Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Zimmerman verdict, God and state of public higher education in America

Emotions and feelings are running high after the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial.  Some responses are over the top.  A case in point is the response by a University of Pennsylvania religious studies professor.  From this account, this is also a commentary on the state of higher education.
It should come as no surprise that some of the very worst rants about George Zimmerman’s acquittal are coming from an Ivy League professor. The competition is stiff, but will be hard-pressed to keep up with Anthea Butler, an associate professor of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Zimmerman verdict has caused Butler to conclude that God is “a white racist god with a problem” who “is carrying a gun and stalking young black men.”

There are conclusions Butler could have reached short of equating her caricature of Zimmerman with God. She could have settled for the less flamboyant view that there is no God. But flamboyance, one suspects, is what landed Butler the Ivy League gig and appearances on CNN and MSNBC.

Butler might also have concluded, years ago, that God is a black god with a problem who guns down young blacks. After all, there is a near-epidemic of shootings of young African-Americans by other African-Americans.

But Butler didn’t land that Ivy League gig and those cable news appearances by calling out blacks.
Speaking of the Ivy League gig, what do Butler’s students think of her teaching? According to the Daily Caller, her student reviews are abysmal:
“Pathetic,” reports one unhappy student. “This teacher is pathetically bad at her supposed job. Do not give this untalented instructor any more classes.”
Another student describes her as a “loudmouth idiot with crazy Don King hair” and “poorly substantiated and academically unsound” opinions.
And that was before her latest epiphany.

Whatever her shortcomings as an academic, though, Butler is a marketing genius. Thus, she’s actually a perfect fit for left-wing cable outlets and, regrettably, for the back bench of the Ivy League.

No comments: