Jesse Jackson, Cynthia McKinney get involved in Watkins tenure appeal

The Rev. Al Sharpton has written the chancellor in support of Watkins, right

The Rev. Jesse Jackson and former Rep. Cynthia McKinney have now thrust themselves into the debate over Boyce Watkins’ tenure appeal, The Student Voice has learned.

Three days after the Rev. Al Sharpton sent Syracuse University Chancellor Nancy Cantor a letter in support of Whitman professor Boyce Watkins’ pending tenure appeal case, Jackson told Watkins that he wanted to get involved. Watkins sent SV writer Naresh Vissa a text message early this morning saying Jackson wants to speak with Cantor as soon as possible.

Watkins and Cantor are scheduled to meet today to discuss Watkins’ future at the university after he was denied tenure, first reported in The Student Voice.

And McKinney, the Green Party presidential candidate in 2008, wrote what Watkins called “the most astonishing letter in support of my tenure case” to SU administration yesterday. The prominent African-American intellectual and current head of Bennett College for Women Julianne Malveaux has also voiced her support for Watkins.

Watkins announced yesterday via Twitter that he will start publicizing his battle with the university.

Vissa came out with his “Race in SU Academia” series last week (Part I here; Part II here) criticizing the SU administration for not supporting Watkins in his endeavors, and addressing the repercussions of Watkins’ tenure case.

The following is what Watkins sent Vissa via text message this morning:

“Jesse Jackson went out of his way to call (me) about my tenure case. He asked to become involved and speak with the Chancellor. It’s about to get heated. I think it’s time for action.”

Watkins posted this via Facebook and Twitter yesterday:

“Former Congresswoman and Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney just wrote the most astonishing letter in support of my tenure case. If she lets me share it, I’ll post it for everyone to read. It was very powerful. Julianne Malveaux has been really supportive too. I’ll also let you see what Rev. Sharpton writes. I want the public to be involved with everything that happens between me and SU from this point on.”

No word from Cantor, yet, but we will update if that becomes available.

Stay tuned to Student Voice for up to the latest coverage.


8 thoughts on “Jesse Jackson, Cynthia McKinney get involved in Watkins tenure appeal”

  1. Attorney General Eric Holder Gets on Black Fathers: Why He is Wrong

    1) One in three black men in their twenties is under some form of supervision by the justice system. It’s tough to be a dad when you live in a nation that has adopted mass incarceration of black men as the way to get cheap labor. Then, for those men who try to reintegrate in to society, there are hurdles to employment and education that Holder and others have yet to remedy. A man can’t take care of his family if he is in prison, and it’s difficult for him to feed his family if no one will hire him. If you want to solve many of the parenting problems, you can start by not putting so many fathers in the penitentiary, especially those guilty of non-violent offenses or who’ve been convicted because they could not get adequate legal counsel. By the way, it may help to give them rehabilitation options while they are incarcerated, rather than simply punishing them.

    2) Attorney Holder, did you also know that black male unemployment is as high as 40 percent to 50 percent in many urban areas? What do you think whites would do to you if they were facing 40 percent unemployment and had to hear you give them a speech about personal responsibility? If whites are screaming about 10 percent unemployment, how would they respond to the unemployment rates experienced by our community?

    3) Mr. Holder, can you please take a visit to your buddy Barack Obama and let him know that the inner-city educational systems put black boys in special education at a rate that is five times higher than white kids? Please also explain to the president that many of these young men are not being taught to read and are being pushed out in to an economic system with few opportunities, leading them right to the penitentiaries. I am not sure how much time Columbia University (where Holder attended law school, like the rest of his Ivy League chums) spends teaching about the school-to-prison pipeline, but he might want to read up on it.

    4) Oh yeah, Mr. Holder, with all due respect, there are quite a few white absentee fathers also. The divorce rate in white America is more than 50 percent, which means that, technically, half of all white dads are not in the homes with their kids. The next time you go speak to a group of white Americans, I dare you to give the same speech you’re giving in African American churches. White folks aren’t so quick to allow a black man to come in to their churches to tell them that they are screwed up and that the government (for which they pay taxes) has no responsibility in helping with their plight. For some reason, black people are very good at beating up on themselves.

    5) Mr. Holder, just in case you and President Obama are unaware, there’s usually a woman involved in most heterosexual relationships. Do you think it might be possible that some men are excluded from the lives of their children by the child’s mother, or have we decided to simply follow the trend and blame the black male for every single one of society’s ills? When specifically addressing the break down of the black family, we may want to move past the “black man musta done it” model of analysis. There are thousands of black men across America who’ve been estranged from their children by mothers who’ve become overbearing in the management of their children’s lives. This is not to say that all mothers are in the wrong, but we all know that both women and men are not perfect.

