September 16, 2013

"A Texas Christian University professor reached out in an e-mail to a group of students he deemed to be 'of color' to help them succeed in his class."

"But the move backfired with at least one student, who was insulted at being included for her perceived ethnicity."
The student said she doesn’t strongly identify as Hispanic, although her last name is of Hispanic origin and she is one-quarter Hispanic.... The student said she wondered what her friends would think, and posted it on Facebook, with the tag: “I straight up just got segregated by my own teacher. I'm 75 [percent] white.”

One friend said: "Wait is this a joke? Your professor is trying to have a study session for 'students of color' only?"... Yet another wrote: "But what if ur Hispanic yet u have a white sounding last name. U get left out?" The student responded: "yeah that's kind of my point. he just judged me by my last name."...
The teacher subsequently emailed that it was his policy to "participate in and contribute to the [university's] mission by being available to all students." He says he has "always been open to having review sessions with an entire class or with smaller groups of students without excluding others" and: "I do like to offer myself as a resource to students (particularly those of color) who may face challenges and become discouraged..."


Gabriel Hanna said...

He was tricky in that email. He put the "open to everyone" boilerplate in small letters and the STUDENTS OF COLOR ONLY in all caps.

Jim Howard said...

The 75% percent white girl hit home with me, because my granddaughter is 75% anglo redneck and 25% Mexican.

My granddaughter has anglo first and last names, even though I told her parents to put something Mexican sounding in her name so she could join a victim group.

Everyone with any sense at all can see that it's a huge advantage in academic and government institutions to have some victim group identity.

At least the professor in question was honest about practicing racism.

David said...

Where is Clarence Thomas when you need him.

Original Mike said...

"A Texas Christian University professor reached out in an e-mail to a group of students he deemed to be 'of color' to help them succeed in his class."

But don't worry, "people of color". He respects you. He just doesn't think you can cut it.

The Godfather said...

We all know there's this thing called affirmative action in higher education. It's not supposed to be all about race and ethnicity, but we all know that it's a lot about race and ethnicity. So are we supposed to be shocked when a professor offers special help to students of non-majority race or ethnicity? If you let someone into the college who wouldn't have been admitted under the usual standards, it seems to me you owe it to him/her to provide a little extra help.

MadisonMan said...

The other day I saw an announcement for parents of Hispanics, or something like that, at my kid's High School, to meet together, ostensibly I guess to build community, or something like that, but the underlying, unstated message is, IMO, You and your children are too dumb to succeed on your own, but we will provide a place for you to help them because you can't do that yourself.

What a great way for the White Majority to feel good about themselves: To put down others in a nice and subtle manner.

traditionalguy said...

Texas tries to divide Hispanic and Teutonic White into different colors for political reasons, but everyone with half a brain knows that Spain was a mixture of Franks(very white)with sephardic jews and Morrocan Moors that made Hispanic culture a language and not a skin color and eye color distinction.

The Rancher culture in Texas is mostly of Prtotestant Scots-Irish and German ancestry, and TCU is the small college in Ft. Worth where these fifth generation ranchers send their children. It has a School of Ranch Managemaent and a small football team.

This Professor seemed to be trying to show an accepting attitude to the Hispanic culture kids that mostly come from the Catholic cultural areas around San Antonio.
What's wrong with that?

From Inwood said...

The Most Interesting Racist In The World, The Dos Equis Man:

He can express Affirmative Action in Doublethink. Or is it that he can express Doublethink as Affirmative Action.

At this point, what difference does it make?™

"I don't always offer my students extra help, but when I do it's to 'STUDENTS OF COLOR ONLY'

Stay PC my friends!"

Jane said...

I started to read the comments when I saw this link earlier today. Discouraging -- they generally seemed to think there was nothing wrong with special minority-only study groups sponsored, and took issue with anyone who'd say otherwise. White privilege, after all, is apparently universally distributed to all whites, maybe arriving in the mail on the first day of college, so all minority kids need as many extra benefits as possible to make up for it.

n.n said...

