Reed College Students Shutdown Classes In Protest of Western Civilization Course As “Harmful”

images-2We have previously discussed protests against literature and philosophy courses due to their reliance on white male authors from ancient Greece to the Enlightenment. The latest such protest is occurring at Reed College where students called “Reedies Against Racism” are protesting a required humanities class that explores founding works from ancient Greece and Rome.  Requiring freshman to read such works is being denounced as “really harmful.”  I have long been an advocate of the core curriculum and Western Civilization works (a love for these works that began as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago which helped establish the core curriculum or great works model).

“Reedies Against Racism” wants “Humanities 110 – Introduction to Humanities: Greece and the Ancient Mediterranean” to be “reformed to represent the voices of people of color.”  Alex Boyd, a Reedies Against Racism organizer, is quoted as saying:

“The course in its current iteration draws from predominantly white authors and relies heavily on the notion that Western customs are the most civilized because they are derived from those of ancient Greeks and Romans who are considered the inventors of civilization.”

It is true that they are viewed as laying the foundation for Western civilization and thought.  They also happened to be “predominantly white” since they were Greek and Roman.  However, we use their works for concepts that helped change humanity as a whole and still shape concepts of the individual and the state around the world.

This is one of the items on a list of 25 demands, but it is one of the most disturbing from an academic standpoint.  As I have previously stated, I do not believe that the content of our academic courses should be determined by plebiscite or protests.  Moreover, students have an assortment of courses that they may take in school. These courses require an education on foundational works that have shaped political and literary works for generations.  Indeed, these great works offer an excellent foundation for exploring and comparing non-Western works.

What also concerns me is that fact that these students claimed the right to prevent other students from participating in classes or events — a similar complaint raised against the recent protests against James Comey at Howard University.  The students interrupted a lecture and were reportedly screaming at other students who actually wanted to learn.  I have taken a harsh line on such disruptions of classrooms like a recent incident at Northwestern University.  This violates a core defining values of our academic institutions and such students should be suspended for such conduct.  There is a difference between voicing your views and preventing others from speaking, particularly inside of a classroom. When you claim the right to prevent others from hearing opposing views or speakers, you are at odds with the academic mission of these universities.

Presumably, Reed is not willing to yield to such demands on the content of its courses. Reed is an excellent school and this course is an important component to any education.  However, there is no indication of any discipline for students who reportedly disrupted the class.  The professor at the start of one of the disruptions told the students that this was an inappropriate demonstration but they ignored her and took over her class.

Professor Elizabeth Drumm, the Hum 110 program chair, is heard that the beginning of the video below saying  “I’m sorry, this is a classroom space and this is not appropriate.”  While protest organizers, Addison Bates, Alex Boyd, and Tiffany Chang were told that they were banned from attending the lecture in the future, no other action is known to have been taken against the students in denying the other students the right to attend the class — or the right of the faculty to conduct their classes.

Later appearances by activists continued despite objections from other students. There is no evidence of significant action taken by the college against these students.

These students openly attacked not just principles of academic freedom but free speech.  Yet, Reed College appears like little more than a pedestrian as a mob takes over a class room, as was Northwester in the prior incident.  The merits of the cause are immaterial when the protesters are claiming the right to stop others from hearing opposing views or works.

On the list of demands, the students demand that “Hum 110 should be conscious of the power it gives to already privileged ideas and welcome critique of that use of power.”  I have little doubt that the professors welcome critiques of these works and differing perspectives.  That is why we teach. We relish students bring passion and reasoned arguments to the analysis of different works.  However, I am not sure what is meant by “privileged ideas.”  These certainly have been dominant ideas because they spoke to a deep understanding of humanity and its struggle for truth.  These ideas rose to dominance on their own merit and have remained transcendent influences because the content of the work.  Plato is not taught because he resonates with a world perspective of white males.  He articulated early concepts of a good society and good citizen.  I suppose good ideas are always “privileged” in the sense that their inherent logic and vision distinguished them from alternative views.  These authors rose above contemporaries and still influence thought due to their unique analytical and descriptive elements.

