Saturday, April 25, 2009

Damn It, Why Did Madonna Constantine Think of This First! And where is My 200 Million Dollar Noose? or It is Time for a Respectable Negro Flashback!



Oh nooses, we love you so--get the dark irony? We posted on this last year, and as we do by tradition--here is a respectable negro flashback!

From the Chronicle of Higher Education, on the 200 million dollar lawsuit for unlawful termination and harassment by Madonna Constantine (i.e. the Columbia Teacher's College professor who found a noose on her door in an incident purported to be fabricated as a means of justifying her removal).

Madonna Constantine Strikes Back
by John L. Jackson

Former Teachers College Professor Madonna Constantine became (in)famous last year. More than once.

The first time was because of the hubbub that ensued after she found a noose attached to her office door. The finding turned into a national news story about hate speech and resurgent public displays of racism. Then people began to speculate that she had actually hung the noose herself as a way to deflect from an ongoing investigation into allegations of plagiarism made against her. The noose was found in October of 2007. The investigation was announce in February 2008. And Teachers College fired Constantine three months later.

Just this week, the plot has thickened (as some might have imagined it would). Constantine has filed a lawsuit against her former employer for ruining her reputation. Constantine’s attorney claims that they have proof of her innocence, even speculating that the evidence vindicating Constantine was purposefully ignored by Teachers College in an attempt to justify ousting her.

Of course, Teachers College intends to fight Constantine’s suit, and the school admits to no wrongdoing, calling her suit “baseless.”

I still don’t know how to make sense of this case. It gets glossed as one person’s disingenuous attempt to inoculate herself from critique by using the protective cover of racial sympathy, as an example of taking the so-called “race card” to completely new heights.

I’ve always refused to believe that Constantine put that noose on her own door, even as I admit that the ordering of public events do easily fit such a cynical scenario. But the reality of American life is more complicated than a “gotcha” melodrama about one person’s conniving attempt to short-circuit contemporary justice with recourse to part of racism’s historical iconography, the proverbial lynching noose...

The story continues here.

Black to the past, or is that the future?

Chauncey DeVega says: I Couldn't Resist...Beware the Attack of the Nooses




I cower as I write this. My Zombie Survival Guide, and my SAS Survival Handbook have some valuable tips for dealing with this type of calamity. But, I fear the information they impart may not help me survive the attack.

As the Southern Poverty Law Center reported in The New York Times, the nooses are on the march and they are unstoppable. Run black people, run as far, and as fast, as you can.

They are coming and they are unstoppable.

May God have mercy on our souls.

2 comments:

thepoetryman said...

"Night... of... the... Lepus!"

That was great! I still don't know what a Lepus is? Hold on one second............................

Okay. Lepus was/is one of the many animals hunted by Orion, the Hunter.

Holy crap! It's a... a... a rabbit?

Monty Python did a very scary rabbit bit, but this one is, oddly enough, funnier.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

To Ms. Constantine:

One of the most important life lessons we all have to learn as we move through life is: Move on.

When you began work at Teachers College there were many problems at Teachers College and in your department that festered long before your first day. Some were financial. Others included ideological and personality clashes among faculty and a pointless collage of courses that do not prepare students for actual work in their field. The most misleading and deceptive was the “appearance” of an enlightened, mature and evolved staff and curriculum that supposedly reflected this. The problems were several. These problems needed to be resolved from the top down. But, when school leadership and administration do not know how to resolve problems, and do not listen to what needs to be changed to the benefit of all tied to a program or school, things get uglier and can take a turn for the worst.

Perhaps the most important thing you have to share with others is that no matter how many hurdles you jump and how hard you work in any work setting, someone will always conspire against you. This may be due to jealousy, inept, incompetent leadership, a grudge at having you around, or about the game of being in an environment where the rules are constantly changing to the benefit of those who hold the power and the cards. I am sure that in your work toward your credentials that you were told indirectly if not directly that plagiarism is not allowed and could cost one one’s credibility, reputation and career. One’s hard work and sacrifice to get to a certain point could become lost and destroyed. The funny thing is that TC’s supposedly open outward message of diversity does not reflect TC’s actual nature. The old guard has the power and is intent on keeping the power it holds.

Teachers College has a casual concern for development of students into skilled, knowledgeable professionals. Its objective is to stay afloat financially, which is every schools’ objective. Your old department, the Counseling department’s main purpose and point is to be an additional source of revenue for the school. Period. Point blank. Pity for past, present and future students who do not see this at the door. It showed a “tolerance” for “diversity initiatives” provided that some money could be made from them. Again, the point was money. Revenue. You might have come to know this as the years passed and your own eyes opened.

Despite the distress and sheer aggravation in your experience at TC, there is a bright side: you no longer have to deal with the fraud, sabotage, and hypocrisy that is Teachers College. Your eyes are now open. Good for you.