racism

A columnist for Philadelphia magazine weighed in on that University of Pennsylvania frat Christmas card with the Beyonce sex doll The College Fix noted last week, saying everyone’s getting a bit careless in throwing the “racist” claim around:

In addition to the potentially offensive words “Merry Christmas,” the appearance of not one but two Dallas Cowboys shirts, and some guy who seems to be biting into a large fish (for the love of God, somebody page PETA!), the Penn bros also chose to include in their photo a naked blow-up sex doll with brown skin.

Stupid? Yes. Tasteless? Yes. But racist? I dunno, folks. I’d be more offended by the Cowboys shirts. (Or by the fact that the frat is apparently lacking in African-American membership, at least based on the photo.) The photo neither states nor implies that the young men think that whites are superior to blacks, that black people are evil, that there’s anything wrong with being black, that black people are somehow suspicious. …

So they’re not racist, because that is what racism is — a dehumanizing belief in the superiority of one race over another.

It’s just the latest of many overwrought “racist” incidents, columnist Victor Fiorillo says, which includes:

  • an Urban Outfitters holiday party that asked attendees to wear “jutis, kurtans, turbans, saris, lehenga cholis and harem parents”
  • a birthday cake given to a University of Maryland sorority sister stamped with “suck a nigga dick” – possibly “an allusion to the outrageously offensive Three Six Mafia song ‘Suck a Nigga Dick‘”

Thoughtless accusations don’t promote dialogue, Fiorillo says:

You call someone a racist and everybody freaks out. The accused racists are shamed, silenced, and stigmatized. And any chance for a meaningful discourse implodes. And if anything is clear, it’s that a meaningful discourse is exactly what we need right about now.

Read the Philadelphia column.

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

IMAGE: Phi Delta Theta’s Facebook page via Daily Pennsylvanian

It’s debatable whether a sex doll of any ethnicity should be in a Christmas photo, but Phi Delta Theta is in trouble for using a “dark-skinned” one in their Christmas card.

The Daily Pennsylvanian reports that the frat president has already apologized for the photo, posted to the frat’s Facebook page, and explaining to the “African Diaspora” campus group UMOJA that “the doll was a Beyoncé sex toy originally meant as a gag gift at the group’s Secret Santa event.”

Because Ferguson just happened, this is terribly offensive, the NAACP Penn chapter president said, and her reaction was mild compared to another group of activists:

“The inclusion of a racially and sexually charged object in such a flagrant fashion displays a serious and immediate need for repercussions that reflect the severity of this misogynistic, racist offense,” a joint statement issued by the 5B — the five umbrella coalitions for minority groups on campus — and the Penn Consortium for Undergraduate Women said. “We—UMOJA, APSC, UMC, Latin@ Coalition, Lambda Alliance, and PCUW—firmly believe that when an event like this marginalizes one of our communities, it marginalizes us all.”

“What particularly concerns us is how flippant this deeply misogynistic and racist choice seems to have been,” an addendum from the PCUW read.

racistchristmas-full.PhiDeltaThetaPenn.Facebook

Like many campus activists responding to claimed misogyny, these groups have a complete agenda for redress:

UMOJA specifically called for the chapter to be fined and its rush activities to be suspended until “a council of peers deem it acceptable to resume activity after and instituted education process.” Further, the group urged the Office of Student Affairs/Fraternity and Sorority Life to enforce “mandatory cultural competency courses for all members to resume activity…” and for the fraternity’s national organization to be notified.

So remember, Greeks… keep your sex dolls Caucasian.

Read the Daily article.

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

IMAGE: Phi Delta Theta’s Facebook page via Daily Pennsylvanian

Serhat Tanyolacar, an artist and visiting assistant professor at the University of Iowa, erected a display at the school’s “Pentacrest” depicting coverage of over a century’s worth of “racial tensions, riots, and killings.”

The display was a large Ku Klux Klan effigy with headlines and newspaper articles all over it.

Professor Tanyolacar says that the display “was meant to highlight how America’s history of race-based violence isn’t really history and ‘facilitate a dialogue.'”