Here is the full list of demands:

  1. Paid day for 9/26 for all Reed staff in honor of the boycott.
  2. Transparency and long-term reform regarding Reed’s involvement in exploiting prison labor and their investment in companies(i.e. Wells Fargo) that profit from the incarceration of black and brown people, (i.e. NSA and GEO stocks).
  3. Reform CSO, AOD Review Panel, and JBoard practices and sanctions to move away from carrying out racial profiling and requiring community service, and move towards restorative justice policies.
  4. Transparency regarding the demographics of students given AODs.
  5. The creation and implementation of appropriate scaffolding to bridge the gap between low-SES high schools and Reed through improving the educational services already provided.
  6. Revise the system of outreach that Reed implements within marginalized communities. Ensure that the amount of visits to low-SES and/or predominantly POC high schools match the amount of visits to predominantly white high schools.
  7. Alter the Housing Lottery to explicitly prioritize low-SES, international, and students with disabilities.
  8. The adjustment of Meal Plan costs for students in need, so that students are only responsible for meal plan dollars and Reed covers building costs as well as the fixed costs of Bon Appetit.
  9. A transparent yearly review of the off-campus housing budget in relation to inflation.
  10. The creation of a paid student position for a black student in the MRC that is specific to tending to the needs or concerns of black students.
  11. The establishment of a paid staff position to participate in the maintenance and organization of the Black Student Union.
  12. More transparency from the admissions office regarding graduation and retention rates by race, gender, and SES.
  13. The required freshman course should be reformed to represent the voices of people of color. Lecturers should structure delivery and analysis of content that is sensitive to and proactive for inclusive practices. There should be an articulated understanding that “foundational texts” are subjective and that the importance of the course is to foster student’s abilities to read, write, and listen/respond. Before this is accomplished, Hum 110 should be conscious of the power it gives to already privileged ideas and welcome critique of that use of power. This could be done by 1) allowing alternative readings that critique texts on the current syllabus, 2) making Hum 110 non-mandatory until reform happens or 3) alternate options for Hum lecture.
  14. Every HCC counselor should have a background in talking about race and queer issues. Counseling positions in the HCC are to be held by at least one black person, who has competence in addressing black bodies, with the express priority of serving black students.
  15. Mandatory conferences for building race sensitivity for staff and faculty that includes the input and participation of Students of Color. Contracting a qualified educator to lead continuous mandatory workshops and conduct check-ins with students and professors.
  16. The hiring of more tenure-track black faculty, with a greater quantity of dialogue at more consistent intervals between students and faculty search/hiring committees.
  17. Increased funding for Peer Mentor Program (PMP), ensuring that the amount of mentors and general resources correspond to the need, i.e. the number of marginalized students in the incoming class.
  18. The passing and implementation of the CRES proposal by CAPP, with the understanding that CRES is to be taught by people of color. The administration/faculty is responsible for the construction of a one-year plan for funding CRES, while seeking long-term funding for the program that will be incorporated into the endowment.
  19. The alteration of Reed’s Operating Principles and Diversity Statement, to reflect a focus on anti-racism/anti-oppressive rather than diversity.
  20. Revision of the process of investigating racial bias against tenure-track faculty through CAT.
  21. The inclusion of a question on professor evaluation forms about the general openness of professors and their handling of racial topics, gender topics, and queer topics. The addition of an optional question that allows students to indicate their race.
  22. Annual anti-oppression workshop for all students, faculty, staff, and administration.
  23. In addition to the existing grievances process, allowing Honor Cases to be brought against faculty by students, adjudicated by a review board consisting of students and faculty.
  24. Expand options for international students’ employment opportunities.
  25. Improvement of financial aid, especially the creation of particular scholarships for black students.


178 thoughts on “Reed College Students Shutdown Classes In Protest of Western Civilization Course As “Harmful””

  1. Any student who disrupted the class in protest of Greco Roman authors should suffer the same consequences as any other student who was disruptive, according to the school’s code of conduct.

    Disparaging an author’s work purely on the basis of their race is racist. Perhaps the university could educate them.

    Fascism consisted of the almost complete erosion of individual rights for the “greater good” and “the cause.” There was no free speech. The government determined what was “good”. Capitalism was sharply curtailed, and only allowed in very limited areas. Mussolini and Gentile despised religion, and having to pit government morality against religious morality.The government controlled industry, and the public education system. Anyone who disagreed with “the cause”, was branded a dangerous threat.

    I’m rather surprised that attempts to portray Fascism as a right wing phenomenon have been so successful, because it sure does not share any attributes with modern conservatism.

    We are seeing the rise of extremist violence in the Left which remarkably follows Fascist principals, all while Antifa behaves in a Fascist manner without a shred of irony.