    ….and thank you for this thread, Dr. Watkins….

    In addition….

    If You Succeed Inner-City Black Man, Woman, or Child, You Deserve a Medal of Honor, Valor, a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, an Honorary Doctorate….

    ….. because it is quite an accomplishment to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps to succeed and make something of yourself in inner-city Black America, for life in the ‘Hood’ can be quite perverted to say the least!

    Normal institutions of government that truly function in other communities are a colossal failure, free enterprise is virtually non-existent, the larger than life real criminal element walk free, the book of criminal prosecution is reserved for low level criminals, far too often the innocent end up behind bars, accused and punished, fined and criminally, indicted without just cause, are maimed or killed by rogue police officers, and some of our own so-called university educated lawyers, and judges are directly and/or indirectly responsible for this miscarriage of justice.

    The community of the inner-city, the so-called university educated of middle, upper-middle, and the affluent class of Black America are apathetic, and sometimes contribute to this perverted activity through their own incompetence.

    (Los Angeles Superior Court Cases #C895188, #BS111697, and #BC385899). Furthermore, the so-called well connected university educated Black middleclass within the Black community will defend and support the right to gainful employment for felonious criminal illegal immigrants, will promote a hypocrite, while kicking to the curb the right to gainful employment, the right to “Equal Justice and Protection Under the Law”, “Due Process”, other Federal and State mandated U.S. Constitutional Protections, of truly law abiding U.S. born Black men and women who have served this nation honorably in the U.S. military. (Los Angeles Superior Court Cases #C895188, #BS111697, and #BC385899)

    Heck, incompetent Black probation officers have placed minors, including infants, on probation in Los Angeles County. University educated Black social workers have contributed to the destruction of the traditional Black family structure, by breaking up two parent families, without legal authority, where neither parent nor any child has been proven to be criminal, insane, incorrigible, and/or incompetent in any court jurisdiction within the United States of America. (Los Angeles Superior Court Case #C895188)

    In regards to the so-called Christian Community of Black America, lack of genuine Christian thought and action are nonexistent for the ministers, far too often, are only concerned about number one, the various church congregations contribute tidings to support these greedy, jack-leg, poverty pimping preachers, beyond belief, and the churches have become huge arenas to increase the size of gate receipts.

    The churches of Black America, may very well lose their tax exempt status, for the many churches of inner-city Black America function like banking institutions, for the benefit of a few, at the expense of those who contribute their hard earned tidings, and this violates the very reason for tax exemption status.

    The church is exempt from taxation, solely for the purpose of uplifting its’ people, meaning U.S. born Black people in this instance. The so-called civil rights organizations do more harm than good, in that they too, have failed to truly represent truly law abiding Black people, who are U.S. citizens by birthright, who have legitimate causes, claims, etc.

    The self-serving elitist inner-city elected leadership of Black America do not serve inner-city Black America at all, and many times these so-called elected leaders play games, use false pretenses to hold elected office, and pimp the community, just like the jack-leg sacrilegious preachers. The actions of the policing authorities and court officers (judges, public defenders, city attorneys) take advantage of this golden opportunity afforded them, due to lack of true representation in our community, and many times blanket Black people, who are U.S. citizens by birthright, as the criminal element…

    ……with or without valid evidence. Far too many individuals from our own legal community be it a civil, criminal, and/or public defender attorney, who are also Black like you and I, will side with the opposition, rather than competently represent law abiding Black U.S. citizens, and/or others who, or whom, have been violated by very serious atrocities of government, have been falsely accused, and/or illegally incarcerated.

    (Los Angeles Superior Court Cases #C895188, #BS111697, and #BC385899) Even the journalism community of Black America (for instance the Los Angeles Sentinel, which claims to be ‘The Largest Black Owned Newspaper in the West) prints falsehoods about U.S. citizens of Black American heritage, with prior knowledge of the truth. On the topic of the pseudo civil rights organizations, such as the NAACP, which should now be named the national association for the advancement of certain people instead of the national association for the advancement of colored people, for the former description surely fits.

    Any Black man, woman, or child resident within the “Hood”, who is a U.S. citizen by birthright, who makes something of his/her self, in spite of all the shortcomings of inner-city Black America, deserves a medal of valor, a medal of honor, the Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, and an Honorary Doctorate, just for making it out of inner-city Black America alive and/or unscathed, in view of all the negatives of living in the ‘Hood’.

    If we as Black people, who are U.S. citizens by birthright, are to have any future at all, here in the United States, we all must roll up our sleeves and really take an active part in changing this picture, for the future posterity of Black America rests on what each one of us do today, to make inner-city Black America, and/or any other similar economically deprived and misrepresented community predominated by Black people, a better place to live.

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