This story surrounding University of Nebraska-Lincoln Professor Jennine Capó Crucet's talk related to her book at Georgia Southern University is not only disturbing, but also sad and pathetic to the point that that this official statement, in reference to the Medieval practice of book burning, by the university's vice president for strategic communications and marketing had to be made:
"While it's within the students' First Amendment rights, book burning does not align with Georgia Southern's values nor does it encourage the civil discourse and debate of ideas," Lester told Buzzfeed.
This is horrific and unacceptable, my friends. We must reject these ways of knowing and being in the world that are openly hostile and denunciatory even toward an invited presenter because they could not stomach her statements about white privilege related to her award-winning book. We need to call out this comportment not as “white fragility,” but rather as the "white hostility" or "Trumpism" that it is.
All of this argues implicitly, by the way, for a more diverse faculty. We simply cannot in this day and age be cultivating cohorts upon cohorts of undergraduates without any critical sense of history who do not know how to deal in and with an increasingly complex world. In fact, these students have not been well served by their higher education institutions and that message somehow needs to get communicated to them. A diverse faculty is an obvious start. Requiring students to take Ethnic Studies both in K-12 and higher education is another way.
I was very pleased to see that the University of Nebraska-Lincoln stood up for her. While a sign of the times, no one deserves this kind of treatment. I think we should all purchase and read her book in solidarity.
CHRIS DUNKER Lincoln Journal Star