We know it takes many forms and we know it is insidious when denied. Some are privileged through gender, race, and class - privileged enough to have unfettered access to the protection of the legal system. In a perhaps familiar story, resources mean access - in this case, access to agents who protect reputations from libel and slander. Without this access, privilege is simply reproduced - those without it who dare to speak out are torn down and remain voiceless, while those with it move forward and become the collective voice of public scholarship.
I witnessed a burgeoning scholar, Tressie McMillan Cottom, bullied and harassed for what appeared to be sport. I witnessed an attempt to discredit her for no reason I could see except, perhaps, one: she appears to be vulnerable. She appears to lack privilege. Someone needs to change that. And I think, together, we can.
Tressie needs the same access to legal protection that other, more privileged, scholars have. It's a question of access and it's a question of where you stand. Unfortunately, forwarding this message isn't enough - though it will be helpful. We need you to chip in. So ask how much an equal playing field is worth to you, and give some fraction of that amount to Tressie's Legal Fund.
For more information, please read Tressie's words at: http://tressiemc.com/2013/01/30/whats-in-a-name-robert-lee-mitchell-iii-and-arrianna-marie-coleman/