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Bigotry and Violence
United States Commission on Civil Rights
LAW SOHCXX LIBRARY
NOV 3 1990
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U.S. COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is a temporary, indepen-
dent, bipartisan agency established by Congress in 1957,
reestablished in 1983, and directed to:
• Investigate coma denial of equal protection of the
laws under the Constitution because of race, color, religion, sex,
age, handicap, or national origin, or in the administration of
• Appraise Federal laws and policies with respect to discrimina-
tion or denials of equal protection of the laws because of race,
color, religion, sex, age, handicap, or national origin;
• Serve as a national clearinghouse for information in respect
to discrimination or denials of equal protection of the laws
because of race, color, religion, sex, age, handicap, or national
• Submit reports, findings, and recommendations to the
President and Congress.
MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION
Arthur A, Fletcher, Chainnan
Charles Pel Wang, Vice Chairman
William B. Allen
Carl A. Anderson
Mary Frances Berry
Esther G. Buckley
Blandina Cardenas Ramirez
Russell G. Redenbaugh
Wilfredo J. Gonzalez, Staff Director
Bigotry and Violence
United States Commission on Civil Rights
The following contains the transcript and summary report of a
briefing conducted by the Campus bigotry Subcommittee of the
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to address bigotry and violence
on college campuses. The briefing was held at Commission
headquarters, 1121 Vermont Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C., on
May 18, 1989, at 2:00 p.m. Present for the briefing were Murray
Friedman, former Vice Chairman; Commissioner Esther G.
Buckley: former Commissioners Francis S. Guess and Sherwin
T.S. Chan; and Melvin L. Jenkins, former acting staff director.
This report was written by LaUie P. Dawson. It was prepared
under the overall supervision of Barbara J. Brooks, Acting Chief
of the Congressional and Public Affairs Unit. Editorial review was
provided by Carol-Lee Hurley, Acting Chief of the Regional
Program Coordination Unit. Valuable support services were
provided by Deborah Gllspie.
1. Introduction 1
2. The Extent of the Problem 3
3. Causes of the Problem 7
4. Recommended Solutions 12
Welcome and Introductory Remarks
Subcommittee Chairman Murray Friedman 19
Session 1 - The extent of the problem:
Grace Flores-Hughes, Director,
Community Relations Service, U.S. Department of
Justice, accompanied by Judith Kruger,
Conciliation Specialist 21
Dr. Jeffrey Ross, Anti-Defamation League,
B'nai B'rith 24
Dr. Stephen Balch, National Association
of Scholars 28
Session 2 - Causes of the problem:
Dr. Reginald Wilson, Senior Scholar, Office of Minority
Concerns, American Council on Education 43
Patrick Cheng, Campuses Against Racist Violence . . 48
Dr. Thomas Short, Associate Professor of Philosophy,
Kenyon College 53
Session 3 - Solutions:
Irving Levlne, National Affairs Director,
American Jewish Committee 38
Dr. Robert Dunham, Vice President and Vice Provost,
Penn State University 58
Roundtable Discussion 63
On May 18. 1989, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights held a
briefing on "Bigotry and Violence on CoUege Campuses" in
Washington, D.C., at the Commission's headquarters. The forum
met to assess what is happening at American institutions of
higher learning and discuss possible solutions to the problem.
Commission Vice Chairman and Subcommittee Chairman
Murray Friedman Introduced the panelists, expressing his concern
about the apparent Increase in the number of incidents of bigotry
and violence on college campuses. In 1988, Commissioner
Friedman introduced a resolution requesting a Commission
briefing on the subject. As a result, a written briefing was
produced by Commission staff in December 1988.' In March
1989, Commissioner Friedman Introduced a second resolution to
hold a formal briefing, which resulted in the panel and roundta-
ble described in this summary.
During the 3-hour briefing, participants presented information
to address the extent, causes, and possible solutions to blgotiy
and violence on college campuses.
Grace Flores-Hughes, director of the U.S. Department of
Justice's Community Relations Service (CRS), and Judith Kruger,
a conciliation specialist for the CRS in Region III, opened the
briefing. Other presenters were Dr. Jeffrey Ross, director of the
Anti-Defamation League of B'nal B'rith's department of campus
affairs/higher education: Irving Levine, national affairs director of
the American Jewish Committee; Dr. Stephen H. Balch of the
National Association of Scholars and Chairman of the Commis-
sion's New Jersey Advisory Committee; Dr. Reginald Wilson, senior
scholar for the American Council on Education's Office of Minority
Concerns; Patrick Cheng, a Junior at Yale College and member of
Campuses Against Racist Violence; Dr. Robert Dunham, vice
president and vice provost of Pennsylvania State University; and
Dr. Thomas Short, associate professor of philosophy at Kenyon
' "Briefing on Bias-Related Incidents on College Campuses," prepared for the
Commissioners by the USCCR's Congressional and Public Affairs Division,
Their presentations were followed by a roundtable discussion
with the Commissioners to clarify issues raised and to address
how the Commission might help solve the problem.
The Commission thanks each panelist for his or her time and
effort, without which this briefing would not have been possible.
The Extent of the Problem
Although it is impossible to measure with precision the extent
of the problem of racial bigotry on college campuses in the United
States, this chapter reviews the limited statistical data and shares
the perceptions of the experts who provided information at the
Who experiences campus bigotry?
The panelists varied slightly in their perception of which group
or groups are the primary victims of campus bigotry.
Dr. Reginald Wilson of the American Council on Education
asserted that the majority of Incidents are directed toward black
students, "subsequently against Asians and Hispanlcs, and
against Jews." He based this opinion on statistics compiled by
the U.S. Department of Justice's Community Relations Service
(CRS), the National Institute Against Prejudice and Violence, and
the Center for the Study and Prevention of Campus Violence
located at Towson State University. Meanwhile, Irving Levlne of
the American Jewish Committee advised the Commission that
"(tjhose of us who think the black- white dichotomy defines
American ethnic relations had better take another look."
Mr. Levlne also told the Commission that the New York City
Board of Higher Education requires every school to work on
multlculturalism and pluralism and develop consistent policies.
This developed as a result of 20 years of forging a coalition of
blacks, Jews, Hispanlcs, and other ethnic groups. Mr. Levlne felt
that all groups, even white Anglo-Saxon Protestants, must be
included when examining the pluralistic nature of the population.
Patrick Cheng, a member of Campuses against Racist Violence,
recommended that homosexuals be included under the definition
of Incidents of racist violence. "Violence against gays is going to
be a major issue in the next 5 or 10 years. . . . Just because It
is not explicitly listed under Title VI or Title IX doesn't mean that
you can ignore it. . . . "*
Dr. Jeffrey Ross of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rlth
Informed the Commission that not all Incidents involve majority
' Patrick Cheng; briefing held by the U.S. Commission on CivH Rights in
Washington, D.C.. May 18, 1989 (cited hereafter as USCCR Briefing).
versus minority scenarios. Some are minority versus minority
conflicts, he said.
All panelists agreed that there is a problem and offered their
perception of what the causes and possible solutions might be.
How is bigotry manifested on
The panelists, while sharing the belief that there Is a problem,
differed in their Interpretation of how bigotry on American college
campuses is expressed.
Dr. Thomas Short of Kenyon College addressed the "mistake"
of lumping together racial hostility and insensitivity, saying that
"(i]nsensitlvlty of whites toward blacks is rooted less in prejudice
than in unfamlliarity and curiosity and simple lack of tact. . . .
I have heard black students complain in private, rarely In public,
until recently, about white students who either stereotype them
or exhibit an annoying curiosity."
Dr. Short predicted, "We shall see, too, another manifestation,
not exactly of insensitivity, but of strained racial relations:
namely, whites avoiding blacks for fear of saying or doing the
Dr. Robert Dunham, vice president and vice provost of Pennsyl-
vania State University, reminded the Commission that acts of
bigotry can take a more sinister tone. He said that at Penn State
during the 1988-89 school year, acts of racism and bigotry took
the form of racist slurs and posters, racial harassment, and
alleged racial intimidation; anti-Semitic remarks, graflfltl, and
posters: and harassment and threatening statements toward
lesbians and gays. According to Dr. Dunham, someone used a
computer network to transmit the statement, "Why Should One
Kill Homosexuals?" to all parts of the country and some places
Dr. Ross and Dr. Wilson said that most college administrators
fall to recognize that most of the incidents indicate the breakdown
of human relations: Instead, colleges choose to view the Incidents
as public relations problems. According to Dr. Wilson, this
mlsperceptlon makes institutions that subscribe to this attitude
appear responsive only to demands they view as potentially
embarrassing. He offered, as an example, that the University of
Michigan, after protest marches on campus, made efforts to
increase opportunities for minorities by increasing the number of
doctoral students. Also, Dr. Wilson said that the University of
Michigan hired 18 black tenure track faculty, more than it had
ever done in any one academic year in its history.
What is the frequency?
statistics provided by the U.S. Department of Justice's Com-
munity Relations Service (CRS) and the Anti-Defamation League
of B'nai B'rlth corroborate the panelists' and the media's percep-
tion that incidents of campus bigotry are increasing.
Dr. Stephen H. Balch of the National Association of Scholars
warned against drawing the conclusion that the incidence of
racist violence is increasing without hard data, and encouraged
other Jurisdictions to do as the State of New Jersey had done.
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights's New Jersey Advisory
Committee encouraged the State of New Jersey to collect
systematically statistics on mcidents having to do with hate
According to the Department of Justice, requests for assistance
to the Justice Department's Community Relations Service (CRS)
since 1986 have increased significantly: from 1987 to 1988. the
number of alerts (formal notifications of tensions or conflicts) filed
went from 48 to 77.*
In 1988. the Anti-Defamation League of B'nal B'rlth noted that
the incidence of anti-Semitism on campus since 1987 escalated
from a steady Increase during the previous 5-year period to a
dramatic 271 percent mcrease.*
Why are there more reported incidents now?
Several explanations were offered to explain why more incidents
were reported in the late 1980s. The panelists addressed the
inevitable question, are there more cases or are we just finding
more cases because we are looking for them? Also, why are
there more cases now? Has anything different been happening
the last few years?
According to Dr. Balch, over the years society has widened its
notion of what constitutes harassment and victimization. He said
that during the late 1970s and 1980s, the number of groups
considered targets and the types of acts considered offensive have
' See also "Hate Crimes Resolution." Issued Feb. 12, 1988, by the U.S. Commis-
sion on Civil Rights calling on Congress to enact legislation requiring the Attorney
General to collect data alx)ut hate crimes; the Hate Crimes Statistics Act passed
by the U.S. House of Representatives May 1988; and the Crime Awareness and
Campus Security Act of 1989 (Section 3e "Disclosure of Campus Security Policy
and Campus Crime Statistics") (HR 3344). introduced Sept. 26, 1989. On April
23, 1990, the President signed into law the Hate Crime Statistics Act (Pub. L. No.
* Grace Flores- Hughes, USCCR Briefing.
• Jeffrey Ross, USCCR Briefing.
Dr. Balch proposed that increased sensitivity may have
provided greater incentives to report incidents and that a greater
interest in changing campus policies exists today. "Add to that
an element of se2"-fulfilling prophecy: The more people sense that
there is racial tension the more racial tension actually exists;
things happen that might not otherwise."
Dr. Short noted, "If there is more insensitivlty now than before,
I suspect it is due to an additional third factor, an exaggerated
fear of giving offense."
The press is giving more attention to the situation now than
before. Careful examination reveals severed significant incidents
prior to 1987: the hazing at the Citadel (1986). the attack by
white baseball fans upon blacks at the University of Mas-
sachusetts (1986), and the antiblack behavior at the University
of Michigan. But were these isolated incidents or evidence of
Dr. Ross compared the sudden awareness to the sudden
appearance of a pothole — one day you don't see It, the next day
you do. "What happened yesterday to create the hole in the
ground? What you have had for years and years is subsurface
erosion. The hole in the ground wasn't created yesterday. It
only appeared today."
The Causes of the Problem
The panelists cited a number of causes of campus bigotry. The
causes fell Into four categories: 1) deficiencies on college
campuses that exacerbate existing tensions; 2) society's failure to
keep up with change: 3) competition for limited resources; and
4) extremist speakers.
Deficiencies on campus that exacerbate existing
Several panelists focused on local campus conditions that not
only prevent the Improvement of race relations, but also en-
courage racial conflict. They include campus environments
perceived as hostile, isolation of many minorities on college
campuses, perceived Issues of recruitment and retention of
minority students and faculty, perceived exclusion of minority
cultures from the curriculum, defundlng or deemphasis of special
programs that target minorities, and perceived Institutional
discouragement of minority students from entering or continuing
academic studies in certain disciplines.
Dr. Balch pointed out the uniqueness of coUege campuses.
Although they are places where people work and live together,
they are not permanent communities. He described them as
communities where people stay for a while and move on.
Therefore, the Incentive to cooperate and coexist amicably that
might exist In permanent communities does not exist on college
Mr. Cheng discussed a lack of responsibility by universities for
the students* welfare. "Universities used to take more care of the
students, being responsible for their actions, acting as their
parents in absentia." He also said that, now that legal
responsibility has been removed, universities are under no
obligation to resolve conflicts between groups and often tell the
disputing parties they have to find their own solutions.
Dr. Short condemned college administrators for not being
"swifter and firmer" In punishing racial violence. He said that
hostile acts are increasing as an expression of prejudice learned
on campus out of resentment of perceived preferential treatment
of minorities and of false accusations of racism rather than an
expression of prejudice that whites bring with them to college.
Also, he argued that there's a "lack of prior commitment to the
genuine Ideals of equality" that allows resentment to occur. Dr.
Short offered that it is possible to oppose afilrmative action
without expressing the opposition as a racial insult.
Dr. Wilson pointed out that racism on college campuses origi-
nates and exists in "the administration, in the faculty, in tJie
curriculum, and in the practices that all of those individuals
engage in. That is where it begins and that is where attitudes
Dr. Wilson also stated that institutions are not interested in
training faculty and students in dispute resolution or sensitivity.
He said that there are plenty of people who are "very able and
available to teach them."
Most institutions. Dr. Wilson said, do not have sanctions or
policies against this kind of behavior, and are even ambivalent
about the need to develop them. "One would expect that campus
leaders would hope that it would simply go away. Much of what
is happening is a consequence of great denial." he said.
Dr. Balch discussed the effects of applying different admissions
standards. He advised administrators to examine how admissions
policies function and how students on both sides of the policies
perceive their fairness and equity.
According to Dr. Wilson, "Very little recruitment of any kind is
going on in graduate schools and in professional schools, and the
numbers are showing that. In 1975 there were 1,213 doctorates
awarded to black Americans. In 1987 there were 725. Institu-
tions are not making any significant efforts to recruit minority
scholars. I think. . . .that it's nothing less than disgraceful."
Most of the panelists agreed that people are reacting to things
that previously did not bring forth a reaction. Dr. Ross said that
victims* voices are louder. Also, he said that white students are
expressing antagonism toward affirmative action policies and
recipients. He suggested that administrators should be more
responsible for setting the moral tone on campus against in-
tolerant and racist behavior.
Society's failure to Iceep up with change
Three other causes reflect society's failure to adapt to changing
conditions. Panelists discussed the effects of simple ignorance or
insensitivlty, more minority students on campuses, and societcil
changes and the breakdown of traditional supports.
Simple ignorance or insensitivlty
Although national findings show that society Is becoming more
tolerant of differences than ever before, Mr. Levine said that the
American Jewish Committee notices that the behavior of high
school students is " outrageous. They are philosophically tolerant
and behavioristically outrageous. They are acting out against
each other. There Is a large-scale lack of respect for each other,
lack of respect for self, reported everywhere." He said that many
students have weak self-identities and an inadequate sense of
group identity that contribute largely to their behavior problems.
Mr. Levine noted that, although the college years are the "up"
years of life — the "free spirits" of youth — they are also years in
which passions are less governable. Students tend to give way
to things that adults would be able to contain, he said.
Also, he said that this is the first generation to have missed
the civil nghts struggles of the 1960s and into the mid-1970s.
Students question the reasons behind affirmative action, he said.
They do not see it as a means of giving minorities a fair chance
to achieve, but rather as a means of taking away opportunities
from the majority, according to Mr. Levine,
Mr. Levine also noted that multicultural training and staff
development is not as prevalent on college campuses as it is in
elementary and secondary school systems. "It is dlfificult for
people who are overwhelmed educationally by all kinds of other
needs and demands to pay attention to something as essential as
good intergroup relations and healthy group identity when they
are fearful and there are inadequate possibilities of training them.
. . . Mixing does not automatically create good will. It helps.
Intentional programming on group relations creates it."
More minority students
Since the 1960s, American college campuses have experienced
the development of a critical mass of students from a variety of
minority groups. As those minority groups gain confidence in
their existence on previously all-white campuses, they approach
the administrators to make demands. In recent years, when
these students make demands, conflict has erupted.
Dr. Ross and Dr. Wilson agreed that part of the problem is due
to the fact that there are minorities on campus. "There would be
no problem if they were not there," noted Dr. Wilson. The
increased numbers of minorities on campuses today compared to
the early days of school integration allows for the possibility of
demonstrations, they said. Some of the issues of race relations
being protested have been on the campuses all along, but only
recently has there been a "critical mass" to respond.
Dr. Ross noted that "an attack on one minority will inevitably
lead to a circumstance in which other minorities become vul-
nerable. . . . Therefore it is no accident that the increased levels
of anti-Semitism on campus are directly related to and exist in
a climate of increasing numbers of instances of racial and ethnic
bigotry and prejudice on campus."
Societal changes and the breakdown of traditional
Commissioner Chan commented that the stated causes of
conflict on campuses — drugs, alcohol, racism — reflect the causes
of conflict in society in general. Did the presenters agree with
Dr. Ross mentioned these elements as causes in his remarks,
and Mr. Levine felt strongly about the connection, saying that
"the extremes of acting out behavior flow over into racial, ethnic,
and religious intolerance. We are seeing a lot of so-called
innocent acting out that comes from broken family life, beginning
to become part of the index In this field. We ought to take It
Mr. Levine noted that there are enormous differences in values
even among members of similar socioeconomic groups, due to
differences in child rearing and incredible mlscommunication at
every level of society. Mr. Levine explained, "We are missing each
others' signals. We don't speak the same language."
