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Beebe apologizes, CPC considers solutions for campus racism

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The College Planning Council considered possible solutions to the institutionalized racism at City College Tuesday following a racial slur used in a Gender Equity Workgroup meeting.

Vice President of Business Services Lyndsay Maas has been put on unpaid leave indefinitely after using the racial slur, stating “I can’t believe our students are called [N-word] on campus.” Since being put on leave, multiple coalitions and associations have formed and several students and faculty have been speaking out at various meetings.

During the meetings, many called for Maas’ resignation and criticized Superintendent-President Anthony Beebe for how he was handling the issue, which Beebe apologized to in Tuesday’s Council meeting.

“My initial response was a typical administrative response,” Beebe said. “That is not the response that you need to have when you’re involved in a racist situation or when you’re dealing with racism.

“Obviously when we’re talking about people who have been injured or traumatized by something like racism that’s got to be your first area of concern, being able to listen actively with those people, being able to understand where their pain is and where they’re coming from.”

Though many people on the council referenced anti-racism training for faculty as a possible idea to combat the institutionalized racism at City College, Dean of Educational Programs Kenley Neufeld said that his training didn’t adequately prepare him for this sort of situation.

“I’ve had dozens of hours of anti-racist training and I feel completely helpless other than what I’m doing which is talking to people,” Neufeld said. “And that’s what we need to do as leaders on this campus that’s what you need to do, Anthony: be out on the campus and listening to people everywhere.”

In addition to the training, members of the council suggested other ways of combating racism at City College such as having a recurring item on the council’s agenda to talk about progress and solutions and having a complaint procedure so that people have a single procedure for reporting racism and harassment.

Christopher Johnson, dean of student services, said that the changes that need to happen are going to take time because of how these issues are rooted in the college.

“All the things that are taking place are embedded in the college,” Johnson said. “We need to tear down the structure, the structure that keeps feeding the things like the gender bias and that keeps feeding things like racism.”

During the meeting Beebe introduced to the council Rhonda Magee, a law professor at the University of San Francisco who he invited to advise him on how to help the college and respond appropriately. However, while Magee was invited to assist Beebe specifically, she said that she would be willing to offer her support to the council about how to respond to racism on campus, and even gave some advice to the council during the meeting.

Magee said that both finding ways to help students immediately and structural rebuilding are necessary. From her perspective, work around social justice is always comprised of two major strands, one “what are we doing, what are the outcomes,” and the other “how are we doing this.”

“Building community again takes a lot of time and effort and intentionality,” Magee said. “None of this will be easy, and no one thing is going to solve it, no one person, supporter or advisor…maybe it will take beyond our lifetime to fix everything were talking about.  

“We’re not going to solve it this year but we’re also not going to give up on it.”

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10 Comments

10 Responses to “Beebe apologizes, CPC considers solutions for campus racism”

  1. Legion on December 5th, 2018 2:31 pm

    The campus accusers need to address these issues with specifics (time, date, place, person and content) instead of these vague and meaningless global generalities. Otherwise the stakes will be raised after every concession, every apology; every outside expert paid to mismanage this volatile group of campus accusers. .

    Impossible this campus has no grievance procedures already in place. Why did those claiming to be aggrieved not work within existing campus procedures? Ms Maas should not be asked to pay the price individually for these accusers’ or the college’s own due process procedural failings.

    The community also has a grievance:: No reporting to date indicates Ms Mass uttered a “racial slur”. Stop reporting what took place by using this term.. By all accounts Ms Maas was an innocent participant in an open discussion about campus issues.

    A pre-emptive mob veto has no place at SBCC. And this is exactly what is happening right now if one relies on The Channels reporting –which is the sole campus voice reported to the outside community.

  2. Mark McIntire on December 5th, 2018 5:33 pm

    Repeat a lie often enough, and it becomes accepted as a ‘truth’. There was no racial slur. Claiming that there was a racial slur is a lie. A slur, by definition is used intentionally to demean, harm or hurt. The operative term in ‘intentionally’. That never happened the situation incensing this rabid mob. Legion is correct. Who else but a power crazed mob, sensing blood, would repeat a lie so heinous, so many times? And will the mob stop there? Does such a mob ever stop until either they are vanquished or they vanquish everyone who stands in their way of absolute power and thought control. Perhaps SBCC faculty and students are too young to recall the name Joseph Goebbels. who perfected the art of lying until the lie became the a truth when you are the sole voice of all media . So, here’s a teaching/learning moment for the College…a little refresher course in the History that is no longer taught today.
    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20161026-how-liars-create-the-illusion-of-truth

    Mark McIntire
    Tax-payer

  3. Brandon Bernstein on December 5th, 2018 6:23 pm

    @Legion-“The Channels reporting –which is the sole campus voice reported to the outside community” kind of a general theme isn’t it? SBCC has weak leadership, Administrationdoesn’t know what they’re doing, keep covering for each other, and then tries to cover it all up to make sure SBCC doesn’t look bad. Maas has no business leading that group and so it’s no surprise to most that she was a problematic participant. In addition to asking for Maas’s resignation, the campus needs to start calling for Beebe’s. And several Board memebers need to resign as well. Or be re-called.
    #ByeByeBeebe #NoMaas

  4. Richard on December 6th, 2018 2:15 am

    “No reporting to date indicates Ms Mass uttered a “racial slur”.”

