Are Ivy League and other top universities hotbeds of racism?

From this article about protests at Brown University:

“We begged this university to hear our stories about how racism, sexism, and a whole host of other problems prevail … and prevent us from being safe, from being at peace, from being whole and from being well. They invite us to meetings in the president’s office and the faculty club. They say they listen. They say they hear us. They do nothing.”
We demand the introduction of compulsory, in-person, and regular anti-oppression training for faculty, staff, DPS, and administration. Anti-oppression trainings should be led and organized by people of color with significant experience in anti-oppression activism or scholarship. We demand an in-person and compulsory Title IX training for faculty, staff, DPS, administrators, and students that includes an intersectional framework. The current non-compulsory online Title IX training module is ineffective and does not address the structural racism, queerphobia, economic violence and transphobia that is foundational to sexual violence on campus.

One can find statements similar to this from protesters at other Ivy League schools and various other colleges and universities. Many of them. Seems to be the norm that, rather than the exception, that blocks of students who are spending over $60,000 per year to attend certain schools are also saying that those same schools are hotbeds of racism (and sexism, transphobia, etc…), are committing “violence”, and so forth. Why would anyone voluntarily spend that much money to go to a place that’s committing violence against them and ruining their lives with racism? If such horrible things were actually happening to black students at Brown University (and Yale and Princeton and Harvard and …), one would rather expect that those students would choose not to attend.

Brown University, by any measure, is a quite liberal place, with the administration, faculty, and students all leaning pretty far to the left. The author of the article acknowledges as much. The same is true for Yale and Princeton and all the rest. Why is it that these complaints about the “structural racism” leading to “sexual violence” on campus seem to be occurring mainly at left-wing schools? I’ve heard of no such complaints at mainstream or conservative schools. I tutor on a daily basis at Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Moorhead, MN, and also at Minnesota State University Moorhead. I’ve yet to see a single protest, complaint, profane rant in a library, profane rant outdoors, protest against free speech, or other sign of the protests that are occurring on Ivy League campuses. Why not?

Is it because centrist places like Minnesota State Community and Technical College aren’t run by racists, while left-wing enclaves like Brown University are?

Or is it because the accusations of racism at Brown at other such places are false?

Here you go: Faculty group urges action on race issues at University of Kentucky

Among the excluded options:
Are larger, centralized campuses more easily organized in this way than tech schools with satellite campuses?

Do community and technical school studies bodies differ from Ivy League or state university student bodies?

Is a two-school sample in Minnesota too small for a meaningful comparison?

White supremacists would call them hotbeds for liberals and communism. Verily civilization emanates from institutions of learning. What a wonderful thing.

I’d call them openly racist against Asian-Americans.

I thought they had a secret quota and all that?

First, many of them aren’t spending $60k/year. In fact, at schools like Harvard, the vast majority of people receive financial aid (70%), and average tuition actually paid is less than a state school for the vast majority of people attending. Harvard is exceptionally generous and well-endowed, but the same is generally true for most Ivies and top schools. URM students, being disproportionately poor, are even more likely to reap those rewards, so your first assumption is false in the vast majority of cases. Anecdotally speaking, my cousin, a current freshman at Harvard, is basically attending for free whereas other “lesser” schools wanted to charge him.

The same reason Black people run for president, play professional sports, or basically do anything: the presumed pros outweigh the cons. Further, many don’t consider or appreciate what they will experience, and others recognize that such things can almost never be avoided in total. It’s not as if racism doesn’t exist at “lesser” schools.

I also like to point out that your incredulity really highlights why this sort of discrimination is so jarring for lots of URMs. As a minority you expect discrimination, but you cannot generally foresee any specific instance of it that may happen, nor can you anticipate how you might internalize it at a given moment. I don’t know any Black person over say, 35, who hasn’t been called a racial slur. They all likely knew this was going to happen at some point, yet, even given that understanding, few could have predicting how they’d react in the specific instance in which the slur was hurled. It’s like driving a really old car cross country. You know there is a high likelihood of there being an issue, but you generally aren’t placated by that fact alone when the shit hits the fan. Do you really think the Black girl who was denied admission to a frat party because she was Black weighed that possibility when she was filling out applications?

