Oxford defends don accused of “whitewashing” the British empire

first_imgIn a statement, Common Ground said: “Is this what is needed at the University of Oxford – a project led by someone pushing to ‘moderate our post-imperial guilt’ – when Oxford continues to memorialise celebrating slave-owners such as Christopher Codrington and imperialists such as Cecil Rhodes, and when Oxford continues to fail to act to address current-day racism, as demonstrated by the fact that nearly 1 in 3 Oxford colleges failed to admit a single black British student in the last year?”Since Common Ground’s statement, further information has been released about the nature of the project.The McDonald Centre, the University organisation which announced the project, has stated that it was formed in response to the widespread consensus that “‘empire’ is imperialist; imperialism is wicked; and empire is therefore unethical. Nothing of interest remains to be explored.”It stresses that the ethics of empires is mixed, pointing out how the the British Empire “suppressed the Atlantic and African slave-trades after 1833, granted black Africans the vote in Cape Colony seventeen years before the United States granted it to African Americans, and offered the only centre of armed resistance to European fascism between May 1940 and June 1941”.The project is scheduled to run over five years and include five different workshops. The first workshop, ‘Ethics and Empire: The Ancient Period’, has already taken place in July.The themes of the workshop will progress chronologically, with the the series culminating by considering post-colonial critiques of imperialism.  A central question in all the workshops will be: “How well did empire’s critics or supporters actually understand the historical phenomenon?”Dan Iley-Williamson – a Queens college politics lecturer and Labour City Councillor – described Biggar as an “ardent apologist for colonialism”.He attacked the University’s response, telling Cherwell: “Colonialism has no respectable defence. It has ignorant apologists and it has racist apologists.“If the University cared about amplifying the voices of the marginalised, it wouldn’t give a platform to the likes of Biggar. It would support groups like Rhodes Must Fall, Common Ground, and others who challenge the glorification of Europe’s colonial past.”Professor Biggar did not respond to a request for comment. Oxford University has defended a professor after student campaigners accused him of using a “racist trope” to “whitewash” the history of empire.Common Ground condemned Nigel Biggar’s “historical amnesia” towards British imperialism, questioning his suitability to lead the recently launched ‘Ethics and Empire’ project.But an Oxford spokesperson has now hit back at the charge, stating that the University supports “academic freedom of speech”, and that the history of empire is a “complex topic” that must be considered “from a variety of perspectives”.They said: “This is a valid, evidence-led academic project and Professor Biggar, who is an internationally-recognised authority on the ethics of empire, is an entirely suitable person to lead it.”Writing in The Times on November 30, Biggar, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology at Christ Church, published an article entitled ‘Don’t feel guilty about our colonial history’.While admitting that inexcusable atrocities were overseen by the British Empire, he claimed it left a legacy in other countries which many people value. He emphasised the “goods of security and the rule of law” that British colonialism brought, which he claimed gave imperial rule “popular legitimacy”.On Thursday, Common Ground Oxford released a public statement denouncing Biggar’s views.They stated his implication that pre-colonial societies had no political order was a “hackneyed and fictional trope”.Highlighting his call to “moderate our post-imperial guilt” as being the most dangerous, they claim it would make Britain feel it had a “right to meddle in other countries’ affairs”.Further concerns were raised at Biggar’s co-leading of a project on ‘Ethics and Empire’, with an aim “to measure apologies and critiques of empire against historical data from antiquity to modernity across the globe”.last_img read more

Before (maybe) Tim Tebow and (possibly) Kyler Murray, D.J. Dozier blazed rare NFL-to-MLB path

first_imgHe split the 1993 season between the Padres’ and Cardinals’ Triple-A squads, posting an .800 OPS with eight homers and six stolen bases in 88 games. Dozier, who played six games for the NFL’s Lions in 1991, officially retired as an athlete after the 1993 baseball season.Following his passion for baseball, he carved out a unique niche in American sports. “I didn’t want the regret of not trying,” he said. Kyler Murray, as you know, chose football earlier this week. This doesn’t close the book on Murray’s potential baseball career, of course. Not completely. It does, certainly, close the chapter.  