We’re Barely into the First Semester, and White People Are Already Acting Up
Education Leadership Lifestyle

We’re Barely into the First Semester, and White People Are Already Acting Up


Racism—it’s as American as apple pie. And racist acts continue to increase, fertilized by a toxic political environment. In fact, a report from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism; California State University, San Bernardino shows that hate crimes in the largest U.S. cities rose 12%–the highest in the last decade.

According to the NAACP, “there is a direct relationship between the rise in hate crimes exemplified by the continual #LivingWhileBlack incidents and other reported crimes and President Donald J. Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric and racist policies.”

After a summer of white women calling the police on black people cooking out; black children selling water; and black children mowing lawns to earn money—fall is here and a fresh, new crop of racism has already made its insidious way into our classrooms and college campuses. Here is a roundup of some of the latest incidents:

Texas school superintendent says, “You can’t count on black quarterbacks.”

After a black Houston Texans quarterback failed to complete a pass during the last play of a game, Lynn Redden, a white, male school superintendent, saw fit to opine about black quarterbacks in a public Facebook post.

“That may have been the most inept quarterback decision I’ve seen in the NFL,” he wrote in the post. “When you need precision decision making you can’t count on a black quarterback.”

Redden has since resigned after fueling outrage. In his resignation letter, he offered perhaps somewhat of an understatement, “As an educator, this experience has taught me that I still have a lot to learn.”

White fraternities harass visiting HBCU team

In what began as a good-will event—PWI Auburn University’s football team hosted HBCU team the Alabama State Hornets as part of  Auburn University’s Black Alumni Weekend—turned ugly.

Pictures circulated on social media of two taunting and some say racist signs posted at Auburn University fraternity houses. The signs were targeted at the visiting HBCU.


The signs seemed to disparage the intelligence and academic achievement of HBCU students.

Writer Michael Harriot in his column for The Root, explains why the signs went beyond a college prank:

…it must be noted that Alabama State University offers the opportunity of a college education to students who might not traditionally get one elsewhere. According to the New York Times, in 2015, students at Alabama State University had a median family income of $30,300 per year, the lowest of any 4-year college in Alabama. Twenty-nine percent of ASU students came from families that made less than $20,000 per year, second-lowest in the state

Meanwhile, Auburn students come from families that earned a median income of $143,000, the second-highest median income in Alabama. Nearly two-thirds of Auburn students (65 percent) came from, families who make more than $110,000 per year, according to the Times.

White sorority members: ‘Black people stop wearing grills!”

Reports are circulating that members of the Kappa Kappa Gamma, sorority, to which the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markel belonged, made racially-charged statement.

The sorority sisters are alleged to have mocked a black faculty member giving a presentation during a welcoming event. Several black students told Yahoo Lifestyle they overheard “Black people, get away from me,” and “Black people, stop wearing grills.”

Kappa Kappa Gamma issued the following statement to Yahoo Lifestyle, “Kappa Kappa Gamma values diversity and inclusion among our membership, and we encourage our members to promote and demonstrate an understanding of these values, both on the college campus and in the world community. We are aware of this incident and have reached out privately to the group involved. We are also reviewing this matter with our members and will determine any appropriate next steps with our local chapter.”

Researcher finds PWIs less likely to admit black student activists.

Many young people are finding their voice against racial injustice by joining #BlackLivesMatter, #BuyBlack and other social justice movements. Could their activities stop them from getting into the college of their choice? One researcher says yes.

Sociologist Ted Thornhill conducted a nationwide audit study on school admissions, race, and social justice activism. He concluded:

My findings revealed that white admissions counselors were, on average, 26 percent less likely to respond to the emails of black students whose interests and involvements focused on anti-racism and racial justice. The gender of the counselor and the student also mattered. White male counselors were 37 percent less likely to respond to anti-racist black students. And when black women students committed to anti-racism were emailing white male counselors, they were 50 percent less likely to receive a response.