Saturday, August 14, 2010

My Piece Too Politically Incorrect for Karkhanis's Patriot Returns

My good friend Sharad Karkhanis publishes a newsletter that goes to about 13,000 City University of New York faculty and employees called Patriot Returns. To give you an idea as to how controversial Patriot Returns is, Sharad just settled a multi-year libel suit by one of the union officers whom he had ruthlessly satirized for years.  Sharad has asked me to write for him a number of times, most recently concerning David Seidemann's law suit against the faculty union and concerning the Charles Rangel Center at the City University of New York (forthcoming). 

But even Patriot Returns is too tame for some of my stuff.    I had submitted a piece to him concerning an article in the faculty union's newsletter, the Clarion.  Karkhanis told me that it is simply too controversial even for Patriot Returns.  The New Caucus is the extreme left-wing "party" that runs the CUNY faculty union. I suppose my claim that the CUNY faculty is more racist than the membership of the Tea Party is simply too hot for anyone in academia to handle, even though it is true.

 New Caucus Racism
Mitchell Langbert, Ph.D. *

Recently, William Tabb, professor emeritus of Queens College, made accusations of racism against the so-called Tea Party in the pages of the Clarion, the newsletter of the CUNY faculty union.  In fact, the Tea Party is a highly decentralized and diverse group that is scattered across thousands of locales around the country. Racism may exist in some locales, just as racism may exist in some quarters of CUNY.   I have attended eight meetings of the Kingston/Rhinebeck Tea Party near my home town as well as one or two in my home town of Olive, New York.  I did not detect a single instance of racism.  There is more racism on the CUNY faculty than in the Kingston/Rhinebeck Tea Party.  I very much doubt that Professor Tabb or the NAACP have done any research as to whether there is actual racism.  I am a former contributer to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which made similar kinds of irresponsible allegations. I voiced my concerns to Morris Dees, the founder, directly, and have ceased any involvement with that organization.  
Competent academic research poses hypotheses and then attempts to falsify them through evidence.  Professor Tabb offers no evidence. Rather, he asserts unfounded, lynch-mob style accusations.  This disturbs me.  Professor Tabb is a distinguished professor from Queens College.  If his standards are so low as to make wild, ungrounded accusations about Tea Party racism one must wonder about standards among the New Caucus in general.
 In response to Professor Tabb's allegations of racism, I did an informal survey of the Professional Staff Congress's representation of various minorities.  I counted the number of African-Americans, Native Americans, Mexicans, Asians and South Americans in its leadership group.  My finding is that the proportion of minorities who are officers of the Professional Staff Congress is lower than the proportion of minority group members who have have attended the Kingston/Rhinebeck Tea Party.  In other words, the evidence is that Barbara Bowen, Steve London and the rest of the New Caucus are MORE RACIST THAN THE TEA PARTY.

My affirmative action plan is straightforward. The CUNY faculty needs to replace PSC's president, Barabara Bowen.
*Mitchell Langbert is associate professor of business at Brooklyn College. He blogs at

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