TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Op-Ed:  Critics Of University Of Oregon's Punishment Of Tax Prof Nancy Shurtz For Wearing Blackface To A Halloween Party In Her Home Need To "Move On' And 'Get Over It'


Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Register-Guard op-ed: UO Is Right to Insist Upon Cultural Competency, by Martha Moultry:

Get over it!”

“It’s no big deal!”

“You’re too sens­itive!”

“There are people with real problems in the world!”

“Let it go and move on with your life!”

As an African-American woman who grew up in the segregated South and has spent the past 30-plus years in liberal Eugene, I’ve heard these messages all of my life — and they are now being played in stereo in letters to the editor regarding the recent blackface incident at the University of Oregon.

Well, let me add my two cents’ worth.

1) There are people at the UO experiencing a great deal of pain because of this incident. ...

2) The fact that life-threatening events are occurring in the world does nothing to alleviate the inappropriateness of a professor with more than 30 years of experience at a respected institution being unaware of the historical use of blackface, yet trying to stimulate a conversation on racial biases.

3) The university is right to insist on a level of human competency from its staff. A display of this level of incompetence in regard to diversity should not be acceptable from an institution such as the UO. ...

8) I am hopeful that the university will use this as an indication that there are probably others who would benefit from diversity training. There are many people in liberal Eugene who cannot see the need for a well-meaning person who “loves everyone the same” to attend such training, but perhaps the professor would not be in this most undesirable position now if she had understood that good intentions don’t always work so well without knowledge and training.

Perhaps it is time for the professor and those rallying to her cause to “get over it,” understand that she harmed the institution that employs her, accept the consequences of her actions, realize that there are greater problems in the world and move on with life.

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

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I don't see why cry-bullying is worth two-cents.

Posted by: Mike Petrik | Jan 7, 2017 9:37:00 AM

"Suffering a great deal of pain from this incident"?

I can understand if they are "concerned", pissed off, angry, disappointed and so forth, but "a great deal of pain"? The "pain", "fear", "afraid", "safe space", ownership of subjective experience that no one else dare question, etc. stuff really needs to be questioned. Use of inchoate and personal emotional suffering as a manipulative "takeout" tactic is something that now permeates any "debate" about critical issues and is intended to "trump" any discussion because if I caused you "pain" then I am in the wrong no matter what because only bad people cause other people pain.

Posted by: David | Jan 7, 2017 10:05:20 AM

Quote: "I am hopeful that the university will use this as an indication that there are probably others who would benefit from diversity training."

Ah, yes. There is money—and lots of it—to be made in demanding that everyone, even a professor who's doing her best to fight racism, must attend such training. And to make sure that training is needed out far into the future, that outrage will grow increasing contrived, pointless and irrational.

Follow the money....

Posted by: Michael W. Perry | Jan 7, 2017 3:36:34 PM

SWJs are gonna SJW. Thank goodness Trump won.

Posted by: Anon | Jan 7, 2017 8:48:23 PM

I've taken diversity training; our university requires that we do so every several years. I still think that the way the University of Oregon handled this matter was reprehensible. Ms. Moultry's suggestion that I "get over it" is not the first such suggestion I have received in recent months. A number of Trump supporters have said the same thing.

Posted by: Theodore Seto | Jan 7, 2017 11:23:26 PM

This whole thing is a perfect microcosm of why Trump was elected

Posted by: mike livingston | Jan 8, 2017 5:23:56 AM