fidesquaerens (marta_bee) wrote,

thoughts on racially-motivated incidents at Fordham

Last year, there were several incidents at my school that seemed to have a racist dimension to them. Some graffiti including "nigger" written across an Afro-Caribbean student's door in permanent marker. There's also been other racist graffiti and a student dressed up for Halloween in blackface. You may think these are comparatively mild a far as racism goes (and you're not wrong, sadly), but they're still pretty offensive.

The uni's response didn't really help things. It's hard to nail these things down, of course, but the best description is probably that the university is slow and reactive (rather than proactive). They also seem clumsy; the most widely-discussed incident involved a black girl but not an Afro-American (she's of Afro-Caribbean descent). It just seemed like a low priority. In several emails they talked about it like the aggressor was him/herself a victim. I just don't get a sense that this whole thing has been taken seriously.

For some official reports:
This all came up becasue the uni just posted their new handbook, including an FAQ on hate acts. And once again it's all about services available for the victim, confidentiality and protections - not about what will happen besides the university will look into it. If I was more concerned about this than I was practically (as a white woman it's never been an issue, it wouldn't seem like the university was treating this as anything more than boys will be boys - high-spirited hijinks rather than the disgusting behavior it is.

I don't know how to handle this better, though. Fordham people, what do you think about the new FAQ, and the situation in general? Everyone else, how do you think institutions like universities should handle this kind of thing? I'm trying to be fair to all involved, but this whole situation just makes me feel ill at ease, for some reason that I can't quite explain.

PS - I agree with the Ram article writer: even if Fordham truly did value tolerance, that's not aiming high enough IMO. Christian love requires love of the neighbor, not just a vague acceptance that he has a right to be here too.
Tags: academic, racism, rl
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