Carol M. Swain
|Carol M. Swain|
|Education||Virginia Western Community College
Yale Law School
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
|Occupation||University professor, author, television host|
|Employer||Princeton University (1990–1999)
Vanderbilt University (1999–ongoing)
|Religion||Jehovah's Witnesses (formerly)
Christianity (since 1998)
|Children||2 sons, 1 daughter (dead)|
Carol Miller Swain (born 1954) is an American political scientist, professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University, and television host. She is the author or editor of six books. Her scholarly work has been cited by two Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. Her fields are race relations, immigration, representation, evangelical politics, and the US constitution.
Carol Miller Swain was born in Bedford, Virginia in 1954. She grew up in a shack without running water, and shared two beds among all her siblings. The second of twelve children raised in poverty, she did not have shoes and thus missed school whenever it snowed. She did not attend high school, dropping out in eighth grade. She moved to Roanoke with her family in the 1960s and appealed to a judge to be transferred to a foster home, which was denied. Her grandmother lived in a trailer park. Her father dropped out of school in the third grade and her mother dropped out in high school. Her stepfather used to beat up her mother, Dorothy Henderson, who is disabled due to infantile paralysis.
After she got divorced, Swain earned a GED and worked as a cashier at McDonald's, door-to-door salesperson and assistant in a retirement facility to pay for it. She later gained an associate degree from Virginia Western Community College. She went on to complete a B.A. in criminal justice from Roanoke College and master's degree in political science from Virginia Tech. She earned a master's degree in law from Yale Law School in 2000. She finished a Ph.D. in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Her first academic book, Black Faces, Black Interests: The Representation of African Americans in Congress, was published by the Harvard University Press in 1993. It was reviewed in many academic journals, including The Georgia Historical Quarterly (the journal of the Georgia Historical Society), Political Science Quarterly, The Journal of Politics, Public Choice, the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, the American Political Science Review (the journal of the American Political Science Association), etc. The book was cited by Anthony Kennedy and Sandra Day O'Connor, two Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. It was the recipient of the D.B. Hardeman Prize as well as the American Political Science Association's Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award.
In 1996, she edited a collection of essays entitled Race Versus Class: The New Affirmative Action Debate.
Her third book, The New White Nationalism in America: Its Challenge to Integration, was published in 2002. It was widely reviewed in scholarly journals, including The American Historical Review (the journal of the American Historical Association), the British Journal of Sociology, The Review of Politics, Perspectives on Politics, the Journal of Southern History (the journal of the Southern Historical Association), Contemporary Sociology, American Studies, The Journal of Politics, etc.
In 2003, she edited Contemporary Voices of White Nationalism with Princeton University Professor Russell K. Nieli. It was reviewed in Rhetoric and Public Affairs  and The Journal of Southern History.
In 2011, she released Be the People: A Call to Reclaim America’s Faith and Promise, published by Thomas Nelson. She explained she wrote the book as a response to "the ungodly direction" of the United States.
Swain has written op-eds in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, and USA Today. Past media appearances include ABC News, CNN, and Fox News. She testified before Congress alongside comedian Stephen Colbert in 2010.
She served as an advisor to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and she was a member of the National Council on the Humanities. She served on the Board of Trustees of her alma mater, Roanoke College. She is a foundation member of the Nu of Virginia Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.
She is a Founding Director of the Veritas Institute. She was a Visiting Fellow at the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University from 2004 to 2005. She was also a Visiting Copenhaver Scholar at Roanoke College. She has participated in conferences and radio programs organized by the Family Research Council (FRC). She also did a book signing event for Be the People at the FRC in 2011. In 2013, she spoke at a Tea Party rally in Lebanon, Tennessee alongside Republican state Congressman Mark Pody. On November 15, 2013, she also spoke about immigration reform a panel entitled "Doing Good to the Stranger and the Citizen: Evangelicals Discuss Immigration Reform" at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C.
She is expected to attend the 'People of the Land: A Twenty-First Century Case for Christian Zionism', an academic symposium organised by the Institute on Religion and Democracy at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. on April 17, 2015. It is the first academic conference on Christian Zionism in the United States.
Be the People talk show
|This section requires expansion. (February 2015)|
Since October 8, 2013, she has been the host of Be the People, a weekly television talk show on Sundays at 11:30PM on WSMV-TV. Since February 2014, it has also been shown on WZTV, Comcast Channel 6 and Channel 1006.
