More Fun with Microaggression

It’s the first of the year, and everything old is new again. Remember Seinfeld, the show about nothing? The updated version of the Seinfeld conceit, Microaggression, is being serialized on college campuses everywhere. If you are unsure of the premise–something about nothing–let one of the rising stars of Microaggression explain. Felicia Harris blogs for The […]

It’s True: Black Lives Don’t Matter

  “Dear Harvard College students,” writes Dean Rakesh Khurana on December 8, I know that my words cannot begin to express the emotions or claim the lived experiences that so many of us are feeling in the wake of the events in Ferguson and Staten Island. But there are moments when we cannot stay silent. So […]

Ask a Stupid Question…

For scholars in the fields of race and ethnic studies—including those who work outside the ivory tower—dealing with snide questions, nasty comments, and occasional name-calling is just part of the job description. Over the years, these academics have repeatedly told me that their work is uniquely misunderstood and dismissed by students, fellow faculty, and the […]

Somebody Quick Call the Diversity Trainers!

I am outraged. The monster of white privilege has once again raised its flaxen head, this time to disrupt the return-from-semester of Howard University students to their Washington, DC campus. Imagine, if you dare, the anguish of a scrappy band of upperclassmen who, upon arriving back at the dorms, make a quick stop at the […]

Professor Melissa Harris-Perry Explains How Going from Bad to Worse Equals Racism. Sort of.

There is nothing like a good double-take to get the weekend off to a great start. And so it was on Saturday morning as I clicked from Real Clear Politics to “Black President, Double Standard: Why White Liberals Are Abandoning Obama,” an essay appearing in the October 10, 2011 edition of The Nation. The essay […]

Commencement: Higher Ed’s Last Chance to Think Critically on Behalf of its Graduates

The envelope, please. Broadway has the Tony Awards; Hollywood, the Oscars; and then of course there is the eponymously named Booker Prize. As a species we are fond of handing out honors for accomplishments small and large. Higher education is no different, and this month begins the academy’s own silly season of awards. I am […]

Profiles in Racism: How Comments in The New York Times Reveal Their Writers’ Ugly Thoughts

Way back in the 1980’s I held a tea party. I broke out the Limoges, I tracked down watercress—no easy trick in 1985—for fancy sandwiches, and I spent hours baking the requisite tiny pastries. As it happens, the guest list was all female, friends and colleagues. The centerpiece of the menu was a lethal brew […]

Does the “D” in Dee Dee Bridgewater Stand for “Demagogue”?

As I slowly detox from the noxious racial environment cultured in academia, I find my thoughts about the now-quaint notion of “race relations” clearing. The mental fog that rises from incessant accusations of “white privilege” and tiresome dogma from privileged whites (faculty, in the main) that insists all African Americans remain shackled by the bonds […]