MCTC prof reprimanded for alienating white students during structural racism discussion

Categories: Education, Racism
ShannonGibney.jpg
Shannon Gibney
:::: UPDATE :::: Shannon Gibney, MCTC prof, also took heat for structural racism comments in 2009

Shannon Gibney, a 38-year-old professor at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College, received a formal reprimand from the school's vice president of academic affairs for the way she handled a discussion of structural racism in her Intro to Mass Communication course.

SEE ALSO: "Geography of Hate" maps show where racist and homophobic tweets come from [IMAGES]

The reprimand came after three white male students complained that they felt singled out by Gibney.

In a video interview with City College News, Gibney gives her version of what happened during her controversial structural racism discussion:
[One of the white students asked,] 'Why do we have to talk about this in every class? Why do we have to talk about this?' I was shocked... It was not in a calm way. His whole demeanor was very defensive. He was taking it personally. I tried to explain, of course, in a reasonable manner -- as reasonable as I could given the fact that I was being interrupted and put on the spot in the middle of class -- that this is unfortunately the context of 21st century America.

Another white male student said, 'Yeah, I don't get this either. It's like people are trying to say that white men are always the villains, the bad guys. Why do we have to say this?'

I tried to say, 'You guys are trying to take it personally. This is not a personal attack. We're not all white people, you white people in general. We're talking about whiteness as a system of oppression.'

And so I'm quite familiar, unfortunately, with how that works -- and how the institutional structures and powers reinforce this white male supremacy, basically, and that sort of narrative, and way of seeing the world.

And so I said, 'You know, if you're really upset, feel free to go down to legal affairs and file a racial harassment discrimination complaint.'
The students indeed filed a complaint, and administrators found merit with their case. The City College News quotes the letter of reprimand the VP of academic affairs sent to her -- a letter that will go into her file:
Shannon, I find it troubling that the manner in which you led a discussion on the very important topic of of structural racism alienated two students who may have been most in need of learning about this subject.

While I believe it was your intention to discuss structural racism generally, it was inappropriate for you to single out white male students in class. Your actions in [targeting] select students based on their race and gender caused them embarrassment and created a hostile learning environment.

For that reason, I have determined that a reprimand is warranted.
In the wake of the reprimand, Gibney told City College, "I don't feel safe in the class anymore."

"I definitely feel like I'm a target in the class. I don't feel like students respect me," she continued. "Those students were trying to undermine my authority from the get-go. And I told the lawyer at the investigatory meeting, 'You have helped those three white male students succeed in undermining my authority as one of the few remaining black female professors here.'"

In 2012, more than half the students at MCTC were "students of color."

WCCO reports that Gibney is one of seven employees of color who have filed a class-action lawsuit against MCTC alleging that the campus is a discriminatory workplace environment. In a subsequent conversation with MPR, Gibney denied that report, but acknowledged she is one of several MCTC faculty and staff who have filed complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging workplace discrimination.

In a statement addressing the controversy, MCTC officials said they believe "it is essential for our students to understand issues of race, class and power, and we encourage the faculty to actively engage students in respectful discussions about these topics and create an atmosphere in which students may ask questions as an important part of the classroom experience. That's how we learn."

But officials go on to say they "want to ensure that students, faculty and staff from all cultures and backgrounds feel welcomed and have an appropriate learning environment. We train our employees to ensure that these critical conversations around issues of diversity are constructive and lead to understanding." It's apparently on that score they think Gibney fell short.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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442 comments
justsomeguy
justsomeguy

Virtually everyone will say "I don't have a racist bone in my body.." If they were all being truthful, we wouldn't be having this conversation. I am not about  calling anyone a liar or even a racist, but for someone to say that they are not a racist and then to support that claim by pointing out that they have a black friend is troubling. Does that mean if you don't have minority friends, or enough of them, that you are racist by default? Having minority friends can't absolve you from being a racist any more than not having them would make you one. Let me share a story about the last time I claimed that there wasn't a racist bone in my body... I said that to someone I met for lunch at a diner. A man at the next table apologized for eavesdropping and interrupting me, and said that I was wrong about that.


