Students at the University of Minnesota on Thursday took to the campus to protest against their university’s decision to hire a white man to teach at a prestigious public university in Michigan.
FourFourTwo spoke to students about their frustrations with the hiring of white people, and their concerns about racism in the U.S. and around the world.
“When you’re not white, you’re marginalized,” said Keren Jackson, a senior at the university.
She said she was especially concerned about racism at the school, because she’s African American.
The university, however, said the hiring is a result of a diversity initiative, and said it will provide “a more diverse teaching workforce” and to recruit a new teaching assistant to help replace the retiring professor.
In a statement, the university said the decision to put a white professor on the job was made in consultation with the university’s community.
Jackson said she would be upset if she had to take off work if she was not offered a job in a predominantly white environment.
A student at the Minnesota State University said she hoped the students protest would make a difference.
“This is not just a protest against a white person being hired, this is a protest about how the university treats all its students and faculty,” said Emily Matson, a student at North Dakota State University.
Matson, who’s white, said she felt that white people were given more power than anyone else because they are “the white majority.”
“We have a lot of privilege that we don’t even realize,” Matson said.
“We have to take it for granted.
It’s something we’re going to have to change for ourselves.”