[guest post by JVW]
Well, here it is:
BREAKING: The Board of Trustees has voted 9-4 to approve Nikole Hannah-Jones' tenure application.
— The Daily Tar Heel (@dailytarheel) June 30, 2021
You may remember the infamous Ms. Hannah-Jones, the New York Times feature writer who led the disastrous “1619 Project” which almost immediately was exposed by honest historians for its omissions, distortions, and outright fabrications. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author herself is noted for spinning fanciful tales provided it stirs up racial resentments in a way that is suitable to her purposes. She joins the rouges’ gallery of Al Sharpton, Ibrham Kendi, and guest ofay Robin DiAngelo (among others) in the race-hustling racket that so effortlessly reaches into the pockets of high-strung white progressives.
For all that, a saving grace of the higher education establishment (speaking of rackets) had been that they showed a sensible reluctance to embrace someone like Nikola Hannah-Jones who had done such slipshod and risible work. In a fleeting moment of good judgement, the UNC Board of Trustees voted in May to deny her a tenured professorship in the Hussman School of Journalism and Media, though in an obvious dodge they cited her lack of a traditional academic pedigree rather than her history of mendacity. (At National Review Online, Kevin Williamson argued convincingly that modern university journalism departments are so completely worthless that a Professor Nikola Hannah-Jones would fit right in.) They instead offered her a traditional five-year tenure-track appointment as a non-tenured assistant professor, giving her the chance to earn her status through academic merit. This was deemed an insult by the celebrity scholar, who immediately announced that she would not accept the position without first being granted a permanent appointment with full honors. Today, the UNC Board of Trustees blinked.
I’ve been down on UNC ever since the scandal broke of UNC athletes being funneled into phony-baloney African-American Studies courses in order to keep them eligible, and the NCAA’s cowardly determination that since this academic fraud wasn’t restricted exclusively to athletes that the Tar Heel’s celebrated basketball program would have no sanctions placed upon it. But I’ve always believed that UNC’s treatment of the academic integrity of football and basketball players tells you as much about what black scholars truly mean to the white progressives running the university as hires like the one earlier today do.