Boston University Professor Grundy Accused Of Another Series of Offensive Postings

GrundyPic-150x150Boston_University_seal.svgWe have been discussing the racist tweets of Saida Grundy, an incoming assistant professor of sociology and African-American studies at Boston University, who used twitter to denounce white men as the central problem at universities and described how she tries not to do business with white people. After an outcry from alumni, Boston University president Robert Brown expressed “disappointment” with her statements and Grundy herself apologized for what she called “indelicate” wording.  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. She now stands accused of a fairly unhinged exchange with a white woman who expressed her personal feelings over an article attacking actress Patricia Arquette for her call at the Oscars for equal pay for women.

Grundy is now accused of a new exchange with a white woman which combined race and rage in a particularly troubling way on Facebook. The other woman was Maghan Chamberlin who is a rape victim and wrote about her personal reaction to a controversial article on race.

First to the context of the article. Chamberlin was reacting to a screed by Grio writer Blue Telusma who found it terribly offensive that Patricia Arquette had given the following words at the Academy Awards in accepting her Oscar in February 2015. Here is what Arquette said (which is news to me because I would rather drink molten lead than watch the Oscars):

To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights! It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America!. . .

It’s time for women. Equal means equal. The truth is the older women get, the less money they make. The highest percentage of children living in poverty are in female-headed households. It’s inexcusable that we go around the world and we talk about equal rights for women in other countries and we don’t. One of those superior court justices said two years ago in a law speech at a university that we don’t have equal rights for women in America, and we don’t because when they wrote Constitution, they didn’t intend it for women. So the truth is even though we sort of feel like we have equal rights in America, right under the surface there are huge issues at play that really do affect women. It’s time for all the women in America, and all the men that love women and all the gay people and all the people of color that we’ve all fought for — to fight for us now!

That triggered a supernova in Telasum who called it another example of “feminism segregation” and “b.s.” Telasum decides herself as someone who spends her time writing “thoughtful op-eds” while resisting white feminism. She insisted the feminists were trying to assert equality as victims of our society and that was unacceptable:

And before you say “But, Blue, she said women not just white women,” let me be blunt: If you say black people need to stand up for you – that means you are asking every person in the room who is both black and a woman to choose her gender over her race in order to suit your agenda. It’s a very subtle form of feminist segregation that I’ve heard about for a few years now. And it’s complete b.s.

Who does she think nursed and looked after all of those white children during the slave era? Did she somehow miss the last 400 years of race relations? Does she not notice who the nannies are when she takes her kids to the park? Society has made it all too clear that not all women are created equal. So to ask the women who are below you on the food chain to once again lift you up is fifty shades of “You got some nerve.” . . .

Black feminists all over the world have written horror stories about how, when dealing with white feminists, they are expected to compartmentalize their blackness and put it away — while fighting on behalf of their womanhood. That ridiculous (and ironically misogynistic) expectation from their white feminist counterparts amounts to what feels like friendly fire; you’re basically being discriminated against by the very person standing next to you in the fight for equality.

28D671D900000578-3086976-image-a-2_1431987955987Ok, that is the article that led Chamberlin to react in a very personal way. Chamberlin posted the following statement on a Facebook site run by Frank W. Miller, an exchange later taken down according to Fox News: “I LITERALLY cry and lose sleep over this,” Chamberlin wrote, adding she had been raped as a child and felt that: “what this article did was tell me that I’m not aloud (sic) to ask for help… Because I am a WHITE woman… So when I read this article… you do understand what that does to me, right? It kills me . . . ”

As an academic and a blogger, I would view such a posting as helpful and allowing for a passionate but insightful exchange on both sides. This is an interesting social and political and historical question. However, a person who identified herself as “Sai Grundy” responded on Feb. 25th by attacking Chamberlin and mocking her expression of pain:

“’I literally cry’…. While we literally die . . . try this article. A white woman explaining this issue to other white women . . . who manages NOT to cry while doing it!”

Chamberlin responded by writing “No really. I got it. You can take your claws out, thanks.”

