Mike Adams

Dear UNC-Wilmington Board of Trustees:

Once again, I am forced to write a letter condemning the anti-black racism that has spread like wildfire across our campus during the reign of Chancellor Rosemary DePaolo. As you already know, our Associate Vice Chancellor of Diversity, Tamra Minor, has resigned complaining about a lack of support from the administration. But you probably don’t know that she, like DePaolo, has been promoting anti-black racism on our predominantly white campus.

Minor’s accidental racism was recently brought to my attention by a student who describes himself as “multi-racial.” Although he is half-white and half-black the university classifies him as “black” – a reflection of the fact that our school adopts the “one-drop” theory once advanced by racists like my fifth cousin Sen. Theodore G. Bilbo (D-Mississippi).

The student, who we will call “Omar,” received a letter from Dr. Minor shortly before she left UNC-Wilmington. In the letter, Minor congratulated Omar for getting a GPA of “3.00 or higher during the 2006-2007 academic year.” This was followed by the revelation that “the Division of Academic Affairs recognizes students of color at our university who excelled in academic performance …” The main problem with this last sentence is the phrase “excelled in academic performance.”

Over the last few years in America, obtaining a GPA of 3.0 has, unfortunately, come to mean something other than that a student has “excelled in academic performance.” For example, by the mid-1990s, Harvard University saw 80% of its students graduate with the “honors” distinction. Later, more than 90% of Harvard students would graduate with “honors” in a given year.

While UNC-Wilmington has not seen grade inflation as bad as Harvard’s the average GPA has, in recent years, been slowly climbing up to around 3.0. As a result, UNC-Wilmington is now re-evaluating the standards that must be met in order to earn various honors upon graduation. But, at the same time, the university is setting lower standards for special recognition as long as the student is: a) black, or b) white with at least one drop of black blood.

I fully expect UNC-Wilmington to continue to raise expectations for white people, while lowering expectations for black (and partially black) people. Indeed, winning a Minority Scholarship Award is becoming a lot like winning a Gold Medal at the Special Olympics. Because of this palpable condescension, our college administrators can be fairly characterized as racists despite their feigned interest in the well-being of “disadvantaged” minorities.

Mike Adams

Mike Adams is a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and author of Letters to a Young Progressive: How To Avoid Wasting Your Life Protesting Things You Don't Understand.