*Shannon Gibney, a black professor at Minneapolis Community and Technical College was reprimanded for hurting the feelings of two white male students when she chose to approach the topic of structural racism in her Intro to Mass Communication class, and they decided to take it personal.
It appears the two men were simply tired of hearing about the topic of racism; so one of them interrupted her class to tell her so, and was then supported by another student who added, “It’s like people are trying to say that white men are always the villains, the bad guys. Why do we have to say this?”
Gibney tried to explain to them that she was not referring to them personally or any other white person specifically when she was talking about whiteness as a system of oppression. When it became clear her clarification was not being well-received, she hilariously quipped, “If you’re really upset, feel free to go down to legal affairs and file a racial harassment discrimination complaint.”
And they did.
This brought an investigative meeting, followed by a letter of reprimand, sent by the Vice President of Academic Affairs, Lois Bollman. Wherein he expressed his concern regarding her teaching methods:
“Shannon, I find it troubling that the manner in which you led a discussion on the very important topic of structural racism alienated two students who may have been most in need of learning about this subject…
While I believe it was your intention to discuss structural racism generally…it was inappropriate for you to single out white male students in class. Your actions in [targeting] select students based on their race and gender caused them embarrassment and created a hostile learning environment.”
Sadly, this isn’t the first time that Gibney has faced this type of treatment from both students and administration. Now Gibney and six other professors plan to file an anti-discrimination lawsuit against the school, a move that will hopefully work to restore their voice and authority as faculty members.
See more here.