by Alyssa Jones
A human development and family science instructor at Virginia Tech University recently apologized to her students of color for her whiteness and encouraged white students to “join” her “on this journey” of confronting inherent biases.
Crystal Duncan Lane created a “Who I Am” section in her Human Development 1134 syllabus to speak on her experience with racism. She began with an extensive description of her demographics.
Campus Reform obtained a copy of the syllabus.
It reads, “I am a Caucasian cisgender female and first-generation college student from Appalachia who is of Scottish, British, and Norwegian heritage. I am married to a cisgender male, and we are middle class. While I did not ‘ask’ for the many privileges in my life: I have benefitted from them and will continue to benefit from them whether I like it or not.”
At the end of her statement, Duncan Lane apologizes to students for the “inexcusable horrors within our shared history.”
“This is injustice. I am and will continue to work on a daily basis to be antiracist and confront the innate racism within myself that is the reality and history of white people,” Duncan Lane writes in the syllabus. “I want to be better: Every day. I will transform: Every day. This work terrifies me: Every day. I invite my white students to join me on this journey. And to my students of color: I apologize for the inexcusable horrors within our shared history,” the instructor continued.”
Virginia Tech student Natalie Rhodes told Campus Reform, “It is a class about disabilities, not political opinion, affiliation, nor judgment in any sort. If you are discussing disabilities, stick to your course.”
Campus Reform spoke with another student who requested anonymity.
“It hurts that someone says I was born with “innate racism” because of my skin color,” the student said. “[It] makes me feel like I should hide and worry about everything I say.”
Campus Reform reached out to Crystal Duncan Lane and Virginia Tech; this article will be updated accordingly.
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