Who Really Burns: Quitting a Dean’s Job in the Age of Mike Brown


Eve Dunbar in Jezebel:

As with most predominantly white institutions, black teenagers are, sadly, a rarity on our campuses. And many students within these sorts of elite spaces have been sheltered from racial violence due to their whiteness and/or socio-economic status. The students who haven't been sheltered often escape into these “liberal,” liberal arts colleges expecting a respite from the violent face of anti-blackness that plagues our nation.

Yet racial profiling often intensifies rather than relents in elite, predominantly white institutions located in cities and towns that are predominantly black, brown, and poor.

In the face of this incident, as the singular, young, black female high-ranking administrator, I found myself a part of a crisis that had been brewing decades. For years before my six-month time as Acting Dean, black faculty and students had raised racial profiling as an issue. Little had been done over the decades to address their concerns. There wasn't even a formal mechanism in place to acknowledge these incidents.

After talking with impacted students, I worked to put into place a system for documenting racial profiling incidents on our campus. Unlike the classroom, which can breed critical self-reflexivity, there was no space within the administrators' managerial function to reckon with a history of racial profiling writ large on our campus community, city, or nation. All of my work around racial profiling was a loose-fitting Band-Aid that came too late and too little.

More here.