However, university officials removed the display because it was “deeply offensive” to “members of the community.”

Iowa issued a statement to all students and staff which said “The University of Iowa considers all forms of racism abhorrent and is deeply committed to the principles of inclusion and acceptance.” College President Sally Mason shared the following:

The goal of the University of Iowa, as a higher-education institution, has always been to provide an environment where all members of our campus community feel safe and Friday, we failed. On the morning of December 5, 2014, a 7-foot tall Ku Klux Klan effigy with a camera affixed to the display was installed without permission on our campus. The effects of the display were felt throughout the Iowa City community. That display immediately caused Black students and community members to feel terrorized and to fear for their safety.

The university’s response was not adequate, nor did that response occur soon enough. Our students tell us that this portrayal made them feel unwelcomed [sic] and that they lost trust in the University of Iowa. For failing to meet our goal of providing a respectful, all-inclusive, educational environment, the university apologizes. All of us need to work together to take preventive action and do everything we can to be sure that everyone feels welcome, respected, and protected on our campus and in our community.

I urge any student who was negatively affected by this incident who feels a need for support to consider contacting the University Counseling Service …

Seriously? How exactly does a piece of art whose message is anti- racism cause people to feel terrorized?

hate-speech.Ashley.Marinaccio.flickrAre we truly raising the Aggrieved Generation, where everyone born since the dawn of the Internet is trained to be perpetually on the lookout for something — anything — to piss them off?

The Pentacrest is a known university public forum, and a debate about free expression arose.

On one side of that debate is Lyombe Eko, an associate professor of journalism who said that “The fundamental principle is that the Pentacrest is a designated public forum. In such areas, the university may not practice viewpoint discrimination.”

On the other is David Ryfe, the director Iowa’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Ryfe stated “If it was up to me, and me alone, I would follow the lead of every European nation and ban this type of speech.”

The Daily Iowan reports:

The display, portraying newspaper articles depicting coverage of racial tensions, riots, and killings dating from 1908 to 2010, was removed after UI officials deemed it “deeply offensive” to members of the community.

In a statement issued to the students, staff, and faculty, the university wrote, “The University of Iowa considers all forms of racism abhorrent and is deeply committed to the principles of inclusion and acceptance.”

As a result, the fear of squelched freedom of speech and academic freedom has emerged among UI faculty members and students.

Viewpoint discrimination occurs when officials discriminate against speakers based on their views.

“No matter how abhorrent it might be to segments of the university community, the work of art is protected by the First Amendment,” Eko said. “The University of Iowa can only impose time, place, and manner restrictions on Professor Tanyolacar [the artist], not ban his art on the basis of its content.”

“The university likely made a viewpoint-based distinction, and according to R.A.V. v. the city of St. Paul, the court generally cannot make such distinctions,” said David Ryfe, the director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. “But there are exceptions; this happened on a university campus for one thing.”

Ryfe said the Supreme Court allows all sorts of content-based distinctions made in the law, and the potential restriction of speech at hand depends on whether one believes hate speech is a legitimate part of the freedom of speech.

Professor Tanyolacar maintains that his display “was meant to highlight the truth of racial disparity that existed during the era of the Ku Klux Klan and still exists today.”

Knowing how the Left — in particular the academic Left — behaves, it is worrisome that a director of an American university journalism school (Ryfe) desires “freedom” of expression laws akin to that of Europe.

European nations do not have an analogue to the United States’ First Amendment, and as such many different types of “hate speech” are criminalized.

For example, in Poland people can be prosecuted “who intentionally offend religious feelings.” France bans “hate speech and insult, which are deemed to be both ‘public and private,’” and in ten European Union member states it is against the law to engage in Holocaust denial “or the denial of crimes committed by the Nazi and/or Communist regimes.”

Professor Ryfe did not respond to a request from The College Fix to elaborate on his remarks about free speech.

Read the full Daily Iowan article.

Also check out this Iowa State Daily column.

Dave Huber is an assistant editor of  The College Fix. (@ColossusRhodey)

(College Fix Assistant Editor Greg Piper contributed to this article.)