    Resist Liberal Fascism.

    1. Fascism is totalitarian so belongs over on the extreme right along with its bedfellow, Communism.

      1. The right values individual rights. An extremist harmful version of the right would be anarchy.

        The left values Big Government and the Greater Good at the expense of individual rights. An extremist harmful version of the Left is Communism or Socialism, where neighbor turns in neighbor for operating capitalist small businesses.

        1. But your usimg the real dictionary definitions instead of the propaganda version of the left’s fictionary. Congrats. All the right wing of the left is something called RINOs.And they are definitely government over citizens in nature.

    2. Nice commentary and one who gets it. Mussolini who was the leader of the Italian Sociaist Party and a friend of Lenin invented National Socialism (along with some input) invented the term fascism and the name Fascist and as such it is the offspring of International Socialism – which is one reason why the term Antifa was invented by Leon Trotsy for his thug gangs as Stalin was anti- break away factions

      But the differences are minor and moot. In one you didn’t own your own whirt and in the other you did while you wore it but when your shift was over it belonged to the next worker.yet you remained responsible for washing and ironing.

      Fascist Economics aka State Economics the one practices by Obama was called sociaist econimics with a very thin patina of capitalism.

      Explains why the left is so deaThere not that hard to figure out unless you are a snow flake or worse a full member of The Collective.

      There trick was to move the center post far to the left and claim the center of the left as the center when anyone with a teaspoon of brains would say. Hey it’s a Representative Constitutional Republic there fore the center IS the Constitution.

      Instead we have Pelosi, Schumer, Carville, Warren, Clinton, Clinton, Sanders, etc. Seig Heiling alll over the iplace and trying to make you think it’s the new oath of office.

  2. It’s noteworthy that the “genius” Jesus Obama has not peeped one word about his SJW’s making the world a better and more peaceful place by smashing people in da mouf who disagree with SJW viewpoints. It is most reasonable to presume that his silence indicates he not only approves of the current state of SJW affairs, but that he approves with every fiber of his being.

    Since leaving office, Jesus Obama has indeed spoken his disapproval on other subjects, but certainly not this one.

  3. This seems to be something like ‘reactionary activism,’ I’m calling it. They react on feelings and uniformed perception to what they perceive is a problem. Along with the group herd mentality, they think they are endowed with the power to allow or shut down whatever suits their purposes. And those purposes are political. The crazies run the asylum is they only description I can think of. Now the students get to set the curriculum? Strange.

    1. There is The Collective, then the programmers then the ruling class and they work or the neo-aristocracy in re-establishing a feudalist society. One of the tools besides the media are the schools turning out boiler plate stamp stamp stamp three a second machine parts for the Collective.

      In more objective intellectual terms. The Drones work for the Clones who work for the Thrones

  4. The reason these students present lists of demands is because they can’t offer a coherent curricula detailing all the things the non-western world has given us. That’s not to say the non-western world hasn’t given the world a great many things. It is to say that the west has given the world more beneficial things on the whole than the non-western world.

  5. This kind of behavior is just silly and the administration of this college should not give these students the time of day. Colleges and Universities themselves are inventions of white males so why would these kids want to be there right? I say that merely to make clear the absurdity of their childish demands. If they knew and understood the great works of western civilization they would have far more of a basis from which to critique the things they believe they are concerned with. But in our ADHD society, knowing a handful of facts that amount to a thumbnail sketch of history is all people like this think they need to get on their high horse and start preaching. It’s worthy of noting that people on the right do this too and make the same sorts of idiotic claims and so forth just from the other side of the not very bright spectrum. Which gets to the real point of education which is to have knowledge extensive enough to prevent people from becoming these sorts of cartoonish stereotypes of human beings.

  6. Maybe one of the protesting students is accumulating “street cred” for his/her/its run for POTUS. This protesting activity is the modern equivalent of John Kerry’s brief excursion in the military in Viet Nam, thus giving him credibility to run for office, in case he failed to bed the appropriate multi-billionaire heiress (i.e. Teresa Heinz).

    1. Kerry was on active duty for 3.5 years and in the reserves for some time after that. That’s a shade less than the norm for those who enlisted and did not re-enlist. Albert Gore was in the service for less than a year. That’s a brief excursion. John Kerry’s first wife had an enormous family fortune behind her, though it’s not clear what sort of income stream was sluiced to her. (Dan Quayle was asked about his private income from interest and dividends and said it was about $10,000 in 1988). Kerry appears to have had quite a nose for centimillionaire’s daughters and widows. He wasn’t aiming for Theresa, who was married to her first husband until he died in a plane crash in 1991. Julia Thorne Kerry had left her husband 9 years earlier.

