So I’ve been at this job for about two months now and it’s been quite the learning experience. One of the things I’ve learned in my short time here is that universities are, like, really fucking racist. It seems that every week there’s yet another school that does some racist thing and then tries to backpedal with a formulaic apology. Tonight, is school in question is Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
CBS Pittsburgh reports that the university has come under fire after a campus map given to new students and featured prominently in the school had all of the predominantly black neighborhoods whited out. Y’all. I can’t. Can is something I’m simply incapable of doing. Wish I could. Can’t though.
Student Ebony Thomas decided to be proactive and do something about it. She designed shirts that featured the campus map with the black neighborhoods restored and called the design “Hood Lives Matter.” She is selling the shirts online with a portion of the proceeds set to be donated to the Urban League.
“There’s a lot of culture in these black neighborhoods and it was just so frustrating that they made the choice for us, to tell the students where to go and how to experience the city,” Thomas told reporters. David Widder, another student at the university said, “This is institutional racism on paper, on-screen and on the walls of a building in the heart of our university.”
The university apologized and said it was sorry for the “inadvertent error.” Its statement featured the textbook quotes we’ve come to expect by now. Fails to uphold our values of inclusion and diversity? Check. Expressing a need to do better? Check again. Meetings with community members and a diversity committee being formed? Hot damn y’all, we almost had a bingo. All that’s missing is the diversity training. Which, if any of you have attended diversity training, please explain to me how that works. Is it just a person going, “Yo. Stop being racist,” for an hour?
As for the university calling it an “inadvertent error,” I gotta push back on that. It’s one thing if one predominantly black neighborhood is missing from the map. All of them were gone. That’s not inadvertent, that’s intentional. Hopefully, Carnegie Mellon will take a lesson from Peter B. Parker and reexamine their personal biases because frankly, this was some bullshit.