IMAGE: Sam Graham/Flickr

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

Three white, University of Michigan students who co-organized a “die-in” protest slated for this afternoon abruptly handed over the reins of the event to the Black Student Union and campus NAACP chapter on Tuesday, saying they will not lead the protest because they’re part of the “oppressing party.”

“[W]e realize even as organizers that it is not our place to lead this protest, since we are members of the oppressing party of this country,” student co-organizer Kyle Forness stated on the event’s Facebook page. “Instead, it is our obligation as an informed majority to create a platform for Blacks in this country to speak upon, express, and address what they individually feel needs addressing.”

“[W]e have reached out and handed over the reins of this protest to an organization that is composed of individuals who are members of the minority and thus recipients of such oppression, suffering and injustice.”UMDie-In

Some 1,500 people have RSVP’d that they will take part in Wednesday’s die-in at the Diag, described on its Facebook page as “a fight against police oppression, and the systemic oppression of black people in this country.”

In an email to The College Fix, co-organizer student Isaiah Zeavin-Moss said that their role was strictly organizational and suggested they always planned to hand the event over to black student organizations – even though their announcement was only made after receiving “feedback” from the campus community.

“[S]ince the protest is fighting police targeting and killing of black people, and a systematic racism in our country against black people, we felt it best for the people in control at the protest itself to be from a black, student-led organization,” Zeavin-Moss said in his email. “This way, the people who are running things [at the die-in] will have experienced the discrimination that we are fighting first-hand.”

The announcement prompted a robust debate on Facebook on the eve of the event. Some agreed with their decision. Others did not.

Fbcomments2-diein

 

FBcomments-diein

On Facebook, participating protestors are reminded to “bring blankets, signs, and energy,” before closing out with: “IF YOU ARE NEUTRAL IN SITUATIONS OF INJUSTICE, YOU HAVE CHOSEN THE SIDE OF THE OPPRESSOR.”

The Black Student Union and NAACP did not respond to emails from The College Fix seeking comment.

College Fix reporter Derek Draplin is a student at the University of Michigan.

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

IMAGES: Facebook

This past Monday, over one hundred University of Pennsylvania students marched through Philadelphia to protest the grand jury decision in the shooting death of Ferguson, Missouri’s Michael Brown:

Protesters walked in fierce solidarity, responding to the leaders’ chants: “No justice, no peace. No racist police.”
“I just don’t want my son, the child of an Ivy League graduate, to walk down the street in fear for his life,” a student who preferred to remain anonymous said at the protest.

This was along the lines of what New York City mayor Bill De Blasio said in reaction to the non-indictment of the officer who used a “chokehold” on (black) victim Eric Garner:

Mr. de Blasio told an audience that he worried over the years if his son Dante would be safe at night before adding, “And not just from some of the painful realities of crime and violence in some of our neighborhoods but safe from the very people they want to have faith in as their protectors.”

Students at other Ivy League schools have expressed similar sentiments:

“I’m scared to go outside,” [Brianna] Alston said. “This is a real fearful situation for the black community.” (Columbia University)

“Business as usual can’t continue, our frivolities can’t continue while people are dying without reason and impunity,” [Stephanie] Amoako said. (Columbia)

“My brother is turning 20 next month, which means that he is solidifying his presence in a demographic of young black men between the ages of 19-25 in the United States who are disproportionately targeted by police brutality,” Karleh Wilson ’16 explained. “I worry about [my brother’s] safety under the hands of the law. My brother should feel safe among the presence of policemen, but he does not, and this is the same for all men of color his age in America.” (Yale)

A student at Harvard held a placard that read “This is Genocide.”

Nadia May recited a poem about “how she will mother her future children intertwined with commentary on racism and police brutality.” (Cornell)

A frequent refrain heard from “progressives” and Democrats — usually in snide rebuttal to conservatives/Republicans regarding global warming climate change — is that they’re “the party of science,” and the “believers in facts.”

So, is it really a fact that Ms. Alston and the others should be “scared to go outside” for fear of being killed by a police officer?

Compared to many other things out there in society, the answer is “hardly.”

Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly this past week devoted a “Talking Points” segment to this issue. Here is what he noted, with sources from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, the CDC, the FBI and the Census Bureau:

  • Police killings of blacks down 70% in last 50 years
  • In 2012, 123 blacks were killed by police with a gun
  • In 2012, 326 whites were killed with a gun
  • In 2013, blacks committed 5,375 murders
  • In 2013, whites committed 4,396 murders
  • Whites are 63% of the population blacks are 13%

To be fair, some have taken issue with these statistics. The Tampa Bay Times’ PunditFact site (a subsidiary of PolitiFact) argues that some of the figures are “incomplete” because, for example (in the CDC’s case), “coroners and physicians are under no obligation to detail police involvement in the deaths that they encounter.”

black-white-DryHundredFear.flickrHowever, ironically, PunditFact notes that the “whites killed by police figure” is artificially inflated because it includes Hispanics. But … weren’t we informed by the mainstream media in the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman incident that Zimmerman was, in fact, a “white Hispanic”?? So … which is it? Do we refer to “white Hispanics” as “white” … or do we keep Hispanics as a separate category?

Then there is The Daily Dot which claims to have “debunked” O’Reilly’s “argument about racism in American policing”:

Secondly, what O’Reilly’s statistics show—but what O’Reilly leaves unsaid—is that black people are killed at disproportionately higher rates than white people by police officers. African Americans are 14 percent of the population but 30 percent of the police-shooting deaths. This is double the rate that one might expect from O’Reilly’s fantasy world in which race is not a factor.

The numbers get even grimmer when narrowed down a bit. Police kill young black men at a rate 21 times higher than the equivalent rate for young white men.

Which, unfortunately, completely omits any reference to vastly disproportionate black murder rate noted above by O’Reilly. It is quite disingenuous to expect “proportionate representation” in law enforcement killings when the (race-based) crime rate isn’t even close to being such.

The mainstream media also doesn’t help matters by omitting virtually identical types of stories … but where the races are reversed. For instance, a Trayvon Martin-like tale involved a (black) man named Roderick Scott. Scott shot and killed seventeen year-old Christopher Cervini, who was white. Cervini and two others were stealing from cars when Scott confronted them. Scott pulled out a gun and told the boys to freeze until police arrived. However, Cervini apparently charged Scott, who then opened fire, killing the teen.

After a trial, Scott was found “not guilty” of manslaughter.

Some of the comments afterwards by Cervini’s family sound awfully familiar:

Cervini’s family members say justice wasn’t served. They say Christopher was murdered in cold blood, that he’d never been in trouble and Scott acted as judge, jury and executioner.

“The message is that we can all go out and get guns and feel anybody that we feel is threatening us and lie about the fact,” said Jim Cervini, Christopher’s father. “My son never threatened anybody. He was a gentle child, his nature was gentle, he was a good person and he was never, ever arrested for anything, and has never been in trouble. He was 16 years and four months old, and he was slaughtered.”

With regards to the Michael Brown case, two years ago a black police officer shot and killed unarmed white teenager Gilbert Collar in Mobile, Alabama. But, “despite public pressure for an indictment, a Mobile County grand jury refused to bring charges against Officer [Trevis] Austin, concluding that the officer acted in self-defense.”

Collar was under the influence of an hallucinogen when taken into custody. He was 5’7″ and weighed a mere 135 pounds. Once at the police station, Collar “began banging on the outside windows, then walked in the general direction of Officer Austin, who had his gun drawn.”

Austin shot Collar in the chest, killing him.

You can argue about the reasons we didn’t hear about these stories; however, many would say it’s because it doesn’t fit the (usual) media narrative.

The “party of science and facts” does itself, and everyone else, a big disservice by continuing to stand by a discredited narrative. Once the facts — science — came forth from the Ferguson grand jury that Michael Brown did not, in fact, have his hands up, supporters promptly stated “it doesn’t matter.”

Recently, DC Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton repeated as much. When asked if she had “read all the evidence” in the Brown case, she replied “I did not, and that is not a concern.”

