The head of the Bilingual/Multicultural Education
Department at Sacramento State wants to meet with me
because of a situation that happened in a class back
in November. Below I've attached the email I just
To summarize, I had had enough of the anti-white and
anti-white-male discussion in class and made the
comment, "There's no group of white people sitting
around a table somewhere saying, 'What can we do to
keep darkie down now?'" Yes, I chose an unpopular
word, but did so to demonstrate how vile what our
class discussion was suggesting truly is.
How naive. I thought divergent views were "tolerated"
in our universities.
I am not really inclined to meet with you to discuss
an incident that happened approximately 2 months ago,
an incident that has caused me no undue amount of
stress. Part of my reason for feeling persecuted is
your not-very-subtle threat in your previous email to
me, to wit:
By way of introduction I am the Chair of the Department
(Bilingual/Multicultural Education) that funds your CLAD preparation.
Additionally, your statement that my feelings of
persecution are "premature" do not give me reason to
think I will be treated at all fairly.
Here is my recollection of the events on the evening
In a course titled Bilingualism In The Classroom we
were discussing the "culture of power", the ways
mainstream *white* people keep minorities in their
place. (Incidentally, I don't see the relationship
between the title of the course and the subject being
discussed.) Since I don't subscribe to this
particular social theory, and being naive enough to
think that we could have an adult conversation with
contrary views, I said, "There's no group of white
people sitting around a table somewhere saying, 'What
can we do to keep darkie down now?'"
An African-American woman in the class took offense to
my use of the word "darkie", which when taken in
context was obviously not meant as an attack by me on
any person or group of persons. This student and I
began debating, and during this debate she verbally
attacked me while I did not respond in kind.
personal attack. After no more than a minute or so of
heated, but not out-of-control discussion, Professor B
to a halt with little effort. She then made comments
to me that commented on my inability to teach
(something about which she has no knowledge) and also
suggested that I was/am closed-minded. She then
suggested that due to the nature of the debate, we
take our usual 5-minute break at that time to cool off
and reflect on the discussion.
In my mind, Professon
situation--poorly, but handled it. A discussion got
uncomfortable and, in her opinion, out of hand,and she
ended it. Why she felt it necessary to come to you
with this situation, and why you feel it necessary to
revisit this situation 2 months later, escapes me.
views in most areas. However, until that evening I
never sensed any personality conflict between us. I
do now. I suspect that is her rationale for coming to
you in the first place.
But back to my comments and their place in class. I
would hope that even unpopular views can be
"tolerated" in class. Notice that my comment which
started this controversy seems reasonable when taken
in context, and even the use of the word "darkie" can
be understood. The statement was bold, designed to
show my opinions on the subject being discussed, and
worthy of response and comment--but not of the type I
got from the student in the class, Professor B
I do not know what else I could add to this account by
meeting in person. If you feel differently, please
contact me again and perhaps we could in fact meet on
Monday the 13th.
for a meeting with you
clear in previous e-mail communications. You are
welcome to prepare in which
ever manner you feel appropriate. Moreover, your
feelings of "persecution"
are unwarranted and premature given we are yet to
I'd like to propose Monday, January 13th at 5pm for
our meeting. My office
is in Eureka Hall 435B. I've invited
attend as well.
Let me know if this works for you.