Duke’s Black Students Insulted by Racially Charged Duke Study

Duke's African American community protests study authored by University faculty that attempts to prove that African American students are not as smart as their GPA suggests.

Duke has gotten somewhat of a reputation for being racially insensitive.   Last March, Jalen Rose was under fire for his remarks about the school and his idea that a lot of black students from the inner city may share. He said that “Schools like Duke don’t recruit players like me” or black kids from the inner city.  They didn’t take kindly to such a sweeping generalization of the school, but now the campus is at the center of their own controversial remarks against black students that seek to generalize their academic performance.

According to Durham’s Herald-Sun, a study performed within the university seeks to stereotype Duke’s black community of students.  The research concluded that black students who initially expressed an “interest in majoring in economics, engineering and the natural sciences,” switched to less rigorous majors before graduating.  They even broke their perceptions down by numbers using “Duke freshman classes that matriculated in 2001 and 2002, in their first, second and fourth years of college” as their control group.

The unpublished study, “What Happens After Enrollment? An Analysis of the Time Path of Racial Differences in GPA and Major Choice,” is insulting by the mere choice to waste university hours to supposedly prove that African American students are lazy or less diligent in their academic pursuits.  The report found that:

“54 percent of black men and 51 percent of black women ended up switching to the humanities or another social science.

By comparison, 33 percent of white women and just 8 percent of white men made the switch to majors that are considered less rigorous, require less study and have easier grading standards.”

Now why do you think that the African American student body would be troubled by such a study?  That’s probably the question that is stomping the racially insensitive administration.   Duke’s Black Student Alliance president Nana Asante took their concerns to the NAACP saying in an e-mail:

“The implications and intentions of this research at the hands of our very own prestigious faculty, seemingly without a genuine concern for proactively furthering the well-being of the black community is hurtful and alienating…”

The study, written by professors Peter Arcidiacono and Kenneth Spenner, and graduate student Esteban Aucejo, is being used to prove that Affirmative Action is not necessary in the admission process at both Duke and at the University of Texas, who has submitted the study as a part of a brief to the Supreme Court in a lawsuit that the high court may hear regarding “race conscious” undergraduate admission into the University of Texas.  According to the authors, it’s easy for African American students to “catch up” to Duke’s white students with easy course work found in the Humanities and social sciences.

The study is blatantly racist and if Duke does not condemn the actions of the authors and remove itself from association with everyone involved, our students must shun them by never again crossing the threshold.   We should not pay great salaries to people who belittle and objectify our existence, so they can raise their families with the best life has to offer and building, in their children, another generation that would seek to do the same.

And I’d like to remind Duke University that they were home to one of the most diabolical pedophiles to cross God’s green earth.  On July 1, 2009, we reported a story on Frank M. Lombard, who at the time was the assistant director for Duke University’s Center for Health Policy.  He and his allegedly unsuspecting partner was selling their adopted black son online for sex.  The child was five years old and they adopted him as an infant.  How about Duke construct a report about their sinister faculty.  Hmmmmm…we could call it, “What Happens After You Attain a Degree in Science? An Analysis of the Deviant Behavior Found in the Scientific Community at Duke University.”

Read more here and support these students.

-J.C. Brooks

4 thoughts on “Duke’s Black Students Insulted by Racially Charged Duke Study”

  1. When a study is performed it is important to understand every variable that could contribute to the study. This study does not appear complete. There is not mention of students being surveyed to determine the reason for their changes from applied science to social science majors. I would be interested to know if the stats would change once this “variable” has been added to the equation. Secondly, who cares if the student chose to change? This is their right. Lastly, the best way to prove racially biased studies like this dont mean a HILL of BEANS is to prove them wrong and not allow it to fuel uncessary tension. EXCEL, EXCEL, EXCEL.

  2. First of all, I find it hard to side with any “journalist” who can’t edit their material, particularly something as simple as subject-verb agreement: “He and his allegedly unsuspecting partner was selling their adopted black son…” Excellent. The study does seem inherently racist, but frankly it’s predicated on a society that won’t let race go, good or bad. If they were doing a study to outline how higher enrollment of black students contributes to higher student morale or a greater graduation rate, no one would take exception to the study. In fact, people would applaud the effort to glorify the “disenfranchised.” Their point, and one that sadly the African-American community refuses to acknowledge or remedy for itself, is that far too many black students, given equal opportunity, are not taking advantage or staying competitive. Post-graduate, we hear that not enough this or not enough that are represented in technology fields or science fields, but perhaps these symptoms are derivative from the university level. As the commentor above said, the best way to prove a study, a group, a person wrong is to excel. If black students and hence adults intend to compete with their white counterparts (not to mention Asians who exceed both demographics I’m sure), then they need to excel past the rigor, challenge, and perhaps social stigma attached to the majors that merit life’s sweetest rewards. How can this study be applicable? Schools can arguably begin scrutinizing black applicants interested in science and engineering. They can design programs that mentor or counsel black students who are at-risk for changing to a less rigorous major. Black community – instead of taking exception to every single “slight,” consider whether it’s simply a blind spot to your own personality that you simply don’t want to recognize. After all, making a change in yourself is one of the most rigorous things a person can do.

  3. Eric, we appreciate that you took the time to read our story and hope that you continue to visit the site with respectful, intelligent comments. It is our sincere hope that your choice to diminish this issue was not predicated by a couple missed commas to make proper “subject-verb agreement.” Thanks!

  4. Did I diminish the issue? I thought I had asserted an alternative point-of-view, one that I was aware might not be popular but that I felt was stated respectfully. I’m an educator myself for adolescent children from diverse backgrounds. I might accomodate my students differently, but I never lower my expectations for any of them, especially not on a count of race. When I refuse to allow excuses, the students with fight in them rise up and those without do not. My comments, no matter how disagreeable, come from personal and professional experience. It is my sincere hope that your response was not predicated on content with which you simply didn’t agree.

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