceremony and its participants. When disregarding the request to please sit down, the security was asked to remove the man.At that point, booing of the request commenced.

Frustrated with the prospect of ruining the once-in-a-lifetime ceremony the graduates have worked so hard for, my emotions got the best of me and that is when I blurted out "you people are being so rude to not listen to this speech (valedictorian). It was my fault that we missed the speech in the program.

I sincerely apologize to all the persons in attendance at the ceremony for the actions of the few causing the disturbance and for my emotional, un-called generalization of the black persons in attendance. I deeply apologize for my actions made in the emotional state of trying to let this last student finish his speech.

I take a personal interest in the success of every student that comes through our doors without regard to their race, religion or ethnicity. My main concern for each is to provide them with an education and high school diploma to be able to continue on the pathway toward adulthood to become a successful member of society.

You will find many, many parents of all races, religions and ethnic groups that have been serviced by our school and are very appreciative of our efforts on the behalf of their students. This same group of students had the same support we have given to every other graduating class.

It is very easy to judge someone, however, we all make mistakes, as we are only human.Again, I deeply apologize for my offensive comment in the heat of my emotional state in trying to achieve respect for a student to be able to speak.

End result? She was fired in less than a week by the school's Board of directors after a massive media assault and high profile complaints by the local NAACP.

By the way, here's a link to a live video of what occurred at the graduation and the context in which Nancy Gordeuk's remarks were made. It certainly does seem to bear out her story that a lot of people in the audience were very unruly and disrespectful and that a lot of them just happened to be black, but I'll let you be the judge.

Now let's look at a similar incident in another part of the country.

This is Boston University’s Saida Grundy,the newest professor at the school’s African American Studies department. Dr. Grundy, who received her doctorate at the University of Michigan last year isn't the victim of an unfortunate outburst made in the emotional heat of the moment. She's an outright, loud n' proud racist. On her Twitter account, according to the AP story, she called "white college males" a "problem population" and wrote that "white masculinity is THE problem for America's colleges." But that's the tame stuff. Here are a few more gems from her Twitter account, which she's since made private: I HAD NO IDEA WHITE BALTIMOREANS WERE THIS TERRIBLE. I THOUGHT YOU WERE ALL MCNULTY! THIS IS *EXACTLY* LIKE FERGUSON. — lord commander (@saigrundy) April 29, 2015
BU Prof 1  Oh, and Surprise! She hates Jews too: BU Prof 6

Now these remarks and a few others I refuse to soil my site with were not only issued recently in Twitter's public forum for all to see, but were republished online at SoCawlege.com and elsewhere.

These aren't dredged up from the past either, nor are they occasional outbursts. Dr. Grundy is consumed with her racist sentiments and fires off remarks like this constantly.

Boston University harshly condemned these racist remarks. The College President, Robert Brown said in an open letter that there was no place for racism at the University and that Dr. Grundy would not be teaching classes there.

Yes, of course I'm kidding. Here's what actually happened.

When Dr. Grundy's racist statements came to light publicly, she issued, not an apology but a statement: "I regret that my personal passion about issues surrounding these events we now witness with regularity in our nation led me to speak about them indelicately."

”I deprived them of the nuance and complexity that such subjects always deserve."

AKA 'I'm sorry if you were offended.'

The university 'distanced itself' at first,with a spokesperson saying the university was "offended" by Grundy's statements. Other critics called her comments offensive and inappropriate for a professor at a major publicly funded university.

That brought out the racial solidarity cavalry. They started a hashtag #IStandWithSaida and launched an online petition supporting her. Part of the petition read, "Racism extends to virtually every institution in American society - including higher education. Calling Professor Grundy's tweets racist minimizes the very real effects of racism for people of color in the United States."

AKA 'Racism is fine if a person of color does it, just because.

President Brown immediately caved in, (emphasis mine):

President Robert Brown acknowledged Grundy's right to hold and express her opinions but said her remarks unfairly "typecast" certain groups of people. He stopped short, though, of acknowledging the comments were directed almost exclusively at whites. "I do not say this lightly or without a great deal of consultation and soul-searching," Brown's letter reads. "I understand there is a broader context to Dr. Grundy's tweets and that, as a scholar, she has the right to pursue her research, formulate her views, and challenge the rest of us to think differently about race relations. But we also must recognize that words have power and the words in her Twitter feed were powerful in the way they stereotyped and condemned other people."

Yes, I get his point, we all need to be challenged to be more accepting of racism, as long as it's coming from a black person. This, at the university Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. got his doctorate at.

But I will say I'm certainly glad to hear that President Brown supports free speech and controversial views so passionately. So when are Pam Geller, Rush Limbaugh or Ayaan Hirsi Ali scheduled to speak at Boston University? How about Ann Coulter or maybe even Michelle Malkin?

Ri-ight, the fifth of Never.

Do I need to add that Dr. Saida Grundy wasn't fired? She reports for work July 1st.

So here we have two situations, where people involved in academia said inappropriate things.

Maybe Nancy Gordeuk's remarks were more bigoted than Saida Grundy's? Well, I don't know, but it seems to me like 'Look all the black people are leaving' isn't nearly as bad as some of the stuff Dr. Grundy wrote. Especially since Gordeuk's remark was a one time outburst under pressure while Saida Grundy's were premeditated and continuous. Look again at this video. In Georgia, we have a white educator who helped put together a school that arguably benefits children of color disproportionally upset at what was obvious disrespect for both the graduation ceremony and the valedictorian, whom happened to be white, and made an unfortunate generalization based on what she felt she saw happening in that room.

Imagine if the valedictorian was black instead of white and an audience of predominantly white people had disrupted the graduation and walked out on him. Imagine if Nancy Gordeuk was black and said, 'look all the white folks are leaving.' Imagine if instead of what she sent out, she had used Saida Grundy's 'apology' and said she regretted her remarks, but that she spoke out of passion at apparently seeing one of her students disrespected because of his race.

Does anyone remotely think Nancy Gordeuk would have been fired?

If Dr. Saida Grundy was white and the racist tweets on her Twitter account were directed at blacks, does anyone seriously think she wouldn't have been summarily fired? Would the President of Boston College be bloviating about Saida Grundy being a 'scholar' with legitimate views that 'challenge the rest of us to think differently about race relations?'

We are indeed cowards when it comes to race. And racism continues in America because people like Dr. Saida Grundy continue to promulgate it and too many people continue to excuse and tolerate it, provided it comes from a so-called 'person of color.'

This is what keeps racism alive and well in America. It's because its practitioners and their enablers like President Brown whom practice the bigotry of low expectations. Both are racist to the core. And as long as that remains true, it will continue to be America's open wound.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people whom have a vested interest in keeping it that way.

Dr. King would be appalled and ashamed.

UPDATE: Dr. Saida Grundy has surfaced again with racist remarks directed at a white rape victim. 
Quod Erat Demonstradum...when you give racist behavior a pass, it just emboldens racists in further outrages.


louielouie said...

boston college?
that's a bunch of catholics isn't it?

Rob said...

Sorry, Louie,

I referred to Boston University as 'Boston College' a couple of times in the piece.

This happened at Boston Univeresity