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RIP Jim Crow

Fighting Racism through Higher Education Policy, Curriculum, and Cultural Interventions

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Edited By Virginia Stead

Together we can build enough momentum to see Jim Crow lying silent and still in his grave.
This book shouts out ways that we can and must respond to the sickening accumulation of racially inspired and systemically sanctioned deaths. Today, we remember the passing of young, Black Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. In responding to this event, we are determined to dismantle the alexithymia (indifference to the suffering of others) that pervades our campuses. It is nothing less than a by-product of racism protected by the illusion of democracy.
RIP Jim Crow contains three sections: (1) Antiracist Theory and Policy; (2) Antiracist Administration, Curriculum, and Pedagogy; and (3) Antiracist Cultural Interventions.
Each of the 31 chapters contributes to the normalization of anti-racist policy within academic institutions, antiracist discourse within academic cultures, and institutional praxis that upholds speaking out against racist activity. The hope is that this book will also reduce racism in the broader world through academic relationships with community partners.
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Chapter One: Disturbing the Comfortable: Antiracism as an Institutional Value in Higher Education

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CHAPTER ONE

Disturbing THE Comfortable

Antiracism as an Institutional Value in Higher Education

A. LESLIE ANDERSON AND LYLE Q. FOSTER



It was a protest about Black rights. It was a bigger scope of things. It wasn’t another Ferguson protest.

—MITCHELL (REPORTED BY A STUDENT AFTER THE “HOMECOMING BLACKOUT” DEMONSTRATION, 2014)

INTRODUCTION

The protests in reaction to the deaths of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Ohio, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York have resonated in the hallowed halls of higher education. While not directly about campus events, these occurrences have stood as representative of long-standing racial issues that remain largely unaddressed in contemporary society, in an era many Americans would like to consider postracial. Students, staff, and faculty have responded in a variety of ways, expressing a range of reactions from outrage to solidarity to anxious avoidance. In perhaps a strange twist of irony, the activism on a number of campuses has not always been met with the support and acceptance of the institutional power structure, and has in some cases been inconsistent with mission statements of diversity and inclusiveness.

A telling example is the reaction at a southwest Missouri university where students staged a “Homecoming Blackout” demonstration. Students there chalked the campus sidewalks in various places in accordance with the campus policy. Brightly ← 3 | 4 → colored messages included captions that ranged...

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