Racism seen but not heard at UK and US institutions

Subtle or covert racism remains prevalent in UK and US universities and is going unnoticed or ignored by senior managers, a report claims.

According to “The experience of BME academics in higher education: aspirations in the face of inequality”, a paper commissioned by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, senior managers often dismiss racist incidents as a “conflict of personalities” or believe them to be exaggerated.

Based on interviews with 12 black and minority ethnic academics in the UK and 10 in the US, the report found that although public displays of overt racism were considered rare, a pernicious set of behaviours has emerged to mask racist positions.

Respondents felt excluded in meetings, reported a lack of eye contact or being asked their opinion and experienced “constant undermining and criticism of their work”.

“Almost instinctively we regard our ‘seats of learning’ as institutions that rise above the inequalities and injustices of society at large,” the report says. “However, this is clearly too rosy a picture. Within many higher education institutions, embedded sets of beliefs and internalised codes of collegiality seem to work to reinforce and promote the interests of small elites. This needs to be challenged.”

via Racism seen but not heard at UK and US institutions | News | Times Higher Education.

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