Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Why Can't the Loyola University Institute of Politics Find Any Black Voices They Believe Are Qualified To Speak On Black Politics?

Tonight, the Loyola University Institute of Politics (IOP) will be hosting a closed session on the subject "Black Politics in New Orleans." The guest speaker is Moon Landrieu, the last white mayor of New Orleans. Landrieu's term in office ended in 1978.

Not only is the timing of this selection of a speaker curious, it suggests that former Mayor Landrieu is the best expert to lecture graduate students on the subject of Black politics in New Orleans. While former Mayor Landrieu is certainly is a wise political sage and earned a reputation for racial fairness in his day, he is clearly not best qualified to lead a discussion of contemporary issues related to African Americans and politics in New Orleans and Louisiana. We find it curious that the IOP did not select one of dozens of recognized scholars and African American political professionals who have worked in this field for decades.

The entire community and particularly African Americans should be outraged. For far too long, we've allowed others to define our history, distort our struggles and attempt to determine our destiny. Enough is enough.

As center of higher learning, the Loyola Institute of Politics should be held to a higher standard of honest intellectual inquiry. Further, as a Jesuit-affiliated institution of higher education and a member of the academy, the IOP should not be allowed to miseducate our state's future political leadership by failing the standards of academic objectivity and scholarship, demeaning the integrity of the political struggles of African Americans in New Orleans.

Among the countless speakers who the IOP could have been considered are: Don Hubbard, Jerome Smith, Andy Washington, Dr. Rudy Lombard, Dr. Raphael Casimere, Dr. Mtangulizi Sanyika, Lolis Edward Elie, King Wells, Bob Tucker, Ron Nabonne, James Gray, II, Dale Atkins, Dr. Gary Clark, Dr. Silas Lee, Sheriff Paul Valteau, Dr. Ron Gardner, Louis Charbonnett, III, Sherman Copelin, Vincent Sylvain, Doug Evans, Jay Banks, Jerome Bondi, Paul Beaulieu, Beverly McKenna, Renee' Lapeyrolerie, Judith Dangerfield, Sundiata Haley and Lolis Eric Elie.

In addition, we find it interesting that they scheduled this session for tonight in particular. We suggest that IOP members interested in the topic might find tonight's mayoral forum more enlightening:

Tonight at 6:00pm, Dillard University's Deep South Center for Environmental Justice will host a mayoral forum at the Cook Center. Dr. Beverly Wright, President of the African American Women of Purpose and Power (AAWPP) and Nolin Rollins, President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater New Orleans are the primary hosts of this mayoral forum, titled "A Collaborative for the Future; Where Purpose Meets Power." The debate will examine issues that are of interest to the African-American community.


Anonymous said...
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Paul A. Greenberg said...

I can't understand why the writer doesn't pose this question to the IOP organizers and facilitators. I mean it's good to bring it to the attention of your readers, but if you want to affect some change you need to go to the source.
Paul A. Greenberg

Anonymous said...

The IOP is a series of lectures for community members who apply, are interviewed and accepted; not necessarily grad students. Also doesn't count for any creditthat I'm aware of. Maybe it picked the wrong person, but it's not the type a class environment described here. Maybe they tried to get someone else and couldn't?