British historian David Starkey was fired today from one appointment and resigned from several others after remarking that the existence of "so many damn Blacks" showed that slavery was not a form of genocide. Canterbury Christ Church University immediately gave him the sack, while Fitzwilliam College in Cambridge said it "accepted the resignation of historian David Starkey from his honorary fellowship with immediate effect" and that "We do not tolerate racism." Former UK chancellor Sajid Javid assailed him on Twitter and the Mary Rose Trust also rid itself of him promptly.
Starkey made the remark while being interviewed by right-wing YouTuber Darren Grimes. Grimes's show, Reasoned, was launched in defense of free speech, a term he uses frequently to describe his aims, with Grimes announcing that "I want you to join us in thinking for yourself and not following the online mob." And yet…
Consider that what lured Starkey to show his colors was a promise of free speech that the promiser did not truly honor — and that the promiser stood foremost among those condemning him.
This is neither to praise the platforming of racists on "best disinfectant is sunshine" grounds nor to condemn Grimes as a hypocrite. I'm just pointing out that privately-mediated "free speech" is unreal nonsense, a marketing and self-branding proposition that always collapses when reality bites.
In Georgia, the City of Stone Mountain is shutting down public transportation, closing a park, and urging everyone to avoid the area on Saturday, when a large number of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and militia members plan to gather. Why? Located in suburban Atlanta, Stone Mountain Park is home to a giant sculpture of Confederate heroes. […]
Today, 236 employees at Pinterest virtually "walked out" to express solidarity with three former colleagues who said they experienced gender and race discrimination at the social media company. From the New York Times: Many of the employees also shared and signed an online petition calling on Ben Silbermann, Pinterest's chief executive and co-founder, to change […]
@sciencing_bi was a well-read Science Twitter account, a queer Native American professor with a unique perspective on science and university life. They reportedly caught coronavirus and and died of Covid, drawing tributes from online admirers, some of them prominent academics. But it was only the final straw in a haybale of suspicion for people who […]
Batman never roars into the Gotham night without his utility belt. James Bond never embarks on a world-saving mission without stopping to see Q and picking up a few helpful gadgets. The world can be a challenging, even occasionally dangerous place — and that's never been more apparent than in the past few months. So […]
Vacuum cleaners have come a long way since those giant bulky bag behemoths that used to take up most of the hall closet. Machines that handle that kind of cleanup now have to be more than just carpet sweepers. They need to be small, powerful, convenient, and capable of handling a variety of big and […]
Everybody's got a story. Unfortunately, not everybody has the tools to tell that story the right way. That's especially true for someone looking to produce their first screenplay. Just as with any type of writing, penning a script for the screen has a set of rules all its own. Understanding that structure, as well as […]