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Just Another Radical Obama Appointee

Cathy Davidson, nominated for the National Council on the Humanities, is another in a long line of highly questionable Obama appointees.

by
Jay Schalin

Bio

January 3, 2011 - 12:00 am
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She then stated that “[p]ost-colonialism is the theory” to follow, rather than American exceptionalism. Post-colonialism, or anti-colonialism, as it is also known, “is the doctrine that rich countries of the West got rich by invading, occupying and looting poor countries of Asia, Africa and South America,” according to author Dinesh D’Souza. Therefore, the theory goes, the industrialized West is indebted to the rest of the world for past injustices.

Post-colonialism also happens to be the underlying philosophy of President Obama, D’Souza said in his latest book, The Roots of Obama’s Rage.

Another indication of Davidson’s political biases in the ASA was a caution to society members that they “probably should not take a job at any university where everyone is a married, white, heterosexual male — even if you too… are a married, white, heterosexual male.”

The National Council on Humanities’ primary function is to advise the chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities on which grants to give. Last year, the NEH handed out $171 million for scholarly grants in the humanities. Davidson’s ASA address provides some insight into her likely tendencies for dispensing that money. She applauded the ASA convention’s inclusion of presentations on:

Turkish pants and Tiffany hoods; Japanese Elvis impersonators; Shamu the Whale; the lesbian subject in Arab culture; … the “white” problem in American studies; Pueblo figurative ceramics; low-rider cars in northern New Mexico; Haitian Rara celebrations; American Orisa worship; Spiderwoman Theatre; … “The Boyz in the Hoods: Academy Bashing as a ‘Popular’ Culture” and another on “Discourse and Dat Course: Postcoloniality and Afrocentricity.”

Her recent academic efforts tend toward a similarly juvenile mix of pop culture, political correctness, and anti-intellectualism. A recent Raleigh News & Observer article described her class “Your Brain on the Internet,” in which her students graded each other. The experiment produced a predictable result — every student got an “A.”

This sort of fatuous approach to scholarship hardly represents the judicious mindset desired for somebody who will decide how to spend millions on intellectual pursuits. With her lack of ability to discern real scholarship from superficial nonsense and her radical tendencies, it is hard to imagine somebody who will perform the position’s duties less responsibly than Davidson.

But that obviously did not dissuade President Obama. He appears to have a radical agenda and naturally appoints people who will further that agenda.  Just a few of his high profile appointments with radical ties or views include: Van Jones, who was briefly Obama’s special advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation; Energy and Environment Czar Carol Browner; Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Health Care Czar Donald Berwick, and many more.

Davidson should therefore feel right at home in Washington. Perhaps if people like her are controlling the purse strings and influencing our national culture, Congress should consider cutting off the endowment’s funding.

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The author is Senior Writer at the J.W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.
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