Competition for limited resources
All of the panelists agreed that competition for limited resour-
ces was a factor contributing to the increase in racial bigotry on
campus. In the 1960s, Federal programs increased resources for
programs to aid minority access to higher education. That is not
Mr. Cheng noted that the Federal Government's efforts under
the Reagan administration to reduce or eliminate affirmative
action programs have sent subtle messages to college students
that it is okay to ignore past or present discrimination against
According to Ms. Flores-Hughes, interviews conducted by the
Department of Justice's Community Relations Service's staff reveal
that campus communities feel that the national and international
causes of racial incidents include the increasing cost of college,
the restructuring of Federal loans and grgints. and the local
impact of international Issues. One of the international issues to
receive a great deal of attention on American campuses, according
to Dr. Balch. is apartheid in South Africa.
Competition for limited resources often originates with no racial
conflict, according to Dr. Ross, but as the competition grows
stronger, ethnic or racial differences may become an issue. As
such conflicts become "ethnicized." he explained, they become
much more dangerous.
According to Dr. Wilson, there are differences in terms of the
perception of resources. "Many people on campuses, not only
white students, but white faculty as well, perceive it as a zero
sum game. That is, if you get some, I lose some.** The Increas-
ing numbers of minority students on campuses are seen as an
encroachment on white entitlement, he said. Part of the resent-
ment and hostility is due to that perception, according to Dr.
Another cause is an ignorance of history, especially the history
of race relations in the United States. Campus administrators do
not help students understand that policies are intended to redress
systemic discrimination that has existed since the Nation's
founding. Faculty and administrators abet white students in
perceiving distortions in the allocation of resources. They have no
sense of why certain students arrive on campus through equal
opportunity programs or with Pell grants.
Several of the panelists discussed the effect of extremist
speakers. Dr. Ross proposed that the months of controversy
leading up to the speech are more important than the speech
itself. The "swirling" controversy tends to polarize people, he said,
generating tensions on campus.
According to Dr. Ross, large numbers of Incidents have resulted
from extremist speakers, since many enjoy the use of a rent-free
university lecture hall with an available audience. "If [an
individual] speaks at the University of Pennsylvania, he is going
to get much, much more attention than he will by renting a hall
and giving a speech in inner-city Philadelphia or limer-city
Chicago or irmer city anyplace else. ... It really ultimately
doesn't matter whether they actually succeed or not in coming on
to the campus. What is most important to them is that they get
months and months and months of free publicity out of it."
Vice Chairman Friedman inquired about the Influence of
extremist speakers on race relations, particularly black-Jewish
relations, on campuses. According to Dr. Ross, the reaction is
the same on any campus visited by an extremist — the groups
become polarized, especially the blacks and Jews.
Commissioner Guess followed up, wanting to know if the
message given by extremist speakers had any effect on the
students. Also, do the victimized end up serving as "marketing
agents" because of the preperformance reaction that is generated?
Dr. Ross stated that the speech Is often disappointing, but the
controversy leading up to the speech has already succeeded In
polarizing people on campus. "Those who perceive themselves
being victimized by a monger of hate will react to it. By reacting
to it, they are going to raise the heat, and when you have more
heat you have more visibility if not more light."
Since the panelists did not present a single cause of the recent
incidents of racial violence, they naturally did not present a single
solution. The panelists' recommendations fell into four categories:
1) existing resources (both on and off campus): 2) multicultural
training: 3) Federal support and involvement; and 4) the free
According to Judith Kruger of the U.S. Department of Justice's
Community Relations Service (CRS), the CRS regional offices take
official notice that tension exists on particular campuses. Some-
times a conciliator contacts the Institution, but often the institu-
tion contacts CRS first, she said. To assess an off'icial notice of
a tension, the regional office completes the following steps:
determining the issues, the history of the issues, and who was
involved (how and why): and determining the resources, the
possibility of solution without outside intervention, and how local
resources might be developed, Ms. Kruger said.
She said that each regional office offers three types of assis-
tance in developing local resources: technical assistance, which
includes background material from other similar situations;
conciliation, or improved communication techniques to bring the
parties together to talk, short of formal mediation; and formal
In the past, the CRS has provided the following assistance to
college administrators and populations that might be helpful to
• assisted colleges in developing reporting mechanisms for racial
and ethnic incidents on campus;
• assisted universities in reviewing their policies and other
written statements addressing racial and ethnic diversity;
• conducted mediation training;
• conducted crisis mediation and conciliation between protestors
and administrators, campus police, local or State police, and
• assisted schools In developing their own mediation services,
ombudsperson offices, and resident assistants' training in dispute
• provided university communities with current information on
• assisted towns or institutions in dealing with organized hate
groups such as the Klan who express Interest in organizing or
other activities on the campus or in the town;
• encouraged universities to assess the propensity for racial and
ethnic disturbances. CRS has developed a tool to aid administ-
rators in assessing the racial and ethnic climate of the campus,
which they will gladly provide;
• provided training on racial and ethnic sensitivity to campus
law enforcement officers; and
• mediated disputes about university expansion and the institu-
tion's relationship with the neighborhood.
During the briefing, several panelists noted methods of prevent-
ing and/or dealing with campus bigotry that were developed by
colleges. These methods Included minority representation,
affirmative action programs, law enforcement, and student involve-
In describing methods used on his university's campus to
address and prevent conflicts among minority students. Dr.
Dunham noted that Penn State, the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, and the University of California-Berkeley are the top
three research universities producing black undergraduates who
eventually earn doctoral degrees in Qie sciences. (This informa-
tion is based on statistics collected between 1980 and 1984 by
the National Research Council.)
Dr. Dunham also noted that Penn State is the second most
populated university by blacks of 109 4-year schools In Pennsyl-
vania. From 1982 to 1988, minority enrollment at Penn State
increased 79.3 percent, while the number of blacks graduating
from high school in Pennsylvania decreased approximately 15
percent. During the 1988-89 academic year, more blacks and
minorities attended Penn State than at any time in the univer-
sity's historJ^ with more blacks graduating in 1988 from Penn
State than in any previous year.
Dr. Dunham stated that Penn State has a campus environment
team, part of a model, to review systematically Incidents reported
and to assess the campus environment. He said that the team
includes the vice president for administration, the vice president
for student sen^ices. the vice president and vice provost, the
affirmative action officer, the director of the black studies
program, the chair of the equal opportunity planning committee,
the director of the campus life assistance center, the director of
public information, and the director of university safety.
Dr. Dunham explained that the team either visits student
groups or invites students to discuss concerns, as appropriate.
It addresses urgent concerns and ways to improve the environ-
ment and makes recommendations to the appropriate offices and
in many cases directly to the office of the president. Many of the
programs and activities recommended by the team were being
initiated this past year.
According to Dr. Dunham, Perm State's model team is prepared
to speak out strongly and quickly against acts of intolerance. He
said that the university's president has strongly supported this
role by making public pronouncements in newspaper ads, in
letters to the editor, in radio and television spots, and in public
forums. The president has also encouraged others to speak out,
and other community leaders have also expressed their support.
Dr. Dunham stated that the model is also directed at taking
action and planning programs to deal with racism and bigotry.
In this vein, he said, a vice provost will be hired to oversee equal
opportunity for underrepresented peoples, including women.
According to Dr. Dunham, Penn State also appointed a 25-
member advisory commission on racial and ethnic diversity which
reports to the president through the new vice provost. He said
that a three-member team of social scientists is advising the
model team on ways to Improve the climate for minorities at Penn
By the president's direction, there will be minority representa-
tion on all of the administration's policymaking bodies, and many
more cooperative efforts both on and off campus and between the
two communities, according to Dr. Dunham.
Dr. Dunham said that the model also seeks to keep the
channels of communication open both ways, including an 800-
number hotline available to parents. Despite the model's best
intentions, noted Dr. Dunham, "confrontation is not always
Dr. Wilson reminded those present that, although many de-
nounce affirmative action, no one has offered a better method to
achieve the same goal. Miami University of Ohio doubled its
black faculty in just a little over one academic year. "It can
happen and the slty does not fall," he noted.
Dr. Dunham quoted a report from Northern Illinois University
which said that the "renewed trend towards intolerance must not
be allowed to gain a foothold on college campuses. . . . Colleges
and universities must take a much more active role in developing
a climate for minority students' success. ..."
Mr. Levlne, quoting a report, stressed that clear policies on any
acting out, any action of bigotry against any racial, ethnic, or
religious group are needed, with serious and immediate punish-
ment enforceable by law. He urged administrators to examine
student campus involvement, see If there are sufficient activities
that are ethnically and religiously related, but also activities that
provide common ground for all students. Faculty should review
the courses and ensure there are sensitive instructors and
professors, he said.
Dr. Ross suggested that institutions work from both below and
above to sensitize faculty, students, and administrators to the
consequences of their words and actions and to have ad-
ministrators clearly state and enforce the institution's policies.
From the students' perspective, active involvement is a key.
Patrick Cheng, the student panelist, was the first minority
president in 102 years of Dwight Hall, the community service and
volunteer activist center at Yale. He was also a member of Yale's
ad hoc committee examining free expression policies on campus,
which examined university regulations concerning conflict between
controversial speakers and the limits of harassment. This
committee included Yale professors, including several from the law
school, he said.
Mr. Cheng also was a founding member of Campuses Against
Fiacist Violence, a coalition of 40 colleges in the Northeast and
East that tracks incidents of racist violence and shares informa-
tion. The group holds conferences for schools to learn how to
combat racist violence.
Several of the panelists referred to One-Third of a Nation,
published by the National Commission on Minority Participation
in Education, which discusses what the consequences of not
dealing with minority education would be for the United States.
Copies were distributed to all members of Congress, all college
and university presidents, and to other organizations.
The American Council on Education issued Minorities on
Campus in January 1989. It is a handbook of strategies designed
to help institutions develop programs that will successfully recruit,
retain, and maintain the minority presence on campus.
Recommendations are based on actual campus programs that
have proved successful in affirmative action.
Dr. Dunham urged the Commission not to take as the rationale
for diversity "bringing in minority students and making them
white in 4 years."
Mr. Levlne based his comments on his organization's experience
on over 75 campuses, and his personal experience conducting
multiethnic traliiing over the last 10 years In high schools. He
indicated that the American Jewish Committee (AJC) leads preju-
dice -reduction workshops with consultants all over the country,
which have proven that there is "a base of good will among
students, faculty, and administrators who want to carry on this
program." However, in Mr. Levine's opinion, the workshops are
inadequate in responding to the systemic problems that the AJC
knows about. Mr. Levine said that the AJC is shifting toward
"systemic institutional consultation," or helping universities carry
out a total plan in dealing with issues of cultural pluralism.
According to Mr. Levine, "Itjhere have been 20 years of ethnic
advocacy. . . . Now, in addition to legitimate ethnic advocacy, we
need to spend the next 5 years In upgrading the process of coali-
tion-building and a return to intergroup relations. We need to
systematize skills training in this field. And we need to transmit
these skills to young people, and they will buy if we provide it."
Dr. Short questioned both sensitivity training in higher
education and requiring all students to take minority studies. He
objected to "fashioning the curriculum and student life" to mold
attitudes. Rather, he supported free thought based on "knowle-
dge, intellectual training, and free and open discussion of
Further, Dr. Short questioned if it is even possible to "mold
attitudes in a classroom." Students will resent being "manip-
ulated instead of being educated." Dr. Short favored courses in
minority cultures that "need not have the specific aim of making
students more tolerant. They can be Just straightforward, good
academic studies of their subjects without any ulterior motive."
He opposed ethnic studies courses that are perverted by "those
who wish to use them to change society and students' attitudes."
Dr. Short argued such courses will "create differences between
whites and blacks where none exist and exaggerate the differen-
ces that do exist. . . .and it will reinforce the suspicion many
black students unfortunately have that by succeeding in the
standard curriculum they are somehow selling out to ^e white
He also said it is "ridiculous. . .to suppose that black America-
ns have more in common culturally with Africans than with their
follow Americans. They share a society with the latter, not with
"Barriers are not broken down by equating culture with color,"
Dr. Short explained, "but by working with people of other races
on matters of mutual interest, on matters that transcend ques-
tions of race."
Dr. Short predicted that "multicultural education will be even
less effective against real racism than against insensitivity."
In responding to a rebuttal about sensitivity training. Dr. Short
explained that he was referring to multicultural education that Is
offered for college credit and required of all students. Although
he agreed that racial prejudice and the special problems of
minorities are legitimate subjects of study, he also feared a
backlash would occur if student life is organized around activities
that emphasize their victimization.
Federal support and involvement
In response to Commissioner Buckley's request for suggestions
on what the Commission could do to help alleviate the problem,
all panelists agreed that the Commission's first Job was to decide
what the problem is. If the Commission chooses to focus on
campus racial problems. Dr. Wilson noted, it should "establish
some kind of model program that it can advise institutions they
might undertake." Dr. Wilson urged the Commission to not just
deal with symptoms, but get to the systemic problems and to
take a "proactive stand on civil rights."
"We are suggesting," said Dr. Wilson, "that not only should we
be working on eliminating these problems [minority grievances]
in the 21st century, but we ought to do something about them
To prevent more incidents from occurring, Mr. Cheng said the
Federal Government (especially the Executive Branch) should take
an active and visible role in saying that racist violence is unaccep-
table, that college administrators should publicly condemn this
behavior strongly as soon as it occurs. More minorities should be
Involved in policymaking on the level of university administrations
to contribute to more effective operations.
After incidents occur, Mr. Cheng suggested that coUeges that
do not act against racist violence should lose Federal funding.
Mr. Cheng said that Congress should look at schools with long
histories of racist behavior. Mr. Cheng, however, was against
banning controversial speakers or tightening the definition of
Mr. Cheng reminded the Commission that students, as a
transient population, cannot be expected to handle a problem like
racist violence alone. They do not have access to the kind of
financial and communications resources available to government
agencies, he said.
Dr. Dunham recommended strong, clear signals from the
Federal Government and Increased availability of more financial
aid for needy students.
Mr. Cheng also emphasized the importance of students being
educated about the proper charmels for addressing Incidents of
racial unrest and /or violence.
The free speech dilemma
In discussing solutions to visits by extremist speakers and other
first amendment rights that affect resolving campus bigotry and
violence, the panelists addressed the dilemma of balancing free
speech on campus with the quest for an absence of campus
tension. In regard to extremist speakers. Dr. Ross said that the
appearances would be less likely to cause problems if they fell
more into the category of "opportumties for academic exchange
of views, and less in the way of public rallies." Dr. Ross pointed
out the interchange between campus tension and community
tension and how the two build and feed on each other.
Ms. Kruger said that the first amendment right to free speech
is being examined by campus administrators and student popula-
tions in regard to speech that results in physical injury, harass-
ment, or intimidation. She said that the Department of Justice's
Community Relations Service facilitates opportumties for college
presidents and others to explore finding ways to balance protec-
tion against racial harassment and protection of free speech.®
Dr. Balch contended that the Commission should address
incidents that "in any environment would be considered. . .
criminal. . .acts of personal injury, acts of vandalism and destruc-
tion of property, particularly where there is some kind of group
hatred behind them, and also cases of clear discourtesy." Dr.
Balch warned about balancing respect for civility with avoiding
suppression or intimidation of people "who had views that were
either opprobrious to many or in some cases just opprobrious to
a few." He encouraged a distinction between insults and the
expression of "ideas that some people didn't like."
• Judith Kruger, USCCR Briefing.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.
My name is Murray Friedman, and I am the Vice Chairman of
the U.S. Civil Rights Commission I would like to introduce to you
the fellow members of the Commission who are here with us
today to hear the testimony that will be given to us.
On my right, but only geographically, not ideologically or
philosophically, is Esther Buckley, a member of the Civil Rights
Commission, who is from Texas.
On my left is Melvln Jenkins, who is the Acting Director of the
On his left is Commissioner Shenvin Chan of California.
To his left is Francis Guess, a distinguished member of the
Commission, from Tennessee.
Thank you for coming here and thank you, members of the
group who are in front of us, for joining us today to give advice
and counsel to our work.
As some of you may know, I have been particularly concerned
about the apparent increase in the number of incidents of bigotry
and violence on college campuses. Last summer introduced a
resolution calling on staff to prepare for us a briefing on the
subject. The written document that staff produced and which all
of you were sent pointed the way for further study.
Again, I introduced a resolution in March of this year to hold
a formal briefing for the Commissioners. In April we decided that
a more fruitful discussion could occur if more participants were
invited, and the Chairman established this subcommittee to
expand the briefing in a half-day session today.
That was three weeks ago. I want to both thank and compli-
ment the staff, Melvin Jenkins and John Eastman, for pulling
together an extraordinary amount of useful material and develop-
ing this briefing on very short notice. It is difficult to bring people
in from various parts of the country in a short period of time, and
this is exactly what the staff has done and they have done a
I ought to also point out that we have attempted very seriously
to bring in a variety don't mean those who are for or against
violence. I mean those who have different perspectives as to the
nature of the origin of harassment and violence and what it all
I have here a bundle of material reflecting some of the news
clippings that the staff has gathered. Most of this bundle is made
up of news clippings. It is really quite extraordinary both in
terms of heft and the number of indications of various examples
of racial and religious harassment, intimidation, and violence that
has been developing. I believe this body of material reflects a
bundle that was collected and is not quite brought up to date.
This is what I received six or seven weeks ago from the staff.
The problem is that we really don't know what this all means.
We have a body of anecdotal material. The newspapers tell us
this is what has happened. It is difficult to put this in any
perspective, to understand what it means, and of course, most
Importantly, to be able to think through ways of dealing with
issues of this kind. It is for that reason that we have gathered
The Commission is not an enforcement agency. We are not
here to resolve existing tensions on any particular campus, nor
are we here to fix blame on any particular individuals. We are
here to assess what is happening at our Institutions of higher
learning and we are here to see if perhaps our collective wisdom
can contribute to a solution of the problem.
