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Have anyone had experiences with racist professors?

mortonmorton Posts: 106Registered User Junior Member
edited March 2013 in University of Virginia
PLEASE DO NOT STATE ANY NAMES OF PROFESSORS! <--- I do not want possibly subjective information to tarnish the reputation of any persons.


I just want to know if anyone has experienced any racism directed from professors. I know students could be racist, but I am worried that professors might be...

Please let me know.
Post edited by morton on
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Replies to: Have anyone had experiences with racist professors?

  • Dean JDean J Posts: 3,843College Rep Senior Member
    Is your worry specific to UVa or are you worried about this overall? Those of us who work in higher education, in general, tend to be an open minded, liberal bunch. Charlottesville has traditionally been the liberal bastion of Virginia because it of the academic and artistic communities that thrive here. :)
  • hazelorbhazelorb Posts: 3,158Registered User Senior Member
    The only discrimination I experienced at UVa was when I was working for professors and they thought completely differently about what male vs female employees should be responsible for, able to accomplish, etc -- at least when I started working for them, then I worked my butt off and they came around and didn't treat me like a subclass human being for being a girl anymore. In class, I never experienced that, however.
  • rmbchillinrmbchillin Posts: 31Registered User Junior Member
    Dean J,

    I am ashamed of you equivocating racism with conservatism. Obviously you didn't state it outright in your comment but it was implied. Typical of someone in higher education though I suppose. In my experience it has actually been the other way around but I would never go around making such implications. Have a good day
  • charlieschmcharlieschm Posts: 4,282Registered User Senior Member
    RM: There are many meanings of the word "liberal", as in liberal arts.

    Lets start calling racists "Regressives"
  • zachb757zachb757 Posts: 33Registered User Junior Member
    How ironic rm's name is rmbchillin when you're clearly not 'chillin.' I don't think Dean J was associating racism with conservatives at all, she was only saying that UVA is liberal, not necessarily in the politcal sense, but in that they're open to people of different races, backgrounds, etc... By the way, can't wait to see UVA tomorrow at Days on the Lawn! I might finally be able to catch a glimpse of CavDog while I'm there.
  • kindaslick89kindaslick89 Posts: 498Registered User Member
    I have noticed that many of my professors here have liberal leanings in the political sense, but regardless of their political views, most are good people. However, I have had quite a few professors here in their 60s and 70s who are "old school" to say the least, and may not fully appreciate how the world has progressed with regards to fashion, technology, and culture. Not to say that they are racists because they are not, but just an older breed who grew up with different standards and expectations. My experiences with professors here have been profoundly rewarding, and the worst I could say about any of them is that some have been curt from time to time--but hey these are busy people.
  • mortonmorton Posts: 106Registered User Junior Member
    @Dean J

    Thank you for your helpful answers. I hope no one misunderstands my questions. I have never heard of any stories of racism regarding this great institution. I was just curious.
  • MomzieMomzie Posts: 747Registered User Member
    Hey Morton:

    UVA does have racism as part of its history -- as do many (most?) Southern institutions. Many Southern schools were, of course, at some point, segregated; there may have been buildings built by slaves; at some point, hundreds of years ago, professors may have engaged in research which had sexist/racist results; women may have been admitted later as well.

    Here's an interesting website if you want to know more about that aspect of UVA's past:
    LoCoHistory: Slavery at UVA

    I have certainly met students who have noted that they're kind of uncomfortable with attending classes in a building that may have been built by their ancestors, who would not, at that time, have been permitted to attend classes or receive an education there. However, it's also my understanding that UVA is considered to have done one of the best jobs of both coming to terms and learning from its racist past. Here's another interesting website you might enjoy -- which talks about these issues:
    Slavery Apology University of Virginia Would Improve Racial Climate, University Official says
  • charlieschmcharlieschm Posts: 4,282Registered User Senior Member
    Yes, much of the Lawn was built with some slave labor. Look behind the Lawn rooms and you can see some of the slave quarters.

    I was told once that UVa was one of the first southern universities to accept a couple African-American students and one of the last to accept large numbers of them.

    Of course, there were plenty of northerners who made fortunes off the slave trade.

    Fortunately, those times are past in Cville.

    However, take a look at a poorly moderated comment section of newspaper websites in many parts of the US, and you can see that racism is still omni-present. For that reason, many newspaper websites no longer allow anonymous comments.
  • hazelorbhazelorb Posts: 3,158Registered User Senior Member
    There are a number of students who come from backgrounds where racism is present. The question was about professors though... Don't know any racist professors.
  • akujiezeakujieze Posts: 159Registered User Junior Member
    I have encountered one, but whenever I discuss it, I'm "playing the victim." So I don't even bother anymore. Its UVa, can't be too surprised.
  • wahoo12wahoo12 Posts: 27Registered User New Member
    Some students find themselves uncomfortable in classes that discuss race or diversity issues. for example, some white friends (I'm white btw) that sre conservative felt uncomfortable in a Diversity in Eucation class which talked a lot about accepting everybody and things like that (I think gay marriage was an uncomfortable topic).

    Basically, I'm trying to say that if you take classes about race, diversity etc there may be uncomfortable moments, but no one I know has experienced racism from UVA professors. EVER.
  • JohnBlackJohnBlack Posts: 314Registered User Member
    One can certainly be 'open-minded', 'liberal' and still identify with any point of a political spectrum.

    Many universities were segregated racially and by gender at some point. The Ivy league was exclusively all-male for much of its existence. To imply that UVa, as a southern institution, is somehow an outlier is absurd given the climate of modern Charlottesville. (Thomas Jefferson's view on race is another matter.)

    To be honest, I think 'northeastern' US college students/professors are generally more unconscious (i.e. outspokenly biased) in their beliefs about race and SES than 'southern' college students/professors.
  • ihorbertihorbert Posts: 1Registered User New Member
    Yeah, I've had a few racist professors in college. They didn't say anything, but some of them would avoid making eye contact, others would ignore me in class, or ask inappropriate questions; treat me worse in class or attempt to humiliate me. After a while you either let it get to you or you simply push past it. Once you stop caring what these idiots think of you, you see how stupid they really are. My suggestion to you is not to sweat it. Not all of my profs are like that, but a few have been. It's when you reach a certain intelligence level that you see the fear some of them have. One guy proclaimed himself to be "liberal" and subsequently began to ignore me after he realized my intelligence level. It's cool though, I'm over it. Others would be "surprised" I had such a high GPA. It is what it is lol. I'm simply trying to get my Econ degree and then a law degree. If these sick ****s want to be racist, let them.
  • dowzerwdowzerw Posts: 1,682Registered User Senior Member
    I never encountered any racism at UVA. That said, the people there are human and as with humans anywhere, anything is possible, depending on who you encounter on a given day and what is your perspective. No one can guarantee you will or will not encounter a racist person or professor, there or anywhere, but it is certainly not something culturally endemic or would that be accepted if known.
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