Don’t Use the UNC Scandal to Attack Black and Ethnic Studies

The corruption of the African American Studies Department at the University of North Carolina should not be treated as an invitation to attack the legitimacy of Black Studies and Ethnic Studies departments at American Universities. The UNC scandal is an aberration, not part of a national pattern. At my University, Fordham, African and African American Studies courses require more reading and writing than most other courses and players on the men’s basketball and football teams are often advised NOT to take them because they are too demanding. The same is true of Black Studies Departments at most other universities in the Northeast. As for schools with big time revenue producing sports programs, there are certainly ways of getting grades for athletes who are marginally literate, but Black Studies Departments are rarely the chosen vehicle. The UNC scandal is an indictment of big time college sports, not of Black Studies and those who attempt to use it to attack the latter must be fought tooth and nail.