We will be publishing a transcript of these discussions, a
document reflecting the viewpoints that are expressed here, and
other materials that we have gathered, and perhaps most impor-
tantly, will make some recommendations as to what should be
Before we begin, 1 have been cautioned to urge on you certain
cautionary comments. Statements that would tend to defame or
degrade particular Individuals should be avoided. In addition, we
have much to discuss this afternoon, so please try to limit your
Initial presentation to ten minutes. My colleagues, please try to
limit your questions immediately following each presentation to
those of a clarifying nature. More substantive comments and
questions are more suited for the roundtable discussion portion
of the agenda.
With those brief and Introductory comments, we can go directly
to the testimony that you are here to make. We have divided it
generally into three categories.
The first session will be given over to trying to measure the
extent of the problem.
The second session will direct itself toward those individuals
here who are expert in the area of helping us tiy to understand
the causes of the problem.
The third session will be given over to something here that is
called solutions. We may interrupt that by virtue of some of the
difficult schedules that one or two of you have, but it will be
within that order that we will be going.
I am going to call on Grace Flores-Hughes first, who carries
the title of Director, Community Relations Service, U.S. Depart-
ment of Justice.
Welcome, Ms. Hughes. You have ten minutes.
STATEMENT OF MS. GRACE FLORES-HUGHES
MS. FLORES-HUGHES: We at the Justice Department Com-
munity Relations have dealt with each of the three different areas
you will be discussing, the extent of the problem, causes, and
I would like to give my presentation for about two or three
minutes and then Judy Kruger, who is a field staff person who
deals with this situation first hand, will give you a little bit about
the causes and the solutions that we have been working on at
Community Relations. I have to leave but she will stay here for
the roundtable discussion. Some of the solutions and causes
that you will be discussing later on, she can, I am sure, provide
some input, given her firsthand knowledge and experience with
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: May I have her name again?
MS. FLORES-HUGHES: Judy Kruger. She is one of my con-
ciliators from the field, and In this particular case, from Philadel-
phia. She has done a lot of work on campuses and a lot of
specific work on it, so she will be
MS. FLORES-HUGHES: Judy Kruger. She is one of my con-
ciliators from the field, and In this particular case, from Philadel-
phia. She has done a lot of work on campuses and a lot of
specific work on It, so she will be ny
national data. Data, as many of you know, is lacking. We
collected only based on the alerts that we do at the Community
Relations Service. So I do want to specify that what I am about
to talk to you all about Is based on our experience in the field
and the alerts that we receive.
Since 1986 CRS's case work involving college campuses has
Increased significantly. For example. In 1987 CRS field staff filed
48 alerts involving campuses. In 1988 the field staff filed 77
alerts. For those of you who may not be familiar, an alert Is a
formal notification from the field to the headquarters office that
racial tensions exist at a particular site. It is a formal notifica-
As I said, there is a lack of accurate statistics on the number
of racial incidents that have occurred on campuses.
Based on interviews we have had with students and other
members affected, what we have found is that national and
International causes Include the increasing cost of college, the
restructuring, for example, of federal loans and grants; many
college officials' fear of minority activism caused by sympathy for
We break them up by national and local.
On the local campus level, many of these causes include per-
ceived hostile campus environments, isolation of many minorities
on college campuses, perceived Issues of recruitment and
retention of minority students and faculty, and perceptions of
curriculum not inclusive of minority cultures.
Defunding or de-emphasis of special programs that target
minorities is another example.
Perceived institutional discouragement from entering or continu-
ing academic studies in certain disciplines of minority students.
Those are some examples of what the students have told our
conciliators, our field staff.
Our special interest is the lack of dispute resolution mechanis-
ms available in colleges and universities and perceptions that
existing mechanisms are unfair. So while we are worried about
what exists, another comment that has been brought up Is the
perception that those mechanisms may not be really helping the
Again I emphasize that this is based on my staff doing their
field work and their Interviews with college officials and students.
Let me hand it over to Judy Kruger and let her tell you some
of the things that we are doing at the Community Relations.
STATEMENT OF MS. JUDITH KRUGER
MS. KRUGER Thank you.
I am a conciliation specialist at Community Relations Service.
I am based in Region III, which is Philadelphia. We have ten
offices around the country, so we have been Involved In campuses
all across the country.
I would like to focus on pragmatic responses to campus racial
and ethnic tension that our agency has been Involved with.
First, I want to tell you very, very briefly how we work.
As was mentioned, we first take official notice that there Is a
tension. We work voluntarily. We may contact the Institution.
Often the Institution has contacted us first. We go through a
process of assessment to determine what the Issues are, what the
history of the Issues are, who was involved, how, why, what the
resources are, how good the chances of solution without any
outside intervention are, and how local resources could be devel-
ff we have a sense that we could be useful in developing local
resources, we could offer three types of assistance.
The first is technical assistance. That may mean a college
president calling me and saying would you please put together a
packet of statutes from states on reporting racial and ethnic
incidents so that I can adopt them for a university setting.
The second level of assistance is conciliation. Conciliation Is
any process that Improves communication, that brings parties
together to talk short of formal mediation. The result of concilia-
tion is improved communication between different groups.
Our third resource is formal mediation. We are all trained
We frequently are invited in during a particular tension or an
incident. We offer assistance in the immediate improvement of
communication and dispute resolution channels, and frequently
we develop an ongoing relationship due to the effectiveness of the
The types of responses that we have provided over the past two
or three years which I think would be of general use to college
administrators, in fact all college populations, are:
• assisting colleges in developing reporting mechanisms for
racial and ethnic incidents on campus.
• assisting universities to review their policies and other written
statements impacting on racial and ethnic diversity.
We have conducted mediation training: we have conducted
crisis mediation and conciliation between protestors and ad-
ministrators, campus police, local or state police, and neighbor-
We have assisted schools in the development of their own
mediation services, ombudsperson offices, resident assistant
training in dispute resolution.
We have provided university communities with up-to-date
information on hate violence. We have had a number of schools
in the past couple of years where there have been approaches by
organized hate groups such as the Klan to the university or to a
university town. We have worked with the town or the institution
in dealing with those approaches.
We have encouraged universities to assess their racial and
ethnic climate. Often we find there is a perception gap between
groups. For example, administrators will say people are very
comfortable here: everyone seems comfortable. We find in
assessing the views of discrete groups that there may be discom-
forts that administrators are not aware of which lead to incidents
that they need to become aware of on an ongoing basis.
To this end, we have developed a tool to aid administrators in
assessing the racial and ethnic climate of the campus. We would
be happy to provide that tool. You can contact me later.
We have provided training to campus law enforcement officers
on racial and ethnic awareness. We have helped them examine
their hiring and promotion policies within the department, helped
them look at improving their relationship with on-campus and
off-campus populations. To this end, I will be working with the
Virginia campus law enforcement administrators in June, giving
them two workshops.
We have mediated disputes about university expansion and the
institution's relationship with the neighborhood.
I think I will stop there. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: Thank you.
We will first have the testimony and then we will have ques-
tions and discussion.
Incidentally, I am not going to go through the entire biographi-
cal sketch describing your virtues, accomplishment and achieve-
ments. We will stipulate that you all are virtuous, achieving, and
more than competent with regard to these and many other
The next panelist is Jeffrey Ross, who is from the Anti-Defama-
tion League of B'nal B'rith. His role will be to describe the
number and character of incidents occurring. I have asked Mr.
Ross to broaden the scope of his examination of these materials
in terms of outside agitators and individuals often seen connected
with hate groups who have been coming to campus.
STATEMENT OF DR. JEFFREY ROSS
Dr. ROSS: At the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith we
have for some time now been looking at cases of anti-Semitism
on campus. What we have seen for at least the last five years
has been basically a steady increase.
In calendar year 1988 we saw a process going from one of a
more or less steady increase to one of a dramatic increase. We
saw a 271 percent increase in the number of campuses reporting
incidents to a total of 38 campuses reporting Incidents in 1988.
It always has to be kept in mind that the nature of processes
on campuses, especially if one goes to small liberal arts institu-
tions which are not close to any major media center, that you
have a systematic process In which reporting of incidents tends
to be distorted downward. Therefore, whatever we see inevitably
tends to be the tip of the iceberg.
If one takes the 170 incidents which the Civil Rights Commis-
sion compiled as something of a baseline, then what you have for
1988, if I read the data correctly, is a situation in which 22.3
percent of all the incidents on campuses as we see them involved
one way or another cases of anti-Semitism.
What I would like to do is address myself to a variety of issues
which are both explanatory and also to get to the issue that
Mr. Friedman suggests, which I think is an Important one. But
what I would like to do is to go beyond the materials which I
have provided in the briefing paper which you have before you.
The first thing I would like to point out is that an attack on
one minority will inevitably lead to a circumstance in which other
minorities become vulnerable, and therefore it is no accident that
the increased levels of anti-Semitism on campus are directly
related to and exist in a climate of increasing numbers of
Instances of racial and ethnic bigotry and prejudice on campus.
The question inevitably arises, are there more cases or are we
Just finding more cases because we are looking for them? That,
I think, is an essential question to which a definitive answer at
the moment is not available. It is my feeling, being someone who
has worked in this area, that the answer is both. There are more
cases but we have also been finding more cases in part because
there is greater attention being given to this subject and victims
are more likely to come out and speak up. Not in all cases, but
The inevitable next question is, what has there been about the
last few years which has been conducive to this outcome? If
there indeed has been more now, or at least if people are more
sensitive to them now, or if our sense of fairness has been more
antagonized by what has happened now, why has that been?
I would suggest a variety of explanations. This is a pattern of
phenomena in which no one explanation will suffice, but let me
give several, starting with one.
What you see in recent years is the development on a number
of campuses of a critical mass of students from a variety of
minority groups. Tliere has been some data recently to suggest
that black enrollments have actually gone down if not peaked.
Nonetheless, once you develop critical masses of minority
students on campuses, one is more likely to get incidents than
in situations where you do not have a presence of minorities on
campus, and it has to be pointed out that the presence of large
numbers of minorities on campus is a relatively recent phenomen-
on. Take Jews, for example, who right now have almost a
universal higher education access. This is very much a post-
World War II phenomenon. Before the second world war this did
not happen. This has happened much more recently for other
In the Immediate generation of students from a minority group
who first go to campuses in which they are in effect blazing new
trails what is likely to happen is that they will in effect bury
themselves into the campus and see a college education as a
ticket to the American dream, as most indeed still do.
Nonetheless, after a generation or two of students, what you
see is that students come to campus and are not satisfied only
to achieve an education and to achieve the credentials for success
in American life.
What they want to do on campus is to see the campus as an
environment in which one can er^age in personal and group self-
actualization. What this is going to mean on campuses is that
minority groups make demands for the allocation of scarce resour-
When this happens, what is Inevitable is that there will be
conflict, and to the degree to which demands are made for
financial aid changes, for changes of admissions poUcies, for
changes in curricula structure, and so forth, you are having a
situation in which existing resource allocation patterns are being
challenged and also to a certain degree existing value structures
are being challenged, and what you have inevitably wUl be
That is one level of explanation. There are others as well. I
don't mean to suggest that this is anything near the total
explanation. To be a social scientist for a moment, if it can
incorporate 20 percent of the variation, I think that is a great
Let me give you some other observations.
The first is that what you have on campus for many of the
Incidents are instances of related pathologies. Specifically, many
of the instances that you see on campus, many of the most
egregious instances on campus, involve other pathologies which
have existed for quite some time. These include drug abuse on
campus, in particular alcohol abuse on campus, vandalism on
To a certain degree, these phenomena which have existed for
some time and which will most likely continue to exist find
specific minority targets. In looking at the Impact upon minoriti-
es, one has to look at a background in which you have had
alcohol abuse, and so forth and so on, on campus.
Another instance is that many of the cases that you see on
campus occur and their origins are not out of deliberate bias or
they are not initially about racial, ethnic or religious hatred. One
of the things you have to remember about a campus is that it is
an environment in which people are brought together in relative-
ly close quarters.
Often what happens is that individuals will get involved in
conflict over relatively modest things: a place in line, access to a
book in the library, access to a closed course, or whatever. In a
situation of conflict between two individuals. If there are ethnic,
racial or religious differences, what will happen in a certain
proportion of cases is that these conflicts which are not about
ethnic, racial or religious things will become ethnlcized. and when
they become ethnlcized they become much more dangerous and
they become something other than what they originally were.
Another point is that many of the problems that you see on
campus occur not from deliberate bias, but occur as well because
of Ignorance, occur also because of insensitlvity.
Let me point out that many, many people In our society live in
communities in which their degree of systematic interaction with
others is highly limited. They go to a college campus. The
classic student is 17 or 18 years old. For the first time in their
lives many of them are away from home. This can be an
academically difficult time for them; it can be a personaUy difficult
time for them; it can be a sexually difficult time, and so forth and
so on. Now in the midst of all this they have to deal, quite often
on an everyday basis, with people from other groups that they
have never had an experience of dealing with in the past.
This can create an environment of incidents: it can also create
an environment of rampant tnsensitivity. I think it is clear to
point out that people who are 17 or 18 years old are basically
not those who are best known for being sensitive in intergroup
We generally tend to look at incidents on campus as invariably
being majority versus minority. Whereas there are a great
number of those, we also have to be aware that there are many,
many cases which involve minority-minority conflict.
In addition, a dynamic force in much conflict on campus
Involves intragroup conflict, which then gives rise to intergroup
Many campus administrations err because they perceive these
problems as fundamentally public relations problems rather than
as human relations problems. I think a key to the solution is
that institutions need to perceive their problems as being
fundamentally human relations rather than as public relations.
The question that Mr. Friedman has asked involves extremist
speakers. The extremist speaker who has received the greatest
attention, including the greatest attention from us, is (name
deletedl. But he is not alone. Others include [name deletedl,
otherwise known as (name deleted), and even the now fired aide
of former Mayor Sawyer of Chicago [name deleted] has been
hitting the campus circuit.
What we tend to do in looking at these instances is to focus
on the speech itself as the incident and specifically see what
degree of poison the speaker has spread on campus.
1 would submit that the speech itself, although it is important,
is not the most important thing. What is most important is that
you have months and months of controversy quite often swirling
around up to the date of the speech and what this controversy
tends to do is polarize people, to generate tensions on campus.
Campuses should be seen as communities. When you have
polarization and tension in a community the bonds of community
break down and people tend to see each other not as fellow
members of the community or even as individuals, but as
members of contending groups.
So when you have cases of not only extremist speakers, but
Klan groups and others who try to achieve access on campus,
you have also situations like the one at Temple University where
a white student union has been chartered, in which yoii have
student groups in formation. These sorts of situations polarize
students who are not personally involved in the issue. It creates
tension and this tension will exist and persist quite often for years
afterwards even after the speaker has long since gone and what
he has exactly said has long been forgotten.
The implications of these things are great, and I think by
concentrating only on the speech itself we tend to lose sight of
the larger issues.
To conclude, in terms of what do we do, there are many things
that can be done.
I think two things need to be pointed out.
Number one, you have to work from both below and above.
From below one has to be in a situation working to sensitize
people on campus, faculty, students, administrators, to the reality
that words have consequences, deeds have consequences, and
that when you do certain things other people will be adversely
affected and one should be aware of that. Quite often what you
are dealing with is a situation in which people are not consciously
seeking to antagonize others but are going along with a campus
environment, a campus culture which breeds intolerance, which
breeds bigotry, and one has to try to intervene to in effect break
that culture or at least confront it.
The second thing, and most important, one has to deal with
administrators from above. Administrators are those who set the
moral tone on campus. It is crucial that administrators specifi-
cally state through policy this is what will be accepted on
campus, this is what will not be accepted on campus. TTie rules
have to be clear and the rules have to be clearly applied and be
seen to be clearly applied.
Let me stop there.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: Thank you. Dr. Ross. I found your
comments particularly helpful by putting the incidents in a
broader context as well as the number and amount of episodes.
Our next speaker is Dr. Stephen Balch, who is the chairman
of the National Association of Scholars, a fairly recently formed
organization, and, I might add, a personal friend as well.
STATEMENT OF DR. STEPHEN BALCH
DR BALCH: Thank you, Murray.
I am going to speak at the outset from the vantage of my
faculty role, drawing whatever insights I can. I have for 14 years
been associate professor of government at the John Jay College
of Criminal Justice. Though it is not directly my field, this has
given me a little bit of knowledge about the problems inherent in
collecting figures about crime incidents, some of which have
already been touched on by Dr. Ross; also a vsintage on the iimer
life of an institution with a very heterogeneous ethnic and racial
composition located in Manhattan.
With respect to the collection of figures having to do with crime,
of course most criminal acts are in some sense harder. They
refer to activities in which, in the most extreme sense, there may
be a body, in the case of a murder; in which there is property
damage or theft or something of that sort. These have long been
known to be very much a function (a) of people's willingness to
report the alleged offense, with the exception of murder where in
fact you have usually indisputable evidence of a crime, and (b) the
willingness of those agencies that collect statistics to report the
statistics and to publicize them.
In the state of New Jersey, where I serve as chair of the New
Jersey State Advisory Committee, one of the things we recently
did was to encourage the state of New Jersey to systematically
collect statistics on incidents having to do with hate crimes. This
will seem to show, I am sure, that there has been a rise in hate
crimes in the state of New Jersey. We have statistics on it now;
we didn't have statistics on it seven or eight years ago. That may
indeed have happened, but there is an appearance apart from the
reality that has to be taken into account.
In terms of my personal experience at John Jay, and I have
been there now since 1974, I don't think it is a particularly
unusual institution given its geographic situation. There has
always been a strong undercurrent of tension between students
of different backgrounds.
We have many different populations represented in the student
body. Many of the students get along very well, and of course it
is always terribly encouraging to see that. There are many
interracial and ethnic friendships which develop on campus.
