How to Know if Your College Has a Race Problem

  1. 1.
    The college states that they do not have a race problem.
  2. 2.
    The college has a “Chief Diversity Officer” and Sensitivity Training™ for engineers who have never heard of micro-aggressions. The college will offer to send slides from the annual afternoon sensitivity training in the form of a PDF file if you cannot make it. Sensitivity Training™ is nothing if not convenient.
  3. 3.
    The college loves to use the discourse of microaggressions. “Microaggressions” sound better than “small acts of daily, soul-erasing racism.”
  4. 4.
    The college also loves to use the discourse of sexual misconduct because sexual assault does not sound great. (This is a separate issue. Please see: How to Know if Your College Has a Sexual Assault Problem.)
  5. 5.
    The college elects faculty for shared governance. The college happened to put that one Asian-American colleague up against that other Asian-American colleague for committee work, but no, it does not explicitly have anything to do with the fact that they are both Asian American. It is a coincidence. But Asians do have better handwriting.
  6. 6.
    The college cannot stack one African-American colleague against another African-American colleague for shared committee work because, unfortunately, the college does not yet have two African-American professors employed at the institution.
  7. 7.
    The college really wants to hire more diverse candidates, but unfortunately that diversity fund for giving “extra” incentive money for such candidates had to be redirected to the college’s Division III athletics budget. Go Panthers.
  8. 8.
    Those three people who did not get tenure and just happened to be people of color? Nothing to do with the fact that they were people of color! Actually, they just weren’t the right “fit.” Fit is really important at a small school like ours.
  9. 9.
    You look left. You look right. You look in front of you. You look behind you. You don’t see a person of color? No, you’re not at a Jens Lekman concert. You’re at a faculty meeting.
  10. 10.
    The word “inclusion” is littered all over the college website, college brochures, and college handouts. The message is clear. IF you come here, there is a chance you might make a Black friend. Imagine that, kid. You! With a Black friend! What a time to be alive.