That causes Grundy to explode and accuse Chamberlin of playing the victim in response to her insisting that she and others were facing greater victimization:

“^^THIS IS THE S**T I AM TALKING ABOUT. WHY DO YOU GET TO PLAY THE VICTIM EVERY TIME PEOPLE OF COLOR AND OUR ALLIES WANT TO POINT OUT RACISM. my CLAWS?? Do you see how you just took an issue that WASNT about you, MADE it about you, and NOW want to play the victim when I take the time to explain to you some s**t that is literally $82,000 below my pay grade? And then you promote your #whitegirltears like that’s some badge you get to wear… YOU BENEFIT FROM RACISM. WE’RE EXPLAINING THAT TO YOU and you’re vilifying my act of intellectual altruism by saying i stuck my “claws” into you?”

Chamberlin against responds, in a far more measured fashion: “I am choosing to ‘exit’ this conversation, You don’t know me. I don’t know you. It’s really as simple as that.”

Even that does not sit well with Grundy who taunts “go cry somewhere. since that’s what you do”:

YOU DONT HAVE TO KNOW ME. what you SHOULD know is that you don’t know more about this issue than margenalized women. And instead of entering this conversation with an iota of humility about that, you have made it a celebration of your false sense of victimization. no [sic] go cry somewhere. snce that’s what you do.’

Chamberlin responded: “Will do.”

However, Grundy was not done. She then posted: “am I mocking her tears or am I saying that her tears are meaningless displays of emotions because they don’t reflect at ALL an intention to understand the issue from the prospective (sic) of women of color or queer women.” She then adds “my name is *Sai*, but you can call me Dr. Grundy.”

As with her earlier public statements, I find Grundy’s view to be deeply troubling and overtly racist. However, I still believe that they are protected speech. I do believe that such comments could have been considered (and should have been considered) at her hiring. I would have reservations about the intellectual and professional approach of a candidate who responded in such an intolerant fashion. I would certainly want to question the candidate about her approach to students and colleagues in light of such past positions. However, she was hired and I have considerable problem with firing academics because they take controversial positions, even positions with both sexist and racist overtones. As I explained yesterday in the case of the Duke professor, It is a dangerous and slippery slope. The greatest problem is that the uncertain standard creates a chilling effect on academics, particularly untenured academics in what views will be tolerated. In the academic world, such uncertainty can be devastating and strikes at the very heart of the academic mission.

Various sites have been organized to support Grundy like “StandWithSaida.”

What do you think?


142 thoughts on “Boston University Professor Grundy Accused Of Another Series of Offensive Postings”

  1. “Mrs. Grundy, fictional English character who typifies the censorship enacted in everyday life by conventional opinion. She first appears (but never onstage) in Thomas Morton’s play Speed the Plough (produced 1798), in which one character, Dame Ashfield, continually worries about what her neighbour Mrs. Grundy will say of each development. Since then the term Mrs. Grundy has passed into everyday speech as a criterion of rigid respectability, especially in contexts in which free expression is impeded by excessive purity.” —

    This is why I smile every time I see a story about Dr.Saida Grundy’s disapprovals of others.

  2. Indeed, Paul.

    Humans have been giving names to things since Adam.
    Every word I use in medical diagnosis and treatment is a label.
    All of politics is labelled.

    Is there some secret SJW meaning to his statement?
    Code words?

  3. I now think Grundy should be fired for her ignorant and provably false history tweets:

    “for the record, NO race outside of europeans had a system that made slavery a *personhood* instead of temporary condition

    there is also no race except europeans who kidnapped and transported human beings in order to enslave them and their offspring for life

    before europeans invented it as such, slavery was not a condition that was defacto inherited from parent to child.”

    Incompatible with an educated person.

    1. Pogo – we have to make allowance for Grundy, remember what her degrees are in.

  4. “labels are the vocabulary of small minds.

    Like labeling them as “small-minded”?

    Like “the Union Label”?

    Like the labels “astrophysicist” or “brain surgeon”?

  5. I should add that labels are the vocabulary of small minds.

  6. Ms. Grundy has issues which make Twitter an undesirable medium for her thoughts.

    1. Mike – I am not sure there is a medium appropriate for Ms Grundy’s thoughts.

  7. In 1968, Wm F Buckley responded to a similar cowardly attack by Gore Vidal:

    “Listen, you qu**r. Stop calling me a Nazi or I’ll sock you in your g—d—m nose and you’ll stay plastered!”

