NYTimes: Inside a Battle Over Race, Class and Power at Smith College

A Black female student at Smith College claimed to have been racially profiled by two janitors, police officer, and cafeteria personnel when she ate in a lunch room that had been closed to students. She claimed she was disturbed and asked to leave only because she was black. She published names and photographs of these workers whom she claimed to be racists. One of the janitors she named had a day off when the incident took place and was thus not involved at all. A law firm specialised at doing discrimination investigations was hired by the college to investigate the incident. They found no evidence of bias: the incident is likely to have taken place in the exact same way had the student been white. However, the staff workers had to go through anti-bias training anyway. New York Times reports:

[One of the janitors] recalled going through one training session after another in race and intersectionality at Smith. He said it left workers cynical. “I don’t know if I believe in white privilege,” he said. “I believe in money privilege.”

All involved workers lost their jobs last year, the reason was supposed to have been the corona crisis. The woman who worked in the cafeteria applied for a new job elsewhere but was told during the interview that they didn’t want to hire her because of the incident at Smith.

Smith College has continued to stand by the student, apologising for the racism she claims to have experienced at Smith. The student union continued to raise complaints over the racism black students face from staff (and faculty) at Smith.

1 Like

I suggest two interesting magazine articles on the topic:

by Glenn Loury (who is black by the way) and:

1 Like

Thanks, will read!

1 Like

Rebecca, here you have another related article: The Evolutionary Advantages of Playing Victim – Quillette

Just a short excerpt from the article: " Newly published research indicates that people who more frequently signal their victimhood (whether real, exaggerated, or false) are more likely to lie and cheat for material gain and denigrate others as a means to get ahead. Victimhood signaling is associated with numerous morally undesirable personality traits, such as narcissism, Machiavellianism (willingness to manipulate and exploit others for self-benefit), a sense of entitlement, and lower honesty and humility."

I guess it should be especially interesting for you, as you are a psychologist!

And here the link to the published research article: APA PsycNet

1 Like

Thanks! Just an hour ago I actually saw that article in a tweet by @Lee_Jussim.

1 Like