Reinstate Anthony Monteiro – Shun and Denounce the Betrayer, Molefi Asante

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Only months after community and student activists saved Temple University’s African American Studies department and Dr. Molefi Asante’s job, chairman Asante has collaborated in the firing of his colleague, Dr. Anthony Monteiro. “Dr. Asante may have earned the gratitude of his masters at Temple University, but his tenure as a person of respect in Black America, is over.” He is beneath contempt.

 

Reinstate Anthony Monteiro – Shun and Denounce the Betrayer, Molefi Asante

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Asante is a back-stabber who should never again be allowed into a position of Black trust.”

Temple University needs to be taught a lesson, and so does Dr. Molefi Asante, the professor who chairs the university’s African American Studies department. Both Temple University and Dr. Asante must be made accountable for their crimes of arrogance and disrespect to Black Philadelphia and to African Americans at large.

Temple University, an elite white-run institution, and Molefi Assante, a man who claims to be a disciple of Afrocentricity, have conspired to fire the brilliant public intellectual and activist Dr. Anthony Monteiro, who has been an associate professor in African American Studies for the past ten years. We know why Temple University might resent Dr. Monteiro, who has worked tirelessly to bring the surrounding Black community onto the campus, and to make the university more accountable to its Black neighbors. It is to be expected that an elite white institution might be uncomfortable with a scholar like Dr. Monteiro, who organized on-campus events in defense of Mumia Abu Jamal and other political prisoners. And, it should come as no surprise that Temple’s white overseers might not appreciate Dr. Monteiro’s deep knowledge of, and commitment to, the Black liberation struggle – that he lives what he teaches. In short, there is no mystery to Temple University’s refusal to renew Dr. Monteiro’s contract. It’s called racism in higher education, 101. And we know how to deal with it.

However, Dr. Molefi Asante’s betrayal is much more hurtful. He has put his considerable prestige at the service of racists, while stabbing Dr. Monteiro in the back and spitting in the face of every Black Philadelphian who has had the misfortune to trust Asante. Last year, student and community protests forced the university to back off a plan to take away the African American Studies department’s autonomy, and to name a white woman with no expertise in the subject as chairperson. At least twice, Dr. Asante was threatened with firing. Instead, the community and student forces that Dr. Monteiro had helped summon, won the day. With Dr. Monteiro’s support, Dr. Asante was named department chairman.

Asante shuffled, like a minstrel in a dashiki.”

Just a few months later, the white female dean of liberal arts refused to renew Anthony Monteiro’s contract, effectively firing him. What was Dr. Asante’s response? Asante confirmed that the dean had consulted him about the firing, and that his position was that Dr. Monteiro “has a year to year contract and it’s up to the dean.” Then Asante shuffled, like a minstrel in a dashiki. He said he couldn’t “worry about… if somebody signs a contract and then gets upset when someone says your year is up.”

Dr. Asante may have earned the gratitude of his masters at Temple University, but his tenure as a person of respect in Black America, is over. Asante is a back-stabber who should never again be allowed into a position of Black trust, a grasping opportunist who apparently believes that “Afrocentricity” means everything revolves around him. The university’s dean would not have fired Dr. Monteiro if she hadn’t been confident that Uncle Asante had her back – that he would provide Black cover for the racist termination of his colleague. Therefore, two things must happen in this fight. One, Dr. Monteiro must be reinstated. Two, Molefi Asante must be shunned and expelled from the company of honest people for his treachery.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

If you are an educator, we ask that you sign the petition calling for Temple University to reinstate Dr. Anthony Monteiro. Send your name to johanna.fernandez@baruch.cuny.edu and put “Signature Monteiro” in the subject heading.

For more information, go to http://www.emajonline.com/call-for-monteiro/