One of the best parts of being at a place like John Jay is to
see that kind of thing occur. Of course for most of the students
at the college it is a place to go and to take their course and to
get a degree and they are probably more or less indifferent to the
great body of other students.
But, throughout my experience there, there have always been
incidents: a nasty word said: allegations of discrimination in the
distribution of student funds, for example: even things which
happened in classrooms, with which I have direct experience:
comments made by students in class. Many of these episodes
have been uncomfortabe either personally or to hear about.
Nonetheless, it is not simply a matter of recent history. It is
a matter of very long duration. If you go into any of the restroo-
ms at the college, there has always been a profuse supply of
racist graffiti on the waUs, in the toilet stalls. They are updated.
They are washed off the walls and they appear again. There are
dialogues that take place among the graffiti writers. It is a very
lively, unpleasant aspect to have to bear witness to, but it is
nothing new. It has been there a long, long time.
Now it may indeed be the case that these kinds of incidents
are increasing. I think we have to be cautious in drawing those
conclusions, but it may indeed be true. I think we have to kind
of take these limitations on our perceptions of the situation Into
account. They are functions of things that are apart from the
actual incidents that may be occurring.
In examining the possibility that there has indeed been a real
increase and in looking at the period of time over which this
Increase has been reported, there do seem, to me at least, to be
some climatic factors which may indirectly account for It. Some
of these have been addressed by the presentation just preceding.
One that 1 would like to take into account occurred in 1984,
1985, 1986, and that was the fairly massive campaign on many
campuses around the country to require Institutions to divest
themselves of holdings in companies that did business in South
Clearly, these are not racist incidents, but one could certainly
argue plausibly that they had an effect of sharpening people's
perceptions of their own Identity as a member of this organized
group, and also sharpen people's perceptions of the salience of
racial issues, both in American society, and maybe more impor-
tantly, on campus, because after all, the chief allegation that was
made was that the colleges and universities were in a state of
complicity with racist policies abroad. It was really brought right
down to the level of the institution itself.
One really can't plot out all the sequences and relationship of
causation, but here you have something that did occur right at
the beginning of the period that we are addressing ourselves to.
Certainly it is not farfetched to imagine that it brought the issue
of racism In a variety of ways much more squarely to the campus
than anything had before. Again, if people's perceptions have a
lot to do with how they interpret specific things that happen in
their day-to-day life, it is conceivable that this campaign was sort
of a watershed.
Another thing one might say is that we have increasingly
widened our notion of what harassment and victimization
constitutes because during the late 1970s and 1980s we have
multiplied the number of groups and the types of acts that we
consider to be offensive.
I am not talking about racial incidents particularly here,
because I don't thinS: there has been a change on that score, but
with respect to harassment on the basis of sex. I travel around
the country and go to a lot of colleges and universities. I was
absolutely stopped in my tracks when I saw on the wall of a
professor's office what could have been — I don't know if it was
or not — a cartoon out of Playboy. He had it up on his wall.
I could not imagine most professors, whatever their personal
feelings were, with any mind for their futures and careers doing
that. I don't know what this man's position was, but ten or 15
years ago I think the attitude would have been quite different.
Clearly there has been a change of sensibility on this matter
and whatever one might think of all of its manifestations, it
changes the way in which people perceive individual acts.
The same thing is true when it comes to cases of sexual
harassment based on what we now say is sexual preference.
Again, people look at these acts differently. There are also groups
on campus that are willing to make a case against certain forms
of behavior that in the past would have been maybe just seen as
tasteless but not seen as specific effects. That too has to be
taken into account.
I have some other things to say about the causes of the
problem. I am not sure I faU into that category, so I will Just
limit it to maybe a minute and a half and perhaps I can come
\)ack to it later.
Campuses are unique places when we are talking about issues
of group tension and perceived discrimination and unfairness.
They are unique places in American society because they are not
just places where people work together, and students, of course,
do work together to some extent. They are places where people
work and live together, and yet strangely enough, they are also
not permanent communities. They are communities where people
stay for a while and move on.
I urge that last point as being of some importance, because If
you work and live together and you expect you are going to do
it for a very long time, you have an Incentive to get along with
people who you are with, whatever you may feel or think. On
the other hand, if you are going to move on, it is not all that
So you have people at very close quarters with each other who
do not have any real necessity to like each other, to form
enduring bonds. You also have people at a time in the upside
of their lives, the free spirits of youth; the down side, of course,
is that their passions are less governable. They sort of give way
to things that adults would be able to contain.
All this is taking place in a situation in which for some time
and increasingly you have a two-tier structure of education,
particularly as it affects racial and ethnic minorities. You have
increasingly, though it has been around for some time, differential
standards as applied to admissions. If you look at the Madison
plan as an example, which was part of the documents we were
given in preparation for this, as applied to financial aid; as
applied to counseling; as applied to a whole series of things which
affect group success.
Again, what everyone might think of the merits of doing this
along racial and ethnic lines, and I have some real reservations
about it, when you are dealing with a student body that has all
these other characteristics, which to some degree is competing
individually for grades and for positions and for entry, it is not
surprising that some students will perhaps take offense. Whatev-
er the merit of their feeling about the general policy, oftentimes
this would be expressed in offensive and abusive actions towards
individuals in groups to which their resentments may be develop-
So I think if we want to look at the roots, we might want to
examine how these policies operate and the kinds of perceptions
that students have on both sides about the fairness and equity
of these policies.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: Thank you. Dr. Balch, and thank you,
members of the panel who have shared your thoughts with us.
We come now to that portion of this program in which the
Commissioners may address questions to the panel, or to
comment or exchange. We will permit about ten or 15 minutes
COMMISSIONER BUCKLEY: First of all, I want to thank you
for being here this afternoon. We are truly concerned about what
is happening and we appreciate that you have given us the time
to be here.
The work that the Department of Justice has done in their CRS
division is quite impressive. You have covered all three areas, so
it is going to be hard to Just take "the extent of the problem." So
I am going to have to overlap.
You say that whenever you have a situation some of the
characteristics that you see that lead to the increases in campus
tension are financial. You say tuition has Increased dramatically
and rapidly and grant and loan availability and qualifications
I would ask all three of you. Why Is it that we see it from
1987 to 1988? Why wasn't it there before? It seems like all of
a sudden there is a big jump. What would you say is the one
cause or the one factor that is the straw that broke the camel's
back? What happened in 1987 that made the difference in 1988?
I recognize that availability of monies was one of the issues,
but why the changes? Did it just kind of explode at that point?
DR BALCH: One of my contentions was that perhaps in the
years preceding there were some other changes which sharpened
people's sensitivities on these scores. Once a certain threshold
is passed and the issue becomes picked up by the national press,
then the incentive system to report incidents that might have
gone unreported changes. The interest of reporters is enhanced.
Those students who for whatever reason feel that it wUl be better
for them or for their group to talk about the incidents, their
incentive to report it increases.
You also have these issues increasingly tied up with efforts to
change the way in which institutions are governed, recruitment
processes, curriculum structure
Groups that feel they have an interest — sometimes these are
actually people within the highest level of the administration of
the university or college itself — will also take the issue as an
illustration of a problem that needs to be addressed in a way that
they would like to address it: changing the content of the cur-
riculum; hiring more faculty with certain backgrounds; admitting
more students; establishing special counseling services. The
issue has become part of a Idnd of political process within our
nation's colleges and universities. As an issue does so. inevitably
people not only become more aware of it. but become more willing
to talk about it.
To some extent, there may also be a self-fulfilling prophecy
aspect. The more people sense that there is racial tension the
more racial tension actually exists, and so things happen that
might not otherwise have happened. If I had to guess, and that
is the best one can do. I would see it in that constellation of
events and circumstances.
COMMISSIONERS' COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS
COMMISSIONER BUCKLEY: It Just keeps going like a snow-
DR BALCH: It doesn't keep going forever. These processes
generally are self-limiting. Perhaps there are things that we can
do about it. But within certain limits a momentum tends to
Dr. ROSS: If I could add several observations to this. It may
well be the fact that there is more attention being given to this.
Clearly there has been attention given to this by the press, but
there has always been attention given to this which was not given
before by campus administrations.
The fact that now campus administrations are trying to confront
the problems with all the noise and everything that comes along
with that can be seen to a certain degree as an indication not
only that there is a problem, but also an indication that there are
at least attempts at a solution to the problem.
Going back to your question itself, there have been a number
of egregious incidents which took place before 1988. Among these
have been incidents in 1986. For instance, the infamous case of
the hazing of the black cadet at the Citadel took place tn 1986.
The attack of a group of white Boston fans upon blacks who were
perceived as being Mets fans at the University of Massachusetts
also took place in 1986. The major events at the University of
Michigan in terms of the anti-black jokes on the radio station and
all that emerged from that, sit-ins and so forth, took place before
If you look at it, one can see an acceleration perhaps of trends
which have been going about for some time.
Also, I would like to point out that I think we go astray when
we look at incidents and that the focus of our attention is upon
the Incident. In many situations what you have are conditions.
Take the case of the graffiti, for instance. If we have a
situation where you have in effect a large graffiti on a public
building, we consider that to be an incident. But if you have a
large accumulation of small graffiti in what is otherwise a public
place, a public bathroom, a library, and so forth, it just grows
and it gathers over the years. Is that an incident? E^^eiy time
somebody writes down a graffito, is that an incident? No, it's
not. It becomes a condition.
For instance, date rape. Is that an Incident or is that a condi-
tion? Problems that you have in terms of fraternity hazing, and
so forth. Are those incidents or are those part of larger condi-
I think if we look at the larger systems on and off campuses.
I think we have a better view of these things than concentrating
on incidents per se. When we concentrate on incidents we tend
to see them as aberrations rather than as part and parcel of an
I think to a certain degree what we have had this last year is
a massive pothole on campus. Potholes are a phenomenon which
one day you don't see and the next day you come out and there
is a big hole in the ground. The question can be. well, what
happened yesterday to create the hole in the ground? The hole
in the ground wasn't created yesterday. It only appeared today.
What you have had for years and years is subsurface erosion. I
think that is really what we have been seeing.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: Let's go around the room.
Commissioner Chan, do you have any questions?
COMMISSIONER CHAN: I think we all agree that the majority
of these problems on campus are due to drugs or alcohol, like
Dr. Ross said. Or race or anti-Semitism. To me it is a reflection
of the society. They are a group of people who are about to
enter the real world. They are about to enter the society. When
they see something, they are very sensitive and they react to it.
Dr. ROSS: I think what has happened on campus in the last
few years is that people are reacting to things that previously
they didn't react to. I think to a certain degree victims are having
One more thing I would like to point out as well is that we
have attention to the concern that a certain number of incidents
on campus is a reaction to at least the perception of eiffirmatlve
action policies. I think there is some truth in that.
It also has to be pointed out that a good deal of what you have
in society and on campus as well In terms of incidents of hatred
is not hatred directed against those who one has perceived as
doing poorly, but rather you have instances which are exacerbated
when people are perceived as doing well.
In particular, the large numbers of recent attacks upon Asians
on campus has to be seen in this light. It is, I think, to our
shame that institutions seem to be abetting this by their almost
public concern over the fact that there are too many Asians
entering public institutions. I think what this does is send
signals to others to vent their hatreds. This goes back to what I
said before. It is up to administrators to set the moral tone on
campus. When administrators fail on this, what you have in
effect is an amoral if not immoral tone set on campus.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: Does anyone else want to comment
COMMISSIONER GUESS: No questions.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: I would like to ask a question. I live
In Philadelphia. We have been experiencing a series of visits from
[name deleted] to the campus of the University of Pennsylvania.
I think beginning around October of 1986 each year he or a
member of his staff returns to the campus. Each year there has
been an enormous brouhaha that develops between the Jewish
and the black students.
I want to get a sense from any of you, particularly Dr. Ross,
whose agency monitors matters of this kind, as to the extent of
such visits. I derive the impression from the newspapers that a
considerable number of campuses have experienced this black-
Jewish confrontation growing out of (name deletedj's visits. What
are its implications?
Dr. ROSS: I tried to discuss this before. What this does is
polarize groups on campus. In particular It polarizes blacks and
Jews on campus. This ties into other things which are happening
on campus in terms of relations between blacks and Jews, things
related to the Jesse Jackson campaign, especially in the last year,
which has generated tensions, and also tensions relating to the
fact that at least a portion of black activists on campus have
taken up the Palestinian cause as a cause which they see as
something akin to their own. ff you add these things together,
what you have are clearly exacerbating tensions.
In terms of numbers, you have large numbers. A very disturb-
ing reality has come about now. You have extremist speakers.
What extremist speakers want to do is to get publicity and to get
There are two ways to do it. One way to do it is to go to
various places and rent a hall and hold a meeting.
But there is a better way. What they can do is get themselves
Invited to campuses where they don't have to rent the hall. They
are also not only provided with a forum, but they are quite often
paid very excellent speaking fees in order to do it.
What you have now is a situation in which a number of
extremist groups have found in the campus a way of most
effectively disseminating one's message into the society and
maintaining one's notoriety.
The fact is that if [name deleted] speaks at the University of
Pennsylvania, he is going to get much, much more attention than
he will by renting a hall and giving a speech in irmer city
Philadelphia or inner city Chicago or inner city anyplace else.
You see other groups getting in on the bandwagon. You see
in a number of states KKK groups petitioning to come on campus.
By the way. it really ultimately doesn't matter whether they
actually succeed or not in coming on to the campus. What is
most important to them is that they get months and months and
months of free publicity out of it. One is always reminded of the
old truism of the Hollywood starlet: there is no such thing as bad
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: Commissioner Guess.
COMMISSIONER GUESS: Has anyone conducted any post-
(name deleted] visit assessment to determine what Impact his
message has on the students?
Dr. ROSS: I would argue that the message isn't the message.
In a number of instances the speech itself turns out to be much
more mild than people had been led to expect, [name deleted]'s
most egregious comments are now well known. Before the speech
these things are preprinted and discussed endlessly on the
campus. The fact is that the real speech itself is generaUy
antlcllmactlc. He or the others are not going to say anything that
people haven't already read or seen on video tape or imagined In
their own minds. To a certain degree these things tend to be
disappointing. The problem is that the controversy leading up to
the speech polarizes people on campus. Fairly or unfairly, you
have that polarization and the polarization continues thereafter.
COMMISSIONER GUESS: Are you suggesting then that Jewish
Americans are the ones who in fact serve as [name deleted]'s
marketing agents because of the pre-performance reaction that is
Dr. ROSS: In just the same way that black Americans serve
as KKK marketing agents, and so forth and so on. Those who
perceive themselves being victimized by a monger of hate will
react to it. By reacting to it they are going to raise the heat, and
when you have more heat you have more visibility if not more
COMMISSIONER GUESS: Are you suggesting that one way we
may be able to nip this in the bud is to deal with the reactors?
Dr. ROSS: I think there are ways of dealing with this. This
gets to the next point when you talk about extremist speakers on
campus. Campus administrations are in a dilemma. The
universities don't invite [name deleted). It is student groups on
the campuses who invite [name deleted). The universities find
themselves very uncomfortably in the middle. On the one hand,
they would like to dump a problem that they didn't originate. At
the University of Pennsylvania they were able to sidestep the issue
through the question of a security bond.
On the other hand, there is an academic commitment to free
speech. The question then becomes, how do you balance the
two? I would argue that if the appearances on campus became
more of what they are advertised as being, which is opportunities
for academic exchange of views, and less in the way of public
rallies, then perhaps we would go some way toward ameliorating
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: Did you want to comment. Ms.
MS. KRUGER: Yes. I would like to add to that point that the
First Amendment right to free speech is very, very much being
examined. I think there are many people who have a strong
feeling that the legal standard allows for the type of speech that
results in physical injury, harassment, intimidation. I wanted to
say that the Community Relations Service will be rescheduling to
the fall a forum for college presidents to be discussing issues as
difficult as free speech versus its possible results.
COMMISSIONER GUESS: Examined by whom, please. Ms.
MS. KRUGER: By many members of campus populations. I
have seen it in student newspapers. I have heard college
presidents talking about it. Two days ago in The New York Times
there were three letters in one day about the First Amendment
and campus free speech.
COMMISSIONER GUESS: Is it safe to conclude from that that
the Justice Department is also going through this examination?
MS. KRUGER: That is not our function. Our function is
mediators of disputes.
COMMISSIONER GUESS: I mean in terms of interpretation of
the First Amendment.
MS. KRUGER No, not that I know of.
Dr. ROSS: If I could also add one more point. When we focus
on these events our focus should be broader than the campus
itself. The term "tension on campus" is perhaps an incorrect one,
especially when you deal with a case of extremist speakers. One
could talk perhaps of tensions focusing on the campus.
In the cases of extremist speakers who are coming from off the
campus on to the campus, what you have is a building dynamic
which involves groups on the campus with groups off the campus.
In some instances you have cases of speech on campus in which
the problem isn't so much for the groups on campus, but you
rather have a problem for people in the larger community.
So therefore the question of interchange between campus
tension and community tension and how the two build and feed
on each other is a very important one which should be considered
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: I want to turn next to the second
session. Before I do so, I am going to call out of turn our
colleague Irving Levine who has been gracious enough to Join us
today even though his organization and my own organization is
in national session at the Marriott.
MR LEVINE: This meeting Is so fascinating, I might be forced
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: We will put you ahead anyway.
Mr. Levine is the head of the National Affairs Department of
the American Jewish Committee and a very distinguished
intergroup relations professional, and again, a personal friend.
MR LEVINE: Thank you, Murray.
STATEMENT OF MR. IRVING LEVINE
I am very happy to be here. I am delighted that the U.S.
Commission is holding this hearing. It is absolutely necessary
that we know more about this phenomena.
I think you have heard some terrific presentations. I identify
with them. They seem to strike a familiar note in terms of our
Ms. Kruger, we are delighted with the system that the Com-
munity Relations Service seems to have. Our only advice is,
please start to communicate it to racial and ethnic organizations
a little bit better. We really need much more consultation. We
know your New York outfit and we are very friendly, but we do
need to talk a little bit more about it.