This was over 20 years ago, and I can't recall the exact words he used, but he explained that the word 'racist' has become demonized to the point that it doesn't have the same meaning. So many people think that 'racist' automatically means you wear a white hood and burn crosses in people's yard. So naturally most people can understandably say that they are not a racist. But racism is simply ignorance, and we shouldn't blame people for what they don't know, we should teach them. (These are still his words, but I'm paraphrasing). He said rather than to ask yourself "am I a racist" ask yourself "how am I racist". He told me that everyone has thoughts or opinions that can be racist in nature, that doesn't mean they do mean or unjust things to others. As an example, he told me his aunt used the word 'oriental' to describe people of Asian descent. This term is considered racist when used to describe a person, but his aunt didn't know better, in fact, she didn't use that term again once she was told it was considered offensive to Asian people. She made a racist comment, and once she learned about it, she changed her ways. He pointed out that she was a good and loving person, before and after that. This conversation lasted a bit longer, and it was pleasant throughout. (For those of you who are wondering, the man I spoke to was not white or black, but he was wise and he shared his wisdom with me, I'm an Irish American and people say that means I'm white, but I don't like losing the Irish heritage simply because of my skin color). The last two things he did before he left were: 1 - he paid for our lunch. 2 - he said "Ask yourself 'how am I racist?' Ask yourself tomorrow, and next week and next year, keep asking."


I still ask myself that question, and over the years I found myself thinking and saying things that made me take a moment and re-evaluate my thinking. It gave me the insight to better understand myself and my racist (as well as sexist) thinking. The way to change the world isn't to sue people or bully people into thinking a different way, the way to change the world is to change ourselves and teach people to be introspective and question their own biases. So, in my humble opinion, people need to go beyond simply denying they are even a little racist, when you stop there, nothing changes.

JopySchmopy
JopySchmopy

Kinda tired of hearing this stuff.  It's as if nothing has changed in the last 40 years, and that's just not true.  Yes, black people are still taking it in the pants when it comes to housing and over-policing of their neighborhoods.  Focus on that, and I'm with you.  But the broad, sweeping pronouncements and gross generalizations that pass for critical thought in academia are getting awful old.  I'm a "white" male from suburbia -- in the early '70s, in my sixth-grade class, we chose to watch "Brian's Song" on movie day at the beginning of the year and the end of the year.  Both times.  My friends and I made it a point to befriend the stray black kid who wandered into our orbit.  I've even spent lots of time as the only white guy in the room, having fun with black guys who went to Concordia and could show me the subtle racism behind a David Letterman joke.  My life is so much richer because I don't have a racist bone in my body, yet this professor would probably take a look at me and my age and declare that I'm not overtly racist, but subconsciously racist.  Bull.  Back in the '70s, it was all about racial harmony.  Now, it's all about your professor sounding smart with a lot of impenetrable jargon.  Don't buy it -- discrimination is more related to income than anything else nowadays.  

a4368
a4368

It's morons like these MCTC students and all of the commenters who defended them that make Minneapolis such a horrible place. Sure the park systems are beautiful and the cost of living is low, but that's because NO ONE WANTS TO LIVE THERE. It's not the cold winters that people in the rest of the country find repellant, it's the disgusting entitled racists who make up the vast majority of the population. The best decision I ever made was to move away from your awful city.

All_American_Teacher
All_American_Teacher

Good for you, Jacob - I agree. 

First, Gibney says......"We're talking about whiteness as a system of oppression." "Whiteness" is NOT A SYSTEM OF OPPRESSION - that's just ridiculous.

THEN - she eggs them on to go "file a complaint" - so they DID ! 

Any wonder ?

She got no more - and no less - than what she deserved. 

That was - looking back - a completely wrong approach. She lost her patience, forgot to THINK, and then got snarky with the students - when she should've just explained what she MEANT.

DougA.
DougA.

Im an ACTUAL professor, and this woman was ABSOLUTELY CORRECT!  Some people who benefit from institutional racism want to prevent others from discussing it.  After all, the best way to perpetuate evil is to keep silent about it.


