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Nikole Hannah Jones Says “Thank You, Next” to UNC and Takes Her Talents to Howard University

New York Times Investigative Reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner Nikole Hannah Jones shocked the world of higher education when she accepted a tenured position at Howard University over her beloved alma mater, The University of North Carolina, earlier this year. 

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New York Times Investigative Reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner Nikole Hannah Jones shocked the world of higher education when she accepted a tenured position at Howard University over her beloved alma mater, The University of North Carolina, earlier this year. 

After going through the tenure process and receiving unanimous approval from the faculty, Jones’s initial tenure request was denied by UNC’s board of trustees. Months later, amid mounting pressure, UNC voted to offer Hannah Jones tenure after all. 

She replied, “To be denied it to only have that vote occur on the last possible day, at the last possible moment, after threat of legal action, after weeks of protest, after it became a national scandal, it’s just not something I want anymore.”  

She instead decided to accept a tenure offer from Howard University, one of the most renowned historically black colleges in the nation. 

“I really wanted to take my talents and the resources I could bring and bring them to an institution that was actually built for Black uplift and Black excellence, that wasn’t built in opposition to the work that I want to do and me as a human being.” she said. 

I talked to famed writer of The Root.com Michael Harriot and 3rd year UCLA Law student Latrel Powell on what this decision means to the future of higher education, especially historically black colleges and universities. 

“I thought it was almost a fairytale ending” Harriot said. “That’s a position that black people are often in where we are disrespected but we’re not in control of these institutions that control our livelihood.” Harriot continued, “I think this was the best possible outcome and for her to have what most people would consider a better outcome at Howard University.” 

When asked why he thought Hannah Jones was denied tenure in the first place, Harriot noted Jones’ work on The 1619 Project and critical race theory. 

“A big donor to the Journalism school at UNC is a right-wing guy who probably disagrees with the idea of The 1619 Project.” 

-Michael harriot

Powell, a fan favorite here on Erupt, added, “In America we’ve seen this evolution with racism & white supremacy where a black person’s acceptance or presence in this space subverts so many power dynamics that have evolved and been maintained for centuries in this country. That’s what The 1619 Project is all about.” 

We also discussed demographics and the lack of diversity among higher education faculty. Many universities say they have made progress in diversifying their faculty but that the process is slow because the pool of Black & Latino Ph.D. candidates is smaller than that of white candidates. 

Harriot, however, believes that universities “whittle away from the pool at the beginning.” He argues that black students are “scrutinized harder throughout the PhD candidate process, and then they make it hard to get a job at a university, and then they make it hard to get tenure. So, when it’s time for that tenure process, they can say, ‘Oh, it’s just not a whole lot of black people here’, when a lot of times those connections and the advocates for people who are white, push them through the process. We don’t have that.” 

Harriot continues, “And that’s what we mean by systemic racism. It’s not an intentional, malicious thing. It is the way that this world, this country, and these institutions are designed.” 

Towards the end of our conversation, we discussed historically black colleges and universities (HBCU’s) and what role they might play in the future of black students and faculty. 

“The only reason most black people wouldn’t be at HBCU’s is probably because of the way the system has funded them and regarded them. Black people know that the level of education is good. When you see black excellence in America, it is HBCU’s that are producing those things.” Harriot says, “Nikole Hannah Jones got a better job.” 

Earlier this month UNC Journalism School Dean, Susan King, who led the effort to bring Hannah Jones to UNC’s Facutly, stepped down from her position. The move made no specific reference to this controversy.

Ashley Dior Jones is host and writer for Erupt News covering Current Events, Health and Wellness, Fashion and Entertainment.

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Why No One Is Truly Opposed to Dumb COVID Rules

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A staffer holds up a sign to advise fans of the mandatory mask rule in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game between Tennessee and Colorado Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Animals,

Let’s face it. We all work in customer service. If you sell car insurance, you better be ready to provide speedy payment to your clients when a tree falls onto their Prius.

And if you’re a doctor who wants to keep his patients, you’d better treat them with respect. That means short waiting room times and pretending that their questions (“Does this rash mean I have cancer”) aren’t as crazy as they sound.

Then there are professionals in 100% service-based industries like marketing, law, and — GASP – government. For them, customer service is arguably the most important part of the job.

In these industries, clients don’t really understand what you do for them, so appearing to be responsive, empathetic, and on-top of things is half the job.

Which brings us to Joe Biden’s COVID speech on Thursday, where he laid out his “Winter Plan” to stop COVID’s seasonal spike that happens whenever the weather gets cold.

President Biden speaks at the National Institutes of Health, Dec. 2, 2021, in Bethesda, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Lurking in the background of Biden’s speech was the omicron variant, which some experts fear will bring new dangers to our shores.

The president proposed several interventions to dampen omicron and COVID’s winter spike, but if we’re being honest, his speech was really just a customer service exercise. It was President Joe Biden attempting to convince his clients – voters – that he’s responsive, empathetic, and on top of things.

