Tag Archives: racism

When Smart People Do Stupid Things

Why does Halloween bring out the stupid in people – especially smart people.

The President of the University of Louisville is a smart guy.

According to President James R. Ramsey’s official biography, he has served as “Senior Policy Advisor and State Budget Director for Kentucky and Senior Professor of economics and public policy at UofL. He has served as Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration at both the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Western Kentucky University.” Dr. Ramsey’s biographical venerations go on and on, including this objective:

Dr. Ramsey also has set the tone for encouraging diversity on campus. UofL has reached or made substantial progress on all eight of its goals set in the Kentucky Plan for Equal Opportunities.

So how does Dr. Ramsey – who remember is a very smart man and president of a major university – obtain such amazing progress in diversity?

Dr. Ramsey is in the colorful serape. Others in the picture are the President’s staff – who by the way thought this was a good idea too!

Kudos to all the University of Louisville students and the student newspaper who called Dr. Ramsey on his ignorant, thoughtless, and racist behavior.

Dr. Ramsey’s initial response was to give one of those “sorry but not sorry” apologies –

“I want to personally apologize for the recent incident and any pain that it may have caused our students, faculty, staff and the community.”

Not really an apology, right? Crisis Management 101. Ding! It seems the President hasn’t learned much since the college’s last embarrassing incident.

Dr. Ramsey’s second response (after no one bought his initial mea culpa): hire more Latinos!

Yup, that’ll fix it.

Okay, I’ve had my fun.

Lesson. For those who think bigoted barriers don’t exist for people of color and women, take a look at a prime example right here.

Is Ignoring Race, Ignoring Racism?

A question asked by Zach Stafford based on his experiences with those who say they forget “he’s black” — and somehow mean it as a compliment. He takes them to task:

When I point out that their eyesight had never left them, that my skin has never changed colors, and that they probably did not really forget that I am black, they inevitably get defensive. First, they try to argue that it was a compliment; the smart ones quickly realize that complimenting someone on not being black is actually pretty racist, so they switch gears.

I don’t see race! is usually their next tactic, followed by I am colorblind, though they never give credit to Stephen Colbert. By “colorblind” they don’t actually mean that they can’t see green or red; rather, they are suggesting that they can’t ever be racist, because they don’t register skin color at all.

This ideology is very popular – like a racial utopic version of the Golden Rule – but it’s actually quite racist. “Colorblindness” doesn’t acknowledge the very real ways in which racism has existed and continues to exist, both in individuals and systemically. By professing not to see race, you’re just ignoring racism, not solving it.


The Face of Bigotory


My former home state of Wisconsin made a bit of news today – and not in a good way.  Governor Scott Walker fired a campaign aide after it was discovered she tweeted insulting remarks about Latinos, referring to one as an “illegal mex”. It’s the second time in just a few months Walker has fired someone affiliated with his administration for making bigoted remarks about Latinos. Ironically, I was recently invited to Walker’s Annual Latino Holiday Event at the Governor’s mansion. Go figure.

In other news: I’m glad to be living in New York.

(Graphics via Fox News Latino)