Not discussing racism wont make it go away.  And there is an active movement among conservative white males in the country to silence any discussion on racism or intolerance, unless its directed against minorities.  Ive seen this happen to minority professors over and over around the nation, the culprits are usually the same.  White student who has no problem with racism/holds racist beleifs themselves (practically always vocal right wingers) will file a complaint whenever the topic of racism comes up.  BUT when you read their essays and papers, they tend to fill them with hyperbolic unfounded hate speech (and citation errors). Administrators and Faculty around the nation have begun discussing it.  It seems to be a trend with 'Young Republican' members in colleges, 'Federalist Society' members in law schools, and the socalled Benjamin Rush Society in med schools and graduate schools.


At this point, it very much seems like a concerted effort.  Conservative orgs teach their students to stifle any discussions on discrimination, and TARGET minority professors (even had a student once write in a free thought essay exercise that there should be no latino or black professors at _____-universe because no matter how qualified they are, there is always a more qualified white professor...I imagine they were that open with me because Im white...I was redfaced reading it).  


I hope this woman continues to fight the good fight.

JacobK
JacobK

I'm a college professor and I teach very sensitive subjects much like this woman.  SHE IS WRONG in her approach!  PERIOD!.  I approach my sensitive subjects more like an anthropologist or a scientist.  Just the facts.  I remove "self" and insert "factual evidence" which I glean from a wide variety of sources--liberal/conservative; American/European/Asian/African; scientific/legal, etc.  THEN, I challenge the STUDENTS to consider the information and create safe dialogue.  


SHE was promoting an agenda in the classroom and totally deserved that reprimand.  Her students didn't respect her because she didn't EARN it.  


My institution is highly inclusive of every race/gender and we do it well, but it is not easy and it's absolutely NOT done by promoting and forcing agendas onto people regardless of issue.  


We need to get RID of all this "whiteness" and "blackness" and realize our SIMILARITIES instead of our differences and only THEN can we truly understand one another.  Divisiveness never EVER solved anything and her discipline was absolutely warranted.  In fact, in my institution, I may have been fired over it.  She got off lucky.

spoutoff
spoutoff

 Interesting how a white woman in america can be fired for being perceived, visually, as a threat to her boss's marriage.  Not only is she not a victim, she is considered a likely perpetrator who 'justly' needs to go.  Meanwhile, a white man need only be subject to a college lecture in order to be deemed 'done against' (here called "alienated.") 

peace247
peace247

Wow-- there are some 388 comments to this article! Proof that this topic of race is an important discussion that many people have very strong feelings about, perhaps a topic that is not talked about enough??? Hmmm….


While as much as I would like to believe that issues of race, culture, racism and institutional discrimination are issues of the past, unfortunately there is research(see a couple references below) that provide some evidence that institutional racism is an issue . It is unfortunate the negative experiences that students in Ms. Gibney's class experienced, and the personal and racial attacks that they felt are never justified nor an experience that anyone should have to tolerate. While I wasn't in the class, I can relate and have too felt the same kinds of personal and racial attacks as a person of color. Unfortunately racism happens across the board to people of all races and cultures, and it is a moral and ethical sin to be admonished, no matter to whom nor how often it occurs.


At the same time, if I may highlight another perspective, perhaps the intent of what the professor was trying to do,was to simulate a discussion about the issue of institutional racism. I cannot tell you how many classes that I have participated in both in my undergraduate and graduate studies where professors are afraid to engage in this topic up and facilitate dialog in a way that provides critical thinking and learning. Perhaps the reason why people don't bring it up is because they're afraid of the personal attacks and accusations of being racist and discriminatory in their actions. Or perhaps they lack the skill and diplomacy to talk about it in a way that engages people from across a diverse spectrum?


At the same time in reviewing the posts below I ask you to think critically, Is it a racist act to bring up the issue of institutional and structural racism? Is it discriminatory to talk about white privilege? Furthermore do we as minnesotan's believe that any of these issues still exist here? Do our fears of engaging in this discussion cloud our judgments of this story? Please... I beg you to tell me… and in such a way that does not rely on such inflammatory and offensive language.


