, 11 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Racism at Duke's School of Medicine. Here's how it went down...
dukechronicle.com/article/2019/0…
Faculty approached Megan Neely, Director of Graduate Studies, to identify students speaking in Chinese "in case the students ever applied for an internship or were interviewed by them." Neely's response? To email students & tell them to "commit to using English 100% of the time”
“[The complaining faculty] were disappointed that these students were not taking the opportunity to improve their English and were being so impolite as to have a conversation that not everyone on the floor could understand." I... can't... I mean... gghrrggrrrtrtgghh
Neely has been asked to step down and Dean Mary Klotman wrote students a follow up email: "“There is absolutely no restriction or limitation on the language you use to converse and communicate with each other..."
"Your career opportunities and recommendations will not in any way be influenced by the language you use outside the classroom.” --> I appreciate this assurance, but clearly individual faculty have other plans, to blacklist certain students who speak non-English languages
"And your privacy will always be protected.” That's a weird statement to me. Speaking another language is not a shameful secret.
“Sadly, this matter demonstrates that we must continue to work on overcoming deep-seated concerns about our cultural awareness and understanding.”--> She misspelled "racism," otherwise a decent response to the incident.
How should an institution respond to something like this? The investigation in this specific incident is essential, but will not accomplish much if it is simply focused on dissecting the incident rather than the culture that fostered it.
Note that the faculty felt totally justified in approaching their director with this racist request ... and they were damn right, because she honored it and reinforced it. This suggests a strong culture of tolerance for such views that did not rise up with this single incident.
In the 1970's, my dad was a PhD then post doc at Michigan State and they lived on campus in grad student housing, with many other international students. When they found Koreans, they were happy to welcome them and speak their home language.
I'm guessing the "speak English!" stuff got to them though - by the time I entered kindergarten, they did not allow me to speak Korean at home anymore. It's a loss I still feel. I thought by now we knew to celebrate multiculturalism.
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