Boston University Professor Sparks Controversy Over Tweets Denounced As Racist and Sexist

GrundyPic-150x150Boston_University_seal.svgWhile Professor Saida Grundy has not actually started teaching at Boston University, she is already facing calls for her removal from the faculty. After being hired by BU, Grundy let loose with a series of tweets that are denounced as racist and sexist. Grundy tweeted, for example, “White masculinity isn’t a problem for america’s colleges, white masculinity is THE problem for america’s colleges.” The tweets have triggered a debate over whether there is a double standard for such comments and whether such comments should be treated as protected speech.

In a January tweet, Grundy wrote: “Every MLK week I commit myself to not spending a dime in white-owned businesses. and every year i find it nearly impossible.” Previously, she posted comments like“Deal with your white sh*t, white people. slavery is a *YALL* thing.”

Brundy is expected to start teaching in June and Boston University spokesman Colin Riley insisted “Professor Grundy is exercising her right to free speech and we respect her right to do so.”

The controversy has raised the question of whether a white professor denouncing blacks or females as the problem on college campuses would be viewed as suitable to teach. We have seen offers withdrawn after newly hired professors posted anti-Israeli tweets. Likewise, there were demands for the termination of a math professor at Rochester for controversial comments about rape.

The question is where to draw the line. As might be expected, I tend to gravitate instinctively toward free speech in most of these cases, including the most recent involving Professor Grundy. While I find her comments bizarre and biased, she made these comments in social media and has not been accused of treating white or male students in a discriminatory or abusive manner. Indeed, she has not taught any students at BU. The key however is that the school must be prepared to show the same tolerance for the next professor who makes what are viewed as racist or sexist comments of a different kind. The concern is that colleges and universities are engaging in selective enforcement and content-based regulation of speech. Ironically, Grundy may lay the foundation for a future lawsuit at the school if it proceeds against a white racist or a sexist professor. Her retention would be evidence that could be used in a case of disparate treatment.

What do you think?

57 thoughts on “Boston University Professor Sparks Controversy Over Tweets Denounced As Racist and Sexist”

  1. Racism as a pejorative is an arbitrary opinion not a constitutional issue.

    Racism is often confused with nationalism. Is there any law in any nation against the citizens of the nation supporting the nation?

    Assault, battery, harassment, murder, mayhem, theft, vandalism, damage, etc. are illegal.

    Americans have a right to thought and speech and the government shall not make laws against them. Laws against free speech, thought and opinions are unconstitutional.

    Discrimination is the first step of freedom. If Americans cannot discriminate, Americans cannot be free.

    Government has not made a law against the use of the “W”-word, in the pejorative against Americans. The “W”-word is used by biased journalists. Bias is everywhere against Americans to the degree that Americans are now the “W”-word. Bias is affirmative action and affirmative action is bias. Freedom is neutral and neutrality is freedom.

    The innate Freedom of Thought, and the Constitutional Freedom of Speech, Press, Assembly, etc. allow for all opinions about all things.

    The Preamble, Constitution and Bill of Rights shall not make laws against opinions or the free exercise thereof.

    Read the Constitution. Read how the Framers and Founders practiced in everyday life.

    We begin to see that the Founders meant it when they said the Preamble, Constitution and Bill of Rights were the beginning and the end of the construct of American governance. We see now why Madison wrote the Bill of Rights as the definitive, final chapter of the Founding documents. Madison feared the destruction of the very Constitution itself. America is just about there; the “tipping point.”

    The inmates have taken over the asylum.

  2. Well, at least she’s out front about it. As a white male, if I were an undergrad I’d make sure I did not take her class.

    1. honestcharlie – as a white male I would take her class just to make her life a living hell. 😉

  3. This is not a free speech issue. She has the absolute right to speak her mind. What is truly frightening, however, is what her words reveal about who she really is…a blatant racist who holds a truly twisted view of white males. There is no place for racist professors who lack the insight to treat and view all equally. What’s next, David Duke assistant professor of race relations? I don’t give a shit about racial/ethnic background, there is NO place for racist, misndrogenistic educators and role models for our kids. Period.

  4. To understand Grundy, you have to understand “stoning.” You see, when you throw rocks, it’s just not good form to throw them at just anybody. . . you are only supposed to throw them at the appropriate person. If you just throw rocks at whoever, then it isn’t “stoning”—it’s just plain old rock throwing!