    All reporting to date indicates this. What have you (not) been reading?

  5. J. Wright on December 6th, 2018 3:43 pm

    Mark McIntire seems to be speaking from personal experience in getting people to believe his many, persistent lies. Or maybe it’s just his wishful thinking. Either way, there should be a picture of him in the dictionary as an example of the word “hypocrite.”

  6. Richard on December 6th, 2018 5:25 pm

    @Mark

    You seem to enjoy teaching moments, so I thought I’d share one with you.

    racial slur: adjective + noun (noun phrase)

    Nouns are used by people speaking a language to represent a person, place, or thing. The word retains its meaning, no matter the speaker’s intent. The word “slur” can also be a verb, which would necessarily place intent (i.e., “I was not intending to slur Mark’s reputation when I pointed out that he repeated the lie that he was a Professor”), but the word is not being used as a verb in the reporting, so this does not apply here. To claim that the word in question loses its status as a racial insult when it is not uttered with the intent to demean is fatuous.

    “A derogatory or insulting term applied to particular group of people.”
    “slur, n.1,” see especially 1.1 Oxford Living Dictionaries Online. Oxford University Press, December 2018. Web. 6 December 2018.

  7. Mark McIntire on December 7th, 2018 9:25 am

    What makes this discussion bemusing is that there are no ‘races’ in human biology, so there can be no ‘racism’ in human society either. The term ‘racism’ is only recent from 1903. Those playing the ‘race card’ are not interested in justice. They only want power through guilt.

    “And they take us very far from the definitions given in modern dictionaries. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “racism” means: “a belief that one’s own racial or ethnic group is superior, or that other such groups represent a threat to one’s cultural identity, racial integrity, or economic well-being.” Furthermore, this relatively new word—the first example OED offers is from 1903—denotes “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against people of other racial or ethnic groups.” The first definition offered by the Merriam Webster Dictionary stresses the same elements: “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.” operative word….’belief’ . — By: William Voegeli

    More bemusing still is the use of ‘the-N-word’ phrase. It would be difficult to think of a better way to foster anger and bigotry than to coerce everyone , except blacks, to use this phrase out of a contrived sense of guilt for slavery in America. Since my first day in a college classroom as a professor of philosophy I’ve taught that slavery is the cancer that will ultimately destroy America. I never expected nor predicted that the distant descendants of African slaves would convince non-Africans to use such a phrase. Why? For the simple reason that although those on the guilt train verbalize the phrase ‘the-N-word’ , they all mentally articulate the word and thus perpetuate its coinage in the currency of bigotry. Thus, the unutterable word carries its stigmata, and curse of banishment or worse should that word ever leak out of the brain and onto the floor of academic analysis.

    Imagine having the power to coerce self-censorship of a word…any word…but only one word in particular. That’s real power. They have out done Joseph Goebbels .

    “Propaganda should be popular, not intellectually pleasing. It is not the task of propaganda to discover intellectual truths. Those are found in other circumstances, I find them when thinking at my desk, but not in the meeting hall.” Joseph Goebbles Speech on 9 January 1928 to an audience of party members at the “Hochschule für Politik”, a series of training talks for Nazi party members in Berlin.

    — Mark McIntire
    Tax-payer

  8. Legion on December 7th, 2018 11:52 am

    Brandon Bernstein, write a job description and set of qualifications for a college CEO. Then research the employment market and report back with who you think will apply for that position, and at what salary level. Include also the board of trustee composition you would like to see, and how that will impact any future board/CEO relationships. Who do you have in mind that are wiling to run for the next board of trustee positions or fill any recall positions? Without these specific and targeted solutions, you are simply engaging in more global complaints with no avaiable remedies.

  9. Brandon Bernstein on December 7th, 2018 5:48 pm

    It seems like the research you are asking me to do and the argument you are trying to make is that no one of quality will apply for these positions. As of recent, I can’t agree with you more.

    As for who should apply for these positions, I do have a few ideas. Maybe we can convince Dr. Lori Gaskin to come out of retirement and save us. Or perhaps some other administrators that recently stepped away from SBCC, like Marilynn Spaventa or Alice Perez. Too bad SBCC scared Paul Jarrell away, but perhaps Pamela Ralston would easily step into the Superintendent role. She has a backbone and a good moral compass, unlike our current Superintendent-President.

    As for our Trustees, it really is too bad Darcel didn’t win when she ran against Marsha Croninger. She was endorsed by not only Marty Blum, but also Jonathan Abboud. Two people who have worked closely with Marsha on the Board and have publicly admitted she is dismissive and has negatively contributed to the current campus climate. As as for Chairwoman Veronica Gallardo, just about anyone that can pronounce “libel” or not be awful would be a step in the right direction.

  10. Richard on December 11th, 2018 1:29 pm

    There is nothing interesting in your response Mark, beyond an inelegant attempt to muddy the waters. It’s just another example of your inability to engage, in an intellectually honest fashion, with anyone who challenges your viewpoint. You have pivoted from “There was no racial slur because I’ve decided that the meaning of a noun is sourced solely from the speakers’ intent” to “The social phenomenon of racism doesn’t exist because a biological basis for race does not exist”. Were anyone to engage with your new post, and highlight its substantial failings, it is safe to assume that you’d simply concoct another, barely related, screed. When your failings are this transparent, pointing them out is a waste of time.

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Beebe apologizes, CPC considers solutions for campus racism