      1. Kerry got what in Army parlance would be called three scratches and ducked out on his unit. Must have been some Navy regulation as no one in the Army at least in the combat arms ever heard of it.

  7. There should be a required course that gives many different perspectives on the exact same historical events so students began to grasp that in order to put together a narrative, facts will be cherry-picked and interpreted and given context. Any history book, no matter how well written, will be full of bias. It cannot be helped.

    If you want to write something without context and interpretation, consisting only of facts, just write a list of dates and events. That’s about all you can do and it will be boring as ****

    1. Read the series by Jefferey Archer – The Clifton Chronicles – a seven book series which does exactly what you asked about. BUT it’s about three points of view of those in Britain with a lot connections made to the USA which does help

      Which dioes remind me never judge some one in the context of our times but in the context of their times and this series triples that admonition. Such as todays ‘a liberal or a socialist in England or Australian is not the same thing as the same names in the USA which are alternate terms for the same group.

      But to lighten the day… Churchill ” Capitalism provides unequal blessings while Socialism proved equal misery.”

  8. At some point the students have to fight back if the profs can’t/won’t. Jim22’s post brought back an incident I had forgotten. Some years ago I was taking a class and this woman kept interrupting the prof with inane theories like how aliens built Stonehenge and other rot. She sucked up lecture time from the rest of us. The prof was a gentle soul and tried to be kind – but he didn’t get it – that’s not the way to deal with bullies. I had noticed this woman had a strong German accent so the next class when she started again I stood up, asked for a minute and spke to her auf Deutsch and told her to STFU that the rest of us were tired of her stupidity wasting our class time we’d paid for and if she wanted to discuss theories she should make an appointment with the prof during office hours. That was it – I think she was thoroughly shocked to be called out on her bs –she never returned.

    This applies to these SJWs as well IMO. Students should speak up. Campus security should haul off disruptors – they are young so I’d say first time offense should result in community service. Second offense expulsion.

    1. Autumn – they were all kind enough to have their pictures taken so they can all be expelled. Additionally, disruption of a school facility is a felony.

    2. If I was one of the students, I would be looking to sue them for stealing part of my tuition. They should have to pay for the lost time of the instructors to the class. When I went to college, I honestly never skipped a class since I paid for it. I sure as hell was going to get my moneys worth.

    3. What a great story, Autumn. It is selfish of anyone to monopolize lecture time when the rest of the students need to learn what will be covered on midterms/finals.

      1. Karen – one of the things I learned in teacher school is that there are at least two types of college students. Those who only want to know what is going to be on the midterm and final and those who see the class as an opportunity to learn. Juggling those two disparate groups can be a hassle sometimes. I always say every class as a place to learn, so I asked questions. However, I know that annoyed some of my classmates. Personally, I could care what my classmates thought of me so that was never an issue. 😉

    4. At times maybe these days even most of the time when Professors are part and parcel of what the students are doing. At other times a good many Professors are reluctant to sipeak out preferring tenure and eventual retirement. The pressure is great unless you have the resources of this sort of method of communiction and backing.

      However the main reason I left university the firs ttime after a couple of years and this in the early1960’s were these one sided left overs from WWII and the School of Goebbels making the most outrageous statements and then brow beating the students for asking but what about… genuine confusion. One thing I liked about the Army where the draft board would have sent me next had I not joined on my own was the Drill Instructors were hard but they explained everything and the reason for it.

      Even if it was something like mandatory voluntary donations out of our $70 something a month or the protection racket run by the senior officers to get 100 percent donations to this or to that. Best one went like this. Spit rolls down hill and it just rolled past me and hit you. So donate or Kitchen Police and night guard? then he got into a poker game with the Sergeant Major and won enough to refund the money to his troops.

      I finished two degrees on my own, cherry picked my instructors and ended up with one who was a poly sci guy and faculty adviser to both the left and the right clubs.. To this day i don’t think any one knows which side he voted for.

      And with that I see Paul C is up next!

      1. Dan it was only one word ‘saw.’ Instead it’s one of the left’s bigot trolls.,

  9. The students and the faculty depicted are a mess of losers. They should have called security and had these blowhards hustled out.

