Thursday, October 18, 2007

New flash! Bigotry exists in academia! - Tell me something I don't already know.

A colleague forwarded me an article that was recently published in a UK newspaper that quoted Dr. James Watson (won the Nobel Prize for discovering DNA double helix) remarking that [he was "inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa" because "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really". He said there was a natural desire that all human beings should be equal but "people who have to deal with black employees find this not true".]

*blink. blink*

Check the article out through the this link. Some people may be BAFFLED by his statements and will immediately try to rationalize why he couldn't possibly have meant what he said. However, this is the kind of attitude that I have to deal with often as an educated black person. Once people get over the fact that they should address me as "Dr.", then they act like I'm some kind of prodigy. An exception, because blacks can't possibly achieve anything other than being rappers and baby-makers.

To illustrate - I was at a Big Brothers/Big Sisters event with my Little Sister a couple of weeks ago. We were introducing ourselves around to the other guests and the following conversation took place when I introduced myself to an older white woman. For the record, I was the only black Big Sister in attendance (that's a whole 'nother topic for another day).

White Lady: So, what do you do?
Me: I'm a scientists.
WL: Really? You mean like a technician in a lab?
Me: Not quite. I am an independent researcher at [high profile research institution].
WL: Do you have a four year degree (looking at me suspiciously).
Me: Yes. And a Ph.D.
WL: Really?! In what?
Me: I'm a cancer biologist.
WL: And you work at [high profile research institution]?! Where on earth did you get your Ph.D. (her exact words - no kidding!)
Me: At Purdue University.
WL: Really?!
Little Sister to WL: My Big Sister is so smart! What kind of degree do you have?
WL: Oh, chose to raise a family (this was said in a very small voice).
Little Sister: Well, that's okay, too. But I'm going to college!

LOL! And this type of converstation is not as abnormal as some of you might like to think.


Chops said...

Yoooooo! That's wack! Thanks for the goodie bag. I used the skittles to barter for some hot chocolate. hahaha

K-Boogie said...

So, more skittles next time? Or more hot chocolate?


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