In my opinion I think that too often we are afraid to talk about issues of race because we take it personally, perhaps because we perceive it as a reflection of self rather than a reflection of our society. At the same time not talking about issues of race and discrimination further keeps us in the dark and ignorant of new and educated ways of thinking and talking about these issues. If we are truly a multicultural and "melting pot" society, we must practice what we preach and we must talk about what we believe in. 


People were afraid to talk about HIV, Polio and other public health issues in the past. However not talking about those issues didn't make them go away nor did it help efforts to address the health of the public. Why is race so different?


It is understandable that one would feel attacked or perhaps blamed for an issue that was particularly tied to one's personal characteristics. At the same time race is a social construct and we must look at it also through a much broader context that reflects our society's history, culture and politics, a context beyond one's our own ego's.


Educators have a responsibility of fostering these important discussions in a meaningful way that engages students across different demographics, stimulates learning in positive and challenging ways, and fosters growth and reflection.


I do not condone what happened in Ms. Gibney's class by any means, however I must at least acknowledge that she had the interest and courage to bring up this topic. Would we feel differently if it were a white professor that facilitated this discussion, would it have been as big of an issue? Perhaps she is new and not as experienced as other professors in pedagogy and facilitating equitable and stimulating discussions, and that is a fault many newer professors may experience.  Or perhaps we are writing her off as a racist by what she has done, its a challenging situation to be in for parties on both sides.


At the same time I hope that MCTC and other institutions throughout Minnesota, including City Pages, can take a the moral and ethical responsibility to support a stimulating and equitable discussion on the topic of race in Minnesota and stimulate critical thinking  about how all minnesotans can come together and have productive and non-flamatory discussions on the topic.



Alyssa B.


References:

Blank, O., Knowles, L. L., & Prewitt, K. (1970). Institutional racism in America. Prentice Hall.


Feagin, J. R., Feagin, C. B., & Feagin, J. R. (1986). Discrimination American style: Institutional racism and sexism. RE Krieger Publishing Company.


McGregor, J., & Ungerleider, C. (1993). Multicultural and racism awareness programs for teachers: A meta-analysis of the research. Multicultural education: the state of the art national study, report1, 69-63.

nedd
nedd

@scubalovers "It would have been more appropriate for them to silently disagree with the professor but speak with her privately about their concerns."

You mean like it is usually done in Kommunist countries, as opposed to America where the First Amendment GUARANTEES freedom of speech?


You do realize that it was the same first amendment that GUARANTEED the Negroes to getting their message out in America with the civil rights movement?


Why the double standard?  Why is it acceptable for a negro to have free speech but not a white person?


Like all modern psuedo-scholars, you are just so full of it.

SallyMJ
SallyMJ

How ironic that a black female professor teaching about racism - for God's sake - ends up treating her students in a racist and sexist manner. 


Hello - I wonder why they were complained. This professor would complain if a white male professor treated her in a racist and sexist manner.


Wake up, Professor, and realize that the same laws apply to everyone. Even you 

melsklu
melsklu

The amount of blatant racist comments here is staggering. It just emphasizes my own personal dissapointment with Minnesotans in general. Having been raised and lived in MN for 32 years, I really have to question any desire I have to return. That entire state is in a tragic state of denial about its own arrogant views about race. I live in NYC now and it is not without its race issues but in MN its veiled in this we are good natured, nice folks who are socially progressive. Yeah, socially progressive if you are white, straight and Christian. I myself was ignorant about the racist attitudes of family and friends at one time. It wasn't until I was well into my twenties and even much later that I woke up to the pervasive and insidious racist attitudes of my fellow Minnesotans. I love Minnesota and love my family and friends but I can't take the insanely clueless and stubborn attitudes of people who will not evolve and be open to being challenged. To cry racism for whites when you disregard the very long trajectory of discrimination of minorites is simply an outright cop-out on being open to at least having a discussion about it. The knee jerk reactions are reminiscent of the insane comments that come out when people defend rapists and blame the victim. Its a cowardly reaction and I hope the truly progressive Minnesotans start speaking up and calling this crap out for what it is. If they don't, then I will have no impetus to defend a society of bigots when people on the east coast disregard Minnesota as full of hokey, backwards hicks, who are in love with that moron Garrision Keillor.

