Thanks for the response, Khadijah! This was already a somewhat long post for ideal readership (anything beyond a 5-minute read loses its audience), so I did not elaborate. What I am alluding to, which is easily documented elsewhere, is that racism has long existed in American higher education, just as it has existed in American society. Just because people have fancy degrees and dress in black robes doesn’t mean they are inoculated against beliefs popularly associated with people without college degrees who dress in white robes. While the popular stereotype of college these days is of a hyperliberal atmosphere that bends over backwards to be accommodating to people of color, this is not the reality in terms of how things play out at most campuses. The academic institutions function not that much differently than other American institutions have long functioned, in terms of having very few people of color at the top end of pay and prestige, lots of people of color at the bottom end of pay and prestige, and — while we’re at it — with longstanding pay discrepancies between men and women that are officially denied, even as they persist. I defer to those who do scholarship in this area for the details, but hopefully that’s some of the framework you sought. Thanks again for writing! John

A geography professor and meteorologist at UGA in Athens, GA. I write about news, sports, weather, climate, education, journalism, religion, poetry, the South.

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