  10. Seriously? This is why I am a conservative Republican, unlike the majority of the denizēns here who labor under the delusion they are also. They are neither.

    Something tells me this is the result of weaponized narratives being deployed. Have they protested St. Augustine yet? He was black, you know? Bring back the Roman Empire.

    “Some of the best known people of antiquity are Christians. Foremost of them is the inventor of autobiography, Aurelius Augustinus, whom we call Saint Augustine. He was born in Thagaste, North Africa, in present day Algeria. He was a thorough Roman, and we have no idea at all about his personal appearance. All the pictures and statues we have of him tell us what various artists thought he ought to look like, not what he actually did look like. However, his mother was called Monica, or as some scholars render it, Monnica. Assuming she too was a native of Thagaste, and given the clue in her name, it is assumed by many that Monica was of Berber origin. (The Berbers worshipped a god called Mon.) This has led some to see Saint Monica as a black saint. It has led others to discuss just what Augustine may have looked like. But one thing is for sure: this would have been a discussion that Monica and Augustine themselves would never have had: they were Roman, and that was that.”

      1. I spent a week in Algeria and travelled around quite a bit. There are some very fair skinned Algerians, and even blond children, as well as some sub-Saharan blacks living there. But the vast majority of Algerians look Middle Eastern, much like the inhabitants of Morroco and Tunisia.

    1. Also one of the two Christians who held the thread of continued philosophical though going through the dark ages the othere being Thomas Aquinas and wow forgot almost William of Ockham aka the originator of Occam’s Razor.

  11. These student disrupters/protesters are the future trainers for Saul Alinsky University, the arm of the Barack Obama Foundation that will be training and churning out more community organizers and Communist/Marxist/Fascist revolutionaries to carry on his mission. Because as BHO has told us, the future does not belong to Racist, White, Privileged, Christian, Men.

          1. The sarcasm did not translate. My bad. I believe BHO had a screwy upbringing and is misguided as a result and now he will continue churning out even more misguided young people through his foundation.

            What is it you take issue with?

            1. Obama’s attitudes seem about bog standard for big city professional-managerial types outside the South. laden with a great deal of vanity. You see it in spades in people who had quite different upbringings. It’s the kulursmog in certain venues. I’ll wager the problem with his upbringing was that his grandmother did not make the case (in a manner he would notice and appreciate) for those things you should properly value in yourself and others. Had he seen it and had she said it in a manner he could understand, he’d have been immune to the kultursmog,

    1. You are the mirror image of these misguided children. What’s your excuse? Nevermind. Just shut up.

      1. It was nice of the guidance counselor to explain to you where the University of Chicago was located.

            1. I drove past it one time. Kind of like driving past a Bank of Americas with one hand clutching your wallet.

  12. Their list contains a mess of demands for more racial patronage and for official avenues for black students (et al) to harass the faculty. You’d have less of this if you did not have a collecting pool of black students lashing out in response to academic failure, and you wouldn’t have that if the customary admissions screens applied to black applicants as well as everyone else.

    Hoist on your own petard, chumps.

  13. What I can’t understand is why are all the kids still in their seats listening to these idiots after the teachers left? I almost think I am more annoyed at them for sitting there giving the idiots what they want. Also, how did the idiots get the mic to begin with?

    I think if I was one of the teachers I would explain to all of the ones taking the class that this lecture for today is now over. You will still be responsible for what we would have covered and you will need to make it up on your own. If you feel that your grade my suffer due to this, take it up with your fellow students who stole your class time from you and your college security.

  14. What Paul Gottfried said a generation ago applies: they are children behaving in ways that are normal for children. It’s just that their dysfunctional schooling has given them a vocabulary which obscures the essentially puerile nature of their complaints. The social ideology of the faculty and administration does not permit them to actually respond properly by expelling the ringleaders and putting lesser sanctions on other participants.

    Quit. Subsidizing, Private. Higher. Education. Make it so people who wish to attend schools like Reed pay tuition out of family resources, win scholarships on the institution’s dime, or obtain loans at market rates. While we’re at it, amend corporate law all over the country to require the board of trustees at all private schools be elected in a postal ballot by alumni registered to vote in the state in question, a ballot conducted by the state board of elections in which all aspirants would register by placing a monetary deposit and submitting a 600-word statement to a prospectus to be mailed out to all voters along with their ballot. No more self-regenerating boards and no more nominating committees and no more unwieldy 60-some member boards.