  8. “Stevegroen, “I think Grundy is still adjusting to the shock of the reality of things. Aren’t we all?
    No. I’m not. I don’t send out racist tweets blaming an entire race based on a faulty and incomplete knowledge of history.

    “She’ll mature
    She got her B.A. from Spelman College in 2004. Assuming she went to college right after high school, that means she’s at least 32 years old. She has been in post-secondary school for 14 years.
    How long does she get before she stops acting like a twelve year old?

    “let’s don’t take her spirit from her.
    Continuous anger based on flawed beliefs isn’t ‘spirit’, it’s either a personality disorder or delusional.

    “She’s pissed that the overwhelming majority of white folks turn a selectively ignorant eye much like did the Germans at the end of WWII
    Paging Godwin.
    Cheap shot BS, same old same old for another SJW.

  9. She’ll just have to keep apologizing, I’d think that would be embarrassing.

  10. If they do fire her, or revoke her offer, it will just turn her into a martyr. Boston failed to do a background check on their latest hire. Now they have to live with her.

    And I agree with DBQ. She’ll be her own worst enemy.

  11. ” that we’re not color blind.” Actually, we shouldn’t be color blind, but color shouldn’t automatically result in stereotyping. We need to be aware of color and the stereotypes affixed to the them, and so adjust our own judgements in spite of the stereotype.

  12. Stevegroen, “I think Grundy is still adjusting to the shock of the reality of things. Aren’t we all? She’ll mature, and in the meantime let’s don’t take her spirit from her. She’s pissed that the overwhelming majority of white folks turn a selectively ignorant eye much like did the Germans at the end of WWII, knowing full well the extent of Nazi atrocities. Is she not human like the rest of us? She’ll learn from this, and perhaps so will the rest of this, that we’re not color blind.”


  13. Paul, ” if it had not been for the whites walking with King (who would only walk part of the part and the be spirited away in a car) there would not have been a Civil Rights Movement that was country-wide.”

    That’s right. And getting whites involved by recruiting white students was not an accident. King, et al knew that they needed students involved so that whites understood what A-A were being subjected to.

  14. Whether I like her or not (and I seriously don’t), I think Boston should keep her.

    Now that she is hired, you can’t fire someone for what they “think”. They should have considered this before hiring her as a part of her capacity to be able to effectively DO her job. They didn’t, so now they are stuck.

    However…… CAN fire someone for what they do or don’t do in the course of their job duties or not renew their contract. Should it be proven that she is discriminating against students, giving bad grades, berating students and in general being the racist @ss that she is, the University would have grounds to let her go.

    I don’t think that student should be purposely attending her classes or baiting her either. I’m quite sure that she will trip herself up without their help. They should document, tape or video her classes though in order to protect themselves and show cause.

  15. Thanks for the definition of HBC. I probably should have figured that one out for myself.

    And thanks to Bob Stone, for the link to the article.

    Whether I like her or not (and I seriously don’t), I think Boston should keep her. She’s exercising her first Amendment rights. I hope the students, alumni, and other professors also exercise their first amendment rights.

  16. Paul, yes it does seem that someone is ‘not feeling the love’ at the WH, haha. Although seriously, I have sometimes wondered what the marriage was all about in the first place. Perhaps there really was love there, or maybe he married her because he needed a “real” black wife to prove his bona fides to the black community in which he was trying to gain a political foothold. I’m sure that a half-white Harvard lawyer, with a white Ph.D anthropologist mother and a Kenyan father who was a Harvard educated economist, must have seemed like a strange duck to the residents of South Chicago. He certainly came from an elite background and wasn’t one of “the people.” He had to prove he was one of them, and between Revered Wright and his marriage to Michelle, he was able to become black, or black enough. If she at all senses that she was just a means to an end, her resentment is understandable……

  17. She finished her Ph.d (from the University of Michigan) this year, gets hired the same year (at Boston University), and then, makes these statements without being awarded tenure? What is she thinking?!?!? Do you know how many Ph.D. students are still looking for a job, after graduation? I would be shocked if she is back teaching at Boston University or any where in America (besides a community college in Alaska) in the next decade?


    Nice comments about an Oscars’ speech….LOL!

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