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Fired Higher Ed Writer: Outcry Is Proof That 'There Is No Legitimacy' in Race Studies

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"the answer is always if you criticize us you're a racist."

The higher education writer fired this week for criticizing the dissertations of black studies students defended her writing Wednesday and said the resulting outcry is proof that "there is no legitimacy" in race studies.

Naomi Schaefer Riley, a now-former blogger at the Chronicle of Higher Education, said during an appearance on Fox News that her original post was to question the dissertations of several black studies students profiled by the publication last month.

The dissertations, she said, "seemed to me less than academically rigorous. Mostly they were partisan in the sense that they blamed anything that was wrong with the black community on white and institutional racism." Others were focused on "perfectly irrelevant and obscure topics" like a history of black midwifery.

While reader outrage -- and cries of racism -- were swift, the Chronicle stood by Riley and said her post was an invitation for debate, even having her pen a follow-up. The Chronicle's support didn't last long, however; Riley was fired several days later.

"It seemed like they caved to public pressure, these people who were calling me names and saying horrible things about me," said Riley, a former Wall Street Journal editor. "I guess the Chronicle just couldn't take the pressure.

"Racism in this case is employed as a charge for anybody who disagrees with the liberal orthodoxy on the issue of race," Riley said. "Race studies and black studies on college campuses have become a political cause. They're not an academic discourse where you get to ask questions, they're a cause where we already know the answers, and the answer is always if you criticize us you're a racist."

Riley, who is married to a black man, noted she did not engage in an attack on any of the students themselves.

"This was an attack on an academic discipline," she said. "This kind of response to me demonstrates that there is no legitimacy here. If this is your response, it's so weak, why then should I believe this is a substantive area to study?"

Watch Riley's full appearance below, via Fox News:

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