    As for public higher education, distribute berths by awarding vouchers per the results of state baccalaureate examinations, impose via state law curricular templates, and, again, provide for trustees to be elected by resident alumni.

    Other than consumer protection laws applicable to inter-state transactions, end federal involvement in higher education. No more grants. No more guaranteed loans.

    1. There are a bit over 2,000 institutions of higher education in the USA college and universities. Of those only two do not take any public funding. Grove or Grove city in western Pennsylvania and Hillsdale in South Central Michigan. Not even GI Education bill money. The rest, all of them, private and public, are under the thumb of the federal government’s Department of Education and subject to their scrutiny and standards and requirements.

    1. Saul Bellow said a generation ago that he be pleased to read the Tolstoy of the Zulus and the Proust of the Papuans if someone would just identify who they are.

      The beef here is that we recognize human accomplishment and learn from it, which irritates people having trouble accomplishing much.

          1. Squeeky – if you get thru it, let me know. I did the first segment and it was just a who’s who. I don’t see any story connecting it to make it an epic.

        1. There’s been some satisfactory imaginative literature in the modern period, but it’s the sort of thing you would add to a syllabus of a specialty elective, not a core course. Chinua Achebe, for example.

          1. True. My nephew is in high school, and this year he has Dante, Ibsen, and Candide among others. They threw in Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart”, which I sort of scanned through, and it was interesting and readable, in the same way Black Anger (aka Black Hamlet) by Sachs Wulf is, or Kabloona by some French guy is. But it was certainly no Candide, and certainly no The Hot Place.

            Squeeky Fromm
            Girl Reporter

        1. I love it when people tell me where I get information from or what I’ve studied in order to dismiss it.
          Interesting link BTW, if you want to see revisionist history… try Texas!

          1. Why was the city called Alexandria? It was named for its founder Alexander the Great. He was Greek. As was Cleopatra. And her father, Ptolemy. Egypt was a colony of Greece. Damn, dude, where did you go to high school?

            1. Egypt had an advanced civilization far earlier than Greece and were writing on paper when the Greeks were illiterate. Cleopatra was a descendant of Greeks but mixed with locals as well and her grandmother and mother were likely Egyptian and not Macedonian. Ptolemy I was pure Macedonian but she was like 6-8 generations removed.

              If you guys are going this crazy over Egypt having books, Wait until I suggest Jesus was Black?

              1. Jesus was Scandinavian. I saw a picture of him and he had blond hair and blue eyes. 😉As to Ptolemy, it depends on which one you’re talking about. Ptolemy was a title, not a name. Cleopatra’s father was a Greek Ptolemy and he was preceded by many more, at least six, if I remember correctly.

                1. TIN – Ptolemy was a name, not a title, just as Cleopatra was. Ptolemy is also the family name we use when talking about the line. And they are Macedonian, as was Alexander.

              2. enigma – I support the thesis that Egyptian mathematicians, scientists, doctors, etc. met with their Greek counterpart on an island in the middle of the Med. Up until this point, the Egyptians did not have books but kept their knowledge to themselves. They transferred the knowledge to the Greeks who had a writing system that allowed distribution, something the Egyptians did not have. So I give credit to Greek mathematics to the Egyptians.

                The Library of Alexandria was not built until after Alexander conquered Egypt and built yet another city of Alexandria. It was a wonderful idea. The world’s greatest repository of books (actually scrolls).

              3. Egypt had an advanced civilization far earlier than Greece and were writing on paper when the Greeks were illiterate.

                Predating Classical Hellas were Mycenaean civilization, the Minoan civilization, Mesopotamian civilizations and their derivatives, the Jewish kingdoms, the Indus civilization, the Ganges civilizations, and the Sinic civilization. Mesopotamian civilization predated Egypt’s, though not by much. Your point? Philosophical discourse derives from Classical Greece and religion from the Jews. Martin Bernal was promoting historical fiction which you’re attempting to recycle here. Also, no latter-day population has a special claim on Ancient Egypt (with the possible exception of Egyptian Copts).

                  1. I would dispute BTW that the rest of the world didn’t have political discourse or religion before the Greeks and Jews,

                    Philosophy is the issue of Classical Greece. Religion antedated that, but you’ll not find pagan temples bar archaeological ruins.