tremley
tremley

If the teacher hates whites so much, then she should go back to aperica and put plates in her lips and run around topless

scubalovers
scubalovers

This professor was simply doing her JOB by teaching her students about structural racism as it pertains to mass communications. I have no doubt that she felt verbally attacked by those young white males as they interrupted her lecture. They had a right to disagree, but not to disrupt the entire class in the process. She was not blaming them personally for slavery and racism in America, and she did not single them out. These white males made a conscious decision to CONFRONT HER in the middle of class. Their obvious lack of respect for Shannon Gibney surely led her to suggest that they should leave her class and file a complaint if they were offended by her course content, but the fact remains that she was providing HISTORICALLY ACCURATE information to her students. Would these boys have exhibited such boorish behavior if the professor was a white male? I think not. These boys somehow managed to make it to college without acquiring the social skills necessary to function within that environment. Now that's a sad comment on our society.

ZimbaZumba
ZimbaZumba

Claiming a group is racist in front of members of that group and then saying they shouldn't take it personally is disingenuous and avoids accountability for your words.

Her arguments are structurally little different from the opinions held about the Jews in certain quarters.

THELOTOFYAS
THELOTOFYAS

Yeah, she's fucked. It strikes me that she isn't exactly sure what she's mad about but that she insists on being mad. So diversity for diversities sake is what put her into a white household, and she seems pissed that it wasn't black enough for her. So now she's upset with diversity, which is somehow a construct of white privilege even though it seems that that diversity was a direct result of capitulating to whatever activist group was screaming "racism!" from the top of their lungs. So now she may be a self loather and upset that her narrative isn't really legitimate and that her inclusion in the white world, which is what she claims is needed, somehow fucked her out of her rightful experiences and hence why whiteness is to blame because....diversity. Or some shit.

She needs to never teach again, which seems like her end game here anyways. Victimize her students, get called out in an academic forum where debate should be present, revert to conditioned and systemic martyrdom, cash out, and then do "consulting" for the SPLC or some other angry, inflammatory group of shitheads.

ZimbaZumba
ZimbaZumba

The adding of the caveats "Structural" or "Institutionalism" onto Racism and Sexism is a rhetoric ploy to excuse Sexist statements about Men and Racist statements about Whites. It is more despicable than the very thing being complained about and allows the speaker to avoid personal responsibility for their words towards those they address.

The very same ploy can be used with any form of hate speech and is an excuse for thinly veiled bigotry. Thankfully someone had the fortitude to stand up this  bully.

ledrummingfatman
ledrummingfatman

All non-whites go back to your own countries. America was founded, built & made into the nation it is by Europeans who took land from warring, genocidal indians and conquered it - making it theirs. If nigs and other races don't like the apparent ebil systemic rassism ghost they're chasing, then they're free to go back to their home countries and live in a society that is actually built by their kind and is homogenous. 

jdwondra
jdwondra

It's unfortunate that the title of this article also discriminates against Prof. Gibney. Claiming that she alienated the students places blame on her when it was the students' decision to disengage from the conversation and take personal offense. You could re-title this article "MCTC prof reprimanded for making white students aware of what their whiteness means for the first time."

justsomeguy
justsomeguy

@All_American_Teacher  I agree, according to the article, her own words, "I tried to say, 'You guys are trying to take it personally. This is not a personal attack. We're not all white people, you white people in general. We're talking about whiteness as a system of oppression." Trying to take it personally? How could you not take it personally? To denigrate 'whiteness' is to denigrate every member of that group, am I right? That's like saying "All Mexicans are ____." No matter what you put in the blank, even if you write 'nice' , you are grouping an entire culture into one characteristic. Personally, I think she could have told the students that they should come to her office during office hours if she felt it was wrong to ask something about her lecture during her lecture. However, I don't see anything wrong with answering any question that is not off-topic during a lecture in a college class. But for her to simply point to the administration office and suggest they file a complaint is really, really dropping the ball as an educator. Refusing to discuss the question and then dismissing the people who ask the question seems to me to make this a hostile learning environment. The tone of her interview seems to support the idea that the question(s) shouldn't have been asked, and that is not what college is about. College taught me to question everything, and who better to ask than the professor who is speaking on that topic.