Views on race
In 2002, Swain argued against reparations for American descendants of African slaves during an event at Delaware State University, a historically black university. She told black students, "Get over it." However, in 2005, she wrote an op ed in The Washington Post calling for the Republican Party to offer a formal apology to American citizens of African descent for the institution of slavery. She also wrote a policy document about it for the Heartland Institute. When the apology happened in June 2009, during the presidency of President Barack Obama, she called it "meaningless." She expressed disappointment that it did not happen under President George W. Bush, when the Republicans were in power, arguing that "It would have shed that racist scab on the party."
In September 2009, Swain wrote an op ed in The Huffington Post entitled "Whites are People Too: Why Some White People are Stating the Obvious," calling for an end to political correctness about race. Meanwhile, she endorsed A Conversation About Race, a documentary directed by Craig Bodeker whose premise is that racism does not exist in the United States. She wrote a blurb about the documentary and called it "outstanding and meticulously done." In October 2009, Sonia Scherr of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an anti-discrimination non-profit organization based in Montgomery, Alabama, questioned Swain's endorsement on their "Hatewatch blog", explaining that the documentary was "a hit among white supremacists" for its suggestion that the race card was used to oppress whites in America. Meanwhile, Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote an op ed in The Tennessean arguing, "Carol Swain is an apologist for white supremacists." However, James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal rejected this position, arguing that she was simply politically incorrect. He concluded, "dismissing Swain as 'an apologist for white supremacists' is the tactic of one who is trying to shut down, not encourage, debate." Swain herself wrote an op ed in The Huffington Post four months later, in March 2010, after comments made by Bodeker comparing Present Barack Obama, who is black, to a "monkey", became known. She dissociated herself from Bodeker, adding "The racist comments attributed to Mr. Bodeker are ugly and vile." She made a parallel between her endorsement of Bodeker's documentary and liberals who praised Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine.
Swain called the re-election of President Barack Obama in in 2012, "a very scary situation". In April 2012, she argued that civil rights leaders like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton had used the death of Trayvon Martin for political gains in order to increase voter registration for the Democratic Party. In July 2013, she contextualized Trayvon Martin's death by reminding listeners that black crimes on whites, especially when groups of black youths attack a lone white person, are underreported in the media. A month later, she criticized Martin's mother for failing to address the issues of black-on-black crime rates, unemployment and abortion in black communities.
In 2013, when she was asked if Jesus was black or white, she responded that the issue was "irrelevant." She added, "Whether he’s white, black, Hispanic, whatever you want to call him, what’s important is that people find meaning in his life."
Views on Islam
Islam is not like other religions in the United States[;] it poses an absolute danger to us and our children unless it is monitored. . . . If America is to be safe, it must . . . institute serious monitoring of Islamic organizations.—Carol M. Swain, The Tennessean (January 16, 2015)
Shortly after, Vanderbilt students held a protest, accusing Swain of engaging in "hate speech"  while promising that further protests would be held unless the University implements a policy to "promise its students protection from being attacked by faculty members."
On January 19, Judson Phillips, another conservative activist, wrote an op ed in The Washington Times in defense of Swain's remarks. That same day, a piece by Vanderbilt professor David J. Wasserstein, titled "Thoughtful views on Islam needed, not simplicity," was published in the Tennessean in response to Swain's piece.
On January 23, 2015, The Tennessean published another opinion piece, titled "Anti-Islam op-ed distorts reality, could harm people," by Randy Horick countering Swain's views.
In February 2015, Swain filed a police complaint after she received a sexually harassing package from an address in Portland, Oregon in retaliation for her op ed. She added she no longer felt safe on the campus of Vanderbilt University.
Swain got married at the age of sixteen and had two sons and one daughter. Her daughter died of sudden infant death syndrome. She got divorced after five years, when she was twenty-one, and attempted to commit suicide by swallowing pills. She was a Jehovah's Witness at the time. She converted to Christianity[clarification needed] in 1998 when she was a faculty member at Princeton University, not long before she was promoted at Vanderbilt University.
