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View Diary: Racism at Mr. Jefferson's University (18 comments)

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  •  I don't think that's fair to the University (none)
    If I recall correctly, this latest rash of things began when I was still in C'ville and there was a pretty nasty Student Council election that resulted in an attack. And the administration's response was to build a multi-million dollar diversity center in Newcomb and hold seminars on race. Perhaps throwing money at the issue isn't the best response, but I really do think they are trying.

    In fact, in a certain way I think the effort to educate the students in a very public manner might have led to an increase in open hostility. One of those it gets worse before it gets better things.

    I also think living in such a liberal haven as C'ville can make one complacent. It's hard to believe that there could ever be a problem there.

    Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote. ~George Jean Nathan

    by VirginiaBelle on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 07:35:59 AM PDT

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    •  asdf (none)
      I experienced a lot of the same predjudice in the early 80's as a student and again several years ago when I returned to the University as an employee several years ago.  It was made more public with the Daisy Lundy attack, but has always been part of attending the University, at least as far as black students are concerned.  I have heard anecdotes of racist treatment from around 90% of former students that I've spoken with, and they range from grads in 60's to several who graduated last year.

      In the last couple of years there have also been complaints of a lack of administration interest and/or investigation in racial incidents recently. This is another observation that has been made to be by students lately. I didn't mean to imply that the administration isn't doing anything, or that they don't care, but the "throwing money at the problem" thing is something that's been done to death over the last 20 years.  Again, I think the problem is about "belonging", and about dealing w/people who don't look, think, or act exactly the way you expect them to.  

      Also, I'm really concerned that these racial incidents seem to be more blatant these days, and I wonder what that says about the atmosphere in which these perpetrators can operate. It's somewhat off topic, but when I hear a former Secretary of Education drawing a correlation between being black and being a criminal, or when I see crowds of blacks in Louisiana being stopped from crossing a bridge to safety out of New Orleans, I wonder what message the media is sending about blacks in general.  I'm not saying U.Va has anything to do with that, but I think that if there's any sort of change in some people's (subconscious) concept of blacks as violent, inferior, subhuman or whatever, it is not likely to come from voluntary attendance at a seminar where it's too easy to get up and walk away if you don't like what's being said.

      BTW, I have never been complacent while living here.  There are racial problems in the city as well, but they rarely get publicized.

      Ain't they got no shame?? Naw, they ain't got no shame!! --Nikki Giovanni

      by DemInCville on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 12:12:02 PM PDT

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