A white student was being extremely disrespectful to our Statistics professor, who is a POC. She kept saying the professor was wrong and questioning her intelligence, although the professor had done extensive research in her field as a PhD candidate & continues to do research to this day.
When the professor politely explained the answer (for a 3rd time, because the student refused to accept her thorough reasoning & kept arguing), the student said “whatever, I DON’T CARE” in front of everyone. Nobody in the room defended the professor although she looked hurt. Although she could’ve reacted impulsively to the blatant attacks (rightfully so), the professor said “that wasn’t very nice of you.”
The student acted like she had nothing to apologize for while laughing in the back with her sorority sisters and hesitantly forced out a “sorry” in the most dishonest and privileged tone possible.
This was not the first or last time something like this happened. Students often made fun of the professor’s accent, especially white frat guys.
To this day, I wonder how the professor (along with other POC faculty) manages to teach classes with mostly white, privileged students who are xenophobic and racist, hence fail to show any respect. I wish I would’ve used my voice to speak up, but I sat there shocked and too scared to intervene.
This is the truth about W&L that we are so embarrassingly proud of. Stuff like this happens all the time & there is no accountability. We are more concerned about being seen as “sensitive” by our peers than calling out racism. We go around wondering why POC students don’t feel welcomed.
If POC faculty isn’t welcomed or respected, what can we expect for students, especially outside the classroom?