Ah, diversity. The institutional policy to rationalize discrimination which gives and gives and gives. Never to recognize individual dignity and the prejudice it sponsors. Such a shame. Such an ignorant yet opportunistic policy.

campy said...

In other news: the sun rose in the East; a dog bit a man; and a wild bear defecated in the woods.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

The kid was obviously pissed off at (a) her professor classing her as a "student of color" via her surname; and (b) his assumption that "students of color" need an extra, special study group. And well she ought to have been.

shirley elizabeth said...

I've been receiving mailers for dentures, Medicare, cremation, old folks homes, wheel chairs, cemetery plots, death planning, and whatever else since I moved out of my parents' house. Name discrimination happens to all types if people.

Gahrie said...

He just doesn't think you can cut it.

Given the role of affirmative action today, many of them probably can't. This is an example of a guy trying to do the right thing, but he is being punished because of unpleasant truths.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Name discrimination happens to all types of people.

Yes, but you're talking about accidental "name discrimination." No seller purposely sends advertisements to people who have no use for his services, unless the ad isn't targeted at all (e.g., a circular in a newspaper). Here we have a professor who guessed which of his students were "of color" by their surnames, and decided they might need a little extra help. Not only is the procedure he used completely useless in identifying Hispanic students (if the George Zimmerman case showed nothing else, that point ought to be considered settled by now), but it's unprofessional and unseemly for any educator to host special get-togethers for "students of color."

I've never understood how "has some Hispanic ancestry" got rolled into "people of color" in the first place. We've been told a gazillion times that "Hispanic" is an ethnicity and not a race, which is part of the reason Zimmerman "passed" (so far as the media were concerned) for so long as just your average white dude.

So what is Zimmerman? A white "person of color"? Suppose it was his father who was named Mesa, and his mother Zimmerman: Any different? But Mr. Mesa would've made it onto the professor's email list. I don't think Mr. Zimmerman would have.

Dr Weevil said...

Do they apply the same policy to first names? My late mother was 100% German-Dutch Midwestern American and didn't speak a word of Spanish, but her name was Juanita, after a song that was popular when she was born (1928). If she were in college today, would she be invited to join the group?

SOJO said...

A friend married a hispanic guy. She mailed her resume out and got no takers until she changed her married name back to her maiden (white) name.

Another guy (white male) had a stellar resume, but a female-sounding name (Leslie). He had no bites for 9 months of unemployment until he sent the same resume out with one change: Mr. emblazoned at the top to show he was actually a guy. He immediately got good offers.

It's still hot out there, folks, that's all I'm saying.

Dr Weevil said...

Gahrie: Yes, the effects of affirmative action are quite obvious to those 'in the trenches'. When I taught at a well-known southern university some years ago, roughly half of my black students were in the bottom 10% of the grading curve, while the other half were evenly spread through the other 9 deciles, all the way to the top. No doubt there were a few exceptions on both sides, but I always figured the first group were the affirmative action admittees, and the second group were not.

I did note that a lot of black students (there weren't a lot of Hispanics back then, and the Asian students were almost all faculty kids) had figured out that they could compensate for the defects of their high-school preparation by keeping their partying down to one or two nights per week, since many (perhaps most) of the white kids from the rich suburbs with the better high schools were partying four, five, six, or seven nights per week.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...


Given the role of affirmative action today, many of them probably can't. This is an example of a guy trying to do the right thing, but he is being punished because of unpleasant truths.

No. "The right thing" would be to offer extended office hours and/or study sessions to anyone who felt s/he needed help with the coursework. Sending the email to the students he thought were "students of color" only suggests both that he expects that they are especially likely to be struggling, and that (those he guesses are) non-Hispanic students who also might be struggling don't matter so much. People who pick and choose which people need more help on the basis of race or ethnicity, as opposed to need, used to have a name. I can't quite put my finger on it ...

