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Show Tolerance for Angela Davis
A week before she was to speak at the Smith College commencement, Christine Lagarde, chief of the International Monetary Fund, has withdrawn from the event, citing protests against her and the fund, the college said Monday.
Her withdrawal comes after Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state, withdrew from speaking at the Rutgers University commencement in the face of protests against her role in Bush administration foreign policy, and weeks after Brandeis University rescinded its invitation to the rights advocate Ayaan Hirsi Ali to receive an honorary degree at its commencement, after protests over her anti-Islam statements.
Perhaps coincidentally, the three disinvited speakers cited by the Times were all women who can fairly be considered pioneers in their area of endeavor.
While it is unclear whether a visit to the College by such figures would provoke an outcry, we can be certain that respectful tolerance (and even enthusiasm) will be shown this week for celebrated 1960’s radical and Communist Party member Angela Davis, who famously provided the guns used by Jonathan Jackson in a hostage taking that led to four deaths in 1970.
One of the speakers bureaus that represents Davis described her as follows:
Professor Davis’ teaching career has taken her to San Francisco State University, Mills College, and UC Berkeley. She also has taught at UCLA, Vassar, the Claremont Colleges, and Stanford University. She spent the last fifteen years at the University of California Santa Cruz where she is now Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness, an interdisciplinary Ph.D program, and of Feminist Studies.
Like many other educators, Professor Davis is especially concerned with the general tendency to devote more resources and attention to the prison system than to educational institutions. Having helped to popularize the notion of a “prison industrial complex,” she now urges her audiences to think seriously about the future possibility of a world without prisons and to help forge a 21st century abolitionist movement.
English Professor Jeffrey Hart offered a description of Davis in the Daily News in 1989 that was somewhat more textured.
Davis is no stranger to the Dartmouth campus. She spoke in Hanover in 1989 (for a fee reported to be $10,000), and again 1994. No word on her charge this time around, but her speakers bureau informs me that her standard rate is $20,000 per speech, plus first class travel and accommodation.
Addendum: The event is being put on by the College’s Center for Gender and Student Engagement, which, until recently, was directed by Kyle Ashlee. He distinguished himself by publishing — only three days after he left his position — a diatribe purporting to describe student life at the College. The account was filled with gross and evident errors of fact, evident at least to students in Hanover. Readers removed from the College will only recoil in disgust at his words and at Dartmouth.
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own interviews, a review of…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…