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Hamline sociology professor accused of unbalanced approach to the study of race and racism. Debate on anti-racism and lack of institutional support ensues


Maisue Xiong, Colin R. Smith. Letter to the Editor: Professor ignoring diversity, students. December 07, 2004

In a letter to Markowitz, a student writes, “On numerous occasions, you seem to want to avoid discussing racism and other difficult issues, and you prevent students of color from making connections between these topics and reading assignments. Recently the conversation in class turned to the Student of Color Orientation when a white student stated that it was unfair that students of color have their own orientation and that she felt uncomfortable with that. You shifted the conversation away from students of color, discrimination, and racism, in my opinion. In doing so, you did not give me the opportunity to voice my opinions to my fellow classmates, and I was silenced and ignored.


Christina Romo. Letter to the Editor: Letter about professor was unfair, incorrect. February 15, 2005

The information printed in the letter told only half the story. The truth is, these students failed to mention the fact that they went to a Jewish professor and told him that the Holocaust should not be addressed in his Racial and Cultural Minorities class because they felt that the Holocaust was not an issue of race. The Holocaust may not have been an issue of race, but the Jewish people are definitely considered to be a cultural minority.

Angela Robertson. Letter to the Editor: A charge for Hamline to live up to diversity vision. February 15, 2005

To my white fellow students:
Recognize your privilege not just at Hamline, but also in your life. As you continue into the business world, acknowledge your whiteness.

Martin Markowitz. Letter to the Editor: Professor responds to students’ claims that they were “silenced and ignored”. February 22, 2005

During the second week, the week we were to discuss Suburban Sahibs, I contracted bronchitis and was out for one class session. The second class session was, of course, about Suburban Sahibs. Previously, my colleague Diane Clayton had provided a separate session on nationalism in India.
Following the second session, Maisue approached me and asked if she could talk to me. I asked what she wanted to talk about, and her response was … Why is it that I devote a week to a book about white people, Jewish people, and only one session to people of color? She further suggested that I was “oppressing her voice.” Remarks of this nature are bound to put me and any other professor on full alert. I decline to have this sort of discussion with anyone who would preface a conversation by refusing to acknowledge most of the semester’s classes and instead approach me in a manner that clearly advertises that the agenda will hardly resemble a respectful exchange of ideas.

Jenna Witt. Letter to the Editor: Different races should follow the Golden Rule. February 22, 2005

That said, I think some of the proposals for white people to follow, taken to the limits, are a promotion of reverse racism.
The ideal of professor diversity is similar to the process of affirmative action. Affirmative action is, again, something that is good in theory, but promotes reverse racism.

Brian Voerding, Oracle Editor in Chief. Editorial. March 01, 2005

I have final responsibility for the headlines on each letter. I admit that the headline on Jenna Witt’s Feb. 22 letter, “Different races must follow the Golden Rule,” was ambiguous, and permitted an incorrect interpretation of Witt’s argument that not all races need to follow the Golden Rule. This was never our intention. For that I apologize, and I thank those that brought this ambiguity to our attention.

Deanna Thompson. Letter to the Editor: The Golden Rule is a nice idea, but it fails in practice to fight racism and white privilege. March 01, 2005

Laura Wilson. Letter to the Editor: Administration failing to address racism. March 01, 2005

Christopher Swanson. Letter to the Editor: Students should tread carefully regarding institutional concerns. March 01, 2005

It is a shame when those of us who might otherwise find merit in the arguments against white privilege and institutional racism are alienated and shut out by the specious advocacy and bully tactics of Xiong and Smith.

Juanita C. Boyd, Laura Mann. Letter to the Editor: Why you should have been at the MLK commemoration celebration. March 01, 2005

In what way is Ms. Witt celebrating racial differences? By demoralizing a student of color. By attacking the idea of a diverse faculty and staff. By saying affirmative action is reverse racism (which does not exist). This sounds more like racism then a celebration of different races.
One should not write an article in which they have no idea about the issues they are discussing.

Shannon Malone. Letter to the Editor: Hamline’s cultural breadth inadequate. March 01, 2005

Second, in a purportedly student-centered university, why are students discouraged from voicing misgivings and having a say in the content of their education? Are we not supposed to think critically of the information that is being presented to us?

Shefali Aggarwal, Lisa Radnitz. Letter to the Editor: Racism and Diversity are more than just words. March 01, 2005

In your letter, you write “And when I get into the workplace, I would never want to get a job just because I am a woman.” Do you think that we want to get hired for a job solely based on our skin color? Stop and think about how you would feel if you didn’t get a job because you are a woman; like so many people of color who are denied jobs every day because of their skin color.

Matrika Bailey-Turner, Ho Nguyen. Letter to the Editor: Recognition is the first step for help. March 01, 2005

Matt Lutz. Students of color, allies protest silently, ask to be heard. March 8, 2005

Students of color and allies protested silently last Tuesday in HUSC and and in and around Old Main. (…)
The flyer was entitled “Students of Color Demand a Voice!” and on it were listed the following demands:
• That students of color be heard.
• Recognition of the events currently occurring on the Hamline campus that directly contradict the university’s goals toward diversity.
• A change in the campus climate to be more inclusive and an effective learning community.
• A response from Hamline’s administration so that change can occur effectively.

One reply on “Hamline sociology professor accused of unbalanced approach to the study of race and racism. Debate on anti-racism and lack of institutional support ensues”

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