What is it telling us when someone is retained as provost after that person’s academic dishonesty has been openly exposed in meticulous detail? What is it telling us that this would not happen at another university? The action by the BOT to endorse the tenures of Angela Henderson and Wayne Watson is telling us that this is good enough for black people, who are the majority of our student body. When you offer inferior conditions to black people, when you endorse this, you are endorsing racism.I'm of the view that a lot of the Perpetually Aggrieved require the continued existence of constituents existing in crappy conditions in order to hang onto their power. Mr Gomberg's argument proposes an antagonism between the ward-heelers and the constituents, rather than the symbiosis I propose.
The civil rights struggles of fifty and sixty years ago shifted toward a black power perspective in the last half of the 1960s that called for black control of the black community. The succession of black-led administrations at Chicago State is one manifestation of this movement as are black police, mayors (in largely black cities), police chiefs, and politicians. At that time the party I belong to—Progressive Labor Party—opposed these demands for black cops and school principals, arguing that the same policies of racist police brutality and racist treatment of black students could and would be practiced by black cops and bosses. It has taken nearly fifty years of political experience with racist black cops and racist black officials and administrators for many of us to see that the PLP was right all those years ago.Exploiting the constituent for political gain is more lucrative than improving the lot of the constituents. But it keeps the establishment in power, particularly if that establishment can take advantage of the constituents' desperation to mau-mau everybody else. And at Chicago State, there's desperation.
Our students are mistreated at every turn. Our classrooms are not maintained. The physical facilities (think about the concrete paths and staircases across campus) are deteriorated. Bathrooms are broken, but the university does not employ a plumber. The students are not allowed to select their own textbooks. The financial aid lines are unconscionably long, and students are often insulted or patronized. Students’ paperwork is frequently lost. There is no daycare, it having been eliminated when repair of Robinson University Center was begun many years ago, with no replacement being offered, a racist and sexist attack on our many students who are primarily responsible for the care of children. Any one or two of these things might happen at any school. But all have been part of the pattern of racist (and sexist) mistreatment of black students during my twenty-nine year tenure at Chicago State.The two bookstores at Northern Illinois (more accurately, the two sports-clothing stores with some books) function like proper American stores rather than the Gosudarstvenny Universalnya Magazin, and the day-care and child development lab are at work, but the deferred maintenance and rot is everywhere. We're in agreement on the main point. "As a special bonus, it ruins the lives of the most vulnerable students, claiming to offer second chances to all the underserved populations supposedly most in need of special care." The sad message of Mr Gomberg's post is that the hustlers running Chicago State are likely to accuse their critics of singling out a black-run university for its incompetence, thus continuing the abuse of a predominantly black student body.