Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Houston Baker & "black intellectuals"

Former Duke Professor Houston Baker, now Distinguished University Professor at Vanderbilt University, has a new book out: Betrayal: How Black Intellectuals Have Abandoned the Ideals of the Civil Rights Era.

Here’s some of what its publisher, Columbia University Press, says about it:

Houston A. Baker Jr. condemns those black intellectuals who, he believes, have turned their backs on the tradition of racial activism in America. …

As he sees it, the mission of the black intellectual today is not to do great things but to do specific, racially based work that is in the interest of the black majority.
Do you recall Houston Baker’s response to the lies of Crystal Mangum and Mike Nifong?
The lacrosse team - 15 of whom have faced misdemeanor charges for drunken misbehavior in the past three years - may well feel they can claim innocence and sport their disgraced jerseys on campus, safe under the cover of silent whiteness.

But where is the black woman who their violence and raucous witness injured for life? Will she ever sleep well again?

And when will the others assaulted by racist epithets while passing 610 Buchanan ever forget that dark moment brought on them by a group of drunken Duke boys?

Young, white, violent, drunken men among us - implicitly boasted by our athletic directors and administrators - have injured lives.

There is scarcely any shame more egregious than one that wraps itself in the pious sentimentalism of liberal rhetoric as though such a wrap really constituted moral and ethical action.
I’m sure Baker believes he’s a intellectually equipped to judge other scholars.

But Baker’s a bully, a fool, and a raving racist. In March and April 2006 he was a loud and enthusiastic supporter of Mike Nifong’s outrages. He demanded Duke expel all the white students on the lacrosse team. He gave media interviews in which he hyped slanders being used by those working to frame three obviously innocent Duke students. And he eagerly signed the Faculty Group of 88’s statement thanking those who’d circulated Vigilante posters and rallied under a CASTRATE banner.

I’m glad he left Duke and I'm sorry for Vandy.

I also plan to pass on Baker’s book. But you already knew that, didn’t you?

Hat tip: Ex-prosecutor


Anonymous said...

John -

Houston Baker is an intellectual just the way KKK members were intellectuals. If you want a real intellectuals who are Americans of African descent, read Thomas Sowell Clarence Thomas, and Walter Williams.

Jack in Silver Spring

Anonymous said...

One good thing about the Lax frame is that it has exposed intellectual frauds like Houston "Max Faber" Baker.

Surely Baker must be a laughing stock among true academics.


Anonymous said...

In 2001 at ‘RaceMatters.Org, Emily Eakin interviewed Houston Baker and
wrote, ‘Black Captive in a White Culture?’

She wrote, “As Mr. Baker sees it, in some ways [he has more in common with the black inmates in America's jails] than he does with his white colleagues down the hall.”
Remember this sample of Houston’s writing ability? (Two misspelled words)

“LIES! You are just a provacateur on a happy New Years Eve trying to get credit for a [scummy bunch of white males!] You know you are in search of sympaathy [sic] for young white guys who beat up a gay man [sic] in Georgetown, get drunk in Durham, and lived like “a bunch of farm animals” near campus”
He says in some ways he has more in common with black inmates than his white colleagues,
“Obvious, my dear Watson."

bill anderson said...

Baker is a fraud, a total fraud. Don't forget that when he was at Duke, a female graduate student accused Baker of sexual assault while they were at a conference in New York.

Karla Holloway was a dean at the time, and she flew up to New York to "fix" the situation. In the end, Duke was able to hush-hush the whole thing, but one of the reasons that Baker never was elected chair of the English Department was this situation.

By the way, Vanderbilt featured him on its website and called him one of the "most wide-ranging intellectuals" in this country. What a joke. That is "elite" higher education for you. The barbarians have stormed the gate and now sit in all the high offices.

f1guyus said...

Like I said before, this guy is the cream of the crop. No, really, he is.

Anonymous said...

"... a bully, a fool, and a raving racist."

Wow, John I think those may be the strongest language I've ever seen you use. You are, of course, right and I find it appropriate that you pulled out the big guns on Baker because he is all those things.

You go, John.