Monday, February 18, 2019

The woman who invented micro aggressions was a plagiarist who may have committed a hoax hate crime

Madonna G. Constantine, an academic who promoted the idea of micro aggressions, was fired by Columbia University in 2008 for plagiarism. While she was being investigated, a noose was found outside her office. The perpetrator was never found, but many people (including me) find this detail suspicious:
After the October incident, cops were rebuffed – by Constantine herself – in their efforts to catch the person behind the alleged hate crime.

The professor was one of several faculty members who objected to the idea of posting surveillance cameras in her hallway, according to sources familiar with the campus investigation.

'Microaggression' Is the New Racism on Campus

Hanging Nooses: Hate or Hoax Upsurge


  1. A few comments in response to your comments:

    (1) Is the concept of microaggressions invalid if the person coining the term had committed plagiarism and possibly perpetrated a hate crime hoax. Keep in mind that others have done academic work with the microaggression idea and Dr. Constantine's sins don't invalidate their work.

    (2) A hate crime hoax doesn't invalidate the reality of other hate crimes cases. One should treat them like other crime allegations and investigate them compassionately and sincerely.

    Journalist Amanda Marcotte made the following analogy recently on Twitter about this:

    "When people fake their deaths, commit insurance fraud or murder someone while blaming someone else, we don’t blame the people who believed them. We properly see those people as victims of a hoax."

    "Hell, sometimes people *fake their own deaths* for fraud or to escape. But when a friend says, 'Oh man, my father just died,' you don’t say, 'Are you sure? He could be faking.'"

    1. 1. I completely agree these things do not necessarily rule out each other. However, if she’s a plagiarist, she’s an opportunist, and there’s a great deal of opportunism in microaggression theory, which is ultimately an attempt to prop up race reductionism.

      That others have worked with the idea says nothing at all. Academics work with theories.

      2. Has anyone ever suggested there are no actual hate crimes? A look at the FBI statistics should dispell that notion.

      Marcotte is an identity reductionist who is desperately trying to rationalize her commitment to “believe the victim”. The card she palms here is that we don’t blame the believers when the story is plausible. We blame them when they swallow extremely implausible details, like the idea someone would mail a threat to Jussie Smollett, then stalk him for a week in order to hang a rope around his neck and sprinkle some bleach on him.