Many of us have been following the story of Shannon Gibney, an English professor at Minneapolis Community and Technical College who was formally sanctioned by her employer after three white, male students in her class filed a racial harassment complaint against her–all for teaching them about structural racism. Rather than seeing their discomfort with the material as part of the educational experience, they complained that they weren’t receiving the education they were paying for.
Two NYC professors have put together an open letter and ask that “fellow academics, feminists, social justice activists and anyone concerned about academic freedom, social justice and fairness in education add their signatures to this Open Letter to Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC).” Whether or not you sign the petition is your choice, but I encourage you to read more about the issue.
As feminists, it’s important to examine the intersections of racism and sexism in academic settings, including libraries. How do we serve students who don’t want to learn anything that will make them uncomfortable or that might change them? Please share your thoughts in the comments.