What is racism?
During the 60's I attended a University in Los Angeles and as a journalism/polysi-prelegal major took a required “Journalism and Libel” class. The university was a very racially diverse campus. The course professor was just graduated from a “name” law school also in Los Angeles. He had not passed the bar so in the mean time he was “teaching” to earn money.
I never missed a class, did well on the assignments and tests, but when the grades were passed out I received a “C.” Needless to say I was upset. As a reporter for the school paper I mentioned my pique to other student reporters and it instantly became an animated discussion in the school newsroom. As it turned out every other person of my race also received the same grade... “C.” I had an 3.6. Those of different races or ethnicities in the department revealed they’d received “B” or above.
Nothing that could be done according to our faculty advisor on the school paper. The grade stood and kept me off the dean’s list that semester.
The professor had a smirk on his face when I confronted him on the issue. It was obvioulsy payback time. It was also the “60s” and Vietnam and the growth of a new label: “evil white man.”
The Professor was Black. The University was California State University at Los Angeles.
Upon graduation, I applied for a job at the NBC-TV-owned station in Los Angeles. With a recommendation from a great professor in the Journalism Department, I was able to secure an interview with the station news director. After introductions, I sat down. He said our interview would be short. I presented my resume and experience. He looked at me and what he said is forever burned into my brain. He said, “Son, you’re the wrong color, the wrong sex with the wrong surname.” I was a white male. Interview over.
Again I ask. What is racism?