I want to relate some material from studies we have done and
also from experience on over 75 campuses and many, many
experiences over the last ten years that I have myself had in
doing multi-ethnic training in high schools, and only recently
getting warmed up to getting out of my office, have started to go
Into colleges and begun to do what I call systemic consultation.
I say that because we have run numerous prejudice reduction
workshops with our consultants all over the county. While they
have been satisfactory experiences and have proven to us that
there Is a base of good will among students and among faculty
and administrators who want to carry on this program, we have
found that they are inadequate in responding to the systemic
problems that we see.
The American Jewish Committee is beginning to shift its
priorities to systemic institutional consultation, that is, helping
universities carry out a total plan in dealing with Issues of
cultural pluralism, something that we find they are incredibly
deficient in and, sad to say, not competent and barely organized
except for some excellent places which are the exception to the
I recently spoke to a large group in California, about 150
people. Fifty were faculty members of major universities in the
Los Angeles area. I asked those 50, if a racial, ethnic or religious
incident took place on your campus, would you know the address
for taking care of that incident? Not one person raised their hand.
Let me summarize some of our experiences that come out of high
schools. We are convinced that some of the statistics we have on
national surveys of tolerance, intolerance, acceptance of differen-
ces, that they are largely correct: that is, the society is surprising-
ly becoming more tolerant of differences than ever before. It
seems to be a contradiction. At the
same time, we are finding that the behavior of the kids is
outrageous. They are philosophically tolerant and behavioristi-
caUy outrageous. They are acting out against each other. There
is a large-scale lack of respect for each other, lack of respect for
self, reported everywhere. A lot of ethnic bashing verbally and
done sometimes with fun. Much self-denigration. That Is, black
kids call themselves niggers. Other kids use similar epithets for
their own group.
The issue of female Jews who are called JAPs begins In the
Jewish community and floats out into the larger community and
has become, in our opinion — I think the ADL is with us on this
— one of the most Important and new phenomena of classic anti-
Semitism. Since anti-Semitism has become un-kosher it is much
easier to bash Jewish women. So you hit two targets at one time.
And I will say there is collusion among Jewish men in this attack.
Some of it unconscious, some of it venal.
I also head something called the Institute for American
Pluralism of the American Jewish Committee which is doing some
systemic studies on the psychology of group identity. We cannot
avoid the implication that many, many kids have weak self-iden-
tities and the findings constantly are that a weak self-identity, an
Inadequate sense of group identity, contributes largely to their
behavior problems. Those kids who have a strong group identity,
we are convinced, are less likely to act out against others in a
All of the calls from blacks and other minority groups, and
lately from Jews, to have public institutions play a role in
strengthening group identity is a very, very important basic call,
inadequately responded to.
There is a great deal of controversy, as you know, on campus
today as to how much cultural diversity ought to be encouraged,
what kind of course work ought to be developed, what do you do
Informally. Are you segregating young people if they are staying
in their clubs? Don't you have to mix them? and so on. All
these are very controversial issues.
There is a tremendous amount of self-segregation, but we find
in the self- segregation there are inadequate positive group identity
activities. The self-segregation would be less harmful if there was
content that developed around that self-segregation, and we find
some places there is and many places there is not.
We did a study just coincidentally because we were doing a
large-scale study of ethnic images in the media. We just hap-
pened to pick John Adams High School, which became, two or
three months after the study, the place where those Howard
Beach kids came from. These were largely white ethnic kids.
We were interested in seeing what we would find when we took
a differential look at the ethnic groupings in that school.
We studied the responses of black and African Americans,
Hispanics, Irish, Italians, Asians. That's about it. We discovered
a very, very mixed pattern of responses. Those of us who think
the black-white dichotomy defines American ethnic relations had
better take another look. It is extraordinarily complex, both in
the manner in which kids identify positively with their own group
and how their own identification impacts on their response to
We found, in order of seriousness, that Asian kids, Jewish kids,
and then black kids thought that they had the greatest problem
of prejudice and discrimination. One would have thought it was
the black kids who would have come out first on that. That was
not the case.
We discovered that there were various tolerance levels, depend-
ing upon group identity, with extreme differences based upon
We found Italian kids denigrating their own group, black kids
denigrating their own group, Hispanic kids denigrating their own
group. As a matter of fact, the group's own description was as
bad usually in terms of the stereotype as the description at-
tributed to that group by others.
Tliis raises a big question about how complex we are In our
anafysls. I would say we are being driven by media Images rather
than our own Intellect and our own observations. We are
quite frightened, frankfy, of the truth of multlculturallsm, which
Is really what the norm Is. I think one of the Interesting things
that Is taking place Is In areas where the anafysis has been rather
poverty stricken In terms of traditional non-white minority groups
and whites, we are finding when you break whites down there Is
an extreme differential. We are finding that white kids are
reacting against the strengthening of group identity of so-called
people of color negatively.
There is a new policy enunciated in the New York City Board
of Higher Education. Eiveiy school must now do work on
multlculturallsm and pluralism. They must have consistent
policies In this area. The new New York City Board of Education
policy Is the broadest and most far-reaching that we have seen.
Of course it came about because of a historic coalition of blacks,
Jews, Hlspanics, et cetera. It took 20 years to foige that coali-
tion and get it dowri There Is some encouragement there.
There are some programmatic and policy Implications of all
this. The Commission must look broadfy at the pluralistic nature
of the population that exists. It must include all groups, even
white -Ajiglo-Saxon Protestants as an ethnic group in American
society with cultural derivations and value differences.
We have done studies recentfy of sophisticated middle and
upper middle dass professionals In terms of their values. We
find enormous differences, depending upon child rearing. WASP,
Irish, Italian, Jewish, black, Hispanic, AsiaiL Enormous differen-
ces. That has to be taken into consideration in any new studies.
What we are finding Is Incredible mlscommunlcation at every level
of society. We are missing each others' signals. We don't speak
the same language. We do not understand whence we come. So
that has to be tScen a good look at, and we are b^lnnlng to have
more systemic studies in that area.
We have to take a look at the Inadequate skills of people In
our educational system. We are doing a lot of miilticultural
training and staff development. There Is Incredible resistance In
this field. The whole history of Intergroup relations goes back 40
or 50 years on elementary and secondary levels. It hardly has
developed yet on campuses. It Is just a new thing on campuses.
We have found that you get a bridgehead and a beachhead In
elementary and secondary education — cultural, pluralism, or
whatever you call it; race relations, or whatever it has been called:
or brotherhood — and it dies. We have been doing psychological
studies on why all of these well motivated movements for reform
have such a short life.
We are convinced now that anything related to ethnicity, race
or religion operates psychologically in the same way as sex, death
and money: enormous resistance, ambivalence, fear, avoidance,
It is difficult for people who are overwhelmed educationally by
all kinds of other needs and demands to pay attention to
something as essential as good intergroup relations and healthy
group identity when they are fearful and there are inadequate
possibilities of training them. Our experience has been that once
the fears are broken down there is enormous growth in the
capacity of teachers to implement good programs.
Kids respond positively to Intentional intergroup relations,
multi-ethnic and self-identity programs. They like it. I would
say they love it. Nobody is asking them who they are. Nobody
is giving them an opportunity to rap about their real lives. They
are not being taught towards their identity. They are being
taught outside of their identity. Most teaching is alienation.
Teaching to identity is something quite necessary.
Schools have had enormous success in attempting to change
a racial, ethnic and religious climate once they have implemented
an intentional system-wide program.
The history of desegregation indicates that it was not true what
some of us so-called Uberals said. Mixing does not automatically
create good will. It helps. Intentional programming on group
relations creates it. So if you are not programming for it, you
are not doing it. That is true on every level of education.
We have also discovered that youth serving agencies which
played a strong role in this field. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, other
groups, have diminished their budgets. They tell us that they get
money only for special problems, and one of the special problems
is no longer prejudice; it's drugs, it's alcohol, it's teenage pregnan-
We need some legislation in this country and we need restora-
tion of training money In this field. The United States Civil Rights
Act gave off enormous amounts of money for school desegrega-
tion. Along with It, human relations training. Much of that
money has dried up.
There are many, many trained consultants out there who are
coming to the rescue of schools in this field, but there Is no
budget. Thank God that some of the school systems are coming
up with the dough. The New York school system just allocated
$900,000 for multicultural training and has created a competition
among its 30-odd districts with $50,000 to each district. That
is the kind of stuff we need. Much will flow from that competi-
tion. I have seen the proposals and I have seen the programs.
There are people in all of our cities who are trained In this field.
who can give assistance, and they need to also be brought into
I will conclude on that. There have been 20 years of ethnic
advocacy, and I have been part of that movement. We need five
more years of coalition building, return to intergroup relations:
we need to systematize skills training in this field; and we need
to transmit to young people, and they will buy if we provide it.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: Thank you, Mr. Levine. I hope you
can stay for the end of this session so that you may be subjected
to some questions as well.
The next person on our list is Dr. Reginald Wilson, who is
described as senior scholar. Office of Minority Concerns, American
Council on Education.
STATEMENT OF DR. REGINALD WILSON
DR. WILSON: I have a formal statement. Copies can be dis-
tributed and you can read it at your leisure.
I think as you have already found out from the previous com-
ments it is very difficult to separate this into three neat areas of
the extent, the causes and solutions. Everybody has had a crack
at causes and I think much less on the other aspects.
I would certainly agree with Dr. Ross that part of the creation
of the problem is due to the fact that indeed there are minorities
on campus. There would be no problem If they were not there.
I think there is a considerable difference between what happened
on campuses during the 1960s and what Is happening now
during the 1980s.
Certainly I would agree with Dr. Balch that there hasn't been
a significant change in the expression of racism on predominately
white campuses. It has always been there. I have been around
on campuses for an awful long time and have seen it over those
I think there is a qualitative difference in the expression
because of the nature of circumstances, such as the antiapartheid
movement that you talked about and some of the other current
things that have caused some exacerbation of tensions on
campuses over particular issues, but certainly in terms of the
expression of blatant racism on predominately white campuses.
It has always been there. I went to predominately white univer-
sities for all of my degrees and I certainly saw it there.
I think the fact that often you let some things go by is due to
the fact that there were not sufficient numbers to do anything
about it. For example, at the University of Michigan during my
day about the only minority people who were there were athletes.
There were not enough to hold a protest at the University of
Michigan. Now you have got enough to hold a protest. Some of
the things that are being protested are things that have been at
the University of Michigan all along. So the critical mass is
certainly an aspect of the difference in the way in which minority
students are responding.
You also have some differences in terms of the perception of
resources. Resource allocation is a key factor in terms of the
way In which people perceive what is happening on campuses.
In the 1960s much of the action that had to do with race
relations was not happening on campuses: it was happening In
the general society. As a consequence, there was a good deal of
unification between black students and white students because
the problem was out there, not on campuses.
I took large numbers of white students from Brooklyn College,
from Michigan State, from the University of Michigan down to the
South to work on voter registration campaigns and to work in
Virginia on setting up alternative schools when segregated schools
were closed down rather than to integrate them. They were very
eager to participate in these kind of activities even at the risk of
their lives. But it was a problem that was out there. It didn't
have anything to do with the campuses that they came from
because those campuses were almost totaUy white.
I think what you see as a significant difference in the 1980s
is that these problems are on the campuses, and that changes
the d3niamic. You are talking about the resources on those
campuses being seen as finite, or at least they are portrayed that
way. As a consequence, many people on campuses, not only
white students, but white faculty as well, perceive it as a zero
sum game. That is, if you get some, 1 lose some. As a result,
the presence of increasing numbers of black, Hispanic, Asian,
2md Native American students on these campuses is seen as an
encroachment on white entitlement. Part of the resentment and
hostility is due to that perception.
It is also due to student ignorance, which Mr. Levine talked
about. The knowledge of most of your 19- or 20-year-olds goes
back about three and a half years in terms of knowledge of
history despite coming from many of our best schools.
Because our leaders on campus — I include the faculty in that
— have for years not taught the history of this country to their
students, they have come to campus not only ignorant of what
the intent of many programs on campuses are about, but often
in many cases are encouraged by faculty to distort their percep-
tions of that history, the history of racism, the history of legal
segregation in this society, the history of segregation sanctioned
by practices of the Federal Government, state governments, and
institutions who colluded for many years to systematically exclude
American racial minorities from their campuses.
What you see now are feeble efforts on the part of these cam-
puses to redress some of these grievances and often the leaders
of those campuses, faculty and administrators and presidents, do
not portray that as what it is indeed, a redressing of systemic
discrimination that has existed in this society since it was
founded and have not explained to white students that that is
what they are about.
Indeed, they tend to abet white students in perceiving that this
is a distortion from what ought to be. So students are perceived
as undeserving who come on campus: they are perceived as
getting privileges which are not "coming to us" as white students;
students coming through EOP programs, coming In with Pell
grants, and so forth, are considered as being treated with some
kind of special circumstance which is not available to students
who are in the majority, and they have no sense of why that is
As a consequence, the frustration is abetted by the practices
of the faculty and of the administration. The lack of leadership
Is startling In that regard. When you see Its absence on cam-
puses. It is a conscious practice; It Is not an unconscious one.
Our curriculum has been swept clean, washed clean of any sense
of the kind of discriminatory practices that had existed In the
society of which these efforts are an attempt to redress.
You also had expanding resources In the 1960s, so people felt
that they could share. You had the 1964 Civil Rights Act and
the 1965 Voting Rights Act. You had the pouring of millions of
dollars Into programs that seemed to add to access for people.
As a result of that and a very positive national leadership, that
is, a presidential leadership which encouraged that, which created
a climate of support, and which also created a climate of enforce-
ment, enforcement to the extent of saying this Is what you must
do. Institutions were scrambling to do It.
Being one of the products of that period, I recall that the way
of recruiting of faculty In many Instances was not through your
normal search processes, which all professors now hold sacred.
In the 1960s, when they were told to clean up their act, I received
a call from the chair of the department of psychology at the
University of Michigan inviting me to come and be an assistant
professor at U of M.
Many others who came during the 1960s came In that way, by
institutions scrambling to change what had been systematic
discriminatory practices. That no longer Is happening. They
thought the laws were going to be enforced, that the Federal
Government was going to Insist that they change their practice,
so they were scrambling to do so. Now you find that they have
not only stopped those kind of aggressive recruitment practices
for faculty and students, but they are indeed going in the opposite
Very little recruitment of any kind is going on in graduate
schools and in professional schools, and the numbers are showing
that. In 1975 there were 1.213 doctorates awarded to black
Americans. In 1987 there were 725. Institutions are not making
any significant efforts to recruit minority scholars. I think it is a
circumstance that is nothing less than disgraceful. I think it is
a symptom of what is now being perceived as a situation of finite
resources, of a zero sum circumstance, and that they are aiding
and abetting in many Instances the students* and others percep-
tions that there is something wrong with minorities being on
So the lack of leadership is certainly a major problem. The
lack of educational programs to educate students, sensitize them,
as Mr. Levine said. I do not think are accidental. It is not as
though we don't know about these things.
He and I and many other people worked during the 1960s in
school desegregation programs, working with training teachers,
working with people in communities in dispute resolution. Those
skills are all around. There are still some of us not confined to
wheelchairs who know about those skills and are very able and
available to teach them.
I don't think institutions want them. I think they are not
feeling any particular urge to do so. I think the only thing that
Is causing them to act at this point in time is the fact of these
embarrassing incidents. I think that puts a black eye on the
I don't think that the University of Michigan would have made
any significant attempt to increase the number of its doctoral
students which in the 1970s were over 400 for blacks alone and
in the 1980s were less than 200 and are now just beginning to
go up again. 1 think that the only thing were those marches on
campus at U of M and at other schools that Insisted on some
changes in university policy. I think it's a mark of the impact of
those student demonstration that last fall the University of
Michigan hired 18 black tenure track faculty, which Is more than
it has ever done in the history of that institution in any one
Most do not have any clear policies or sanctions against this
kind of behavior, and in fact are ambivalent about whether indeed
they need to develop them. You have the difference between
Stanford taking incredible amounts of heat from the academic
community for offering a course in world civilization, which is
mild at best, and the University of Michigan voting down by its
faculty the offering of such a course.
So there is a great deal of ambivalence on campuses as to
whether in fact these issues ought to be addressed head on. One
would expect that campus leaders would hope that it would
simply go away. Much of what is happening is a consequence
of great denial.
We have a difference in terms of the national climate that
existed in the 1960s. There was a positive climate: there was a
positive sense of enforcement. We do not have that positive
climate nor that kind of leadership coming from the federal level,
nor do we have that sense of enforcement. I think the fact that
it is not being enforced has a great deal to do with the decline
of the minority presence on campuses in many instances.
There is no question that there is intragroup as well as inter-
group conflict. After listening to the discussion of the last several
minutes, we want to forget that indeed the major topic that we
are discussing here is incidents of racial activity against racial
minorities. That is what it is about. That is where it began. The
majority of those instances are against blacks. There are
subsequent tiers of instances. Independent of how people feel,
the level of racism is in society as it is visited on their particular
group. Nevertheless, any look at the compilation of statistics
either by the Community Relations Service or by the National
Institute Against Prejudice and Violence, or the Institute on
Towson State campus, would all attest to that fact, that we are
dealing with incidents against primarily black Americans, subse-
quently against Asians and Hispanlcs, and against Jews.
I think the focus ought to be on where those efforts are being
directed, what it is causing in disruption in society, and what it
is doing in making the campus climate inharmonious for racial
Finally, let me share with you a document published by the
American Council on Education last year that was intended to
raise this issue to the level of national consciousness. The
National Commission on Minority Participation in Education,
which ACE established, published "One-Third of a Nation" and
talked about what the consequences of not dealing with this
problem would be for our country. Copies of that document were
distributed to all members of Congress, all college and university
presidents, and to many organizations like this as well.
In addition, we have developed a document which was just
issued in January of this year called "Minorities on Campus."
which is a handbook of strategies designed to assist institutions
to develop programs that will successfully recruit, retain and
maintain the minority presence on campus.
