Academia is racist.
I’ve seen it.
I’m still experiencing it.
For so long I’ve debated dropping out of college. Of course, my parents never agreed with this. I guess I’ll just tough it out for one more year.
But I have to tell you…I’m losing my mind.
My Economics class justified slavery.
I don’t want to blame this on the teacher, even though she’s white.
We’ve done multiple units on slavery. Plus the teacher even displayed in class her hatred of it. She created more units for the class to talk about it because it’s an important topic to learn about.
However, you can’t deny that the material she presents is racist.
She knows it’s racist but…she keeps displaying it. There were these two white guys that made some arguments about how slavery wasn’t that bad. In summary, they said that slaves were given enough food to work, they were given some compensation, and they didn’t work that much. How colonizer can you get?
I know academia is all about applying concepts and themes you learned in class. That’s the honorable side of academia. But feeding racist bullshit is something I’ve never been a fan of.
Again, it’s not the professor’s fault. It’s more so the institution itself.
A Sociology teacher said “Black People are dangerous” to one of my friends.
I’m a Sociology major and a hesitant one at that.
I thought Sociology was supposed to be the “liberal” major. It’s supposed to teach students about inequality in society. It’s supposed to be accepting. I guess that doesn’t translate to the professors.
I go to a P.W.I. and my friend was one of two Black students in her class. A professor said with their whole chest that “Black people are dangerous”.
When my friend tried to get justice and go to the head of their department, she was dismissed.
I can’t say I’m surprised.
Most of the theories we learn about in Sociology have been created by old white men. There will be hour-long lectures on a guy like Karl Marx. Meanwhile, W.E.B. Du Bois will have a measly ten-minute acknowledgment.
I hate the erasure.
My Japanese teacher judged my academic performance in class unfairly because of racism.
I thought this lady was amazing.
I wanted to take a Japanese language class because I was fascinated with Japanese culture. I took her class for two semesters and everything was fine. Then the George Floyd protests over the summer happened…
Something was wrong during that semester. I noticed my grade had dropped drastically from the grade I had before. Every day I questioned what I did wrong.
I even went to her office hours multiple times to fix any problems I had.
My grade still dropped — no matter what I did. She also started treating me differently in class.
Gone were the smiles and jovial attitude she had whenever I spoke to her in Japanese. She had this tension in her face and body language when I spoke to her. I noticed she’d give the white kids in class way more chances to mess up than me. They got higher grades because of it.
So I bit the bullet and texted one of my white friends that I think the professor has been judging me unfairly because of racism — he agreed with me.
I had to contact their department and get the issue resolved. The professor cooperated and treated me fairly afterward.
I shouldn’t have gone through that.
You don’t need to get deep into college academics to acknowledge the fact that everything is racist.
If the social sciences are like this, I don’t even want to get into S.T.E.M. Even though the professors may not be racist themselves, they can turn into minions of the institution. How will this problem get solved?
Representation is all I can think of right now.
More Black teachers. More Black students. More Black everything. There has to be a complete revamp of academia. Change the curriculum. Make it more inclusive to the Black thinkers that have paved the way. And NO white teachers for an African-American studies class.
Then maybe…we won’t be justifying slavery to college students.
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This post was previously published on medium.com.
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