justsomeguy
justsomeguy

@DougA.  As an educator, would you go so far as to claim that these questions shouldn't be asked in a class? If so, what criteria makes it wrong to ask an on-topic question of the instructor who is lecturing on that topic? Please don't say that it is because the kids are privileged and white. Your claim "Some people who benefit from institutional racism want to prevent others from discussing it.  After all, the best way to perpetuate evil is to keep silent about it." sounds kind of hypocritical when you seem to suggest that these questions shouldn't have been asked. These kids were talking about it, isn't that what you advocate when you said "After all, the best way to perpetuate evil is to keep silent about it." I get the impression that you feel that these kids were out of line. If you squelch a student's right to ask questions, (even if you think it's a stupid question), you are creating a hostile learning environment. I wasn't there when the questions were asked, (and I'm assuming you were not either), so reading it on paper does not seem to be out of line. Though the professor seemed to consider it 'interrupting', I wonder if she had a rule that no student should ask any question during her lectures. If that was a rule stated on the syllabus, then perhaps she took all questions at the end, or worse, that all questions be submitted in private. I didn't see any mention of whether the students raised their hand first, but it really seems that the professor objected to the very question. As an "ACTUAL professor", do you contest the validity of the belief that "there are no stupid questions?" Do you give a list of topics that conservative white males should not ask? If so, are there any topics that are taboo for non conservatives based on their race? I doubt your teaching is very effective based on the attitude reflected in your post. Just curious, what subject to you teach?

CelebrateDivershitty
CelebrateDivershitty

@DougA.you are an "ACTUAL professor", but you don't know how to use apostrophes?  Yeah right. If you really are an "ACTUAL professor", then you just proved what a waste most universities are.

All_American_Teacher
All_American_Teacher

@JacobK

Good for you, Jacob - I agree. 

First, Gibney says......"We're talking about whiteness as a system of oppression." "Whiteness" is NOT A SYSTEM OF OPPRESSION - that's just ridiculous.

THEN - she eggs them on to go "file a complaint" - so they DID !  Any wonder ?

She got no more - and no less - than what she deserved. 

That was - looking back - the wrong approach.  She lost her patience, forgot to think, and then got snarky with the students - when she should've just explained what she MEANT.

desifrau
desifrau

@JacobKYes. and she's also half white and transracially adopted like me. She's got a major chip on her shoulder and deserves the reprimand. U are correct. her approach is WRONG on so many levels... I would reprimand her also... and can her.

DougA.
DougA.

@JacobK @JacobK  Sure, lets "stop talking about race" and pretend if we dont talk about it, racism will go away!  Just like if we stop 'talking about' rape or spousal abuse, those things will just dissappear!


Thats the most laughable concept Ive ever heard in my life.  NOT talking about institutional racism is what allows it to continue.  People who want to maintain their racial dominance and gender dominance of others DONT want you spreading information about racism and discrimination, it takes their power away!  Hence you get silly comments like "Lets stop talking about it/lets focus on our similarities".  SHES not the one who invented institutional racism, nor is SHE benefiting from it.  The very group that invented, engages in it, and benefits from it (white males) are the ones trying to silence her and others from discussing it

ceda6132
ceda6132

ceda6132

Amen, amen, amen. I concur, and as a student I find myself in a similar situation addressing institutional racism on two separate issues such as,  grade appeal and honors recognition. Currently I am awaiting an appeal hearing with the Dean at ------university. I commend Ms. Gibney for pursuing the matter legally. ANY form of discrimination on any level is morally wrong and more individuals should care enough about themselves and those that will come behind them and take a stand. I say; raise your voice loud as a trumpet, in a professional manner of course.

Thank you for your post!

All_American_Teacher
All_American_Teacher

@melsklu

Hey....don't feel bad.  Arizona and Utah are the same !  Maybe worse.......