They are not theoretical recommendations but are based on the
actual programs on campuses that have been proven to work in
Despite affirmative action getting a rather black eye from some
circles, I have yet to hear critics offer a better program for achie-
ving the same aim. So as flawed as it may be, nevertheless some
institutions have been able to develop successful affirmative action
programs at the faculty and at the student level.
Miami University in Ohio, for example, doubled their black
faculty in just a little over one academic year. Despite that being
investigated by the Department of Justice, they found no cause
for complaint about the effectiveness, the fairness and the legality
of their affirmative action practices. It can happen and the sky
does not fall.
Institutions also have been successful in their student recruit-
ment programs. It may very well be true that there may be two-
tier structures for admitting students into the academy. The
question is, do they meet the same standards when they come
out? That is what I thought the purpose of an education was.
There is no question that part of the redress of the grievances
of minorities in the society who have been systematically denied
education is how do you make up for that. What I find most
academics and institutions say is you don't do nothing about It;
it's tough, but I'm sorry; and let's wait until maybe the 21st
century and see what happens.
We are suggesting that not only should we be working on
eliminating these problems in the 21st century, but we ought to
do something about them now.
In order to do something about them now, we may in fact have
to have different admission criteria for various groups in order to
bring them into the academy. The question I ask is, what is the
quality of their degree when they get out? That, it seems to me,
is the standard of justice. As they say, the guy who graduates
at the bottom of his class in medical school is still called doctor.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: Thank you very much. Dr. Wilson. I
think it is very Important to have your Input, particularly In view
of the varying points of view that we are bringing to the table.
Our next panelist brings a special perspective. He's someone
who presumably is able to share with us some of these Issues
from the perspective of the campus student body. Patrick Cheng
is a member of Campuses Against Racist Violence and will
present this from the perspective of the student.
STATEMENT OF PATRICK CHENG
MR CHENG: Thank you, Mr. Friedman. My name is Patrick
Cheng, and I just finished my junior year at Yale University
yesterday. I really appreciate the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
having this hearing. I think it is important that students are
heard with regards to this issue.
I thought I would give the subcommittee a perspective on where
I come from in terms of my work with people of color. It might
help your questioning.
I was one of the cofounders of Campuses Against Racist
Violence, which is a coalition of 40 colleges in the Northeast and
the Eastern United States. We keep track of various Incidents
of racist violence as well as learn from each other. We hold
conferences for schools to get ideas from other schools how to
I have also been involved as president of Dwight Hall at Yale,
which is the community service and volunteer activist center,
which involves 2,500 students at Yale. My involvement with
minority activities stems from the fact that I was the first minority
president in 102 years to hold that slot at an institution like
Finally, I have Just finished my term as a member on Yale's
Committee on Freedom of Expression in terms of the conflict
between controversial speakers and what constitutes harassment.
I spent the last seven months talking with Yale law professors
about these First Amendment issues.
What I want to talk about today is not necessarily to argue
about whether the perception of racist violence has gone up or
whether it has actually gone up. None of this medieval philosoph-
y, how many angels fit on the tip of a pin? I think the fact Is
that we do have evidence of these things happening. I want to
focus my comments not Just on the affirmative action issues, but
also specific racist violence, physical violence and verbal violence,
on people of color, women, religious minorities, and sexual
In terms of causes, I would Uke to raise some causes that people
have not necessarily talked about. These come from talking to a
lot of students in the last several years.
One of the main things that students feel is that the reversal
of the in loco parentis policy that universities have taken recently
leads to increased violence. Universities used to take more care
of the students, being responsible for their actions, acting as their
parents. Once the Supreme Court did away with that structure,
the universities are saying, well, our only responsibility is to hold
these people legally accountable: you can take them to the court
system and do that. In other words, they are saying to a lot of
campus bigots that "we're not going to do anything about it: you
have to find a solution, an alternative way." That is one of the
Another problem, I think, is that we are the first generation not
to have personally experienced a lot of the civil rights struggles
that have gone on in the 1960s or in the mid-1970s with Boston,
with the busing, riots, and so on and so forth.
Dr. Balch raised a good point. The students are starting to
question the gains that we have made in the last couple of years.
They don't understand the reasons behind affirmative action.
They see It only as something that exists. What happens is they
don't view it as something that is bringing us up to an equal level
to have a fair chance. Rather, they see it as taking away from
them. That is where I think a lot of hostility from students comes
They misunderstand support services and the need for ethnic
houses. They always complain about minorities having black
tables or Asian tables. But then what about all those artsy tables
or jock tables that people never think about? And what about all
those white tables? How self-integrated are they? It is easy to
spot a group of minorities together, so people use that as a
Also, in terms of admissions policies, we hardly hear about
people complaining about athletes getting preferential treatment,
but when it comes to minorities, that is a different story.
So I think in terms of hostilities and misconceptions, that is
another Important cause.
A third cause that 1 was hoping someone would raise is in terms
of the leadership of our government in setting the agenda. It
comes from the top down, from the Oval Office down. Last year
we saw a paralysis of a lot of people in terms of dealing with
these issues. What kind of message are you sending to 18-year-
old kids when the solicitor general is in the Supreme Court every
other day arguing against affirmative action? What kind of
message are you sending when the Supreme Court is stacked
with justices that have written scathing opinions about these
programs that were enacted? What kind of message are you
sending when the Executive branch does not give attention to
minority issues and is silent?
The silence is greeted by these students as sort of a tacit
approval. If you don't say it is not okay, then we will go ahead
and do it. That is what one of the biggest problems stems from.
I think the Asian violence issue has been covered. I think we
are in a weird position. We are attacked on either side because
of the model minority myth, and also a lot of the perceptions that
people have about Asian Americans.
I would just like to briefly talk about solutions both before an
Incident has occurred and after it from the student's point of
I think it is clear that the government has to take an active role
in sending a message. It is not enough to look at these small
things, but on the level of "just say no" or the AIDS education
program. President Bush has got to go out there and say, look,
our nation will not put up with this. I am talking about incidents
of minorities that get their heads beaten in and spit upon.
What we need is more like Senator Simon's hate crime statistics
bill. I just read a couple of days ago that only 44 Senators
support that bill. It just does not seem to me that something
that deals with this issue is ideologically charged.
Similarly, on a college level it is important for college presidents
to set the goal. I think President Gregarian at Brown has done
an Impressive job after that scrawling incident on the bathroom
walls recently. He sent out a letter to all the parents saying,
look. I will not tolerate this: if we find them, we are going to expel
them, and we are doing this. this. this.
People need to be voced and students need to hear that in order
to shape our opinions. Students of color need to be on decision-
making bodies and committees. Not because we are students of
color, but because we have had experiences that can help legislate
more efficient running of the university.
In terms of after the incidents, another thing that I was sort of
hoping that someone would mention was in terms of money talks.
That is about the only thing that universities listen to. In terms
of the federal programs, they need to shut off federal funding. I
think a lot of times the current programs are inefficient.
I was reading over the procedures for Title VI and Title IX com-
plaints. You have to go to the attorney general and file a formal
complaint and then go through all the government red tape.
I think there should be a sort of congressional commission or
something that could look at schools that have had patterns of
racist violence and say. look, ff you don't correct these, we are
going to shut off funding, and you are going to have to tell us
what sort of steps you are going to take. Sort of like an affirma-
tive action plan in terms of racist violence. Not just hiring. For
schools that have had problems, you are going to tell me what
you are doing before we give you back the funding.
In terms of solutions for this, the answer is not to ban con-
troversial speakers on campus or to put more restrictions on
defining what harassment is. I think Stanford's recent incident
with the lips drawn on Beethoven, they had their committee look
at these things. When you try to make the definitions more
strict, people look for loopholes. It's a double-edged sword,
because then those same principles of censorship can be applied
to minority groups. What is not acceptable, though. Is to say
that you can harass other people under the disguise of free
From reading over this report, I have three points that I would
hope you would take into consideration.
It was suggested to the Commission that you define the scope
of what racist violence is. I think that goes along with the idea
of precisely defining things. You need to emphasize the educa-
tional aspects and the informal mechanisms more than making
the stringent definitions. You naturally have to say that harass-
ment is not okay, but I don't think the answer is to go down and
break that down.
Also, I think the summary unfairly summarizes the causes for
the increase in violence. We don't know if it is due to just
increased perception or actually more incidents. To use phrases
like "such claims are merely perceptions'* or "it is not at all clear,"
my perspective in talking to hundreds of students is that there is
a problem and that we need to get the statistics services. You
have approached the Congress twice. Do it 200 more times until
a bill gets passed through. It is important that you stay with it
and not say, well, we have already done it.
We, students, although the work that we do is beneficial in
terms of educating and supporting ourselves, we can't hold the
burden. Trying to do something like this in terms of funding,
communications with other students, with the turnover is almost
impossible, and it is frustrating. You have to educate people
every single time you meet someone over again. I think the
burden needs to be an active burden, either on your Commission
lobbying for more changes, or through the Congress itself.
Finally, when your statement says you are wondering about
whether gay students should be included, I think it would be
hypocritical for this Commission not to acknowledge the factors
that involve gay students precisely for the reasons I have raised
before. Where do you draw the line? Once you condone a certain
kind of violence against a certain minority group, who says that
can't be applied to other groups?
My feeling in talking to most people is that violence towards
gays is going to be a major issue in the next five or ten years.
That is something that is brewing. Just because it is not under
Title VI or Title IX doesn't mean that you can ignore it, or If it's
a politically charged thing.
I appreciate your work. I hope you take these into considera-
tion. If we don't fight this, who will?
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: Thank you very much, Mr. Cheng.
Your comments have been particularly helpful. Perhaps it is
appropriate that we turn now to Dr. Thomas Short, who may
have somewhat differing points of view with regards to some of
Dr. Short is associate professor of philosophy at Kenyon College
and will assess the effect that affirmative action programs and
cultural studies may have had In exacerbating tensions.
STATEMENT OF DR. THOMAS SHORT
DR SHORT: Thank you.
I was actually asked to do this at the last minute, and my
understanding of my responsibility is a little different from yours.
but the parts of this problem do Interconnect so Intimately that
It doesnt make much difference.
I thought I was asked to speak particularly to the way In which
coD^e curricula might be used to combat racism, and so I will
talk about that. I should like to approach that topic, however,
through some reflections on campus radsm in general.
Everyone agrees on distinguishing between radal hostility and
mere InsensltMty. In almost eveiy account of campus racial
problems I have read both are mentioned, but little is made of
the distinction. Hostility and Insensttlvity are distinguished yet
lumped together. This, I think. Is a mistake since their causes
are not the same and the treatment should not be the same.
Insensitivlty of whites toward blacks is rooted less In prejudice
than in unfamillartty and curiosity and simple lack of tact Insen-
sttivtty has existed since the day when the first black student set
foot on a predominately white campus. Every since I began
teaching, which was not in that day, I have hesid black students
complain in private, rarely In public, imtll recently, about white
students who either stereotype them or exhibit an annoying
A white girl with the best of Intentions asked a black girl to Join
a singing group. The latter replied that she couldnt sing. You
can probably guess the reaction "But I thought all you people
could sing," the white girl responded, genuinely surprised. Again,
when the topic has to do with civil rights or slavery or jazz or
when a black person Is on television, black students become
conscious that their reactions are being examined by their white
peers. This obviously makes them uncomfortable, and the whites
ought to know that, but they don't They're kids.
Ignoraixje and curiosity unmodified by tact are what these kinds
of insensitivity amount to. If there is more insensitivlty now than
before, I suspect It is do to an additional third factor, an exag-
gerated fear of giving offense. As everyone's attention Is directed
to race and as whites become more aware of black resentment at
Insensitive treatment, we shall see white students nervously
bumbling even more than before.
We shall see, too, another manifestation, not exactly of insen-
sitivity, but of strained racial relations: namely, whites avoiding
blacks for fear of saying or doing the wrong thing. We already
see that and black students already complain of being treated as
tf they were invisible.
I do not mean to downplay the seriousness of tnsensitivtty. I
know tiiat there Is much of it and I know that it presents real
problems to black students along with the other problems they
By the way. I am focusing on black students, not other minority
students, but what I have to say probably applies to others in
I do not mean to blame the victim by saying that black readi-
ness to perceive a slight where none is intended makes a bad
situation worse. Black students are sensitive. Maybe sometimes
oversensitive. It does make a bad situation worse, but the
situation is bad to begin with, and that is not their fault. That
is in fact how they came to be sensitive.
What I am driving at, however, is that as far as insensitivity is
concerned, on both sides there are no real villains. No one is
acting out of bad motives and it is counterproductive, therefore,
to label insensitivity as a form of racism, implying that those who
are insensitive are somehow of a tjrpe with Bull Connor. This
will only get white students' backs up, making them resentful of
false accusation, and 1 might add, rightly resentful, though in
saying that I do not mean to condone the ways in which that
resentment is likely to be expressed.
So what should be done? If the ultimate source of insensitivity
is ignorance and curiosity and lack of tact, then shouldn't we
teach tact through sensitivity training sessions and remove
ignorance and satisfy curiosity by requiring all students to take
courses in minorities' cultures? I think not. For two reasons.
Let me first say that I was very impressed with what Mr. Levine
said and so far as possible I would Uke to put myself on his side.
Given what I am going to say, it will be very difficult to do,
because I seem to be contradicting him outright. The way I would
like to pull that off is by suggesting that what is good and will
work at the lower levels of the school system would be inap-
propriate and won't work in higher education.
At least in higher education the attempt to use our schools to
mold attitudes, however good we believe those attitudes to be,
subverts the educational enterprise. Of course we hope that
knowledge, intellectual training, and free and open discussion of
controversial issues will result in all manner of good things,
including better citizens with better attitudes. But that is a far
cry from beginning with a conception of the attitudes we deem
desirable and then fashioning the curriculum and student life to
meet that specific goal.
Such a curriculum, designed to achieve a specific attitude
change, makes a mockery of academic freedom and reflects a
totalitarian desire to impose uniformity, to control even the
thoughts and feelings of others.
Furthermore, sensitivity training and minority studies will not
work. Can you really mold attitudes in a classroom? Again, I
am thinking more of higher education than the lower schools.
Can you mold attitudes when it is quite clear that that is what
you mean to do? Even if students cannot articulate the principles
of academic freedom they will resent being manipulated instead
of being educated. Thus one reason why attitude adjustment
won't work is because it is wrong in principle and will be seen to
Courses in minority cultures, however, are not the same thing
as sensitivity training. Such courses need not have the specific
aim of making students more tolerant. They can be just straight
forward, good academic studies of their subjects without any
I have nothing against such courses. However, in the present
environment ethnic studies are being perverted by those who wish
to use them to change society and students' attitudes. As soon
as they are taught with that purpose — and only such a purpose
explains why they are now being suggested as requirements for
all students — then their intellectual integrity is destroyed.
There is a further reason why minority studies or ethnic studies
or multicultural education, call it what you will, must fail to
correct racial insensitivity. and that is that it will in fact exacer-
bate it. It will foist a spurious cultural urJty on black students
who are in fact not all of one subculture; it will create differences
between whites and blacks where none exist and exaggerate the
differences that do exist; it will make black students objects of
curiosity to white students even more than they are already; and
it will reinforce the suspicion many black students unfortunately
have that by succeeding in the standard curriculum they are
somehow selling out to the white world.
The idea that black Americans have a different culture from that
of white Americans is somewhere between very misleading and
It goes to the ridiculous when African American cultures are
associated with African culture as something belonging to the
Third World and as standing outside of the white majority's
supposedly Eurocentric perspective. Without denying the African
roots of some aspects of the lives of many black Americans,
without denying the African roots of some of the greatest con-
tributions black Americans have made to our common culture,
It is ridiculous nevertheless to suppose that black Americans have
more in common culturally with Africans than with their fellow
Americans. They share a society with the latter, not with the
They share the last two centuries of history more or less, with
their white fellow citizens, and not with their remoter African
ancestors. Even though the history is one of slavery, injustice,
prejudice, discrimination, and so on, we are bound together by
it. Then, too, let us not forget that it was the ideals of the Anglo-
American tradition which led whites to demand an end to slavery
and later it forced whites to agree with the demands of the black
civil rights movement to end discrimination. There was no
principle on the basis of which that could be resisted.
And black Americans share language with white Americans and
not with most black Africans. How can they be supposed to
share a culture with those with whom they cannot converse?
This idea could have gained currency only through some mystique
of race. Even when not carried to that racist extreme, and it isn't
always carried to that extreme, so-called multicultural education
still categorizes people by color and treats Individuals who are
very different by their talents, interests and experiences as being
the same and people who are very much the same in terms of
their talents, interests and experiences as being different because
of their color. This is supposed to teach mutual toleration, the
proponents of this say, but of course it will do nothing of the
kind. It will only accentuate the racial lines that are already too
well drawn on our campuses.
Let me go back to what Mr. Levine said.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: I thought you were agreeing with Mr.
DR. SHORT: As I say, I would like to.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: I would like you to, too, but it doesn't
sound like it.
DR. SHORT: I think what he said about the strength of a
person's self-concept and the dependency on that of group
identification, the importance to that of a positive concept of the
group, all that makes sense to me in terms of younger kids and
what could be done with them and for them in the lower schools.
But when we are talking about higher education, I don't think we
are any longer talking about culture in the same sense.
Consider the testimony of the black footbaU player at Oberlin
College, who said that "he has come to know whites because he
has worked closely with them on the team" and "he feels more
hostility from some of his black classmates." He is not denying
that he feels some hostility from whites at Oberlin college, but he
makes the point he feels more hostility from some of his black
This student shows how racial barriers can be broken down.
Barriers are not broken down by equating culture with color, but
by working with people of other races on matters of mutual
Interest, on matters that transcend questions of race.
This student's experience with some other black students reveals
also a problem that exists already that will be made worse if the
assumption that blacks are culturally different from whites gains
greater currency. This problem is the pressure some black stu-
dents impose on other black students to conform to black self-
segregation. This greatly interferes with education for black
students, particularly when it is translated into currlcular terms.
