This past week, African American faculty at Harvard Law School were defaced. They each had strips of black tape on their faces. This act represents the ongoing racism that is still highly prevalent in our society. It surprises me how someone can do such an act and show such a lack of respect for their professors. In the past three months, so much has happened. It seems like every week there is a new story about a racist act. It is just baffling to me.

Acts like these demonstrate that people of color do need more resources on college campuses. However, both funding and low numbers of faculty contribute to the challenges to obtaining strong resources. There is a small amount of African American faculty represented across colleges. A professor from Michigan State University, Joe Darden, expresses, “We’ve lost ground and black faculty members are not being added to universities in numbers now. There is no push to increase representation.” There needs to be a push to increase representation and funding in these types of programs, if we want to start to attempt to have more diverse and understanding college campuses.

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4 responses »

  1. zainjazara says:

    Another baffling side of this is the counterargument often presented. When CMCers of Color called for more professors of color and more representation, the response was: “And though it wouldn’t hurt to have a more diverse faculty, the demand that CMC increase the number of minority faculty members either rests on the assumption that CMC has a history of discriminating against qualified professors of color, or, more realistically, it advocates for the hiring of less qualified faculty based simply on the fact that they belong to marginalized groups. A hiring practice of this sort would not benefit any CMC students, yourselves included.” (We Dissent, Claremont Independent).

  2. cassidy says:

    I too am baffled by the stories of blatant racism that seem to come out every week. I think, though, that these news stories are always happening and that their increased coverage (as shocking and awful as it is to hear it) is hopeful! These are issues that people refuse to ignore – enough so that news channels are actually giving a shit amidst all their corporate sponsorships and white-biased news. I think it is interesting (and a little unnerving) though that these stories of institutional racism and race incidents are coming out of ‘elite’ colleges – ivy leagues like Yale and Harvard, and CMC: places of privilege. What does this say about who the news organizations and their audiences care about?

  3. jivikar says:

    It has been proven that having role models who look like you in an educational environment is extremely important and has an impact on academic achievement. However, because people of colour have been discriminated against for so long (the black/brown Professors we see today had to struggle against systems where barely anyone who taught them looked like they did), it’s just going to take a while before we can truly see the changes we so desperately want to. It’s great that this point keeps coming up though, and hopefully the more times we hear it, the faster change will be.

  4. meganf says:

    It is so upsetting that something like this had to happen for people to even acknowledge that racism is still a part of our culture. And of course there are still going to be millions of people who will read this story and think “well that’s the black population’s fault for doing ___.” Times like these show us that it’s not that people just don’t “see” racism in their daily lives and therefore don’t understand how rampant it is, it’s that they just refuse to accept that it still is a huge problem.

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