"That entire state is in a tragic state of denial about its own arrogant views about race. I live in NYC now and it is not without its race issues but in MN its veiled in this 'we are good natured, nice folks who are socially progressive.' Yeah, socially progressive if you are white, straight and Christian."

The whole nation is hung-up on calling each other "racists" - probably because of our history......

Sadsaltyliberaltears
Sadsaltyliberaltears

You've got a hefty weight of white, urban guilt.  I'm guessing you lived in Edina or Excelsior?

SallyMJ
SallyMJ

@melsklu Actually, the professor was the racist/sexist.  The students complained, and she apparently thought it was impossible for her to be bigoted in the same way some people are bigoted to her.


And she's done this before. This isn't the first time.



blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2013/12/shannon_gibney_mctc_prof_also_took_heat_for_structural_racism_comments_in_2009.php


http://www.examiner.com/article/black-professor-uses-racism-against-white-students-class-should-they-sue


http://dailycaller.com/2013/12/04/white-students-fed-up-with-black-professors-racial-screeds-lawsuits-fly/


hectroinfectro
hectroinfectro

@scubalovers if the teacher were doing her job, she would have been lecturing about the course subject which, if you bother to investigate, was not structural racism.  To get an associates these students all have to take Sociology 100, 105, or 110, unless they've dramatically changed the standards since I went to school.  Those are appropriate venues for the discussion.  In an Intro to Mass Communications (a technology class), structural racism doesn't have the intersectionality to warrant a constant discussion of structural racism.  One or two lectures, sure, but not anything that would warrant a response about "every class" being about it.

Further, I'd bet dollars to donuts that they would have challenged a white male professor for going off subject in a way they saw as offensive (the process of meaning making takes place with the audience, not the author, the professor's intent is irrelevant to whether it created a hostile environment).  If you can't handle having your position challenged, regardless of the politeness of the challenge, you don't really have any business teaching.  Being able to defend your position is something she should have learned from her masters and doctoral studies, and defending it against a few community college freshmen should have been a breeze.

RasMike
RasMike

@ledrummingfatman This land belonged to the native Indians! The Europeans killed and raped thier way in and settled. BTW, this country was built with the sweat and blood of slaves from Afirca and Asia.  Just because Europeans came here before other colored people, it doesn't make it your land. The USA is currently a melting pot from the entire planet and NO ONE can claim as thier own except Natives! 

A proud African graduate of MCTC

greeniewolf
greeniewolf

@jdwondra There was no need to bring up "systematic racism" in a communications class. The only reason the teacher did so was because she is racist.  Your comments about "what their whiteness means" is also racist and ignorance  All their "whiteness" means is that they don't have as much skin pigment as some other people.  Racism is alive and well today but it is not "whites against blacks" it is certain "Blacks" who have unresolved anger issues and insecurity complexes against whites.  Any white males (and many white females)  would have taken offense at the comments that professor was making in class.  They were racist, unsubstantiated, and designed solely to inflame and shame.

melsklu
melsklu

@Sadsaltyliberaltears No, I lived in Minneapolis and everyone's reactions to my post is enough evidence to support what I stated, thanks.

melsklu
melsklu

@SallyMJ @melsklu seriously? you cite these articles from these sources? sorry the reporting is surface and leans more towards your FOX news entertainment model. Thank you for validating my comments.

scubalovers
scubalovers

@hectroinfectro @scubalovers

Note: "a discussion of structural racism in her Intro to Mass Communication course."

My comment was based on the information given in the article and my knowledge of proper etiquette in a college classroom. I don't believe it is necessary for me to research the entire curriculum in order to discuss the actions of the individuals involved. It would have been more appropriate for them to silently disagree with the professor but speak with her privately about their concerns. They even had the option to exit the classroom. Alternately, they chose to place themselves in the spotlight by rudely interrupting her lecture. 

"Why do we have to talk about this?" If we simply avoid talking about these issues, does that mean they never happened? If I don't feel like talking about this particular subject "in every class",  does that give me the right to prevent other students from listening to the professor? Is no one taught respect for teachers?!

