Boston University Professor Saida Grundy Apologizes For Racist and Sexist Comments As “Indelicate”

GrundyPic-150x150Boston_University_seal.svgWe have been discussing the curious start of the academic career of Saida Grundy, an incoming assistant professor of sociology and African-American studies at Boston University, who released a series of tweets denounced by many as racist and sexist. “White masculinity isn’t a problem for america’s colleges, white masculinity is THE problem for america’s colleges.” 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.” With many objecting that the University would have fired a male or white professor for such comments directed against blacks or women, donors have begun to revolt and the University was forced to issue a statement condemning the comments. Now, after a surprisingly long period of silence, Grundy has apologized but may have aggravated the situation further. She has called the statements “indelicate” and says that they were in response to unidentified events. The response has been withering with many saying that few would view the comments “indelicate” if a white professor encouraged people not to buy things from black people or calling black males as the problem on colleges.

Boston University president Robert Brown expressed “disappointment” with her statements and his concern over “statements that reduce individuals to stereotypes on the basis of a broad category such as sex, race, or ethnicity. I believe Dr. Grundy’s remarks fit this characterization.”

Grundy wrote that the tweets were the result of “personal passion” to “events we now witness with regularity in our nation.” She added “I regret that my personal passion about issues surrounding these events led me to speak about them indelicately. I deprived them of the nuance and complexity that such subjects always deserve.” She further promised to be fair to whites and males in her classes, acknowledging her duty “to create an inclusive learning environment for all of my students. Both professionally and ethically, I am unequivocally committed to ensuring that my classroom is a space where all students are welcomed.”

My greatest concern remains the question of equal treatment for other faculty in making controversial statements. As previously discussed, we have seen actions taken against faculty for comments viewed as racist or sexist in social media. I believe that Grundy should be protected as a matter of free speech in such comments, but I also believe that Boston University has created a bright line here for future such cases. In such future cases of “delicate” speech, I hope that Grundy will now be the first to step forward and defend the right of those making such comments. With the new effort to punish “micro aggressions” on college campus and regulate speech, such macro aggressions can still be matters of free speech.

121 thoughts on “Boston University Professor Saida Grundy Apologizes For Racist and Sexist Comments As “Indelicate””

  1. Gigi, Isaac does not fall for progressive propaganda. He is a purveyor of it. But, when you get away from politics and religion, Isaac is a guy you would want to have a beer w/.

  2. Gigi, You obviously didn’t get the memo. Personal responsibility died a few decades ago in this country.

  3. I understand that free speech is a constitutional right, but I wonder at what point does self-restraint and self-responsibility come into play.
    We have allowed college professors to have too much leeway in their teaching techniques. Elementary and high school teachers are under stricter scrutiny and more rigid rules than college teachers. Many college professors feel they’ve earned the right to speak their bias thoughts beyond the norm.
    It’s time that tenor be abolished in all levels of education and all teachers be taught to have more self-control and responsibility in their words and actions.

  4. Issac,
    Please, pray tell, where was W a failure? Is it because he retaliated over the bombing on American soil, when nearly 3,000 citizens were killed in one day? Was it because he trusted the FBI and CIA to give him the correct information and he moved on their recommendations?
    Did you forget that most of Congress agreed and voted to go ahead with the retaliation, including the Hillary Clinton (which means Bill C. probably agreed to it too)?
    Do you realize that if President Bill Clinton had taken care of the problem when Al-Qaeda first bombed the WTC, on his watch, and the USS COle in the 90’s, perhaps those 3000 people would still be alive.? Do you understand that if Bill Clinton had given the order to take out Bin Laden when he had the chance (a special forces was within shooting distance), we may have scared off the terrorist and prevented future attacks?
    It’s time to study history and get our heads out of the sand. STOP FALLING FOR PROGRESSIVE PROPAGANDA!

  5. Paul

    It’s a glass half empty/half full, best of the best/lesser of evils kind of world. The one thing about history is it doesn’t lie. It can be selectively remembered and/or forgotten. However, it’s all there and it paints one picture only, regardless of the shades. I would take a man like Clinton over a man like W any day of the week. That man would be a disappointment to a degree but not an utter embarrassment and failure like W.

    I look at the elements that create evolution for the better. If Hilary gets in then the ACA just might get fixed, efforts might be made to rebuild the engines that fuel the middle class, the country might achieve some of the beneficial programs now set in motion. If a Republican gets in then it’s many steps backwards. The GOP has proven itself to be destructive to the US during the eight years of the Bush administration as well as throughout the Obama administration. The GOP must be kept out of power. A check and balance perhaps but not in power. The GOP is the greater of the two evils.

