Melissa McEwan has a really interesting article on derogatory speech, specifically on MSNBC. She criticises the way that individual words are focussed on: roughly, you can get away with almost anything as long as you don’t make assertions containing certain forbidden terms. I’m a bit torn on this myself, because it’s much tougher to formulate easy to follow rules without focussing on specific terms. And I worry about the chilling effect of unclear rules. (Recall that perfectly legitimate, non-sexist criticisms of Sarah Palin were called sexist by her campaign.)
That’s the number of black British [full] professors in the UK. Only one UK university has more than two. The numbers improve a little if one includes black [full] professors from outside the UK: it’s 75. The population of England and Wales, in case you’re wondering, is 2.8% black. (I’ve no idea why the article gives England and Wales stats for this bit rather than UK.) And 1.2% of academics overall are black.
The full article is here. It’s pretty good article, though I would have like to see more explicit discussion of the harmful effects in terms of stereotype threat and implicit bias. There’s a bit on the need for role models here, but that’s not quite the same. I think the discussion of causes would also have benefited from more discussion of the psychology.