Furthermore, most observers agree that segregation on campus
is a major cause of the incidents of insensitivity and hostility
between the races. How could the false doctrine that there is a
black culture distinct from white culture be expected to improve
that situation? Obviously it rationalizes segregation and thereby
I can take a bit of strength here again from Mr. Levine who
points out the importance of the vast number of ethnic subcul-
tures among whites. I would imagine that there are also differen-
ces among blacks. There is a black middle class, for example,
that is very different, and blacks in the South must have a very
different kind of experience from blacks in northern cities.
Indeed many proponents of the so-called multicultural education
know full well that the invention of differences or merely their
exaggeration will foster minority militancy and racially biased
It is no accident that on my own campus it is white radical
faculty who have initiated the demands (being heard on many
other campuses also) for a minority cultural center, for a special
orientation for black students, for coordinators of minority affairs,
for ethnic studies requirements, and so on.
In this connection, I would urge the Commission to remember
the difference between rhetoric and reality, between the words,
even of those who are well meaning, and the way those policies
will be implemented on individual campuses.
In conclusion, let me make two brief comments about genuine
racism expressed by hostile acts as opposed to insensitivity.
First, while attitudes cannot in our legal system be punished
and shouldn't be punished on campuses, administrators have not
in general been sufficiently swift and firm in punishing actions,
especially violent acts or threats of violence. I would agree whole-
heartedly with everything that has been said on that topic.
Second, hostile acts are increasing as an expression not always
of the prejudice whites bring with them to college, but as an
expression of the prejudice they learn there out of the resentment
of preferential treatment being shown minorities and the resent-
ment of being falsely charged with racism. I don't mean to say
those two things are the only causes. There is also, obviously,
a lack of prior commitment to the genuine Ideals of equality.
One can oppose affirmative action, for example, as in principle
wrong or unwise without expressing that in any racist form.
Conversely, of course, those who do oppose it should not be called
racists unless they express their opposition by racial Insult.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: Thank you. Dr. Short. It seems to me
you have joined the Issues on several fronts.
We really had planned to have three sessions, but by virtue of
moving Levine up front, who presumably had to get out of here
very early, I am going to ask the last speaker to speak now and
then we can have a broader discussion with all of us joining in.
Let me introduce for the last report or panel discussant. Dr.
Robert Dunham, who is Vice President and Vice Provost of Perm
State, who will describe the model program that Penn State has
developed to prevent incidents in the first place and to alleviate
tension once an incident has occurred.
STATEMENT OF DR. ROBERT DUNHAM
DR. DUNHAM: I am not sure I care for the word "model." It
is one way of doing it. It is not necessarily the best, but I am
not sure what is the best.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: We'll decide.
DR. DUNHAM: Let me talk about a case study. Since you may
have read or heard about Penn State in many public media, let
me set the context.
We are a large university In a fairly small white rural area of
the middle of Pennsylvania. Out of 109 four-year institutions in
Pennsylvania, the second most populated university among blacks
is Penn State. There are 2,580 blacks enrolled, which is not
nearly as large as we would like, but nevertheless that is what
we have. Temple is the only school tn the state of Pennsylvania
with a higher black population, including Lincoln and Cheyney.
Minority enrollment at Penn State has increased 79.3 percent
between 1982 and 1988. This is in contrast to a total enrollment
increase of only 9.3 percent during the same period.
Between 1982 and 1988 the number of blacks graduating from
high schools in Pennsylvania decreased approximately 15 percent.
During the same period the number of blacks attending Penn
State did not decrease, but in fact increased significantly.
There are more blacks and minorities attending Penn State this
year than at any time in the university's history. More blacks
graduated from Penn State in 1988 than In any previous year,
the third consecutive year of new record black graduates.
Penn State along with MIT and the University of California at
Berkeley are the top three research universities producing black
undergraduates who eventually earn doctoral degrees in the
sciences. That was between 1980 and 1984, according to the
National Research Council.
I say that only to set the context for the comments I am going
to make right now.
This has been a most interesting and troubling year. At colleges
and universities all over the country acts of racism and bigotry
have been experienced, and we have heard about those today. At
Penn State they have taken the form of racist slurs and posters,
racial harassment, and alleged racial intimidation; anti-Semitic
remarks. gralTiti and posters and harassment and threatening
statements towards lesbians and gays. The most repugnant and
threatening statement, entitled "Why Should One Kill Homo-
sexuals" was sent via computer network to all parts of the
country and some places abroad.
There is no way when we look at all of these to measure the
extent of these activities against a national yardstick, but I am
confident that our environment was far better than it was
depicted in big city media. The state attorney general's staff
which came to our community for about two months this past
semester has shared information that would tend to support this
conclusion. However, any act of intolerance in our community
is a reason for us to support those affected and to continue our
vigilance against racism and bigotry.
Penn State has in place a model which deals with environmental
concerns. A campus environment team has been meeting every
week this year to review systematically the reported incidents and
to assess the campus environment. This team includes the vice
president for administration, the vice president for student
services, the vice president and vice provost, the affirmative action
officer, the director of the black studies program, and chair of the
equal opportunity planning committee, the director of the campus
life assistance center, and the director of public information, and
the director of university safety.
As appropriate, this team either visits student groups or invites
students in to discuss concerns. It also addresses urgent
concerns and ways to improve the environment and makes
recommendations to the appropriate offices and in many cases
directly to the office of the president. Many of the programs and
activities initiated this past year were recommended by the team.
In my Judgment, its role is invaluable.
A second feature of the model is to speak out strongly and
quickly against acts of intolerance. The president has been very
willing to fulfill this role. He has made public pronouncements
in newspaper ads, in letters to the editor, in radio and television
spots, and in public forums.
The president also has been instrumental in encouraging others
to speak out. The mayor of State College, for example, the
superintendent of the State College area schools and other
community leaders have spoken out against racism and bigotry
on radio and in newspaper ads.
I might add, the mayor was just challenged recently for speaking
out by a write-in candidate, but two days ago the mayor held out
and won that election.
They also joined the president in hanging the banner "United
Against Racism and Bigotry" on Old Main and also at the
Intersection of town and gown. The local radio stations have
donated over 500 radio spots and the local newspaper has
donated several full-page ads to this purpose.
Other community groups have also Joined this chorus. The
People's National Bank purchased and distributed over 20,000
"United Against Racism" buttons, and they went in a very short
period of time.
The United Methodist Church leaders in the region placed an
ad in the local newspaper condemning racism.
The Downtown Business Association passed a resolution con-
demning racism and tied yellow ribbons on the doors of their
The leaders of the Presbyterian Church issued a pastoral letter
condemning racism and bigotry.
The State College branch of AAUW passed a resolution.
The Alliance Christian Fellowship featured a message: "Racism
has no place in the church." And so forth and so on.
The university faculty senate unanimously approved a resolution
condemning the raciaJ incidents.
The Graduate Council passed a resolution and the board of
trustees passed a resolution.
You may think these are token gestures, but I must say that all
of those together throughout the community added a great deal
of support and influence.
A third part of the model seeks to move beyond pronouncements
and encourage all parts of the university and also community
groups to take specific action and to plan programs to deal with
racism and bigotry. There have been many actions taken this
year. Let me mention a few.
After years of insisting that affirmative action is the respon-
sibility of all units at Penn State, we are about to hire a vice
provost whose principal responsibility will be equal opportunity
for underrepresented peoples, including women.
This, incidentally. Dr. Short, is different from what appeared in
your article. We did not hire a vice provost for pan-African af-
We have appointed a 25-member advisory commission on racial
ethnic diversity which reports to the president through the new
vice provost. I am confident that this group will add significantly
to the university's efforts toward a more diverse community.
We have engaged a three-member team of social scientists, all
external to Penn State, who are advising us on matters relating
to Improving the climate for minorities at Penn State. One
member of the team was selected by the African American
students, one by the administration, and one was selected Jointly.
They presented us with an interim report in March and the final
report is forthcoming any day now.
A director of university safety and the chief of poUce in State
College met with about 350 African American students to discuss
precautions for their safety and to discuss areas which needed
to have increased security.
A mobile escort service was also Initiated: a reward fund was
created and announced: a new hotline was established to improve
the climate and deal with rumors.
The president has asked each dean and executive officer to
assure that there is a minority representation on all of their
policymaking bodies. We have initiated a new diversity com-
ponent in the required freshman testing, counseling and advising
program beginning next week at all locations enrolling freshmen.
Over 95 percent of our new freshmen participate in this program
with at least one parent.
We have met on numerous occasions with top officials of local
media and community leaders and organizations and with student
groups to encourage them to plan activities and programs. The
president sent a letter to all student organizations urging them to
plan programs for next year. So this is not just one semester and
over, but a continuing concern that we have.
I can't begin to cover all of them, but let me give you a flavor.
The State College Hotel /Motel Committee of our Lion Country
Visitor and Convention Bureau met recently to address diversity
issues and to plan their activities.
The Downtown Business Association is working with Penn
State's University Relations Office to initiate at least two diversity
workshops this summer for employees of downtown business
establishments, and they will focus on behaviors of employees.
Sigma Phi Epsilon, a white fraternity, and Kappa Alpha Psi, a
black fraternity, met recently to discuss how two fraternities could
deal with racism and with each other. If I had time, I could tell
you all the details. I thought it was a marvelous evening, and I
wish more student groups would come together like this.
Sometimes 1 think if administrators got out of the way students
could solve a lot of the problems.
Another feature of the model is to keep the channels of com-
munication open both ways. It is very important for central
administration to communicate with student groups of all kinds
and with faculty and staff groups and with families of students.
This required those of us in the president's office to be available
to students quickly and often. We have talked and listened to
hundreds of students and with numerous student, faculty and
staff groups this year.
The distribution of a family newsletter to families of all under-
graduate students at all locations, the parent meetings in
Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Harrlsburg during spring break, and
the 800 number hotline were attempts to keep those channels
open with parents.
Despite the attempts at open communication, confrontation Is
not always avoided. Such was the case late In the spring
semester. A group of African American students relnstituted some
of the demands of a year ago. Although they had been responded
to before, some of our answers were no, and that was not well
received. Nevertheless, we responded again and to inform the
broader community printed our response in a paid ad in the
student newspaper, the town newspaper, and in the weekly
university publication. We hope we can get beyond these
demands of a year ago and look to the future.
E^ren with the significant accomplishments towards sensitizing
our community, there is no doubt in my mind that the political
agenda of some African American students — and I emphasize
some, because you cannot put them all in the same box or group
— but some of the African American students is exacerbating our
It has fostered a white backlash and we believe it is causing
more moderate African American students to look for a university
setting with less group intimidation. This at a time when those
same African American student activists criticize the university
for not attracting more African American students, and of course
there are other underrepresented minority students standing in
the wings, waiting for consideration.
And don't overlook the lesbian and gay students, faculty and
staff. They could have the hottest issues for this coming year.
I don't think it is going to be five years. I think it is right here,
Finally, a recent report published by Northern Illinois University
concludes by saying "The renewed trend towards Intolerance must
not be allowed to gain a foothold on college campuses. It
demeans Individuals, creates barriers for equality of opportunity,
and fragments the learning community. Colleges and universities
must take a much more active role in developing a climate for
minority student success, promoting an appreciation for diversity,
and communicating through action an unwavering intolerance for
discrimination." And that is precisely what we are about at Perm
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: Thank you. sir.
I must say this is one of the most enlightening and most
exciting of the briefings that we have conducted in my tenure at
the Civil Rights Commission. I think we have had a multiplicity
of points of view. I think many issues have been Joined. I hope
there is enough energy for a lively discussion. There certainly
should be such a discussion.
I am told that Messrs. Ross and Short have to leave somewhat
early. So I am going to suggest to the Commissioners that they
address their questions first to them and then we will have us
all join in in a group discussion.
First we will take a short recess.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: Ladies and gentlemen, we are ready to
ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION
Let's start with Commissioner Chan.
COMMISSIONER CHAN: I must say I have received an educa-
tion today from all of you.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: I am going to urge you to make your
questions short and single.
COMMISSIONER CHAN: I have some notes here, but I will
make some short comments. Dr. Ross mentioned that on the
campus the problem is drugs, alcohol, majority versus minority
and the solution is to work from below. What do you mean by
work from below?
DR. BALCH: Dr. Ross is gone.
MR LEVINE: Dr. Chan, let me say something about the
antisocial behavior that we see taking place. There is much more
of it in general, the drugs, alcohol, and sexual acting out. It does
have an impact on bigotry. The extremes of acting out behavior
flow over into racial, ethnic and religious intolerance. We are
seeing a lot of so-called innocent acting out that comes from
broken family life, beginning to become part of the index in this
field. We ought to take it seriously.
COMMISSIONER CHAN: I have two more short questions.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: Let's have one each time. Then we
want to get into a roundtable discussion.
COMMISSIONER BUCKLEY: Let me preface this by telling you
that I am a high school teacher in a high school in Texas. We
do happen to have a very large minority population, but the whole
city has a large minority.
We have looked at the regional forums and the changing demo-
graphics and how we prepare for the future. A great part of this
is going to be education.
In this particular session this afternoon what I have picked up
on is that we have a need now to educate the different genera-
tions. There are different ways and different methods we are
going to have to implement. There are a lot of children out there
that we are going to have to establish mores and tell them this
is not acceptable behavior.
I also have heard from you that we need more people doing
more of this. Probably if CRS gets more funding they can go put
out more workshops like the one they had in April. That would
be one way.
What do you see as the first priority area that we as a Commis-
sion should be trying to address? I know the crisis is on the
campuses. Is that where we go first? Is that who we go talk to?
What do you recommend we do at this point?
DR WILSON: I think the Commission ought to make some
decisions as to what it perceives as the problem. You have had
a wide spectrum of opinion here, going from the problem is the
minorities themselves to maybe this is something we ought to do
something about. That doesn't make it easy to come to some
agreement on what kind of position you have.
Assuming that through some startling Intellectual exercise you
come to some recognition that indeed there might be racial
problems on our college campuses, then it seems to me as though
the Commission ought to establish some kind of model programs
that it can advise institutions they might undertake. Certainly
the Perm State experience is the kind of program that the
American Council on Education has been recommending and does
recommend in its campus handbook, a comprehensive effort that
does not address Just the issue of the racial incident, which is
what most institutions do: "Oh, somebody put a piece of graffiti
up on the black counselor's door. Let's find out who did it and
deal with that."
That is not the problem. That's a symptom of the problem. If
we recognize that it is a symptom of a broader problem that is
systemic to the institution, then it seems to me the Commission
can very well identify some model elements of programs.
We do identify a number of institutions in that handbook that
have also done outstanding jobs. The Commission could build
on those kind of activities that we have initiated to be able to
advise institutions on the various kinds of things that Ms. Flores-
Hughes talked about in dealing with recruitment, retention,
campus climate, environmental assessment, and all of those
elements that need to be dealt with.
That is the kind of leading role, which is one I mention In the
formal testimony that I have submitted to you, that the Civil
Rights Commission could play, that is — I know this is dangerous
— taking a proactive stand on civil rights.
MR LEVINE: If you take a look at any system, higher education
or elementary or secondary schools, one has to say that the issue
and the problem has to be touched at every level. When we are
advocating a systemic approach, we are talking about something
like this. We are talking about clear policies on any acting out,
any action of bigotry against any racial, ethnic or religious group.
Those policies to be published in a handbook and become part of
the enforceable law of the institution with serious punishment.
Immediate punishment. We always say if there are extenuating
circumstances, punish the crime and save the chUd, but punish
the crime first.
We are talking about a review not only of policies, some of
which, by the way, are dictated by federal and state law and
which many people on campuses are unaware that they are not
obeying the law in certain places, but we are talking about an
analysis of student campus involvement.
We advocate ethnically related and religious related activities.
We think it is Important for self-enhancement. But we also say
that on many campuses where you have activity that is involved
on that level you do not have common ground. The question is,
can you have both ethnically identified, racially identified, sexually
identified special activity which is legitimate but you must also
have common ground, that these kids have to have a place where
they meet together. It is unbalanced if you have one without the
One other suggestion on faculty. Faculty must review courses.
I disagree totally with Dr. Short. There are magnificent intellec-
tually significant courses that do lead to changing attitudes. My
attitudes about life were changed dramatically by greater educa-
tion. It doesn't hurt if those courses are taught by sensitive
instructors and professors who also know how to relate to what
the educators call affective education.
Nothing like what you say has ever happened in any situation
that I have been involved in. So I do think you build some straw
men. I will give you an example. We use a technique called
ethnic sharing. It doesn't tell people what kind of attitudes to
have, but by sharing anecdotal stories about your life and your
family and your background, it teaches by inference and by
connections and by communication appreciation of each other.
It is quite simple to do. It is quite replicable, quite harmless, and
does not confront on the deepest level the fears that people have
about just regurgitating attitudes.
There is a pedagogy over here that has been developed that is
not being used, but there are a lot of myths about the pedagogy
that is holding us back. I do believe you did spread a few myths.
Dr. Short. That Is not what sensitivity training does at its best;
that is not what multicultural courses do at their best. You were
giving us a worst case possibility. Anything is possible. What
you are saying happens does not happen in most cases.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: Francis, I want to give you an oppor-
tunity to ask any questions. If you feel so disposed.
COMMISSIONER GUESS: I do feel so disposed, but I would
like to reserve my questions.
COMMISSIONER BUCKLEY: I think Dr. Balch has a reply.
DR. BALCH: I think Tom probably should reply since he has
Just been challenged.
DR. SHORT: I think what Mr. Levine Just said is true up to a
point, as a criticism of me. I have featured the worst case and
I don't mean to deny that there is a best case also. I plead
ignorance on the question of sensitivity training, but let me talk
about multicultural education in the form of courses offered for
college credit and if many get their way are required of all
In the first place, I don*t deny that attitudes can and should be
changed in college. What I fear is the plan that we will organize
our facts and our arguments and our theories around is the aim
of changing attitudes in a particular direction. Certainly my
attitudes were changed in college. I am not surprised that Mr.
Levine 's attitudes were changed in college. I wonder, however,
whether his teachers had planned that particular change that
took place in him.
MR LEVINE: I hope they did.
