Racially Motivated

“People may turn it on people and say, ‘You did this because I’m black and you’re white,’ and ‘You’re racist.’ It hurts you inside.”

Hold a Conversation

Can you imagine leading a conversation about this story? Where? With whom? What kinds of questions would you pose? (See How to use the questions for reflection for one approach.) Please email your questions to us or post them in the comment box for our consideration. If you use them in an actual discussion, let us know how the conversation went.

Transcript for Racially Motivated

For the most part it is a very welcoming community in that people come here because they want that and when they come here and when visit they see that and so they continue it. For the most part that’s how it is here and that’s one of the reasons that I love Valpo.

As a RA, obviously I deal with difficult, confrontational situations and just dealing with people that, you know, you may be documenting them for a certain reason, but people may turn it on people to say, you know, ‘you did this because I’m black and you’re white and that you’re racist’ and things like that and I think that is my biggest problem. I know that’s how it hit personally and that was very, it was bothersome, but it was very, I don’t know it hurts you inside because it’s one thing to say that someone was mean to me, they did this, but to call someone’s character out and say, ‘you’re racist for doing this’, when I really for the most part don’t think that people at Valpo are like that.

I think that everyone at least attempts to be very welcome to people. I think that the people who try to tear that apart are damaging the community and I think that the existence of people like that are hurting Valpo and that bothers me a lot. It was a simple conversation that I had with someone where I was just asking them in attempt to kind of address a policy situation where nothing ever happened from it because they weren’t breaking policy. It was fine, I just asked a simple question if they were doing something, and they weren’t so they were fine. It was a fifteen, twenty second conversation that ended. I wasn’t confrontational I just kind of asked them politely a simple question  and they ended up reporting me to my supervisor saying that I had, you know, was racially motivated and had verbally assaulted and intimidated that person which I don’t ever intend to do that. So the fact that that’s how it was perceived, or that’s how someone at least claimed that it was perceived was very bothersome to me.

Then the same person then continued and reported me to a national organization, which I am the president of the branch here at Valpo and reported me Nationals saying that I had again been racially motivated in choices that were made as part of the organization when in reality I actually had no part in the process in which she was claiming.

I work in admissions office as well and I think that something that happened this year that really opened my eyes, I work in a leadership team in the office. During the process of interviews a candidate for a position that has many openings, it’s not just we were hiring one person; we were hiring a large quantity for the position came through and had a horrible interview. It wasn’t just, it’s one thing to be a freshman and not know how to be interviewed, it’s another thing to be a freshman, come through and give answers that would be very damaging to the university and could really reflect very badly on the university and turn someone away a perspective student to coming to Valpo.

For that reason, and that reason alone, that was really the only reason that I recommended that that person not be hired because I thought that hiring them would cause more damage than it would help. I was told by my supervisor, who was told by her supervisor, that due to the fact that that student was a minority and we needed to represent that minority in the office she had to be hired regardless of the fact that she wasn’t a qualified candidate. It wasn’t a secret. We were told point blank, we had to hire her because she’s Spanish speaking and because we need to represent that minority in the office. We needed to show that minority exists. To me it was a very, it’s one thing to want to show diversity, it’s one thing to falsely show diversity. It was a very fake way to show that it happens.

  • Yusuf Rabbani

    There is truth to some of the things she is saying. I find that calling someone a racist is an attempt to achieve significance. The speaker also shares a story about hiring a foreigner because the office wanted to promote diversity. Again, there is an attempt to make this person (who was apparently not qualified) significant. I don’t know that diversity needs to be achieved at the cost of hiring mediocrity.