Horror In the Law Schools

Steve likes to highlight ridiculous academic papers; here is one for today. It is titled Get Out: Structural Racism and Academic Terror, and is authored by law professor Renee Nicole Allen of St. Johns University School of Law.

Professor Allen begins by comparing America’s law schools to a horror movie titled “Get Out.”

Released in 2017, Jordan Peele’s critically acclaimed film Get Out explores the horrors of racism. The film’s plot involves the murder and appropriation of Black bodies for the benefit of wealthy, white people. After luring Black people to their country home, a white family uses hypnosis to paralyze victims and send them to the Sunken Place where screams go unheard. Black bodies are auctioned off to the highest bidder; the winner’s brain is transplanted into the prized Black body. Black victims are rendered passengers in their own bodies so that white inhabitants can obtain physical advantages and immortality.

Like Get Out, this article reveals academic horrors that are far too familiar to people of color. In the legal academy, structural racism is the monster, and under the guise of academic freedom, faculty members inflict terror on marginalized people. Black bodies are objectified and colonized in the name of diversity and antiracism. No matter how loud we scream, it remains a Sunken Place. …

This article explores the relationship between structural racism and academic terror in the legal academy and articulates an effective framework for analyzing academic terrorism.

If being in a law school is, for blacks, the equivalent of finding oneself in a horror movie, a “Sunken Place” where “screams go unheard,” one might assume that Professor Allen has fled the terrorist academy and that her article encourages black students to avoid law school at all costs.

Just kidding.

The article is embedded in full below. It reads like something that was produced by a random cliche generator. Given that Allen claims to expose “academic terrorism,” you might expect some juicy details. But in fact, little or nothing in the way of specifics is forthcoming. As best I can tell, “academic terrorism” in law schools consists of the fact that sometimes one might read a court case where someone used a racial epithet, and the use of the epithet is relevant to the issues under discussion. That doesn’t happen often, perhaps once or twice in a typical law student’s career if at all, unless he or she is specializing in race studies or something of the sort.

My own opinion is that 1) if a case has to do with the fact that someone used a racial epithet, you pretty much have to know what the epithet was to understand the case, and 2) if a person is “terrorized” by reading a racial epithet, that person has no business being a lawyer.

Here is the article; make of it what you can.

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