Race, Class, Sexism, Student Affairs, Higher Education: 6 Articles I’ve Been Reading This Week

From The Atlantic: Why So Many Minority Millennials Can’t Get Ahead

“For black Millennials in particular, studies point to a legacy of discrimination over several centuries that contributed to less inherited wealth passed down from previous generations. This financial disparity stems from continuous shortfalls in their parents’ net worth and low homeownership rates among blacks, which works to create an unlevel playing field.”

From The Huffington Post: White Fragility Is Racial Violence

“White people, we can do better. We can sit with our friends of color and feel our emotions without coopting their grief. We can do our own labor to educate ourselves, and find new sources of information to take the burden of our own ignorance off the people we have oppressed for centuries.

We can work harder to educate each other, as fellow white people, on how to better discuss racism, how to really show up for people of color in meaningful, non-disruptive ways, and fight white supremacy from within.

And we can do these things without demanding cookies or pats on the back or taking credit for “starting conversations.” These conversations have been happening without our participation for decades. We don’t get a gold star for acknowledging humanity and being decent human beings.”

From Riding The Elevator: If It’s Broken & We Don’t Talk About It, Is It Still Broken? The #SA Search

“A professional belief that I have arrived at is that the student affairs job search process and how it may be conducted is broken (not everywhere and not always) and not talking about it will not make it any less broken.

I’ll do my best to explain just one component in particular that directly contributes to this brokenness and that is the practice of conducting a “fraudulent search.” I define a “fraudulent search” as when a position in student affairs is available on a university campus (especially a public one) and that university’s human resources, ethics and compliance, equal opportunity, or other designated university officials state that for available positions an “open search” must be conducted and the individual division, department, or hiring manager has already predetermined the hire, conducts the search process, and hires that predetermined candidate anyway.”

From Drifting Through My Open Mind: The Thing All Women Do That You Don’t Know About

“We learn at a young age how to do this. We didn’t put a name or label to it. We didn’t even consider that other girls were doing the same thing. But we were teaching ourselves, mastering the art of de-escalation. Learning by way of observation and quick risk assessment what our reactions should and shouldn’t be.

We go through a quick mental checklist. Does he seem volatile, angry? Are there other people around? Does he seem reasonable and is just trying to be funny, albeit clueless? Will saying something impact my school/job/reputation? In a matter of seconds we determine whether we will say something or let it slide. Whether we’ll call him out or turn the other way, smile politely or pretend that we didn’t hear/see/feel it.

It happens all the time. And it’s not always clear if the situation is dangerous or benign.”

From The Huffington Post: To The Latinos Who Can’t Speak Spanish

“…to the Latinos who don’t speak Spanish, to the Latinos who can’t roll their r’s or have to smile and nod when their tía starts rattling off words they don’t understand: Don’t worry.

You are Latino enough.”

From Christopher Lehman: About My Whiteness

“What seems dangerous is not our hearts. I know a lot of white educators who care a whole damn lot.

What seems dangerous is not our convictions. I know a lot of white educators who work hard to make the world better for everyone.

What seems dangerous is how much we are not aware of. How poorly we listen. How little we see. Even when we think we see the most.”


From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins-Jones, MSW, LLMSW



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I'm a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities. "Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian" is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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4 Responses

  1. vellissima says:

    I’ve just read a letter from a friend of mine who is the head of the Political Science Department at Western Washington University to the students about the racist incidents there. It would be a tough argument to make today that we are a post-racial society. Maybe some more people will become open to the idea of structural racism and an intrinsically racist culture. Our culture is racist, our culture speaks through us, we are racist. Now what are we willing to think and do about it?

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