BarrySanders20 said...

They really should put a "Colored Only" sign on the door when they meet, just for fun.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...


What is a "white" surname? One that isn't Hispanic? But there are white Hispanics; we've been endlessly told so. One that's not obviously African (say, Ngwemyana) or Asian (say, Chang or Shinozaki or Singh)?

"Leslie" isn't an uncommon male name in the UK, but it is much rarer here. You're sure that this was not a case of post hoc, are you?

I have a friend who rejoices in the surname of "Mercer-Taylor," which sounds like it belongs to some old English family. As a matter of fact, he is an Oklahoma boy who went for the hyphenation upon marriage, putting his wife's name first.

traditionalguy said...

Names can mislead. The blue eyed, blonde and red headed TCU students are OK with being called Horned Frogs because they are not frogs at all. They are very tough desert lizards.

You can check out one of the tough desert lizards (nick named Red) tonight. He is playing QB for the Cincinnati Bengals against Pittsburgh Stealers on the Monday Night Game.

kentuckyliz said...

Elizabeth Warren needs to mentor this young lady how to work it.

bwebster said...

Pity the Hispanic student's last name wasn't Zimmerman. Then she surely would not have been invited.

lgv said...

I don't know where Traditionalguy is from, but I disagree with much of his take.

"TCU is the small college in Ft. Worth where these fifth generation ranchers send their children. It has a School of Ranch Managemaent and a small football team."

TCU enrollment is just under 10k. The ranch mgmt school is tiny. It's kind of like saying UWisconsin is mostly a place where dairy farmers send their kids, or Notre Dame is where boys go to study for the priesthood.

Their football team is not small either. They have the same number of players as other Big 12 teams and they are generally the same height and weight as the much larger public universities. :)

I wonder if the students whose first names were Tyrell, Trayvo or Tamika were also included? How about Nyguyen? Which colors are included?

My children are Hispanic, Asian and European mix, with a sliver of Jewish ancestry in there, too. I think they were deprived because of their anglo name.

The whole concept of race and "people of color" has gotten so distorted. We really need a conversation about race. First, someone define it correctly.

Ipso Fatso said...

The irony would be if that student who became upset after reading her and the other students Hispanic last names was admitted to TCU based on her Hispanic ethnicity. Something tells me that would be lost on her.

elkh1 said...

He wants to subject colored students to more of his torturous lectures. If he is any good, his "not-so-smart" students of color would understand the lectures and wouldn't have to waste their free time for his special help, the time they could use for pleasure, to study, to earn a few extra bucks.

Students of color are to sacrifice their free time to keep an incompetent professor on the payroll.

John Constantius said...

SOJO, did your female friend tell you how she managed to avoid the anti-woman bias that was keeping your male friend from getting a job?

Something about your friends' resume anecdotes seems a little Too Good To Fact Check.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

John Constantius,

SOJO, did your female friend tell you how she managed to avoid the anti-woman bias that was keeping your male friend from getting a job?

Damn, I wish I'd've thought to ask that.

Carnifex said...

I read the story earlier linked from another site. Ahhh, the blatant racism of low expectations of the leftist crowd. (Hey! That could be a book title!)

I sat on my granddaughter (figuratively), and made her read "The White Mans Burden" by Kipling.

Lib's, Prog's, and Lefties hate it, but there is only 2 world spanning cultures. Chinese, and European. Everyone else is just piggybacking.

Ps. The Chinese protect their culture...They're gonna win.

cubanbob said...

SOJO my wife is a white African. Born and raised on the continent. Years ago when the non-profit she worked for needed to raise its minority status reporting for the government she scored a triple: female Afro-Hispanic. All she missed was being a lesbian. Can't win them all.

traditionalguy said...

IGV... My point is that a university of 7,000 students is a small one. The College is only about 5,000 students. Winning football is unusual for that size institution that must do its recruiting against Texas , Texas A&M, and Oklahoma that each have 10 times the enrollment and long traditions in state.

