What's Happening in the World

#DoYouSupportSaida?

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I typically post once a week but this particular issue has been gnawing at me. I attend Boston University and in the past year we have made numerous headlines regarding issues of race and discrimination on campus. As is no surprise, we made headlines yet again this week, and this time the issue stems from comments made by incoming professor, Dr. Saida Grundy. Dr. Grundy is expected to be installed as an assistant professor in the Sociology Department with an additional appointment in African American Studies. She recently tweeted several negative comments regarding white college males and their impact on our society & affect on college environments. Shortly after the tweets surfaced a student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Nick Pappas, wrote an exposé skewing these tweets, in my opinion. He called Dr. Grundy a “racist” and “unqualified”. Mr. Pappas insinuates that the professor is a problem and that she should be removed from her position. After the publication of Pappas’ article, Professor Grundy’s tweets gained increased national exposure, with significant coverage by Fox News. The station, and many other right-winged organizations scrutinized, with what appears to be villainous intent, both Dr. Grundy and her comments. Yesterday, May 12, President Brown of Boston University issued a response regarding the Dr.’s tweet, via email, stating that while Boston University does not condone Dr. Grundy’s comments they still intend to move forward with her appointment on July 1. It is good that this recent incident did not deter the school’s intent to appoint Dr. Grundy, but the letter also felt very consolatory to those offended by Grudy’s statements.
I find this whole situation ironic and disheartening. In my opinion there were some seeds of truth in Grundy’s tweets. Minorities, especially minorities in white dominated institutions, face racist comments and remarks, on a daily basis. I can understand that some people find these remarks and comments racist and offensive especially since some of the white males she referenced may be the students she teaches, but the tweets do express her heartfelt opinions. I must also say, we have completely overlooked the more important issue. I think instead of focusing on Dr. Grundy’s tweets, the news should take a deeper look into the lacking minority population, especially black population, of students and faculty on BU’s campus and at predominantly white institutions in general. After the Mike Brown case there was an article published in BU Today, the school sponsored newspaper, discussing the case and the situation as a whole. Following its publication many students and faculty members anonymously wrote derogatory, hateful and racists comments. These offensive remarks were never publicly addressed by any of the heads of the University administration or faculty. In addition, I personally know of students who have had the word N***er and other derogatory names hurled at them while walking down the main streets of campus. These incidents are rarely, if ever addressed, and I don’t think that is acceptable. I think more should be done to breed an open and accepting environment not only on this campus, but at predominantly white institutions(PWI) nationwide. These incidents are not unique to BU, they are a problems that many minority students face at PWIs. There is a greater issue here that I feel is being overshadowed by Grundy’s eye opening tweets and that is the institutionalized racism that has been so ingrained in society, that it spills over into these supposedly open and diverse institutions. So, I leave you with this thought what is the bigger problem with this situation: Saida Grundy’s statements or the fact that these major news sources and individuals have failed to address the racism and bigotry that minorities face not only at school, but at work, and anywhere else in white dominated America? College is supposed to be the time where you become aware of new and different ideas, Grundy did not do the best job conveying her ideas, and for that she has apologized, but what about all of the unspoken apologies that are long overdue to minority students?

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