Two professors: USA Today readers too stupid to understand planned Confederate TV series
We now know that if David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, creators of Game of Thrones, proceed with a series on HBO based on the premise that the Confederacy won the Civil War, it would be “highly irresponsible.” Oh, highly. We know that because USA Today has published ‘Confederate’ danger: Americans don't have the education to handle it, an opinion piece by Kelley Fanto Deetz, “cook turned professor,” and “scholar of American slavery.”
Professor Kelly Fanto Dietz (via Cliveden.org)
and Al Brophy, a law professor.
Professor Alfred Brophy (via University of Alabama)
The professors assert that Benioff and Weiss are not qualified “to tackle a subject that is, in many ways, completely out of their wheelhouse, and frankly out of their league.” How do the professors know that? They have not seen a single episode (the series has not been written, much less shot). Nevertheless, they … just … know … know that it would lack “critical discourse and mediation.”
A core idea for the professors is that nothing has improved for blacks in the 152 years since Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House. The notion is so central to their piece that they must tell us twice: “wow, nothing much has changed … things really haven’t changed that much.” Oh, the idea is cleverly couched as the opinion that the ignorant masses will form from a “highly irresponsible” series like the proposed Confederate, but it sure appears that the professors share it.
I wonder if the professors have the learning to write an opinion piece for USA Today? If the subject of race is crying out for “critical discourse and mediation,” they squandered an opportunity to help enlighten the ignorant masses. Here are some facts that they might have included in order to foster “historically grounded conversations across racial and economic lines.” While contemplating the following statistics on black participation in the workforce (of course maintaining a spirit of “critical discourse and mediation”), bear in mind that blacks comprise 13.3% of the US population (US Census Bureau):
- Lawyers: 4.1% (American Bar Association)
- Doctors: 6.3% (Association of American Medical Colleges)
- Accountants & auditors: 11.8% (DataUSA)
- Permanent federal workforce: 18.1% (FEDweek)
- NFL: 70% (HuffPo)
- NBA: 74% (Sports Business News)
I suppose the professors would point with alarm to the figures for doctors and lawyers, but while we cannot know what those numbers were in 1865, we can be assured that they were significantly lower. And what about the overrepresentation in the federal workforce and professional sports? Eric Holder and company lectured us for years that disparate rates of participation are proof of de facto bias. Maybe those imbalances mean the Department of Justice should investigate the NBA and NFL for institutional racism?
Is there anything ironic in two professors declaring that “we are living in a post-fact world”? If USA Today advertised for an opinion writer it would read something like this: The successful candidate will be long on judgment, virtue signaling, and holier-than-thou preening while steering clear of facts.
But who are Deetz and Brophy to write about slavery and blackness anyway? From the looks of their pictures they are white, though I’m not sure: Rachel Dolezal and Elizabeth Warren taught us that you can be whatever you want – black, Cherokee, Delaware, you name it, especially if tenure and promotion at Harvard are on the line.
The scary part of the professors’ totalitarianism is that they have determined that Benioff and Weiss cannot write about slavery in America because the topic is “completely out of their wheelhouse, and frankly out of their league.” Last year I watched part of an episode of Game of Thrones, an experience I have not repeated. But the notion that I, or anyone else, should tell the creators of that show that they cannot write about certain topics should be deeply offensive to all of us. How long can it be till Professors Deetz and Brophy demand that publishers consider manuscripts only from an approved list of authors? Till they demand that libraries remove the wrong books from their shelves? Till they insist that “highly irresponsible” literature be burnt in the public square?
And leftists have the audacity to call themselves antifascist.
Henry Percy is the nom de guerre of a writer in Arizona. He may be reached at saler.50d[at]gmail.com.