Shannon Gibney, MCTC prof, also took heat for structural racism comments in 2009

Categories: Education, Racism
ShannonGibneyMNArtists.jpg
mnartists.org
Shannon Gibney
After he read our post about the official reprimand professor Shannon Gibney received for controversial comments she made about white privilege during her Intro to Mass Communication course, a former MCTC student named Ryan got in touch to tell us about a similar incident involving Gibney that happened back in January 2009.

THE BACKSTORY, ALONG WITH 200+ COMMENTS: MCTC prof reprimanded for alienating whites during racism discussion

At the time, Ryan (he asked us to withhold his last name) was an editor for City College News (CCN), MCTC's student newspaper. Gibney was invited to speak during one of the paper's editorial meetings. According to Ryan, she brought along students from a journalism class she was teaching.

Gibney used the occasion to talk about structural racism and the role the media plays in perpetuating it. According to Ryan, she at one point singled out the white members of the editorial team and criticized them for not doing more to root out the bias implicit in the paper.

Those criticisms offended Ryan, and after the meeting he sent Gibney an email sharing his concerns.

Here's an unedited excerpt from Ryan's email to Gibney:
I found the nature of your comments to be inflamitory, racist, and sexist--"its been white men." A statment such as this that implicates some hidden discrimination within our instituion in one blanket hatefull generalization is both unprofesstional and violates the mission statement of MCTC. I would ask you to stop such gross generalizations because they are indeed racist, sexist, and simply hatefull. It would be the same as standing up in class and stating that, "I hate all these black women because they always are irationaly screaming at other people."
In her reply, Gibney didn't back down from her stance that CCN perpetuates structural racism.

"[W]e do need to have a more open and truthful discussion about the history of CCN and the journalism program, and why it has largely been staffed and run by white men for most of its history," Gibney wrote. "If the CCN is as objective and fair as you would have the rest of us believe, then why has every single student of color editor left the organization in recent years, feeling used and unheard, and taken advantage of?"

But in her reply, Gibney copied a number of MCTC students and faculty -- a move Ryan says violated his rights under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. He ended up filing a harassment complaint against Gibney.

"To public airing of my private correspondence with an educator opened the flood gates for me to be harassed and criticized by multiple individuals that became privy to the private email conversation," Ryan said in an email to City Pages.

Here's the correspondence Ryan refers to, beginning with his email, continuing with Gibney's response, and also including some of the replies from students and faculty Gibney copied in her reply to Ryan:

MCTC Professor Gibney Emails



Ryan, now 29 and living in the Los Angeles area after earning a bachelor's degree in English from the University of California-Berkeley, told City Pages that while he doesn't think Gibney was formally reprimanded for violating his privacy, it's his understanding she received a verbal admonishment from MCTC administrators. He said he never communicated with Gibney again after the above email exchange.

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

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148 comments
bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

I especially like the part where the idiot student wrote an official letter to the school, and then threatened to sue her for violating his privacy.

I'm sure he FEELS like a victim - but it has more to do with how he was raised, than with anything his teachers are teaching to him.
Sure it's uncomfortable for racists to hear about how little respect decent folks have for them - but we're not going to lie to students, just to protect the fragile egos of racist scumbags.

We used to do that - but not anymore.


Kelly9601
Kelly9601

Are you people kidding me?  You make racist comments about her in the same sentence that you deny racism, thereby proving her points.  No wonder she gets worked up.  Most people are not intelligent enough and/or lack the critical thinking abilities to understand what she is teaching.  As for the "editor," I had better grammar and mechanics than him as a sixth grader.   

DoFearTheReaper
DoFearTheReaper

His grammar is absolutely indicative of what she was talking about. There is no way he should have been an editor or staff writer... a paper delivery boy, maybe. And the fact that Cal gave him a bachelor's degree in English pushes the point into the absurd.

noelbarrick
noelbarrick

Soooo, who thinks Ryan may not be the most qualified to be the editor of a newspaper....

Stefanie Megan Brown
Stefanie Megan Brown

Kent Erickson Your last remarks are a perfect illustration of the way "post-civil rights" America is feeling today. But I certainly can't teach empathy and I can't teach the difference between feeling guilty (which you shouldn't) and understanding the way racism works.

TheConservativeJerk
TheConservativeJerk topcommenter

Shannon Gibney says, Racism sucks!  I hate racism!  

But... recognize me because of my race.  Give me a scholarship because of my race.   CHECK THE BOX PEOPLE!!!!  

The work of Al Sharpton.  Shaping a generation of idiocy through people herding. 

Charlie Howerton
Charlie Howerton

Well Slim why don't you ask the president of the United States that question ? As far as the incarceration piece have you ever watched Bait car ? I'm not saying ! I'm just saying ! you know what I'm saying ? We are in the times of technology videos, and recordings,forensic evidence plus DNA not buying into that conspiracy theory but piece to you sir

WatusiJenkins
WatusiJenkins

If this woman does in fact hold a Ph.D. as someone pointed out earlier, wouldn't have "structural racism" in American academia prevented her from getting that very Ph.D.?  I would imagine as an African American (or whatever she calls herself) she most likely got "privilege" by being accepted to the college(s) that she attended by virtue of the color of her skin rather than her academic merits. Perhaps this is why she could only get a job at MCTC. 

I have a feeling that this whole charade has nothing to do with racism, but rather the fact that she is bitter about how miserably her life turned out and uses racism as an excuse for her failure. I mean....who dreams of teaching at MCTC? LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Jonathan Lund
Jonathan Lund

This sounds like something the Minneapolis YWCA would be a part of. While I have done a lot to fight racism, sexism and homophobia/trains phobia, those lesbians there simply hate anything white with a penis.

Kent Erickson
Kent Erickson

I should rephrase that Stephanie, I used a poor choice of words. Obviously in the justice system there is a lot of inequality with sentencing guidelines and such, black people are more likely to be sentenced to a longer term than whites for the same crime and such, so, no your right we are not all equal. My point in referencing those lyrics which I admittedly didn't do a good job of getting across is that I myself consider myself equal with everyone else regardless of race, sexual orientation, class and etc. I don't see myself as better nor worse than anyone. I treat people equally, I can't help if others don't. It's not my problem. I can only control my own actions, I'm not responsible for anyone else. So I have no white guilt at all. All the bad things that have happened to African Americans in our history didn't involve me doing anything, so why should I feel guilty?

Kayla Fuller
Kayla Fuller

Racism is racism. No need to add "reverse" to it.

Kayla Fuller
Kayla Fuller

He was acquitted in the Trayvon case. He went to jail for other reasons. So... there is no "speaking of Trayvon" to speak of.

Broc Dobervich
Broc Dobervich

It's no wonder her abilities match her professional trajectory...at MCTC.

Joshua Warren
Joshua Warren

Slim Chance nobody forces anyone else to sell illegal narcotics. People make their own decisions and have to live with the consequences. Take responsibility for your actions.

Slim Chance
Slim Chance

If you really believe "The New Jim Crow," is not an incredibly valid topic, and that statistics of mass incarceration are not a glaring example of inequality, I would love to know your extremely valued and knowledgeable opinion of being black in America.

Jonathan Healy
Jonathan Healy

So only people of privilege can afford to not be racist? What kind of nutjob point of view is that?!? The best way to end racism, structural, institutional, or otherwise, is to... wait for it... DON'T BE RACIST. Mind-blowing, I know.

Jonathan Healy
Jonathan Healy

Making charged accusations based upon hearsay isn't pointing out racism. What she said was racist and sexist.

Jonathan Healy
Jonathan Healy

Only an idiot would take disgruntled accusations as gospel the way you did. It's a good thing that MCTC isn't run by hacks like yourself.

Stefanie Megan Brown
Stefanie Megan Brown

I think this thread is vilifying her. But if the races were reversed maybe she would be terminated. All that would mean is that academic authorities still have a problem with addressing oppression. Therefore it still goes unsolved.

NaiveProgressive
NaiveProgressive

Please participate in the “Dismantle Your White Privilege Campaign”!

We offer a residency program for naive idealistic young white “progressive” college kids who support Shannon Gibney, and who feel they don't have enough close personal contact with actual African-Americans in their lives.

Grant recipients will receive a free 3-month stay in an apartment of my choice (NOT IN MINNESOTA! The grant residencies are located in Detroit, Camden New Jersey, Gary Indiana, Zimbabwe, and East St. Louis.)

