When a noose was found tied to the office door of Teacher’s College professor Madonna Constantine back in October, the university rallied around her. “I will not be silenced,” the professor and author of several papers on multiculturalism said in a statement to media at the time. The crowd around her applauded, but no doubt some were rolling their eyes. As it turns out, Constantine has been the focus of a plagiarism investigation by the college for the last eighteen months, and they’ve now announced that they’ve found “numerous instances in which she used others’ work without attribution in papers she published in academic journals over the past five years.” Awkward! Constantine, unwilling, it seems, to let go of her status as the Rosa Parks of Morningside Heights, sent out an e-mail to students and faculty calling the investigation “a conspiracy and witch-hunt.”
“I am left to wonder whether a white faculty member would have been treated in such a publicly disrespectful and disparaging manner,” she wrote. “As one of only two tenured Black women full professors at Teachers College, it pains me to conclude that I have been specifically and systematically targeted.” Exactly how other people were responsible for the fact that Constantine totally plagiarized from her own students is unclear.