- "Up From Poverty: The Remarkable Career of Professor Carol Swain". The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education (37): 66–67. Autumn 2002. Retrieved 28 February 2015 – via JSTOR. (registration required (. ))
- Kathryn Jean Lopez, Being Faithful to a Founding: A college professor talks good sense, National Review, November 28, 2011
- Vanderbilt University: Author presentation: Carol M. Swain
- "Visiting Scholar's Program Offerings Announced". Roanoke College. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- P.J. Tobia, A Woman Apart: How a Nashville academic, born poor and black, has become a conservative mouthpiece ‘speaking truth to a world that doesn’t want to hear it’, Nashville Scene, July 05, 2008
- Be the People: About Carol Swain
- Bullock, Charles S. III (Fall 1993). "Reviewed Work: Black Faces, Black Interests: The Representation of African Americans in Congress by Carol M. Swain". The Georgia Historical Quarterly 77 (3): 656–658. Retrieved 28 February 2015 – via JSTOR. (registration required (. ))
- Thompson, J. Phillip III (Winter 1993). "Reviewed Work: Black Faces, Black Interests: The Representation of African Americans in Congress by Carol M. Swain". Political Science Quarterly 108 (4): 743–744. Retrieved 26 February 2015 – via JSTOR. (registration required (. ))
- McClain, Paula D. (November 1994). "Reviewed Work: Black Faces, Black Interests: The Representation of African Americans in Congress. by Carol M. Swain". The Journal of Politics 56 (4): 1145–1148. Retrieved 28 February 2015 – via JSTOR. (registration required (. ))
- Overby, L. Marvin (1995). "Reviewed Work: Black Faces, Black Interests: The Representation of African Americans in Congress by Carol M. Swain". Public Choice 83 (3/4): 386–390. Retrieved 28 February 2015 – via JSTOR. (registration required (. ))
- Valelly, Richard M. (Spring 1995). "Reviewed Work: Black Faces, Black Interests: The Representation of African Americans in Congress by Carol M. Swain". Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 14 (2): 346–350. Retrieved 28 February 2015 – via JSTOR. (registration required (. ))
- Pinderhughes, Dianne M. (December 1994). "Reviewed Works: Black Faces, Black Interests: The Representation of African Americans in Congress by Carol M. Swain; From Protest to Politics: The New Black Voters in American Elections by Katherine Tate". American Political Science Review 88 (4): 1008–1010. Retrieved 28 February 2015 – via JSTOR. (registration required (. ))
- "Justice Kennedy cites Swain – Johnson v. DeGrandy".
- "O'Connor cites Swain – Georgia v. Ashcroft".
- "Woodrow Wilson Award Winners – American Political Science Association" (PDF).
- "Google Books – New White Nationalism". New White Nationalism.
- Blee, Kathleen M. (April 2003). "Review of Books: The New White Nationalism in America: Its Challenge to Integration Carol M. Swain". The American Historical Review 108 (2): 457–458. Retrieved 26 February 2015 – via JSTOR. (registration required (. ))
- Cashmore, Ellis (September 2003). "The Impure Strikes Back: The Making of English National Identity by Krishan Kumar; Race and Racism in Britain by John Solomos; Stuart Hall by Chris Rojek; The New White Nationalism in America: Its Challenge to Integration by Carol M. Swain". British Journal of Sociology 54 (3): 309–311. Retrieved 2 March 2015 – via JSTOR. (registration required (. ))
- Sawyer, Mark Q. (December 2003). "Reviewed Work: The New White Nationalism in America: Its Challenge to Integration by Carol M. Swain". Perspectives on Politics 1 (4): 792–793. Retrieved 2 March 2015 – via JSTOR. (registration required (. ))
- Weisenburger, Steven (February 2004). "Reviewed Work: The New White Nationalism in America: Its Challenge to Integration by Carol M. Swain". The Journal of Southern History 70 (1): 200–202. Retrieved 2 March 2015 – via JSTOR. (registration required (. ))
- Barton, Michael (Spring 2004). "Reviewed Work: THE NEW WHITE NATIONALISM IN AMERICA: Its Challenge to Integration by Carol M. Swain". American Studies 45 (1): 176–177. Retrieved 2 March 2015 – via JSTOR. (registration required (. ))
- "Google Books – New White Nationalism". Contemporary Voices of White Nationalism.
- Beasley, Vanessa B. (August 2004). "Reviewed Work: Contemporary Voices of White Nationalism in America by Carol M. Swain, Russ Nieli". Rhetoric and Public Affairs 7 (1): 103–105. Retrieved 2 March 2015 – via JSTOR. (registration required (. ))
- Powell, Lawrence N. (August 2004). "Reviewed Work: Contemporary Voices of White Nationalism in America by Carol M. Swain, Russ Nieli". The Journal of Southern History 70 (3): 725–726. Retrieved 2 March 2015 – via JSTOR. (registration required (. ))
- Billy Hallowell, Author Seeks to Change America’s ‘Ungodly Direction’, The Blaze, August 30, 2011
- "Huffington Post Page".
- "CNN Transcript featuring Carol Swain". CNN Transcript featuring Carol Swain.