Last June, Murray was the No. 9 overall pick in the MLB Draft, but the Oakland A’s allowed him to play one more year of football at Oklahoma. The ultra-talented quarterback won the Heisman Trophy, and buoyed by that success and the prospect of playing in the NFL this fall, he forfeited the $4.66 million bonus from the A’s and will concentrate his efforts on preparing for the NFL Draft. If he’s picked in the first round, as expected, he’ll earn more than $4.66 million over the next few years.MORE: Opening Day schedule for all 30 MLB teamsAnd if he’s the star quarterback most expect him to be, he might never give baseball a second thought. But funny things happen along the way to NFL stardom — and very unfunny things, too (injuries, etc.) — and with elite talent in baseball, too, Murray has a fallback option. He wouldn’t be the first NFL/MLB two-sport star, obviously. But his path, going from the NFL to MLB, would be pretty rare.Superstar Bo Jackson started with baseball in 1986, then began his NFL career in 1987. Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan both started in the minors a year before being drafted into the NFL. Drew Henson and Chad Hutchinson, to name a couple, went from baseball-only to football-only.Only one player since 1949 — when former NFL punter/halfback/defensive back Andy Tomasic pitched two innings for the New York Giants — has gone from a football-only career to a baseball-only career and actually reached the major leagues. Tim Tebow is attempting to become the second to make that leap, following in the footsteps of D.J. Dozier. Dozier helped lead the Penn State football team to the 1987 national championship, then played four years for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings before officially launching his professional baseball career. He reached the majors in 1992, playing 25 games with the New York Mets.To know what challenges Kyler Murray might eventually have to overcome, should circumstances ever lead to a sport change, I wanted to talk with Dozier about his story. He lives and works in Virginia Beach, Va. — his self-help book, “Decide to Dominate,” was released in October 2018 and we spent an hour on the phone, talking about his journey.“Either way, it’s hard,” Dozier said with a laugh. “To take a few years off of football and try to go back, that would be challenging, from a physical standpoint. With baseball, it’s the same level of challenge, only on the mental and skill-development side. I tell people I had no idea how challenging it would be to learn how to hit in the big leagues.”Really, to learn how to hit, period.”MORE: For Murray, baseball question will be big challenge of NFL Draft processDozier was a star in both football and baseball at Kempsville High in Virginia Beach. Despite his strong Penn State commitment, the Detroit Tigers picked him in the 18th round of the 1983 MLB Draft, just in case. Dozier planned to play both baseball and football at Penn State, but Nittany Lions football coach Joe Paterno had one request. Paterno wanted Dozier to dedicate his freshman season to football, and then he was fine with Dozier picking baseball back up in the spring of his sophomore year. Dozier was a football star from the beginning, rushing for 1,002 yards and seven touchdowns as a freshman. He followed that with 741 yards from scrimmage as a sophomore, but a swollen knee led to minor surgery after the season, and rushing back from that to play baseball seemed like a bad idea. And after a junior season that saw Penn State go 11-0 and a No. 1 ranking before losing to Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, Dozier opted — wisely — to focus on helping his teammates achieve their national championship dreams his senior year.That year, Dozier led Penn State in rushing yards (811), receptions (26) and total touchdowns (12), and the Nittany Lions stayed perfect into a Fiesta Bowl matchup with top-ranked juggernaut Miami. “Nobody gave us much of a shot,” Dozier said, “but they forgot how good our defense was.”MORE: 30 teams, 30 grades: Rating each MLB team’s offseasonPenn State, of course, won 14-10, with Dozier scoring the go-ahead touchdown, a six-yard run midway through the fourth quarter. Dozier was a first-round pick by the Vikings in the 1987 NFL Draft (14th overall), and football consumed his efforts. Baseball, though, made a couple of pointed appearances in his mind. The first time was his senior year at Penn State, when some of his friends were watching a Pirates game on the television and Dozier said, in a thought out loud, “Oh, I can do that.” Playing for the Vikings in his rookie year, Dozier went to the 1987 World Series games in Minneapolis, and in Game 2 had the same “I can do that” thought, a little deeper this time.After the 1989 NFL season, baseball tugged again. This time, he acted. “It became so overwhelming that I decided to pray about it, then called my agent. ‘Hey Brett (Senior), listen. I’ve done a lot of thinking, praying. I’m going to play baseball,’ ” Dozier said, “The phone went silent for about 10 or 12 seconds. Then he quietly says, ‘Well, what do you want to do that for?’ And I said, ‘Because I do.’ ”The Tigers’ draft rights had expired. Senior had a few contacts in baseball, but Dozier asked him to call Dave Rosenfield, the longtime general manager of the Tidewater Tides, the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate. Rosenfield knew Dozier from his high school days, when Dozier was a local prep baseball star. “Dave always said to me, ‘D.J., I don’t care where you go or what you do, don’t stop thinking about baseball. You’d make a heck of a player,’ ” Dozier said. An offer to come work out with the Mets that spring followed. Dozier went out and bought spikes, a bat and a glove, then spent 30-something days quietly working out at Saginaw Sports, trying to remember and refine baseball skills he hadn’t used in more than six years. Dozier’s first day in spring camp with the Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla., included a batting practice session with Dwight Gooden, of all people, on the mound. That spring, Dozier’s “hit anything that looks good” philosophy from high school was quickly challenged.“The curveball didn’t intimidate me, but I realized the curveball was a little better at this level, and those left-handed changeups were ridiculous,” he said with a laugh. “That pitch was my nemesis. I could not figure out how to hit that pitch, and it frustrated the heck out of me. It put me in a humble place. I’d never even seen a slider in high school. I was as green as they get. But I was also a guy living a dream, that no one could even imagine how amazing it was for me. I realized how much of a gift this was.”The Mets liked what they saw from Dozier’s time and wanted to send him to low-A Columbia that summer, but he was still under contract with the Vikings, and the NFL team nixed that idea. In the spring of 1990, though, the Mets brought him back and signed him. That summer, split between High-A St. Lucie and Double-A Jackson, Dozier — an outfielder who hit and threw right-handed — was a revelation. In 122 games, he stole 36 bases, hit 15 homers, 10 triples and posted an .882 OPS. Dozier spent spring 1991 in the big-league camp, then had 33 stolen bases, nine homers and 11 triples between Double-A and Triple-A that season. But a lack of playing time in spring training 1992 was frustrating, and then he spent the first month in Triple-A watching other players get the call to the majors.“I was thinking to myself, ‘What am I doing here?’ They’re not even thinking about me. I’m wasting my time,” Dozier said. “It’s probably the most dejected I’ve ever been in my sports career.”He’d forgotten to enjoy the game, and it showed in his play. An epiphany in his hotel room one night changed all that, and his production improved as his attitude improved. And then came a moment he’ll never forget. “We were in Syracuse,” Dozier said. “After the game, we walked into the locker room, and the Mets are on the TV. Vince Coleman is the left fielder for the Mets, and as I walk in and look up at the screen, he literally pulls a hamstring the very moment I look up. One of my teammates, Dale Plummer, who was a pitcher, says, ‘That’s you.’ And I said, ‘No, no, no. I’m content right where I am.’ I was serious about that.”Around midnight, Clint Hurdle — whose managerial rise paralleled Dozier’s rise through the Mets’ system — knocked on Dozier’s door to tell him he was being called up. Dozier made his debut May 6 as a pinch-hitter against Cincinnati lefty Greg Swindell.“My first at-bat, I told myself, ‘You’re not going to be nervous,’ ” Dozier remembered. “But I’m going to tell you, when I stepped in that batter’s box, it literally felt like the earth was shaking. I mean, to this day and before that day, I’d never, ever been that nervous in my life. And I couldn’t stop it. I tried to talk myself out of it, but I was not listening to myself. I didn’t even know how I’d see the ball.”MORE: 19 reasons why baseball will be great in 2019After the first pitch, the nervousness went away. Dozier fell behind, 0-2, fouled off a pitch and then smacked a grounder to the left side of the infield. “I thought I’d gotten a hit, because I hit it toward the shortstop and beat out the throw,” Dozier said. “What I didn’t realize was he’d bobbled the ball and still tried to get it there.” Dozier started the next night, walking and stealing second base in the second inning. His first hit came May 8 in his first at-bat at the Mets’ home park, Shea Stadium, against Dodgers right-hander Roger McDowell. “He jams me, and I’m not exaggerating when I say when I was 5 years old I could hit the ball farther,” Dozier laughs. “This ball dribbles off my bat, like a pulling bunt for a lefty. It’s moving fast enough that it gets past McDowell and the first baseman has to get it. When it comes to a race, very seldom do I lose, and I ended up beating him to first.” Dozier spent most of May in the big leagues, then was called up again in September. He saw action in 25 games — 14 starts — and hit .191, with four stolen bases, two doubles and two RBIs in 54 plate appearances. Turns out, that was his only taste of the majors. last_img read more


first_imgLooking sharp in their Evolve clothing. The Donegal team after today’s Ulster Final.We’re not sure if Jim McGuinness gave them his blessing to go out and celebrate tonight.But there’s no question the Donegal team will stand out if they are out on the town after being rigged out for the Ulster Final once again by EvolveMenswear.Champions deserve to be dressed by the best. Here’s hoping there’ll be a couple of more changes of clothing before a possible All-Ireland final appearance!Well done boys. ‘EVOLVING’ INTO ULSTER CHAMPIONS REALLY SUITS DONEGAL! was last modified: July 20th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalevolve menswearULSTER CHAMPIONSlast_img read more