It is no wonder that fewer people choose to teach. It doesn't matter if you are eager to share your knowledge with others. When your students are allowed to openly berate you and administration doesn't even have your back, you eventually realize that you are fighting a losing battle to reach these kids and make a difference in their lives. Not to mention the fact that most teachers are grossly underpaid and constantly required to spend their own time and money on continuing education.

You may be right about those boys challenging a white male, because they sound like insolent pricks to me. However, I have to disagree that Ms. Gibney should be forced to constantly defend her position in the classroom. It's not a debate...it's a lecture. Plausible questions are one thing, but questioning the entire premise of the lecture is quite another matter entirely. Furthermore, I'm sure that Ms. Gibney's defense of her dissertation was made before a civilized group of qualified academics, not a bunch of impudent malcontents.


redterrorthegame
redterrorthegame

Hey nawes I didn't know you were a highlander. I thought collective punishment was illegal so blaming me for the action of my ancestors is not only bunk it's against the Genova conviction making you not only an anti white but a war criminal, eventually we are going to bring all these anti white turds to The Hague for war crimes?

No persons may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.

jdwondra
jdwondra

@greeniewolf Here's what being white brings me aside from skin pigmentation:


  - Women don't hold their purses closer when I walk past them in the store


    - I get customer service when I go to a store and no one accuses me of stealing something I bought http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/19/forest-whitaker-falsely-accused-shoplifting-frisked-new-york-deli_n_2719712.html


    - I don't get stopped and frisked arbitrarily in New York City, unlike many minorities, and if I ask why I'm being stopped I don't get threatened by the police http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/01/stop-and-frisk-may-be-working-but-is-it-racist/267417/


    - No one tells me that I speak very eloquently when I speak proper English


    - I don't need to worry that the police will assume that I'm pulling out a weapon and murder me when I'm pulling out my identification http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/d/amadou_diallo/


    - I get to see all the housing options that are available when I search for a new apartment, unlike minorities http://www.cbsnews.com/news/racism-alive-and-well-in-housing/


Clearly from your comments you don't get the advantages that we receive from being white, and clearly if you think that my comment was racist (and yes, I'm white, look me up), then your judgment of what constitutes "racist" and what does not is not very accurate. Talking about white privilege is uncomfortable - and it should be! Just because it's uncomfortable, that doesn't make it racist. What is racist is accusing Black people of having "unresolved anger issues and insecurity complexes" and thinking that's why they want to talk about racial inequality. 


In these conversations we white people often get upset because we think that racism has to be intentional and interpersonal, which is why we talk about systemic racism - unequal treatment based on race that isn't caused by any single person. We also often hear "privilege" and think that means people are saying that we've never had to work for anything, which isn't the point - the point is that we have some things (not everything) easier than non-white people.


I encourage you to explore what our whiteness means instead of just getting angry and taking it out on your professor.

All_American_Teacher
All_American_Teacher

@melsklu @SallyMJ

Hey....don't feel bad. Arizona and Utah are the same - maybe worse.......

"That entire state is in a tragic state of denial about its own arrogant views about race. I live in NYC now and it is not without its race issues but in MN its veiled in this 'we are good natured, nice folks who are socially progressive.' Yeah, socially progressive if you are white, straight and Christian."

The whole nation is hung-up on calling each other "racists" - probably because of our history......

SallyMJ
SallyMJ

@scubalovers @hectroinfectro So it's rude to challenge a professor exhibiting racist and sexist behavior in the classroom? I bet your would have congratulated black students for challenging a racist, sexist professor who was white. Why the double standard based on the color of one's skin - meaning, why are you too racist against white people?

JollyGood
JollyGood

@Nawes @redterrorthegame The reason blacks are here is because white people bought them from black slavers in Africa. Blacks were the first slave traders, whites were simply slave buyers and owners.

Also the first person to argue in court that black people could be property was Anthony Johnson, a black man.

The more you know.

Nawes
Nawes

@redterrorthegame i never said whites should be punished, i said the reason blacks are here is because people enslaved them and brought them over

CelebrateDivershitty
CelebrateDivershitty

Then maybe blacks shouldn't commit such a huge shitload of violent crime.

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