I will resume my series on self-ownership in my next post, but in the meantime, it has come to my attention (see here, hat tip: Kottke) that the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina was considering awarding Nikole Hannah-Jones a tenured position on their faculty but that the offer of academic tenure fell through because of “pressure from conservatives.” (The reason why this seemingly-minor incident is making the rounds is because Hannah-Jones is one of the contributors to the controversial “1619 Project.”)
Oh, the irony! My left-of-center friends and colleagues–most of whom are academics themselves–are always complaining about all the injustice and inequality in the world, and perhaps rightly so. But what about injustice and inequality in academia? Although tenure is usually defended on academic freedom grounds (see here, for example), I call bullshit. After all, why is it that only tenured academics get to enjoy such freedom? The supreme irony here is that tenure is one of the last remaining vestiges of the retrograde feudal system of the Middle Ages. If my colleagues were truly woke, they would call for the immediate abolishment of this academic caste system altogether, right?