Friday, August 23, 2019

Cornell Scholar Cited in NYT’s ‘1619’ Series Charged with Fabricating Quotes, Evidence

By Christain Schneider

A Cornell University scholar cited in a recent New York Times piece tying slavery to capitalism was previously found to have inflated statistics, invented facts, and altered quotes, according to fellow academics in his field.
In an October 2016 paper, scholars Alan Olmstead of the University of California Davis and Paul Rhode of the University of Michigan harshly criticized the research of Cornell’s Edward Baptist presented in Baptist’s 2014 book “The Half Has Never Been Told.” In the book, Baptist argues that modern capitalism still contains many of the remnants of slavery and America’s current economy is still influenced by the exploitation of slaves.

Among charges leveled by Olmstead and Rhode were accusations Baptist concocted numbers out of thin air and that Baptist fabricated research to fit his narrative. At a public event at Dartmouth University in 2016, Olmstead decried Baptist’s work as “hocus pocus” while he waved an imaginary wand in the air.
In an email to The College Fix, Rhode said he preferred “more open discussion and debate about important issues.”
“What bothered me was when Ed Baptist dropped out of public debates about his work (methods and findings),” Rhode said.
Yet Baptist (pictured) was quoted approvingly by Princeton Professor Matthew Desmond in a recent essay for the New York Times’ “1619” project, which is intended to reframe the nation’s history around the narrative of slavery. 
Read the rest here.

(ht Felix Bronstein)

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