Well we’ll see how the Intellectual Dark Web handles this (spoiler alert, they’re going to ignore it). A Duke VP walks into a coffee shop that Duke has on contract. They were playing a rap song that the VP did not approve of. Let’s be clear (because it is important) — he, by himself, did not approve of the language. The person working the register immediately apologized and offered to give him his order gratis — because a snowflake University VP should never, ever have to listen to lyrics that make him the teensiest bit uncomfortable. The VP, named Larry Moneta, refuses to accept the apology or the order gratis. He walks out of the store and calls dining services. Dining services calls the coffee shop and forces the firing of not only the young woman working the register but the barista who had nothing to do with it. Larry Moneta argues he did not force the firing but all evidence suggests otherwise (read the article, the firing meeting was taped). The coffee shop for their part seemed to feel really bad but they are beholden to Duke University.
Now a few kickers. Larry Moneta seems to have been vocal about how you cannot limit speech, even hate speech, on campus. Can’t treat the students like snowflakes after all.
He had criticized any attempts to vandalize confederate monuments.
The barista watching the interaction said he thought Moneta was unduly harassing this woman at the register who happens to be young and Black. Think about that for a moment, a privileged while academic who demands hate speech be allowed on campus is harassing a working class young Black woman because he didn’t like some of the lyrics of the rap song that was being played at the moment in the store. He then pretty much used his position to have her fired (he knew this is what would happen).
I find this so interesting the days after the New York Times columnist Bari Weiss wrote a long column about how rich white men are being censored and are hero renegades because — even they people criticize them for their bigotry and sexism they continue to use the platforms given to them by our society to say whatever the hell they want.
I am waiting for Bari Weiss’ column on what happened at the Duke coffee store. My guess is I am going to be waiting a long time.
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