Columbia University held an open discussion on Wednesday night to discuss many topics. One of the topics involved the inclusion of more curriculum pertaining to colored students and for more centralization of resources towards them.
One of the students who spoke at the forum, Nissy Aya, talked about how she was traumatized from reading about white people in class.
From The Columbia Spectator:
“It’s traumatizing to sit in Core classes,” Aya said. “We are looking at history through the lens of these powerful, white men. I have no power or agency as a black woman, so where do I fit in?”
Aya mentioned that even in her most recent Art Humanities class, the word “primitive” was used five times to describe Congolese art—a label she did not speak up against because she was tired of already having worked that day to address so many other instances of racism and discrimination, she said.
So, from my knowledge, we know that primitive as an adjective has two meanings. The first means the early stage in the evolutionary or historical development of something. The second means not developed or derived from anything else. I assume that the teacher meant the first when describing Congolese art because it’s been around for so long and helped form modern day art. But even if the professor was going with the second definition, all they were saying was that the art was not derived or developed from any other form of art. How in the world is that racist?
I think this quote sums it up though:
“I was accepted as the class of 2014,” Nissy Aya, CC ’16, said. “I will not receive a degree until 2016, if that is any marker of how hard it has been for me to get through this institution.”
Let me get this straight. You go to a prestigious Ivy League school, and you are complaining that it is hard? Do you want Columbia to become easier because you’re not smart enough? I can understand graduating a year after you originally intended to – 5 years seems to be normal for some – but pushing it towards six or seven is on the verge of Texas Tech territory..
[via The Columbia Spectator]
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