You, again, are assuming that these students were confronted with this dilemma before arriving on campus. You are also ignoring the fact that many minority student struggle academically, or leave school after realizing these places can be particularly unwelcoming. Lastly, you are also failing to acknowledge that many minority students actually do choose other schools. I am not sure if it’s still true, but the top HBCUs often had more Black National Merit Scholars than Ivy League schools for example.

It’s not happening mainly at left leaning schools. It’s mostly that protests are happening at a handful of schools, some of which are left leaning, because those schools are actually receptive to the message and often willing to evolve or change. But more importantly, structural racism is often an issue at elite institutions because they are elite institutions who largely serve and educate the elite. Their students are mostly the beneficiaries of structural racism.

Happens all the time. You must not be paying attention.

False dichotomy. I don’t think most schools are run by dyed in the wool racists, nor are the vast majority of the accusations of racism false. If anything it’s not the fact that racsm doesn’t exist at Minnesota State Community and Technical college, but rather that no one gives a shit about the school, nor does anyone have lofty expectations of what they should be doing to train their students. It’s a safe bet that the next Supreme Court justices, presidents, Fortune 500 CEOs, corporate lawyers, quants, corporate lawyers, top scientists, etc. are going to disproportionately come from a handful of schools. As such, we hold those schools to much higher standards in every sense including comportment, ethics, and sensitivity.

I would guess that there’s some racism, sexism, etc. everywhere. I have no idea how common it is at various colleges. The amount of protest against such things is more common at colleges where students more often recognize it. You’re assuming that people who engage in racist/sexist/etc. behavior consistently recognize that they’re doing so and that people who are the objects of such behavior consistently recognize that they are the objects of racism/sexism/etc.

In addition to what was said about the untruthiness of this double-cut, there’s the possibility that students at the Ivies are better educated by those institutions, being liberal bastions, to recognize institutional racism when they see it - sort of a self-innoculation.

I think the lack of diversity in the FM metro is the main reason you aren’t seeing organized protests on your campuses.

What sort of “institutional racism” could possibly be occurring at those liberal bastions?

I think you’re conflating the liberal sensibilities of (some, probably most) faculty with the more conservative, plutocratic administrations, alumni, etc.

Or maybe students at these universities actually think there’s a chance of being heard. Students experiencing racism at other schools may assume that their experiences will be trivialized or ignored, or that they may face backlash for even mentioning racism.

It’s a little surprising that it wouldn’t occur to the OP that there other possibilities besides the two he offers.

The OP would be better served if he focused on the singular question of why these bastions of liberalism are also bastions of racism, instead of muddying the water with claims about other institutions that can easily be dismissed by “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”


This kind.


Fat Tony heard from!

Ivy League universities aren’t a “hotbed of racism.” Our entire society is racist, including Ivy League universities. But protests against racism and action to reduce racism are both more likely to happen at large, liberal universities.

What is your question? Try using a verb.

ETA: good post/username match anyway.

Please don’t insult other posters, even in jest.

Many minorities at exclusive college feel like they don’t belong and are being excluded. This is generally because they don’t belong and are excluded. Generally students are selected for these colleges for the top 2 to 5% of intelligence. Affirmative action means that blacks and latinos at selective schools are in the top 10% of intelligence. These students were the best students at their high schools and were actively pursued by the top colleges in the country but they are unprepared and overmatched. So the blacks and latinos are in the bottom quarter of intelligence at these schools and since professors aim for the median students in the class, everything is over their heads. They are struggling to keep up academically and don’t have as much socially in common with their fellow students.
They then learn the myth of institutional racism which tells them the school has been set up to exclude them. They buy this because it matches their experience and because it is human nature to want to blame others for your own hardships.
They switch from hard majors to easy ones like race and gender studies. This makes them feel better about the present but apprehensive about the future since most of the race and gender factories have moved overseas. They then protest and at the top of every list of demands is more money for people in the race and gender studies departments and more training for everyone else. Another way of putting the demand quoted in the OP is “We demand you create jobs for us after graduation”.