We had the honor of hosting former Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos at Fletcher this week. Many of us had questions about the Peace Accords and their implementation under the hostile Duque administration, about the need for land reform in Colombia, and concerns about the ongoing assassinations of social leaders and activists. Unfortunately, the agenda took another turn when the event began with a screening of “Port of Destiny: Peace,” a hagiographic piece of political propaganda that left me queasy. From the opening scenes of President Santos driving a car through admiring throngs to Santos sitting at his desk with a furrowed brow as he ponders how he will bring peace to Colombia; from his nuclear family praising his leadership to the images of him as the nation’s father saving brown-skinned peasants and doling out a home to an Afro-Colombian woman and her children: this film is a gender/race/class runaway wreck. Tony Blair offers praise, as does Bill Clinton. A holy trinity of masculine leadership! Erased completely are the years of peace-building efforts by civil society organizations; this is History As The Work of One Great Man, an emplotment strategy that is alternately nauseating, laughable and historically incorrect. The cause of peace in Colombia would be better served by addressing the challenges of moving the process forward rather than beatifying Santos in his own lifetime.
It is gratifying to hear positions and names — and facts — spoken in open court.
Everyday I take my canine familiars on walks throughout my neighborhood and local parks. At some point I decided to begin picking up trash along the way, certain that others would also prefer a landscape of plants rather than plastic. These small plastic liquor bottles? I collect dozens of these diminutive, infernal, single-use, single-dose bottles. As more and more states ban plastic bags — some good news in an otherwise bleak news era — why are these allowed? Go Green, Plastic is Obscene!
We had a great day in court yesterday, and for the first time facts of the case were discussed in open court. Thank you Phil Gordon, Elizabeth Rodgers, Linda Correia, and the articulate and inspired Lauren Khouri. I am so fortunate to have all of you in my court.
Tomorrow, April 3rd, my Title IX case appeal will be heard in the First Circuit Court of Appeals, Theidon vs. Harvard University, Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College, case no. 18-1270 at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in the Seaport, in Boston. Irony? In another courtroom tomorrow , here in Boston, judges will hear the case against parents in the College Admissions Scandal. Entitlement and privilege on trial? Perhaps. Clear to me that some university professors consider sexual access to students to be part of their compensation package. For professors of the previous generation: even if you were silent then, you need not be silent now. Join us in speaking about about sexually harassing professors. Academia is slow on the #MeToo front. Say something. #TimesUp.
My appeal in my case for denial of tenure based on gender and after I spoke out in support of student complaints of harassment and sexual violence will be argued first case out at 9:30 am. tomorrow in the First Circuit Court of Appeals, Theidon v. Harvard University, President and Fellows of Harvard College, case no. 18-1279, at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in the Seaport, in Boston. There will be an oral argument of 20 min. per side. It is a public hearing and I will be there. It appears the judge has denied Harvard’s motion to substitute names with numbers — may I tell you how I relish hearing the names of the professors and administrators responsible for the retaliation ring out in a court of law?