- "Tennessee Advisors – US Civil Rights Commission (see page 5)" (PDF).
- "Members – National Council on the Humanities". Members – National Council on the Humanities.
- "Roanoke College Trustees". Roanoke College Trustees.
- James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions: Events (Fall 2004)
- James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions: Visiting Fellows 2004-05\
- Index of Belonging and Rejection Release and News Conference, Family Research Council, December 15, 2010
- Tony Perkins, Richard Land, Laurie Cardoza-Moore, Carol Swain, Todd Starnes, Family Research Council, February 25, 2014
- Be the People: A Call to Reclaim America's Faith and Promise, Family Research Council, June 09, 2011
- Swain Speaks to Wilson County Tea Party, Lebanon Democrat, May 1, 2013
- Doing Good to the Stranger and the Citizen: Evangelicals Discuss Immigration Reform, Heritage Foundation, November 15, 2013
- Christians and Israel: Carol Swain
- Gerald McDermott, New offer from first-ever Christian Zionism conference, Patheos, February 20, 2015
- Ronald W. Weathersby, Carol Swain's New Talk Show Gaining Momentum in Middle Tennessee, The Tennessee Tribune, 12 January 2013
- Chris Chisum, Popular Show Expands to New Networks, Christian News Wire, February 28, 2014
- Gregory Kane, Bold remark on reparations: 'Get over it', The Baltimore Sun, November 27, 2002
- Carol M. Swain, An Apology for Slavery, The Washington Post, July 16, 2005
- Carol M. Swain, Apologizing for Slavery, Heartland Institute, April 1, 2005
- Krissah Thompson, Senate Unanimously Approves Resolution Apologizing for Slavery, The Washington Post, June 19, 2009
- Carol M. Swain, Whites are People Too': Why Some White People are Stating the Obvious, The Huffington Post, 09/20/2009
- SPLC Accuses Swain of Being an Apologist for White Supremacy, Salon, October 31, 2009
- "Black Professor at Vanderbilt University Denies She Is an "Apologist for White Supremacists"". The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education (66): 30. Winter 2009. Retrieved 26 February 2015 – via JSTOR. (registration required (. ))
- Sonia Scherr, A Slick DVD Defends Racism, Southern Poverty Law Center, October 8, 2009
- James Taranto, In Defense of Carol Swain: A black scholar gets smeared as "an apologist for white supremacists.", The Wall Street Journal, October 26, 2009
- Carol M. Swain, Guilt by Association: The Southern Poverty Law Center Hurls a Punch, The Huffington Post, 18 March 2010
- Napp Nazworth, Expert: Black Leaders Fueling Racial Division for Political Gain, The Christian Post, April 10, 2012
- Obama Gives Highly Personal Take On Trayvon Martin Death, Urges Soul-Searching, PBS, July 19, 2013
- Gregory Kane, Why Carol Swain demands honesty about Trayvon Martin, The Washington Examiner, August 5, 2013
- Jessie Washington, , The Times of Israel, December 24, 2013
- "Beliefs". CarolMSwain.net. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
- Carol M. Swain, Charlie Hebdo attacks prove critics were right about Islam, The Tennessean, January 15, 2015
- Is Carol Swain Charlie? or Hateful?, Inside Higher Ed, January 19, 2015
- Ridley, JR. "Former ‘SNL’ actress defends prof accused of ‘hate speech’ against Muslims". CollegeFix.com. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
- "Uproar over Vanderbilt professor's anti-Muslim column @insidehighered". insidehighered.com. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- Students to protest Carol Swain's op-ed on Islam by Aaditi Naik, The Vanderbilt Hustler, January 16, 2015.
- Between brats and bigots by Angelica Lasala and Aaditi Naik, The Vanderbilt Hustler, January 21, 2015.
- Judson Phillips, Vanderbilt’s Carol Swain, the fight to silence liberty, The Washington Times, January 19, 2015
- Vanderbilt Professor Under Attack for Criticizing Islam by Mark Tapson, Frontpagemag, January 23, 2015.
- ‘Liberal,’ ‘Tolerant’ Vanderbilt Muslims Seek To Bully Black Professor Into Silence by Eric Owens, Daily Caller, January 21, 2015.
- Wasserstein, David J. (19 January 2015). "Thoughtful views on Islam needed, not simplicity". The Tennessean.
- Randy Horick (23 January 2015). "Anti-Islam op-ed distorts reality, could harm people". The Tennessean. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- Tom Wilemon, Carol Swain to police: Islam column brings harassment, The Tennessean, February 15, 2015