You know there are BARELY any blackademics in the academy and even less public intellectuals so I am not here for Dr. Dyson’s piece in a magazine that has had a problematic history with black people. I hate that I have to use a mild form of respectability politics but these “intellectual” differences should not be made public. Yes Dr. West has said some off the cuff things and at times sounds bitter but a 10,000 word piece on how he has changed isn’t exactly helping anyone but the people who LIVE for these kinds of conflicts *read Fox News audience*. Though some of his comments have been problematic about President Obama, West has had a few valid critiques about how Obama treats the black community (which in my opinion is better but not sufficient enough than how most democrats treat the black community). I think Dr. Dyson should have kept his falling out with Dr. West private because now when either of them do speak the truth about racism in America, people will be distracted by this “beef”. Some may argue that the academy is petty in general with noted scholars not liking one another which is true but when it comes to two of the most public black men things are different. As a PhD student, I know that black men are the unicorns in the academy (seriously after this year, I’ll be the only black male PhD in my program). I hate that their problems have now entered the public sphere because I remember when I saw both scholars years ago on a BET special discussing racism when I was still a child. They exposed me to what black academics could do and though I didn’t know it, I would eventually decide to want to become a black professor and even a public intellectual. I just hope both scholars can still provide critiques and scholarship on racism. However, as we speak I can imagine that someone somewhere (probably VH1) is pitching the reality show idea looking at the black academy *eye roll*. My guilty pleasure is a good read but why are we reading each other publicly when black people are still getting killed and their killers going free? (#RIPRekiaBoyd) Truth be told they both still run the risk of being pulled over by cops even though they are famous. Don’t believe ask Chris Rock.
Blackademics, WE HAVE GOT TO DO BETTER!!!