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A Response to the Recent Attacks on Professor Frances Fox Piven

AAA was one of 23 academic organizations that released a joint statement of response to the recent attacks on Professor Frances Fox Piven, renown professor of the University of New York Graduate Center. The statement condemns Glenn Beck, radio and television personality, for his attacks on Piven and calls for public officials and political commentators to help in discouraging the rhetoric of hate and violence.

The joint statement was featured in a NewsWise article. The article describes the how Beck’s coverage of Piven’s research has escalated in the past few months:
Although Beck has not directly called for violence against Piven, his attacks have created an opening for threats of violence to emerge. During the past few months, Piven has received a flood of hate mail and been the subject of menacing Internet postings, which include a series of death threats. Much of the violent vitriol has appeared on Beck’s own website.

The joint statement looks to the First Amendment rights for protection of academic research on controversial issues and urges open debate:
We vigorously support serious, honest, and passionate public debate…We support serious engagement on the research of Professor Piven and of others who study controversial issues such as unemployment, the economic crisis, the rights of welfare recipients, and the place of government intervention. We also support the right of political commentators to participate in such debates. At the same time, we insist that all parties recognize the rights of academic researchers not only to gather and analyze evidence related to controversial questions, but also to arrive at their own conclusions and to expect those conclusions to be reported accurately in public debates.

AAA sections, The American Ethnological Society (AES) and The Society for Urban, National, and Transnational/Global Anthropology (SUNTA) are honored that Francis Fox Piven will be the keynote speaker at their upcoming joint conference. The conference will be held April 14-17 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. For conference registration and additional details, click here.

To view the joint statement and to read the complete NewsWise article, click here. The Chronicle blog also weighs in on the topic, check it out.

3 Responses

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AmerAnthroAssoc, Voices of the Past and Kristi Lewton, Daniel Lende. Daniel Lende said: RT @AmericanAnthro: A Response to the Recent Attacks on Professor Frances Fox Piven http://wp.me/prUnT-1LO […]

  2. […] AAA response to attacks on Prof. Frances Fox Piven/ 10 Perplexing Archaeological Discoveries A Response to the Recent Attacks on Professor Frances Fox Piven from American Anthropological Association by Joslyn […]

  3. […] When Vice President Dick Cheney told a United States Senator in 2004 to “Go f*#& yourself” on the Senate floor, did he receive this kind of reaction? Calls for apology, resignation, censure, leering e-mails? The situations are different, but there are parallels: both Lewin and Cheney are figures who are supposed to set examples for children. Both Cheney and Lewin should be promoting civil discourse and debate. Both Lewin and Cheney were speaking in semi-official (but not fully official) capacity. Both Cheney and Lewin get taxpayer financing. But Cheney went on Fox News to say his outburst made him feel better, and that “several of his colleagues ‘felt that what I’d said badly needed to be said, that it was long overdue.’” So Cheney becomes cathartic-hero: no apology. Imagine if Lewin went on the liberal equivalent of Fox News to talk about how her outburst made her feel better. But, as a sign of how wacky things are, (1) there is no liberal equivalent to Fox News; and (2) a significant segment of the population believes every media outlet except Fox News is a liberal equivalent. Even worse than the nearly complete dominance of conservative media, many people feel personally authorized to fire off hateful messages to anyone that media spotlights. Some blogs associate Lewin with the already-targeted Frances Fox Piven. […]

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