When is racism OK?

So, here’s the scenario… but before I begin please keep one item in mind: this isn’t hypothetical. A group on a college campus here in the US decided to hold a seminar for their target group and concluded that it would be a good thing, in an effort to ensure the comfort and performance of the attendees, to prohibit attendance by members of another race. The presence of people of that particular skin color would be undesirable, you see, so none of them need apply. Complaints by members of the prohibited race were registered and the director of the college’s specific study curriculum was forced to open it up to all students regardless of race. The director was “disappointed” in having to take such action.

So, if I told you the area of study was law enforcement and that black people were being disallowed because the event “needed to remain racially segregated in order to help the participants come together on issues that many of them felt were perpetrated” by blacks, what would be your response? I know what the response of most colleges would be: outrage. The student associations that are primary black in membership would be storming the dean’s office and the US Government’s civil rights watchdogs would be pulling the plugs on any federal aid the college received until the situation were resolved. If I further said that it wasn’t just black people but black women that were being told to take a hike, any and all women’s organizations on campus would be screaming for the head of the organizer of the event.

And if your response was that such segregation was antithetical to the mission of higher learning, would your response be the same if I told you it wasn’t black women, but white women that were denied admission? Well, it was.

:::::::: Organizers of a “Women of Color Dialogue” at Northeastern University in Boston were forced to open an event to all races after initially proclaiming that white women would not be allowed, according to the Northeastern University News.

Members of the Women’s Studies and Graduate Consortium wanted to exclude white women from the first session of the dialogue. They said it needed to remain racially segregated in order to help the participants come together on issues that many of them felt were perpetrated by white people.

But after hearing complaints from two caucasian students, the Student Government Association and the school provost, the event was opened to all. Dr. Robin Chandler, director of women’s studies and one of the organizers of the event, said she was disappointed by the demand.

“I think it’s a shame that one or two white students based on white privilege, a lack of awareness of racial issues and a lack of generosity of spirit complained to the office of the provost and were able, because they were white, to gain admission to the morning session that I was forced to open up,” Chandler said.


Emphasis mine. Nicely done, Doctor Chandler. I must admit I’ve not seen racism so eagerly defended in academia outside the admissions offices. So, when events in the future are billed “No Coloreds” the good Doctor will, I trust, be at the front of those defending the action and denouncing any people of color who, based on minority privilege, a lack of awareness of racial issues and a lack of generosity of spirit attempt to gain admission? I doubt it. And I doubt the media will ignore such an event to the point of casually mentioning it in the backwaters of a website.

General Petraeus Speaks

A quick hit before I hit the hay. Check out Tigerhawk’s post on General Petraeus’ briefing at Princeton yesterday.

:::::::: General Petraeus engaged immediately, opening with a couple of well-delivered and marginally relevant jokes, and then announced that he would “take up the tool of the officer in combat, which is the laser pointer, and we’ll be off.”

The central theme of his talk, which was supported by lots of data and supporting anecdotes, was that there are a lot of myths about Iraq that need to be dispelled.


Read it all, it’s a doozy. I’ll be posting more about it later, just wanted to get the link up.