[Iag-list] Fwd: MORALLY REPREHENSIBLE COLONIALISM
Candice Pamela Boyd
cboyd at unimelb.edu.au
Thu Sep 14 21:46:05 AEST 2017
For many years, craniometrists claimed, on the weight of the scholarly evidence, that white people were superior to 'negros' because their brains were, on average, heavier. They weren't. As evidence later revealed, the researchers had unconsciously exaggerated their measurements in support of their preconceived notions. As modern academics, if we fail to recognise that our opinions and actions are influenced by our political persuasions then we are no better.
Academics have every right to morally object to scholarly articles that have the potential to exacerbate or perpetuate historical wrong doings. I, for one, object. It is up to the editors of the journal, in this case, to consider the weight of that opinion and determine how to ethically respond to what are legitimate moral concerns.
Candice P. Boyd
Honorary Senior Fellow | School of Geography | University of Melbourne
From: iag-list-bounces at flinders.edu.au <iag-list-bounces at flinders.edu.au> on behalf of Robert Solomon <robjsol at gmail.com>
Sent: 14 September 2017 17:05
To: iag-list at flinders.edu.au
Subject: [Iag-list] Fwd: MORALLY REPREHENSIBLE COLONIALISM
Begin forwarded message: I think I’m no longer a financial member of IAG, but as one of its early Secretaries I completely endorse Bruce Ryan’s comments. Bob Solomon (Dr Robert Solomon AM)
From: BRUCE RYAN <cincinnati5 at bigpond.com<mailto:cincinnati5 at bigpond.com>>
Subject: MORALLY REPREHENSIBLE COLONIALISM
Date: 14 September 2017 at 4:31:08 PM AEST
To: Institute of Australian Geographers <iag-list at flinders.edu.au<mailto:iag-list at flinders.edu.au>>
September 14, 2017
>From the desk of the Cincinnati Cynic:
My gratitude to the iag-list for circulating a petition. It wants us to condemn the Third World Quarterly for publishing an article defending and advocating colonialism. What a refreshing intrusion into the IAG’s sundry notices of conferences, job vacancies, and scholarships.
Having now read the article by Bruce Gilley that Farhana Sultana finds so “morally reprehensible,” I certainly won’t be signing the petition. Her case for doing so bears little relationship to what Gilley wrote.
• If there are “inaccuracies and falsehoods,” she identifies none of them. She declines “engaging with him directly,” but relies entirely on undocumented innuendo.
• If this is one of Gilley’s “shoddy racist click-bait pieces,” where is there a single link on which a reader could click?
• If it “lacks proper citations,” what are those one hundred appended references from university presses, scholarly journals, and publications in French?
• If members of the journal’s executive board were unfamiliar with the article, why was it in their hands from April to August this year?
• By calling Gilley a “racist fascist author” who legitimizes “racist brutality” and calls for the return of “white supremacy,” Professor Sultana is courting an action for baseless defamation.
• While disparaging academic freedom in the United States (“whatever that means anymore”), she nonetheless strives to suppress a line of argument with which she disagrees.
• In my opinion, Gilley’s article draws even-handedly upon solid evidence from many post-colonial situations. He acknowledges failures and successes and assigns blame without fear or favour. Even Professor Sultana’s misbegotten “colonial apologists” and “closet white supremacists” should applaud Bruce Gilley’s practical proposals for repairing failed nations.
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