Monday, February 13, 2017

Rutgers Prof Released From Bellevue

Nothing Abnormal Here

Rutgers University professor Kevin Allred was subjected to a psychiatric evaluation because of comments he made in his classroom and on the internet about killing white people.  One comment was, “Will the 2nd amendment be as cool when I buy a gun and start shooting at random white people or no…?”   He was released from the hospital after only two hours because it was determined that he was not in need of hospitalization.  Allred claimed that he was being targeted for his politics when the NYPD came to his Brooklyn home and dropped him off at the Bellevue Hospital psych ward.
“Rutgers police told them I’m a threat based on political statements I’ve made on campus and on Twitter,” Allred tweeted after the cops arrived at his home. “And this is for exercising my ... First Amendment rights.  The NYPD said campus police in New Brunswick, N.J., asked them to conduct ‘a wellness check’ ... on the professor based on comments he made in the classroom and on Twitter about killing white people.”  In a tweet the day after Donald Trump was elected President, Allred wrote: “If I see any Trump bumper stickers on the road today, my brakes will go out and I’ll run you off the road.”  University officials issued a statement saying the university was responding to a student complaint about Allred.  Allred teaches gender studies and a course called “Feminist Perspectives: Politicizing Beyoncé,” about the singer’s role in pop culture.  Allred tweeted, “she said politicians say much worse on live television with no repurcussions (sic) and they choose to waste resources bringing me in.”  Apparently this college professor does not know how to use Spell Check.  Establishment media reports naturally describe the incident from Allred’s perspective.  He is completely innocent and his threats were not serious.  Psychiatrists gave him a clean bill of health.  It was Donald Trump contacting the Rutgers University police that caused the problem.

Why is a professor teaching an entire class on Beyoncé and what does this say about the University?  The course is entitled Politicizing Beyonce: Black Feminism, US Politics, & Queen Bey.  It is apparently a women’s studies course.  It is claimed that the class is at capacity. Allred said, “They usually sign up because they're big fans of Beyoncé's music, but they quickly start to make connections beyond just being fans."  Allred says he’s a huge fan of Beyoncé, but he didn’t think of her as a political actor until he came across an essay by Yale Professor Daphne Brooks that linked the singer to black, female disempowerment.  How Boyoncé is linked to the deprivation of influence of black females is unclear.  However it inspired Allred “to use Beyoncé in my teaching to spark students' interest in having conversations around gender, sexuality, and race.”  Beyoncé’s music challenges many of society’s conceptions about gender, sexuality, and race, according to Allred, who says her prominence gives her political influence.  “Beyoncé is a political figure because she commands attention—perhaps the most attention of any entertainer today. People listen when she talks and people question things when she raises the question herself,” he says.  While Allred admits her influence isn’t explicitly governmental or legislative, he says she has the power to inspire cultural movements for change.  Beyoncé has hosted a high-dollar fundraiser for Barack Obama, is a champion of LGBT equality, and increasingly highlights feminism in her work.  Allred states, “I rather like the concept of a 'multi-talented performer' who neither plays an instrument nor writes music. And a 'black feminist' with long blonde hair dressed as a 1950s burlesque queen singing about bitches.”  

Is this course worth the $25,000 it costs to attend Rutgers?  Are there any comparable courses on artists like Yuga Wang, a woman vastly more talented than Beyoncé?

Has not applied for a Professorship at Rutgers.

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