As The Washington Post reported: “The president’s plan includes campaigns to increase vaccinations and booster shots, more stringent testing for international travelers and plans to make rapid at-home coronavirus testing free for more people.”

So basically… more of the same, plus an annoying COVID test if you travel internationally.

That doesn’t sound like much news at all.

(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

By now, we know that COVID policies like mandatory masking and compulsory testing aren’t going to deliver great results, especially in an increasingly vaccinated America. Deep down, most of us probably agree that these policies are more about creating the appearance that our leaders are on top of things than actually yielding compelling public health benefits.

But is there another way for Joe Biden? Should he just sit in the White House and do nothing, as his critics in the Republican Party demand?

And would President Ron DeSantis or President Nikki Haley really act differently, if given the chance? Would they want to be on the hook personally for preventable death, even if it meant burdening Americans with dumb masking and testing rules that cut against their small government philosophy?

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

The national debate surrounding COVID boils down to risk. The president and many others believe that added COVID mandates, as onerous as they may be, are worth it because they’ll save lives. Critics see it the other way. They believe that continuing to disrupt American life is causing greater damage to the economy and the nation’s social fabric than whatever the public health benefits these mandates may hold.

Both arguments are true. And that’s why it stinks to be the president.

Joe Biden’s bully pulpit has enormous power when it comes to shaping the world’s opinion about any given issue. Unfortunately, the virus isn’t listening.

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Alex “Keendawg” Keeney is a media personality whose work has been published widely. He has worked as a Congressional aide, TV writer, and marketing executive for the real Wolf of Wall Street. Follow him on Twitter @keendawg.

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Queen Nicki Leaves No Crumbs After Hosting the RHOP Reunion| The Tea

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Plus, Kanye’s Heartbreak, Celebrity Illness shockers and Jen Shah’s legal woes just got worse.

On this episode of “The Tea” Ashley, Blake and Brie dive into celebrity illness and heartbreak. To share, or not to share, that is the question. 

Keep reading and watch the episode below for fresh takes on the latest entertainment and celebrity news shot live from the Erupt studio in Hollywood.

RIP Virgil Abloh

On Sunday November 28, the fashion and entertainment community lost designer and fashion visionary Virgil Abloh.

He was the first African American artistic director at Louis Vuitton and founded the renowned culture and streetwear brand Off-White.

Abloh kept his 2-year battle with cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare cancer of the heart, hidden from most. He was 41.

“The Tea” hosts discuss Abloh’s decision to keep his diagnosis a secret like some stars including Chadwick Boseman and Robin Williams, versus stars who choose to share their battles publicly, like Selma Blair and Christina Applegate.

(AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Kanye Wants His Family Back

Kanye West, who was a close friend to Virgil Abloh, took to social media over the weekend expressing his intention to bring his family back together. Saying that doing so would influence millions of other families to reconcile too.

As reported in earlier episodes of The Tea, there is speculation Ye’s estranged wife, Kim Kardashian, is currently dating comedian Pete Davidson.

Could Kimye 2.0 be in our future? The Tea hosts discuss.

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Jen Shah’s Right-Hand Man Pleads Guilty

Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah along with her personal assistant Stuart Smith were charged with fraud back in March.

Initially, Smith gave a not guilty plea but recently flipped his plea to guilty.

Shah still maintains her innocence.

(Bravo TV)

Nicki Hosts RHOP Reunion

Nicki Minaj took over Andy Cohen’s chair to host episode 4 of the Real Housewives of Potomac reunion and we are here for it!

Nicki didn’t hold back and asked all the questions we’ve been dying to know. On top of that, no housewife was spared. 

They all got the smoke-equally.

Could celebrity reunion hosts bring new life to the housewives’ franchise? 

The hosts discuss who we’d love to see host next.

Watch The Tea get spilled here:

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Current Events

The Omicron “Scary-iant” & Football Funny Money | Political Drinking Games

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Animals,  

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year has just intersected with the most wonderful time of the week. 

By that I mean, it’s time to put a little Christmas spirit into Erupt’s political drinking games. 

On offer this week: 

  • The world has a new COVID variant. Congratulations, omicron! 
  • Twitter has a new CEO. Will he be as powerful as his predecessor, Jack Dorsey? 
  • CNN cancels Chris Cuomo (“suspends”) for using his anchorman powers to help embattled brother, Andrew 
  • The USA and EU cancel South Africa in COVID panic 
  • Trump’s top advisor sets a date with Congress to snitch on the Boss 
  • The NFL and College football continue to spend ridiculous amounts of money on truly ridiculous things.  
  • The term “Happy Holidays” gets put to rest. 

AND… A VERY SPECIAL GUEST JOINS: 

Curt Mills, contributing editor at The American Conservative and also a writer for Un-Herd. We’ll see how this silk-stocking Washington, D.C., columnist holds up in our chamber of pain.  

WATCH THIS WEEK’S POLITICAL DRINKING GAMES:

Alex “Keendawg” Keeney is a media personality whose work has been published widely. He has worked as a Congressional aide, TV writer, and marketing executive for the real Wolf of Wall Street. Follow him on Twitter @keendawg. 

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