  6. Isn’t the TRUTH supposed to be an affirmative defense? When people (like White Men) trade on their race and gender, they shouldn’t get pouty when it’s noticed.

  7. Thanks, Squeeky. You are our musical gal. You might appreciate this. The Chicago White Sox have a great organist named Nancy Faust. She’s been playing for decades. Back in the 80’s the visiting teams bullpen was getting rocked. I think it was the Angels. The manager went out to the mound and called for the 6th or 7th reliever. Well, Faust started playing Send in the Clowns as the relief pitcher jogged to the mound. What’s noteworthy is someone on the bench knew the song, and the dugout players stuck their heads out and started giving Faust the finger. I always wanted to know the guy who knew the show tune!! NTTAWWT

  8. Her apology is like the weasel apology little Georgey Stepanopolous gave today for donating to the Clinton Slush Fund, err Global Initiative.

  9. Pretty soon the BDS victims will be talking about Florida and the 2000 election. They’re like Japanese soldiers on isolated islands still fighting WW2 in the 1950’s.

  10. What is the musical w./ the song, “Send in the clowns?” I just started humming it for some reason right after typing my comment and reading the one just before mine. Someone has Stage 4 PC/White Guilt and BDS. Get thee to a clinic.

  11. Bob, I do not contest your points. I would just rather bludgeon this racist w/ words befitting her sins than have her fired. Hit her so hard verbally, make her such a laughing stock, she quits. But, both are wishes are quixotic. “Forget it Jake, it’s academia.” The deck is stacked. The game is rigged.

  12. Isn’t going AWOL and not returning considered desertion? during war time yet! guess it’s good to have a daddy with pull.

  13. So basically she’s doubling down on her blatant racism. I am curious if her work has always had an overt racist tone, and if so, how the university defends hiring her.

    I do consider this free speech. My issue is mainly in the vetting process of the university hiring procedure. The salient question is whether she will treat students fairly, regardless of skin color, or if her classroom will be hostile depending on basal melanin concentration.

  14. Paul

    Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar. He earned a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford and did two years there. During his first year he finagled a ROTC spot to keep himself out of the draft. He did finagle and drop out after the first year accomplishing what he wanted, to avoid the draft. He apologized to his sponsor, a colonel whose name escapes me. He admitted to what he did and stated that he thought his political career was more important than his getting drafted. He also, openly opposed the Viet Nam War, before, during, and after this experience.

    This stands in stark contrast to W who had his Dad get him into the Air National Guard against all precedent and ahead of thousands of more appropriate applicants, as well as Yale and the oil business where his career was well less than stellar. Bush got 25% on his test. He has worn this ‘fighter pilot’ badge of glory ever since. Even though he was AOL for seven months. He was then a bum and continued on being a bum throughout his Presidency. He is still a bum.

    Clinton pulled some fast ones but he was a self made man from a single parent family and a Rhodes Scholar. What sort of person do you want in the White House?

    1. issac – I sure do not want Slick Willy back in the White House.

  15. Rick

    You add up the pros and the cons. Clinton has some cons but far surpasses W in pros. In fact W has no pros unless you count the incredible power of the US to weather 8 years of having that as President. He came in on the upswing and took us to unfathomable depths. He can be your hero if you wish but, well, sad.

    Read up a little on W and Clinton. Compare and contrast. Then respond. So far ya got nothing.

  16. Issac:

    The difference between Clinton and Bush is that Clinton is a Rhodes Scholar and Bush is a straw man.

    So to you they’re both draft dodgers, but only Bush’s dodging counts?

    If you think bush sucks for his economic decisions why bring draft dodging into it? Grow up.

  17. Nick: “Bob Stone, We may be operating on different wavelengths. Of course there is hypocrisy w/ liberal lynch mobs. I was liberal once and see the hypocrisy through a clear lens. I expect little from that ilk and they never disappoint. I just want an opportunity to rebut. The private nature of Sterling’s comments is different than this, you are absolutely correct. But, once they were out there, from a financial and contractual standpoint, that became somewhat moot. There was an image crisis. The NBA is a black league. This meant $’s.”

    The financial motives were merely in response to alleged outrage at Sterling’s comments; comments he made in private.

    And yet, when a professor intentionally publishes racist/sexist/bigoted comments that are even more vile than Sterling’s, there’s no outrage at all.

    Racism is “the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.”

    N.B. There’s no exception for racism directed at white males.

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