It was just brought to my attention that a jealous colleague sabotaged a huge grant my colleagues and I have been working on for almost a year. I am particularly upset about it because this person is someone I have gone out of my way to include and encourage for over 10 years while others have walked away. There have been many times in public spaces when particularly egregious accusations have been made by woc and I myself have experienced some of their complaints first hand but luckily only once outside of the blogosphere. In my mind, while there have been many reasons to isolate this person when writing or doing innovative research, I have always worked to make room for scholars of color and to encourage them to decolonize their minds and their praxis & I was not going to stop in her case just b/c the writing seemed to be on the wall more often than not.
Many people start from places that in one way or another are destructive because of poor coping skills learned in marginalization or the general horrid competitiveness that structures much of academe. It can take a long time to unlearn that, especially if you work in a destructive department, institution, or community. There are very few consequences for Senior scholars who behave badly (including engaging in identity based oppression) toward junior scholars and many of them survive by passing it on.
The irony of this particular event is that in some ways the grant we were working on was about trying to shift milieus and extend supportive spaces …
So I am thinking about what it means when someone destroys so much good work out of fear, anger, and jealousy. I am trying to keep my mind from cycling over rumors that have popped periodically around this person time and time again throughout the years and wondering how many things were in fact true. Most of all, I am trying to find the productive lesson in the ruins and the grace to find the 70 x 7.
Until then, I’m practicing the following:
Let Love in
Oh and steering clear of the blog lest I start naming names and spelling out tenure revoking behavior and yes, dear reader this pattern includes things that bad.