            2. TIN – damn dude, where did you go to school. Alexander the Great was a Macedonian, now in modern Greece, but not then. He had to conquer Greece first. Cleopatra is a Ptolemy, one of his main general who split his empire on his death. She was the first Ptolemy to speak Egyptian. Although most of the marriages in the Ptolemy family were incestuous, there has been some recent research (unconfirmed) that at least one either male or female in the line was Nubian.

          1. Wellesley hired and tenured a pseudo-scholar with emotional problems who made a string of people miserable during the course of his 40 years on the faculty. Mary Lefkowitz was one. Ironically, she’d helped to found the black studies program at Wellesley. Black studies is a spurious discipline and Wellesley’s trustees should shut that department down. They’ll do nothing, of course.

        2. Well obviously Egyptians are going to look Mediterranean, because that’s where Egypt is – on the Mediterranean.

      1. enigma – the library at Alexandria was burned 3 times. In each case, we are not sure who person was that caused it.

        1. Forgetting the who (for now) at least we’ve established there was a library there. Maybe next we can get an agreement it contained books? (Really talking not so much to you as others Paul)

          1. You’re not going to get ‘agreement’ that (1) Greeks philosophers plagiarized an Egyptian ‘mystery system’ or that (2) Ancient Egyptians were negroid. Because both were the issue of Martin Bernal’s imagination.

              1. I would make the case for them not looking like Elizabeth Taylor.

                That’s a trivial point. BTW, they didn’t look like Cicely Tyson either.

                1. Here are the fifteen most racist films ever honored by #OscarsSoWhite.
                  15. Cleopatra (1963)
                  4 Academy Awards for Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Effects (plus five more nominations, including Best Picture)
                  In this blockbuster, Elizabeth Taylor plays Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of ancient Egypt. It did not matter to the filmmakers that Cleopatra actually looked much more like Cicely Tyson. To cast an Egyptian pharaoh as anything but a White person would have been out of step with the racist fantasies the filmmakers desired to capitalize on. Whitewashing glorious non-Whites in history has been one of Hollywood’s favorite pastimes. As quite possibly the most acclaimed and popular movie on ancient Egypt, “Cleopatra” Whitewashed Black Egypt in the American mind probably more than any other film.

                  1. Here are the fifteen most racist films ever

                    According to some world-revolves-around-my-tuchus black particularist. Cleopatra was a piece of commercial art. It was neither racist nor non-racist. It wasn’t making a point about anthropology; it was taking some familiar historical characters to construct a story for entertainment purposes. You want to make a reductionist clown out of yourself, keep talking like this.

                    Look at the picture above of the church full of Egyptian Copts. It was not a negroid society. Get over it.

                    1. I Googled “Cleopatra” and “Cicely Tyson” based on your comment and that’s what came up. Just sharing a view other than your own. The film “Cleopatra” was entertaining but not representative at all of the area. You are literally whitewashing Africa, which is where Egypt is last I looked.

                    2. enigma – I have seen my fair share of racist films made by a variety of races, some of these don’t even come close, but then maybe they were not Oscar-nominated. I would disagree with the analysis and reasoning on almost all of them (one I have not seen).

                    3. enigma – the one in the chariot is the Pharoah, the little black people are Nubians being crushed by the Pharoah. The question is, which Pharoah is it? Remember the Ptolemys don’t enter the picture until after the death of Alexander the Great. They will remain until the death of Cleopatra.

                    4. enigma – there is about 900 years between the death of Ramses II and Alexander and another 300 to the death of Cleopatra.

                    5. Toads,..
                      That’s like telling Kit Ramsey to “get over it” when his agent showed him a script.

                    6. You are literally whitewashing Africa, which is where Egypt is last I looked.

                      It’s in the part of Africa inhabited by caucasians. This isn’t that difficult.

                    7. some of these don’t even come close, but then maybe they were not Oscar-nominated.

                      Actually, it’s a self-aggrandizing nonsense judgment w/regard to all of the ones I’ve seen of that list, the sort of thing which might be uttered by someone who is confident that no one who can injure him will call bull****.

                  2. enigma – even on her best day Cicely Tyson would not have looked as ravishing as Elizabeth Taylor in her prime spread across 70 mm of film. Plus, she comes from a long line of Ptolemys, which makes her white or almost white. Black, she was not. She did seem to have a Mediterranean nose though, that shows up on her coinage.

                    1. Elizabeth Taylor was not ‘ravishing’. Grace Kelly, Dina Merrill, Marilyn Monroe, and Anita Ekberg might have been described as ‘ravishing’, not Taylor.