Further, will the mainstream media heavily cover what Erica Garner said (her father being the aforementioned New York City suspect placed in a chokehold who later died as a result, according to a coroner) this week about her father’s death — that it wasn’t a racial matter? That it was more about general police aggression and misuse of tactics?

Any rational and reasonably intelligent American is cognizant of the historic plight of African-Americans. It is certainly understandable that many in that community harbor a degree of mistrust of police; it wasn’t all that long ago when the law made it a crime for black Americans to even sit at the same lunch counter as whites.

But it does no American — black, white, brown — any good to promote falsehoods which serve to shred the entire American community asunder.

We have competent legal procedures in place to rectify a miscarriage of justice — led by the top law enforcement officer in the land, Eric Holder, a black man. The most recent of these unfortunate police killings  (that of  Eric Garner) appears to be a case where the feds can make a compelling case in the typical follow-up investigation.

Dave Huber is an assistant editor of  The College Fix. (@ColossusRhodey)

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

INTERIOR IMAGE: Dry Hundred Fear/Flickr

Is a racially diverse faculty is a necessary requirement for a good college education?

The Brown Daily Herald apparently believes so, with its story “Faculty Whiteness Complicates the Classroom.”

In it, article authors Emma Harris and Joseph Zappa lament the fact that white faculty outnumber “underrepresented minority” faculty at Brown by a factor of ten.

That definition of “underrepresented minority” does not include Asians (is this really a surprise?), and then, when comparing the campus enrollment of white students to that of minorities, the definition of the term becomes based on those who “self-identify” as such.

This dearth of “faculty of color” makes for some … uncomfortable experiences:

Students of color sometimes encounter difficulties in the classroom resulting from the differences between their experiences and those of white faculty members.

While Armani Madison ’16, president of Brown’s chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, has not experienced outward racial bias from faculty members, he said, “race is dealt with quickly” in the classroom. When racial issues in the United States are brought up, they are frequently skirted by professors and summarized in the framework of the American people moving forward, he said.

White faculty members sometimes espouse views in class that should be questioned, said Emma, a junior whose name has been changed to maintain confidentiality.

“I would love to see more initiatives aimed at making faculty aware of microaggressions and biases and how those could affect students in class,” she said.

But being of color is not necessary for a faculty member to handle discussions on race deftly in the classroom, Emma added. “I have professors who are not of color who have to talk about race and other sensitive issues who handle it very well.”

Still, the dynamics in a predominantly white classroom may pose challenges for students of color.

Often Madison is the only student of color in the room, he said. When subjects relating to race arise, he said, he is “looked to as the authority” on the subject by his peers.

The pressure to perform in a predominantly white class taught by a white faculty member is particularly intense for students of color who may not have had high school preparation as strong as that of their peers, said Dolores Maldonado ’16, who came to Brown intending to concentrate in physics.

“If it’s a white professor, they expect me to be at the same level (as students with stronger high school preparation), so I need to prove that I don’t fit into stereotypes,” Maldonado said. “I need to speak very intellectually or formally to portray an image that they would want.”

Seeing “deplorably low” numbers of faculty members of color in senior administrative positions makes him feel out of place at a predominantly white institution, Madison said. He will “never be comfortable” at Brown, he added, due to the overwhelming lack of diversity.

A couple of thoughts/questions:

  • Why did Madison choose Brown, or, at the very least remain there with the knowledge of the “deplorably low” number of minority faculty? Not to mention, why does he subject himself to “never being comfortable?”
  • Why is it unreasonable for a (white) professor to expect the same academic results from Ms. Maldonado as his/her white students? She’s enrolled at Brown, after all.
  • Madison gets irked when (white students) look to him “as an authority” on race matters? He is, after all, the president of Brown’s chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and this entire article is about how people of color feel “out of place” due to their “different experiences.” The media, after all, routinely seek out college professors of color and (minority) civil rights leaders for “their community’s” perspective on various issues. So, why would it seem out of line for Madison’s peers to ask him?

This Brown Herald article is the second in a series titled “Pervasive Prejudice.”

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter