The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has handed a decisive victory to unqualified mediocrities everywhere. FILE – In this May 21, 2016, file photo, Nikole Hannah-Jones attends the 75th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones will join the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s journalism school in July as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism. The appointment marks a return to the university for Hannah-Jones, who earned a master’s degree at its Hussman School of Journalism and Media in 2003. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File) Evan Agostini/Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
UNC grants tenure to 1619 Project founder, handing victory to unqualified mediocrities everywhere
Becket Adams July 01, 05:37 PM July 01, 05:37 PM
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has handed a decisive victory to unqualified mediocrities everywhere.
The university’s board of trustees voted 9-4 to approve tenure for the New York Times Magazine’s most famous crank and conspiracy theorist, Nikole Hannah-Jones, whose 1619 Project has won her acclaim and accolades, despite being an error-riddled mishmash of historical fiction.
The board awarded Hannah-Jones tenure after it offered her a five-year fixed term, with the option to apply for tenure review at the end, at UNC’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media as chairwoman in race and investigative journalism. The five-year option was offered after certain board members balked at the idea of granting the 1619 Project founder full tenure right off the bat.
Hannah-Jones declined the five-year deal, saying nothing less than tenure would do. Her sycophants in journalism and academia agreed, inundating the university with angry messages and demands that they give Hannah-Jones what they believe she deserves. Hannah-Jones even got her legal team involved.
On Wednesday, the board acquiesced to her demands, ultimately granting her the career-long appointment.
UNC “is not a place to cancel people or ideas,” said board vice chairman R. Gene Davis Jr. “Neither is it a place for judging people and calling them names, like woke or racist.”
Boy, is Davis in for a rude surprise. Calling people racist is basically Hannah-Jones’s entire shtick.
“In this moment at our university,” the vice-chairman continued, “in our state and in our nation, we need more debate, not less. We need more open inquiry, not less. We need more viewpoint diversity, not less. We need to listen to each other and not cancel each other or call each other names. If not us, who?”
It’s a heartwarming story. One that says you can get whatever you want, despite having no relevant qualifications, so long as you complain loudly enough. UNC has made its bed. Now it needs to lie in it. It can expect from Hannah-Jones the same rigor she brings to her professional life.
It can expect, for example, things such as her opening thesis for the 1619 Project, which falsely asserted that American colonists revolted against the British as a means to preserve slavery. The New York Times eventually corrected Hannah-Jones’s award-winning essay, conceding seven months after its publication that the protection of chattel slavery was not, in fact, one of the “primary reasons the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain.”
The essay now says “some” of the colonists wanted to protect slavery, which is a rather humorous bit of face-saving considering the original aim of Hannah-Jones’s article.
Also, it’s important to note the correction came only after a 1619 fact-checker revealed she had been ignored when she warned Hannah-Jones’s essay contained grave historical inaccuracies.
Hannah-Jones also falsely claims the project never reported the year 1619 is the United States’s “true” founding, which, of course, is a lie. She and everyone else involved in the project absolutely said it was. The New York Times backed her play by quietly amending the project’s language, removing all online passages asserting 1619 marks America’s “true” founding.
UNC can also expect more bug-eyed conspiracy theory mongering from Hannah-Jones, similar to when she alleged the fireworks set off in New York City last year after canceled public July 4 events were part of a big government plot “meant to disorient and destabilize the [Black Lives Matter] movement.”
UNC can expect its newly tenured professor to disseminate outright falsehoods on campus, such as the time she promoted the false claim that then-President Donald Trump said his goal was to kill as many as 100,000 to 240,000 people with the coronavirus. (He didn’t say this.)
UNC must surely be proud it now counts among its ranks a journalist who doxxed a Washington Free Beacon reporter after he asked her about the New York Times’s unceremonious firing of science reporter Donald McNeil.
UNC will no doubt eventually have to deal with Hannah-Jones’s habit of slandering even her most charitable, good-faith critics, including the Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf, as racists but also sometimes sexists.
Have fun with your new tenured professor, UNC. You’ve earned it.
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