Ok so I actually don’t know if this person is a feminist or not. But standing by one’s anti-racist values like this, despite the cost is a little feministy.
Timothy L. McNair is an aspiring opera singer and graduate student studying at Northwestern University. Walt Whitman was an American poet who is revered for his contributions to American literature and prose. Here is what many folks took for granted about each of them. Whitman was racist bigot who equated black folks to primates, stood by the position that American wasn’t the place for blacks, and believed that we should be eliminated. As for McNair, he is willing to risk his graduate degree to resist that racism.
So what do Whitman and McNair have to do with one another? Well, McNair was required to sing Whitman’s “Song for Democracy” an ironic title coming from a man with such strong opinions about fellow Americans, as one of the requirements for his degree. Taking offense, for obvious reason, McNair refused and was failed by his professor Donald Nally.
I’m of the opinion that simply assigning another song to sing would have sufficiently averted the issue and not have had to cost Mcair a degree. This of course reflects my bias as a Women’s & Gender studies major and someone who left the science field, not only because I sucked at it, but because I realized that I performed better when I was an active participant in knowledge building as opposed to just accepting information. Obviously, other people, Nally included, think students should just do the work given to them.