We discussed efforts to fire professors who express dissenting views on various subjects, including efforts to oust a leading economist from the University of Chicago, as well as a leading professor of linguistics at Harvard and a professor of literature at Penn. The culture of demolition has also spread to museums, book publishers and other forums for intellectual exchange. Now the respected journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has podcast host and assistant editor Dr. Dismissed Edward Livingston for raising his own concerns and doubts about allegations of structural racism on a podcast.
While JAMA is allegedly independent of the American Medical Association (AMA), the AMA wrote in a statement that the podcast was “deeply concerned” and “upset”, stating that “this tweet and podcast was inconsistent with the guidelines and views of match AMA. “
Conservative side The Daily Wire has a copy of the since-deleted podcast. During the episode, Livingston hired Dr. Mitchell Katz reportedly asked the following question: “In the face of illegality, how can racism be embedded in society in such a way that it is viewed as structural?”
Katz then explained how structural racism can manifest itself. Livingston followed up with a note
“I feel like I’m being told that in modern times I’m a racist because of this whole structural racism thing, but what you’re talking about, it’s not so much racism as there are populations. It is more of a socio-economic phenomenon that has a hard time leaving its place due to its environment. And it’s not their race; it’s not their color; it is their socio-economic status. Here you are. ”
Katz seemed to agree with the socio-economic point.
There is a lot to unzip and people in good faith may not agree with the socioeconomic perspective. Such forums are about enabling different points of view and a debate on social problems. I do not agree with the comments and would be interested in an exchange on this topic. There was a time when such controversial discussions were welcomed as a platform for discussion. This is not the time.
The podcast sparked the usual demands for dismissal and conviction. Rather than just arguing against the socio-economic point, the critics wanted Livingston to be fired. What worries most is that the loudest professors to celebrate the dismissal were professors who enjoyed the idea that someone could be fired for expressing an opposing point of view.
As reported on the campus reform, Professor Betsy Hirsch of the University of Minnesota is “glad to see some concrete steps here after the tweet / podcast from the #racist doctor.” For its part, the University of Southern California, Michael Cosimini, asked to know how such positions should ever have been published.
We previously discussed how commentators and corporations often call for national racial dialogue. However, people with conflicting views on underlying causes and controversy must cancel campaigns. The result is closer to shame than dialogue. If we are to have a meaningful discussion about race, we must tolerate opposing views. Indeed, the statements made in the podcast provide a great opportunity to face such views directly and to question socio-economic claims. The removal of Livingston only adds to the already overwhelming pressure on faculty and others not to voice such dissenting views.