Your rent on your actual residence will be paid for those 3 months, and you will also receive a $1000 per month stipend for the 3 months of the program, plus travel expenses from Minnesota to the grant residency location!

The only stipulations are that you have to actually live in the apartment that I choose, and stay there every night of the 3 months, and take public transportation as your only means of transportation, and if you don’t complete the entire 3 month program (like if you chicken out, or get killed, etc), then you will have to pay back the entire amount (rents on both your residence and the granted residency apartment, travel expenses, and the $1000 monthly stipend).

Who wants to be the first grant recipient? Hit me up!

Dismantle your white privilege today, and get paid to do it!

Dave Stagner
Dave Stagner

The student body may be diverse, but is that reflected in the editorial staff at the student newspaper? If the student body is highly diverse, but the newspaper editorial staff consists of mostly white men, then her point is valid. The correct debunking is not to talk about the student body diversity, but to talk about the editorial staff diversity. They're not doing that, which suggests that it's not diverse.

NaiveProgressive
NaiveProgressive

Don't worry, naive white "progressive" college kids, all those black people violently  attacking you on and around your campuses are really just trying to forcibly dismantle and rape away your unearned white privilege.  You should thank them, if you survive their attacks.  They are only trying to help you out in the new barbaric "progressive" future they are helping to create.

WatusiJenkins
WatusiJenkins

If Ms. Gibney does not like the imaginary "institutional racism" here in the U.S., perhaps Ms. Gibney should move to her native Africa where "institutional racism" will be the least of her worries.

Jamie Sens
Jamie Sens

Nothing could "prepair" me for the amount of grammatical mistakes in that guy's e-mail. Laughable.

CITYRIDERRT19
CITYRIDERRT19

She sounds like a perfect fit for the African American Studies program at Duke.

YTdontcare
YTdontcare

Too bad, so sad.  Eat shit, bitch.

haha
haha

The so called former editor of the mctc newspaper needs spell check. Also, this angry mulatto prof needs to go work somewhere else. 

Gandydancer
Gandydancer

@Kelly9601  Her problem is that she lacks the critical thinking ability to understand the foolishness of what she is saying, but she says it anyway. If you, too, think that attacking "Whiteness" isn't personal than you, too, are a fool.

concernedDad
concernedDad

@WatusiJenkins  

A lot of the teachers at MCTC actually teach at other universities as well. And they have good teachers there, some black, some white, etc. My favorite math teacher was Somalian!

 Anyways, I cannot believe that this teacher acted in the manner she did. She turned her racist comments into her being victimized. It is like she has to get the last word in, to convince everyone that she is right! Who is she fooling...you can still be racist and not white. Just look over in St. Paul, where white people are getting beat up because they are white.

 Last comment. Is it just me or is this teacher look half white anyways? Does she hate just half of herself then?

loveslovecraft
loveslovecraft

@WatusiJenkins I agree. As a white male I have other white male friends and relatives who are so angry at "The MAN" "Why won't anyone publish my book!" (and give me tons of money) OR I loose job after job because the boss is a jerk or an idiot! If you want to improve your lot in life my advice is "try harder and stop blaming everyone else other than yourself"

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

Do something about it then. Obama is Jim Crow. Black people have actually devolved since the civil rights movement. Why do you think that is?

NaiveProgressive
NaiveProgressive

@Stefanie Megan Brown - hardly anyone is swallowing your cult jargon and cult dogma anymore, white guilt just doesn't sell like it used to, that must suck for you.

mannyman100xyz
mannyman100xyz

@Dave Stagner Maybe the reason why there are many white men in the editorial staff is because they just so happened to be the most qualified? 

I doubt there would be any complaints if the editorial staff was mostly black/non-white.

 Typical hateful white-hating bigots. 

Gandydancer
Gandydancer

Your mistake is using "amount" where "number" is called for.

YTdontcare
YTdontcare

@nate.brennan one in three black South African men admit to gang-rape.  Let's get lots more South African men to immigrate to your neighborhood

WatusiJenkins
WatusiJenkins

@mannyman100xyz 

Or most likely the reason there are so many white men on the editorial staff is because they were the only ones who applied for the positions.

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