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Race card played

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Race card played

Postby KCollins1304 » Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:54 pm

http://www.collegiatetimes.com/stories/ ... d_a_sit-in

This is a story from VT's newspaper, Collegiate Times.

A student led a sit-in demonstration yesterday during a biology class in Torgerson 2150 in protest of an incident that happened on a prior test day. Brittany Tennyson, a junior psychology major, said that she felt discriminated against because of her race when the instructor handed out the tests to her row.
Brittany Tennyson sits in protest of teacher racism.

On the day of the test, Mary Lipscomb, the instructor of the biology class, handed the tests out in piles to the students sitting nearest to the aisle in each row. In Tennyson's row, which consisted of about five black students sitting at the beginning of the row, she handed the tests out individually. The tests were color-coded to make it harder for students to cheat.

Tennyson said she felt the instructor handed them out individually to make especially sure that the two different tests were alternated among the students.

"She went out of her way to make sure she distributed them evenly," said Tennyson. "To some people it wouldn't seem like a big deal, but I felt offended; I felt discriminated against."

Lipscomb said that she distributed the tests differently to Tennyson's row because it was in the center.

"It was a coincidence that it was Brittany's row that needed extra tests, but that is the way I pass them out in any situation," Lipscomb said. "It had nothing to do with who was sitting there."

Tennyson said that she could not concentrate on taking her test because she felt she and her friends were singled out, so she took Lipscomb aside and confronted her. Lipscomb explained herself and told Tennyson that she could take the make-up exam if she was having trouble focusing, Tennyson said.

"What I wanted was an apology and she didn't seem apologetic at all," Tennyson said.

After Tennyson took the make-up test, she confronted Lipscomb again and said that she would be speaking with her organization, the Serendipity Activists, and "will get the situation handled."

Tennyson decided to hold the demonstration after she heard that other students felt the same way about being discriminated against in various classes at the university. The demonstration consisted of the protesting students sitting in the first two rows of the biology class.

Lipscomb said that she did not have a problem with the demonstration taking place in her class.

"I was taken aback because I had no warning, but other than that it is fine," Lipscomb said. "Some students left in the middle of class, which was a little bit disruptive, but other than that I had no problem with it."

Tennyson also participated in a demonstration in early October against the Blacksburg Police Department protesting the treatment by the police of a black student who was allegedly pepper sprayed and forcefully arrested. She also helped create the Facebook group, "Justice for Jaz," for the protest.

Tennyson said that the latest demonstration was meant to convey that racism won't be tolerated any longer.

"The goal of this event is to empower the student body and to get the point across to all students of all colors that something can be done," said Tennyson.

Lipscomb said that she had no intention of hurting Tennyson's feelings and wasn't trying to single her out.

"To any other students in their situation I would have done the same thing," said Lipscomb about distributing the tests. "There was no ill intent on my part at all."

Synethia Toms, a junior political science major, participated in the demonstration yesterday and also participated in the "Justice for Jaz" protest along with Tennyson. Toms and Tennyson have been working together "fighting against institutionalized racism" at Virginia Tech and have done research together, which has included getting student accounts of racism in the classroom, Toms said.

"We feel that that (the research) is very important to us so we can have an inclusive environment for everyone," said Toms. "This is not an isolated incident; this is something that happens every day to us as a group."
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Re: Race card played

Postby Mugrila » Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:03 pm

Sounds like something you'd have to be there to know the real story. I had Lipscomb for freshman bio and she just seemed sort of out of it, very oblivious to whatever was going on outside of her lecture.
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Re: Race card played

Postby StlSluggers » Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:24 pm

Much ado about nothing???
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Re: Race card played

Postby AussieDodger » Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:01 pm

I think they should send IDIOTS like this Brittany Tennyson person to Iraq or Afghanistan to give them something real to whine about.
Seriously, how sensitive and spastic can you get.
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Re: Race card played

Postby Snakes Gould » Thu Feb 21, 2008 5:05 am

AussieDodger wrote:I think they should send IDIOTS like this Brittany Tennyson person to Iraq or Afghanistan to give them something real to whine about.
Seriously, how sensitive and spastic can you get.


well if the story is 100 % true from her perspective, i could understand it. its not as though this is a one time thing for a young black person in america. things happen to them everyday on a very small scale of racism, and i could definitely understand why it would be offensive...

short side story....i had a young black male in a very small 15 person film class last semester. he was the only minority in the class, and very often, when addressing him, the teacher (a 40-45ish white woman) would try to talk very "cool" and "hip" to the kid. he started off chuckling about it, but i think by the end of the semester he was confused as to why this otherwise very professional professor talked to him this way. sure it was "racism", but if someone talked different to me than the rest of the class, i think it would eventually rub me the wrong way as well.
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Re: Race card played

Postby soxfan364 » Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:55 am

Exactly!


AussieDodger wrote:I think they should send IDIOTS like this Brittany Tennyson person to Iraq or Afghanistan to give them something real to whine about.
Seriously, how sensitive and spastic can you get.
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Re: Race card played

Postby thedude » Thu Feb 21, 2008 4:15 pm

So her protest was to sit in the class that she is enrolled in? :-?
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Re: Race card played

Postby CadensDad » Thu Feb 21, 2008 5:03 pm

If the teacher was racist and trying to pick on her, why did she offered to let her retake the test at a later date? I would think if she is being racist she wouldn't offer her a chance to retake the test.
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Re: Race card played

Postby sportsaddict » Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:58 pm

Well, "racist" is not the right term here.

This girl may have a real argument though. It sounds like what happened was the teacher would give several tests to students in the front row to pass back, and with the black students, she handed them out individually. That's this girl's story, am I correct or am I misreading this? If that was really the case, I can see a problem there. She was worried about the black kids taking the same form of the test and cheating, but not the rest of the class.

That's not racism, but it is hurtful to the black students in the class because they were singled out as possible cheaters.
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Re: Race card played

Postby KCollins1304 » Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:12 pm

sportsaddict wrote:Well, "racist" is not the right term here.

This girl may have a real argument though. It sounds like what happened was the teacher would give several tests to students in the front row to pass back, and with the black students, she handed them out individually. That's this girl's story, am I correct or am I misreading this? If that was really the case, I can see a problem there. She was worried about the black kids taking the same form of the test and cheating, but not the rest of the class.

That's not racism, but it is hurtful to the black students in the class because they were singled out as possible cheaters.


I think that is how the girl perceived it, but not the actual intention of the professor. Apparently in that classroom there is a walking aisle in front of that particular row and for whatever reason the professor walked down it and just handed out the tests.
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