    Now, “racism” is the same thing. It is only “racism” if the discrimination is directed against the appropriate person. If you just discriminate against whoever, then it isn’t “racism”— it’s just plain exercising old personal choice!

    I hope this clears the issue up???

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  5. Bam Bam – so true. She proclaims an ignorant assumption.

    There are more to people than their race. I tire of every issue being made skin deep by those trying to elevate themselves. It’s as if being racist against whites somehow means she “cares” more about poverty.

  6. We need more college graduates whose minds are shaped by the likes of her and fewer matriculated through programs in engineering, mathematics, and computer science.

  7. It is generous of Saida Grundy to display her sexism and racism so openly. Future litigants will be able to claim negligence against Boston University, BU has policy and obligations under the law to protect students, faculty, and staff from discrimination and harassment. During orientation for new students and new faculty/staff BU puts all on notice that discrimination and harassment will not be tolerated. Now in light of Grundy’s tweets, those receiving the orientations will have cause to not take them seriously. As for her field, which is sociology, she is in good company on the project of transforming it into a playpen for the outraged.

  8. Either fire all these university professors who like to express their offensive opinions on public forums under their own names, or don’t fire any of them. Double standards are never a good idea.

  9. She said that she commits, during MLK week, to not spend a dime in stores that are owned by whites. How does she know who owns the various stores that she frequents? Boston’s a big place. I couldn’t tell you who owns the vast majority of shops or stores that I enter. Does she just assume, when she sees white faces behind the counter, that the race of the employees is indicative of the owner’s race? This is what we want teaching at a highly regarded university? This isn’t just about being a racist. This is about being an imbecile, as well.

  10. It would seem like a good time to be a white male professor at B.U. and make some off handed comments. After being fired, time to bring in the lawyers and cash in.

    Is there anyone more protected than a liberal gay black women with a Hispanic name that has a disability? This person could rule the country if they played their cards right.

  11. I agree that this is free speech. I also agree that they are racist and misogynistic comments. If she said the same thing about Black Men, there would be riots.

    And such comments are destructive to efforts to improve the lot of minorities.

    The highest risk for poverty, drug use, joining a gang, crime, and going to jail is having an unwed mother and an absent father, and the rate of such births is 75% and higher in some African American demographics. Unless something very odd is going on, white men are not responsible for these devolving neighborhoods. Rather, the failure of Liberal policies and lack of responsibility. As stated before, statistically, the highest threat of violence against a black male is another black male. The people burning and looting Boston et al were the very people who lived there. Does the neighborhood invest such protest efforts at the skyrocketing rate of gang violence? Or anything else that is a real and present danger to their innocent kids trying to navigate the streets?

    By using such racist comments and blaming other people, responsibility is shifted from these communities, rendering them helpless victims with no control about their fate. When someone realizes they have at least some self determination, it can have a paradigm shift in their life choices.

    Isaac – I completely agree with you about equality requiring equal treatment.

  12. I think that she has every right to post racist tweets.

    I also think that white male students have every right to boycott her classes and avoid her at all costs since it is patently obvious that she is incapable of treating her students fairly.

    I also think that even though she has the right to be a loud mouthed racist, the University should have the right to deem her unacceptable as a teacher. It is…..again…..obvious that she will be unable to deal with her students without putting her racial animosity first.

    She is unsuited to the occupation and should not be hired.

  13. Good to know we have some honest to Goodness Stalinist here. Makes it easier to know who to take seriously.

  14. See how easy it is to blame groups of people without evidence? What’s the name for that? I think it starts with an “R” – maybe I’ll remember.

  15. “But she’s right. There are some exceptions since it’s not all white men, but it’s white men who have established the institutionalism of inequality for African-Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, and women. And it continues.”

    No, that was the Jewish white men who did that.

  16. The true test is whether a prospective white professor could make similar remarks, regarding minorities, and still expect to have a job at BU. The answer, of course, is a resounding NO. The same mentality, which allowed a mayor of a major city to openly declare that allowances were made for looters and thug to destroy a community, is in play here. Poor woman, she just needs room to vent her rage and anger. Let’s just step back and allow it. Just give her some room to destroy, like we did with the looters and thugs in Baltimore and Ferguson. A white professor, making similar comments, outside the scope of his/her employment, would be summarily terminated and vilified, and, rightfully so. Her gender and her ethnicity give her carte blanche to do and say as she wishes, with no fear of any consequences.

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