                      Cicely Tyson is black, so it’s an apples-to-oranges comparison. She’s a phenomenon. At age 92, she’s still piling up large and small screen credits. Elizabeth Taylor, eight years her junior, retired 15 years ago and her last appearance in the cinema was nearly 30 years ago. Tyson’s also done more work on Broadway than Taylor, including an appearance last year. (All of Taylor’s Broadway appearances were during 1981-83). Tyson’s never had much of a domestic life; she has, however, just one trip through the divorce courts to Taylor’s seven.

                    2. StepOnToads – Elizabeth Taylor was a serial monogamist. But, Taylor in that film set new standards for beauty, regardless of your race. She was practically falling out of her costume in every scene. It was always a race to see if she would make to the end of the scene before her clothes fell off. 😉

                      I saw Cleopatra before they cut it to make the theatres happy. The film was too long and they wanted to have more runs of the film, so they hacked it up. It really was a good film before they destroyed it.

                    3. enigma – Egyptian is not black, it is Semitic. Black is subSaharan, the Nubians, etc. And I really don’t care what the state of Arkansas says. 😉 btw send me cites on her Egyptian relatives.

                    4. The historian Werner Huß believes that Ptolemy XII repudiated his wife Cleopatra V in 69 BC and married a noble Egyptian woman from the high priest family of Memphis. This presumed second wife of the Egyptian king could have been the mother of Cleopatra VII and this daughter’s younger siblings, while Berenice IV was the daughter of Cleopatra V because Strabo only calls the oldest daughter of Ptolemy XII a legitimate child.


                    5. enigma – sadly Strabo is not a reliable historian. He did the best could with what he had at hand, but he is unreliable. Although it makes for an interesting story, it is not history.

                    6. It seems there is nothing definitive about much of the period. “History,” is typically what the dominant culture says it is. We’re watching Texas change history as we speak to give us more American Exceptionalism and less slavery.

                    7. enigma – we are just now getting materials written by Egyptians about Cleopatra during her reign. Other than that, all we have to depend on are the Romans who thought she was a whore (smear campaign by Augustus) when Marc Antony tried to divorce his current wife (Octavian’s sister) to marry Cleopatra who was to blame for the deaths of both Caesar and Marc Antony. Still, it takes time.

                    8. enigma – he had her put up in a mansion in Rome as his mistress. He was spending more time with her than with his wife. It was an open secret in Rome and graffiti artists made sure both he and his wife knew about it. This bothered some members of the Roman Senate who were part of the assassination brigade who added it to their list of reasons why Caesar should die. And after the smear campaign by Octavian against both Antony and Cleopatra, there wasn’t much the Romans didn’t think Cleopatra was capable of. She actually wanted to make her son with Caesar, Caesarean, his heir, rather than Octavian.

                    9. Reason to be upset with him/her sure. The “it’s her fault we had to kill him” defense doesn’t fly. It had much more o do with Caesar “diversifying” the Senate bringing in lower classes, Centurians, and Gauls. I guess they wanted to Make Rome Great Again. BTW, Octavian wasn’t Caesar’s son so maybe Cleo had a point.

        2. Paul C. Schulte,…
          Mueller’s investigation is reportedly looking into Russian involvement in at least one of the fires.😉

          1. In that investigation, the truth will be sufficient. I can accept that many people are yet unwilling to draw specific conclusions from the information available. I have a hard time with those who see absolutely nothing and dismiss it all as fake news.

        3. Having read accounts (and accounts of accounts) of the various burnings of the library. I’ll stick with Romans being responsible all three times, twice possibly by accident. Of course there were those who denied responsibility and cried the equivalent of “fake news” so there’s that.

          1. enigma – the Romans were great scholars and would have no reason to burn the Library. Everything, except the palace, in those days, was flammable. Rome burned and they blamed it on Nero. He wasn’t even in Rome. When he heard about the fire he came rushing back to help put it out. But who got the bad press?

      2. Hmmm. Let me make a guess. Some Centurions hacked an unarmed black man with their swords, and then the black Alexandrians rioted and while the fancy sandal store next door to the library was being looted, it caught on fire and whooosh – – – there goes the library???

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

  15. Absolutely right. Continued annulment of misconduct will lead to complacent indifference. When the thugs take over the Dean’s quarters it will be too late.

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