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Racism and Race Relations in the University

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"Racism and Race Relations in the University" by Darryl Brown - Summary

In the review titled "Racism and Race Relations in the University" (Editorial, Virginia Law Review, 3/90) Darryl Brown concludes that colleges should censor hate speech with a two-part policy. He claims this is because of the reoccurring incidents of racial violence on university campuses. Brown argues that there are two types of racial violence prevalent on college campuses. The first type, blatant racial violence is overt outright racial violence including: graffiti with swastikas and anti-black epithets; cross burning; shouting racial slurs; distributing openly hostile leaflets; racial brawls; black student boycotts and protests. The second type of racial violence described in the review, subtle racial violence, is identified as subtle displays of attitudes and prejudices on college campuses. These types of incidents would include: officials asking black college students for ID at entrance of their college campus because they suspected the black students didn't belong there; white students moving to a new seat when a black student sat too close; black students rarely being invited to join study groups with whites; white students handing out fraternity invites to all students except African American ones.

Brown defines racism as an "attitude held mostly by the unenlightened or uneducated" and by this definition, racism has no place on the grounds of an institution of "higher learning". Mr. Brown declares that racism on college campuses is alive and well. He deems the university is a powerful institution in the distribution of wealth and that those who attend college make more money than those who do not. He claims that today's white students missed the civil rights movement. According to Brown, this explains why most white people, generally white students concept of racism is made from images the civil rights movement confronted such as enforced segregation, physical violence, blatant hate, and overt conscious denial or racial equality. This leads many white students to disagree whether racism exists or has any effect at all.

Brown proclaims that the black student experience with racism on white campuses leaves no doubt of its existence and the cognizable injury it inflicts. He explains how predominantly white campuses can seem hostile to people of color. In his explanation, campus social life is rendered distinctly "white culture". In his opinion, the indifference or hostility by white students to Martin Luther King Day gave evidence of white students' attitude on racial issues. Hostility from white students toward "black" cultural centers, student groups and social events arise from lack of recognition that overwhelmingly white campuses are white cultural centers. This makes black students have a hard time feeling at home and demands that they



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