The Wild Colonial Boy

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

In academia defending colonialism in any way at all can be hazardous to your career. “A professor at Portland State University is under investigation by the institution’s diversity office after he wrote an article about the benefits of colonialism, prompting demands for his firing and blacklisting,” Drew Van Voorhis writes in The College Fix. “The school denies the investigation is linked to the article flap, but the professor insists the probe is tied to it.”

“Professor Bruce Gilley, who teaches political science at the school, published in September ‘The Case for Colonialism’ in the peer-reviewed Third World Quarterly. In it, Gilley analyzes the history of Western colonialism and compares cases of countries before, during and after colonialism. He argues the practice has merit and in many cases has benefited colonized societies in spite of its known downsides on native populations.”

“Soon after it came out, he was promptly accused of racism by peers. A petition garnered 17,000 signatures demanding the article be taken down. Scholars called for him to be fired.”

“After Gilley’s editor began to receive death threats in response to the publication, it was removed from the site. Even with this, 15 members of Third World Quarterly’s board still resigned because of the article’s publication.
Now Gilley (pictured) is under investigation at Portland State. A campus spokesman said the investigation is not linked to the colonialism article and is instead some sort of discrimination or harassment claim.”

See more on what happens when colonialism goes to college here, here, here and here.