There was a movie called “Remember the Titans.” It was set in Virginia when public schools were under federal mandate to integrate. One high school hired a Black head football coach. The former White head coach decided to work under the new Black coach. Naturally, there was tension between the Black and White players, but the team bonded during training camp.
The coaches didn’t.
They still had differences, mainly temperament and treatment of players.
During the first game the Black coach berated a Black player for missing a block, then benched him. The Black player went to the bench and pouted. The White coach comforted the Black player then tried him out on defense. The Black player performed well and the team won.
But the Black head coach felt the Black player lost out.
Sports are life simulators and the Black coach felt the White coach deprived the Black player of a life lesson. In the coach’s office the Black coach confronted the White coach about challenging his authority by attempting to protect players from “the big bad” head coach. The White coach defended his actions by saying some players don’t respond well to public criticism.
Then the Black coach asked, which players…
The Black coach said he’s hard on the White players, but the White coach doesn’t comfort or try to protect them. The Black coach said he may be mean, but he’s mean to all of them. Then he said the world doesn’t give a damn how sensitive these boys are, especially the Black ones. He told the White coach, he’s not helping them, he’s crippling them for life.
Recently, King’s College London (The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience) has decided to remove portraits of “bearded White scholars” and replace them with a “wall of diversity.”
The dean of education said they were “making sure that the space in which students learn…Also has pictures of people from different ethnic groups, different cultures.”
They plan to move portraits of some of the school’s founders and former deans from the main entrance and place them in less prominent positions.
Of course, this was a response to student demands. Critics of the “wall of diversity” stated the college caved in to student pressure and this is an example of political correctness gone mad.
A few years ago the British Prime Minister claimed that top universities discriminated against ethnic minorities and stated, “If you’re a young Black man, you’re more likely to be in a prison cell than studying at a top university.” But the Telegraph reported never before have their top universities had more diverse intake, looking at university ages—18, 19, and 20—Black men are more than twice as likely to be at a top university than in prison. In fact, of all the ethnic groups in Britain, university entry rates are lowest for Whites.
So it’s possible the college already planned to diversify its entrance and “student pressure” just speeded up the process.
The problem is the expressed reason for the changes. The dean of education stated the environment was too intimidating for ethnic minorities. The images of the bearded White men were “alienating.”
That type of paternalism is what the Black coach in the movie described as crippling, because universities are also life simulators, and the world still doesn’t give a damn about how sensitive these students are. But it appears the college doesn’t have enough diversity of thought to point that out to the dean of education.
(J. Pharoah Doss is a contributor to the New Pittsburgh Courier. He blogs at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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