Is racism still alive in America? According to the article written by Dan Frosch titled New Mexico Black Groups Claim Bias at University, it is alive and rampant at the University of New Mexico. A group of Black ministers in New Mexico, along with the local N.A.A.C.P., have filed a law suit against the University of New Mexico claiming that the University is a forum for racism and discrimination against African Americans. The law suit that was filed with the Department of Education says that “university administrators have created a racially hostile environment for black faculty members, students and the staff.” These are some serious claims that the University of Mexico universally denies.
The specific allegations of the lawsuit are as follows:
Specifically, it asserts that African-Americans have been excluded from positions in the school’s upper administration; that black women at New Mexico were virtually left out of all positions of authority; and that blacks on the faculty faced disparity in salaries compared with fellow minority colleagues
Glancing at the U.S. Census data of New Mexico, the black population of New Mexico is about 2% which definitely places them in the minority group of the state. Could such a low number of African Americans in New Mexico be a result of an overall sense of discrimination and racism throughout the state? Frosch also explains that over 80% of African-American doctors who had left the university’s medical team and hospital had left due to discrimination or “adverse employment action.” That is a fairly large number. If this statistic is true, and is found within such a large institution within New Mexico, it is not surprising that the black population of N.M. is only 2%. Why would qualified African Americans chose to move to a racist state?
As the article continues, it mentions that the ministers felt that although the administration did in fact “concede” to the disparities, they were unwilling to make changes. “We do not discriminate against any individual or group based on race, religion, sexual orientation, age, gender, or ability,” says the university’s president, as he denied all claims of discrimination. The allegations regarding the 80% of black doctors leaving had been investigated and found to be false and unsubstantiated, explains Bill Sparks, the spokesman for the health Sciences Center.
“The fact of the matter is that no one seems to be recognizing the issues that African-Americans face here,” says Scott Carreathers, director of African-American student services at New Mexico. Scott is pointing to the very real feelings of inequality that exists among the black staff and faculty members of the school. There does seem to be a pattern of pervasive feelings of discrimination amongst the African-American community within the University of New Mexico. It is important to remember that although the University may not realize or admit their underlying forms of racism, it is very much felt in the black community, making the discrimination very real.