(Un)surprising racism at elite universities

/ 24 April 2013

All I can say, as the product of several elite universities, to this discussion of (un)surprising racism is AMEN. It’s past time to do something different by confronting the systemic processes of racism that include micro aggressions. I wish I could say that life was different here at Luther, but I fear that for the most part it is not (there are always exceptions):

And even when students of color are recognized as part of the university community, far too often we are made to feel like tokens. You will see pictures of students of color on all the brochures, the university will host multi-cultural days for prospective students, and the university will fund heritage weeks. On the surface this is supposed to make all students feel welcomed; however, when racial incidents are not dealt with seriously, when students face discrimination and profiling from their own universities, and when administrators turn a blind eye to the racist behaviors of their students, it becomes quite clear that students of color are not protected. With that comes the isolating feeling of knowing that your institution, in many ways, sees you as a means to an end. And perhaps more importantly, white students understand that their racist ideology will not be questioned. It baffles me that at institutions that encourage such rigorous intellectual thought, privileges (racial and otherwise) go unchecked and students just accept the status quo. Students, who sit for hours and argue the implications of Kant, willfully accept stereotypes and prejudiced thinking. Suddenly racial profiling is okay because “black people just commit more crimes”, students who take offense to discriminatory behavior are just “over-sensitive”, and hate speech is supposed to be tolerated because of the first amendment.

Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.