The point about the TCU Ranch Management program was that there is none other like it. The heirs that are expected to run the Family Ranch into the next generation enroll in small 30 person groups for an intensive 9 month hands on experience all over the Texas and Kansas. Where else is roping a graded class? Pull up the Ranch management website and every student looks blonde and of German ancestry.

But the liberal Arts college is very, very liberal.

Molly said...

Remember "the soft bigotry of low expectations"? That Bush guy wasn't so dumb after all.

Molly said...

Remember "the soft bigotry of low expectations"? That Bush guy wasn't so dumb after all.

rcocean said...

Its good to know George Zimmerman's Kid is a "person of Color" and will therefore get special help.

Also, my Chinese-Americans friends will appreciate the professor helping their kids in college - as "people of Color".

My colorless white friends not so much.

Conserve Liberty said...

So if my child's name ie Edmund Allen Howard Compton and there isn't a non-Anglo-Saxon ancestor in his entire bloodline back to 1670 is he just SOL?

SOJO said...

@Michelle and @John

I thought of it, but hey, I'm just the messenger. I saw no reason to spin it or add speculation to their experiences.

Since you've challenged, they both worked in tech, but within different areas; so different hiring processes and company culture is my best guess. She had successful startup history and his resume was more defense and blue chip oriented.

Startups are a bit younger, more used to females - maybe they thought the hispanic name meant she was affirmative action, so not that good a programmer or executive. They are cliquish and have no oversight, so it'd be easy to pass it over.

I'm guessing his potentials hired as many women as they had to and not one more - so like a rent controlled space in NY, the resume would pass through if there were a designated space opening up. The culture was likely more conservative generally and looked for what most easily fit the form which is another guy, same as the last.

john marzan said...

when the professor wrote "Person of color", is he referring to Asians and Orientals too?

anyway, I have a theory as to why certain groups do well in school and others not. based on out-of-wedlock births data:

Nationwide, African-American women reported the highest rate of out-of-wedlock births, at 67.8 percent. American Indian or Alaska Native women reported a 64 percent rate, while Hispanics reported 43 percent and non-Hispanic whites reported 26 percent. Asian-Americans reported the lowest rate of out-of-wedlock births, at 11.3 percent.

blacks have highest out of wedlock births, asians have the lowest. blacks to worst in SATs, asians top the racial groups.

Donna B. said...

tradguy has a point about TCU's small football team. Did you see them play against LSU? I figure they were outweighed on an average of 45 lbs per player.

TCU football is suffering from QB confusion right now. They'll recover.

Skyler said...

It sounds so wrong. But it's exactly what affirmative action is all about. We feel outrage at this, but somehow when done at a larger scale it seems right?

n.n said...

Michelle Dulak Thomson:

Diversity officers?
Hyphenated Americans?
Civil rights leaders/activists?

All of these judge people by the color of their skin and thereby denigrate individual dignity.

Abortion/pro-choice advocates?

These people reject the intrinsic value of human life and treat it as a commodity, interchangeable and disposable, throughout its evolution, from conception to death.

That said, you are right about treating people as individuals and equally. Unfortunately, many people are opportunistic, have failed to mature, and seem unable to respect individual dignity. They feel a need to distinguish themselves and classify others by their special status (e.g. Asian-American), which only serves to isolate them from the human race.

n.n said...


Affirmative action was supposed to be a policy to aid one generation so that they would be prepared to raise the next generation. Unfortunately, it was corrupted by dreams of instant gratification, both of the providers, the activists, and the intended beneficiaries.

As with all reactive measures, it should not have been perpetuated, and it should never have been incorporated, let alone integrated in our institutions. The corruption it sponsored was inevitable and predictable.

John Constantius said...

SOJO, to make sure I understand correctly, the argument is that "blue chip" tech companies are prejudiced against women in general, while start-up tech companies are only prejudiced against Hispanic women?