DR. SHORT: As far as the worst case scenario is concerned, let
me Just quote something that I wrote about the Kenyon College
"University proposals." It shows that the worse case is certainly
In the interest of exposing the real thrust of the "cultural
diversity" movement, I will not describe the proposals contained
in the 1987 "Report to the President" by Kenyon's Task Force on
Diversity. The entire report is 8 single-spaced pages, plus three
pages of appendices, containing 63 proposals grouped under five
headings: "Curricular Concerns," "Student Concerns," "Faculty
Recruitment." "Staff Recruitment," "Student Recruitment." The
three recruitment sections propose specific goals and strategies
for increasing the numbers of minority, especially black, persons
on campus. Nothing conceivable is omitted: there is even a
demand for more minority Janitors ("a slightly lower priority
issue"). Yet the 45 proposals in these sections contain no real
surprises: that black faculty should be hired to teach Afro-
American studies, and enticed to come by being offered higher
salaries or reduced teaching loads, is as predictable as it is
objectionable. Similarly, the proposals under "Currlcular Con-
cerns" are familiar to all who have read about the developments
at Stanford. It is the proposals grouped under "Student Con-
cerns" that are revelatory.
First of all. a nasty edge is present throughout. For example,
a multi-cultural center is suggested as "the physical focus of this
issue on campus [my emphasis)." No antecedant for "this issue"
can be found in the text, but clearly its authors are thinking of
the center as a place to raise "issues." and not as a place to
foster the appreciation of cultures. Similarly, a student group is
proposed that will "promote awareness" — not, as you might think,
of diverse cultures, but — "of racism." Again a forum is proposed
in which minority students can "articulate grievances," and events
are sugested to "heighten awareness of minority issues." In all of
the nine proposals in this section there is no suggestion that
anything cultural might be celebrated. Instead, the object is to
teach that minorities have been victimized by American society
and are still oppressed by their fellow citizens.
In many like documents produced at other colleges and univer-
sities, there is a similar emphasis on investigating alleged
instances of bias or insensitivlty, particularly on the part of
faculty. This past Spring (1988). the President of the University
of Vermont signed a 16-point "agreement" with a group of minor-
ity protestors in which he committed the University to the usual
list of curricular changes, minority recruitment goals, and
innovations in campus life, including that "a disciplinary
procedure with punitive sanctions" will be established for anyone
who even "insinuates racist remarks or actions" and that "the
evaluation of faculty members includes an opportunity to
comment on (their) inappropriate references to race." Further-
more, "Faculty will be evaluated on aifirmatlve action" — presumab-
ly their willingness to implement its provisions. Also, participa-
tion in "a program in racial awareness and sensitivity" wHl be
"considered as part of the evaluation process for all faculty . . .
in reappointment, promotion and tenure, . . . and for annual
In addition to their emphasis on minority grievances, the Kenyon
"diversity" proposals provide remarkable institutional support for
the information, even enforcement, of racial and ethnic identifica-
tion. They call for a separate program for minorities during fresh-
man orientation, wherein "ties" among minority students will be
formed. In addition, they proposed the creation of a new adminis-
trative position. Administrator for Minority Affairs, whose duties
include counselling minority students in "maintaining their own
cultural identity." Woe to the black student who doesn't like jazz
or soul food and wants to study Chaucer and Spenser rather than
Eldrldge Cleaver and Alice Walker.
The importance of having an administrative officer whose Job
depends upon the continued separation of minority students from
other students has not been lost on minority militants; such
positions have been proposed at a wide variety of institutions.
At the University of Wisconsin at Madison the proposal is for a
vice-chancellor for ethnic /minority afalrs; the president of Penn
State has agreed to appoint "a vice president for cultural affairs
for black students:" and so on. If past experience, for example.
at Cornell, is any guide, militant minority students will determine
who is retained in these administrative positions.
Moreover, it is well-known that minority militants have often
exerted tremendous pressure on other minority students to cleave
to the minority group and to shun students and studies not
identified with that group. The institutional support now being
urged for separate minority organizations and minority facilities
will further advance the political goals of minority militants. For
they invariably dominate such organizations and control such
facilities. The Vermont "agreement" begins this process early, by
requiring the Minority Student Panel (on which no one may serve
but minority students and two minority faculty) to be actively
involved even in the recruitment of minority students and to be
given "all appropriate information" on those admitted.
Despite the rhetoric of "pluralism" and of learning to appreciate
cultures different from one's own, the real meaning of "cultural
diversity" is racial politics. Not everyone who has Jumped on this
bandwagon understands the aims of the radical faculty who have
nailed it together, but those aims are apparent on reflection: it
is to build radically and ethnically separatist political movements,
to fuel those movements by heightened resentment of (partly real
yet greatly exaggerated, partly invented) oppression, and to
produce a climate of acceptance for racial politics by eliciting
"liberal guilt" in everyone else.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: Steve, did you want to get on this?
DR. BALCH: Yes. I wanted to enter a caveat to what I saw as
some of the rather inclusive strategies that are being suggested
here. I think it is very important when the Commission defines
its terms of inquiry that it looks at problems which in any
environment would be considered, if not criminal, at least a serio-
us lapse from accepted norms of civility and not try to reach to
those aspects of college and university policy which deal with the
essential intellectual freedom and intellectual dialogue that makes
these kinds of institutions not only unique, but singularly
productive in advancing our own thought even when many of the
things that are said from time to time are things that we would
strongly disagree with.
Obviously the things that the Commission should be concerned
with are acts of personal injury, acts of vandalism and destruction
of property, particularly where there is some kind of group hatred
behind them, and also cases of clear discourtesy. I think,
however, one has to make a distinction. We have to constantly
keep reminding ourselves as a matter of self- discipline both as
people who care for the life of the mind and as citizens of a
country which values free speech almost above everything else
that there is a distinction between expressing ideas that people
very much disagree with and that may even be wrong and
If that is the line that can be drawn and if that is a distinction
in force with common sense and good will, then I am all for both
as a matter of institutional policy and a matter of the Commis-
sion's concern and emphasis on the importance of maintaining
a civil and courteous life within our academic communities.
There are and have been a number of instances in recent times
and probably many more that have not been well documented
where that kind of concern has been carried further and has led
to if not suppression, at least intimidation of people who had
views that were either opprobrious to many or in some cases just
opprobrious to a few.
For example, there is an instance at Harvard where a professor
has withdrawn from teaching a course having to do with American
Immigration history because a small number of students in his
class objected to certain characterization that he made —
certainly not in any insulting language. The man is a distin-
guished scholar — about ethnic history in the United States,
They did it on the grounds that he had been Insensitive and they
had somehow experienced an atmosphere of harassment and
WeU, all sorts of people are offended by all sorts of things, but
as soon as that becomes an offense, as soon as that becomes
something that draws penalties or even leads people to undergo
tremendous pressure from their peers and others In the university
community, you really have a problem.
A similar situation at the University of Pennsylvania. An
adjunct professor made comments, basically fairly Innocuous
ones, but perhaps not altogether tactful, and was forced to
withdraw from teaching for a semester and then finally as a
condition for reemployment had to do public penance.
We were not dealing with Insults In these cases: we were dealing
with simply the expression of Ideas that some people didn't like,
ff we lose sight of that distinction, then we are on a very slippery
As far as teaching courses are concerned, I have taught lots of
courses In the social sciences and I often teach It with an
emphasis on history. I do, of course, make judgments from time
to time. I let my students know my judgments are fallible. I
cannot present material without characterizing It in some way,
and I guess there Is a hope way, way back in my consciousness
that when the course Is over the student will be closer to my
belief than he was before. I do try to present a varying array of
views on most Issues in the realm that reasonable people can
I think we are getting in very big trouble if we begin to see
university instruction as basically a tendentious act, as an
opportunity to promote right thinking rather than as far as we
can see it present a truthful account of what happened, and even
when we are dealing with ethics and morality, a truthful inter-
pretation of what happened.
Reality is very complicated. When it is reduced to a simple
formula that is supposed to lead people in the right direction,
you have a coarsening of intellectual life and I think ultimately
a distortion of the standards on which intellectual life must rest.
It is clear that if you are talking about the history of the United
States or the history of western society, meaning, I guess, Europe,
you have to talk about slavery. You have to talk about a variety
of other forms of exploitation. On the other hand, I noticed at
this very meeting when Dr. Short said that slavery was brought
to an end on the basis of certain Anglo-Saxon principles of
individual rights and freedom, I heard expression of disbelief, as
if somehow that wasn't true.
I would refer anybody who is interested in the subject to a very
interesting work by an Afro -American socialist at Harvard which
documents the pervasiveness of slavery throughout the world, on
every continent. In fact, in some cases surprisingly recent and
aggravated in the 19th century. In Korea one third of the
population were slaves. The Arab slave trade, largely preying on
Africa, continued well into the 19th century, long after it had
been abolished in the Atlantic.
The unique thing, it would seem to me, about western civiliza-
tion is not that it had slavery but that it abolished slavery.
Obviously it is a complicated question. When we start to present
issues on the basis of fairly simple formulae whose purpose, it
seems to me, is often to shame people, shame people perhaps for
a good reason, to a higher and more sensitive consciousness,
when we start using that as a device to shame people, I think we
are not only breaching a very important rule of intellectual life,
but I think we are going to have counterproductive results.
People are going to realize that this is not true, that this is
distorted: they are going to feel resentful.
MR LEVINE: You are saying that there is no legitimate
literature in the field of bigotry. I will challenge that. There is
a lot of social science; there is a lot of social psychology in the
field: there is a lot of practice in the field: there is a lot of
knowledge in the field.
DR BALCH: I didn't say that.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: Irving, we have to give other people a
DR BALCH: I will yield the floor.
DR. DUNHAM: I would like to respond to the question I heard
about what do you do next.
First of all. I think stronger and clearer signals from the Federal
Government would help all of us. Right now people out there are
saying we are not quite sure what the government Is doing or
wants to do and It makes our job more difficult.
Second. I think we need to educate the general public on the
rationale for diversity. In an Institution like ours it is more than
Just bringing in minority students and making them white in four
years. That is not what diversity is all about, but I think that is
the perception. The booklet that was talked about earlier. "One
Third of a Nation." has been an excellent document for us. We
use it in about every speech we make. I think that is worth
getting out to the public.
Third, if we could get more financial aid for our needy students,
If we could get aid to every student at our university who has
need for it. then we wouldn't have the students grousing about
who gets aid and who doesn't get aid. The fact is we don't have
enough money from the Federal Government and the state
government and the university to fund all needy students at Perm
State. If we could solve that problem alone, that would help us
a great deal in dealing with diversity.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: I promised Commissioner Guess an
COMMISSIONER GUESS: Mr. Cheng has a comment.
MR CHENG: Thank you very much.
I heartily second what Dr. Dunham said. I think the federal
component is really very Important and that is something that I
think the Commission can do.
Also, I was wondering if the Commission would be able to
educate us. the students, in terms of what you can do. I
consider myself fairly versed in these matters, but still I am
cloudy as to who you can talk to in the Executive branch or
Legislative branch, and what powers you have.
I think other students need to know also if something happens
to them where they can go. I would encourage that on an
educational level directly to students you should encourage
universities to let them know where to go If something happens.
DR WILSON: I wish it were possible for universities to live
outside of the society of which they are a part. Unfortunately,
they do not. The mythical descriptions that I have heard today
about the pristine life of the mind and about the prejudicing of
the educational process sounded to me like something that exists
in a country that I have not been a part of.
I live in a country in which the educational process has been
politicized since the day that Harvard opened in 1636. I have
lived long enough to see faculty members dismissed from their
classes not for what they taught but for who their friends were
and what political parties they belong to. This all went on while
academics stood silently by and allowed it to happen to their
To now talk about the purity of the academic enterprise as
though to even raise questions of racism in American society as
something that trashes the purity of the academy is bullshit, if
you will pardon my putting that on the record.
To say the line must stop with the Commission only talking
about people beating up other people or people writing "niggers"
on doors or people committing criminal acts but leave the rest of
it alone as though that has nothing to do with the enterprise is
If you are really serious about dealing with racism on college
campuses, you must deal with it root and branch where it exists,
in the administration, in the faculty, in the curriculum, and in
the practices that all of those individuals engage in. That is
where it begins and that is where attitudes are created. As my
friend Bud Hodgkinson said, it is all one system; it starts in
kindergarten and it goes through graduate school, and each one
of those institutions have a role in rooting it out.
If you are only going to talk about criminal acts or uncivil acts
or acts of impoliteness, turn it over to the legal authorities or the
local police and let them take care of it. Tliere is no reason to
hold these hearings. I suggest what is going on on college
campuses pervades the entire campus.
I am pleased to see the leadership at Kenyon College, Phil
Jordan, moving in the spirit of changing things and I hope as
those things change dramatically. Professor Short, that you will
be there when that new vision of higher education being non-
racist appears on your campus.
MR LEVINE: For the record, I want to say that the American
Jewish Committee one hundred percent supports what Dr.
Reginald Wilson has just said. It is absurd that in the field of
prejudice reduction people believe that courses that are related
to dealing with prejudice, dealing with multiculturalism, dealing
with the history of the major social issues in our society around
race, ethnicity and religion will automatically be illegitimate. That
is absurd to me.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: This whole thing is getting very
interesting now as we are about to close down. Commissioner
Guess has his shot next.
COMMISSIONER GUESS: I just wanted to make the observa-
tion there is a continuing and ongoing conversation between the
chair of the subcommittee and myself pertaining to self-selection,
pertaining to perceptions and how one perceives one's place in
society and what expectations we offer for our young people as
they come into the ranks of educated men and women. One of
the things I have trouble grappling with is particularly as it
relates to the American Jewish Committee. I have been trying to
become a candidate for a position in the American Jewish
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: Send us a resume.
COMMISSIONER GUESS: You keep telling me. though. Mr. Vice
Chairman, that I am not qualified because of the fact that I am
not Jewish, that there are no non-Jewish executives within the
American Jewish Committee, that its purpose is to promote to
Jewish values as it relates to bigotry and prejudice, but yet one
has to be Jewish in a self- selection process in order to advocate
these values. To me that borders on the brink of hypocrisy
unless someone can show me something different.
MR. LEVINE: I didn't know that that was on the agenda. Just
for clarification, there is a history In the bylaws that go back to
1906. Maybe that is what you ought to argue with.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: I am not going to come to grips with
this other than to say that there are no Jews as priests in the
Roman Catholic Church.
COMMISSIONER GUESS: And I would not expect to be a
candidate to be a rabbi either. Mr. Vice Chairman. I'm not going
to let you get away with that.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: We will have to solve this one, Francis,
outside of the discussion of campus bigotry and racism.
MR LEVINE: I hope this is not in the record as a part of this
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: It is being taped, but we can handle
it. The world won't come apart from any of this comment.
COMMISSIONER CHAN: Do I get a chance to say my most
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: The Commissioners always get the last
COMMISSIONER CHAN: I have been taking notes. We all agree
the problem exists and there is more than one part responsible
I would like to address this especially to Mr. Cheng. As far as
I am concerned, the government also should be greatly respon-
sible for this. We have the Department of Education. Department
of Justice, and also other departments. They are all responsible
for civil rights.
Dr. Dunham has gone, but during the five-minute recess I had
complimented him on the beginning of this action by the institu-
tion administration. I thought that was at least a beginning.
The third one is to educate the public. Let's start with the PTA.
from the bottom up. It should start from the grade school, high
school, and college, and so on.
I want to give Mr. Cheng a message that I am getting an educa-
tion here but I also use these data banks and I have feedback,
and this is my reaction.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: Ladies and gentlemen, we promised to
break this at five. I have exercised a great deal of restraint. I
have not asked any questions or commented myself. Can you
spend a few more minutes? I am prepared to spend a few more
I am going to call on John Eastman, who may have the
responsibility of trying to make some sense out of all this.
MR EASTMAN: Continuing on the issue of free speech that we
are grappling with defining. I would like to pose two anecdotal
stories that we have heard reported in the briefing we put
The Young Americans for Freedom placed posters around one
of the campuses in Pennsylvania arguing against homosexual
behavior. They did not tear similar posters arguing in favor of
homosexual behavior down, which would have been an act of
vandalism, but they put those up. Joan Weiss' group, the
National Institute Against Prejudice and Violence, has classified
that as an incident.
The second case is in the teaching of course work on the
American Constitution. I have seen a number of classes that
teach that the Constitution was a racist document because it
treated blacks as three-fifths of a man. When I have raised
objections to that, that it rather made the distinction between
free people and slave people — and there were free blacks — and
that was the intent of that, that is accused of being a racist
In light of those two questions, where does the line from free
speech end and the one from racism start.
MR CHENG: We had tried for about five months to come up
with anecdotal incidents, saying this is harassment, this is not.
The problem with that is you cannot draw the line specifically.
There are some principles that we have come up with. People
hold a right to put up a poster saying we disagree with gay people
and this is what we thirik. When it fringes upon personal harm,
when you say I'm going to bash in your head because you're gay,
that is an entirely different thing.
I think the best strategy is to say that harassment is not permit-
ted. You will find that legal scholars will agree you can't draw the
specific line, but there are certain things, like threatening speech
and other things like that that are clear.
MR ElASTMAN: Let me pursue that. Then you are saying that
one Incident that I described would not have been an incident,
yet it was defined as such.
MR CHENG: If you say something about a group, that can't
be held against you because you are entitled to that thought no
matter how distasteful it is, but if it is transferred on to an
individual or if you stand up in a crowded movie theater and
shout "fire!" and incite violence in that sense, that is not protec-
ted either. Stanford tried saying, well, if you say things about
race or whatever, and the whole campus just fell apart. They
had to revise that.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: I want to raise a question with this
panel. Maybe it is two questions linked together.
There are some extraordinary contradictions and complexities In
this issue. I think John has very accurately described one
complexity. One of our major experts in this field described the
episode that John has described to us as an act of harassment,
and she is one of the important players in this game. The issue
I want to address is the question of teaching group identity and
how that can impinge upon antiracial or anti-Semitism feelings.
A number of years ago I interviewed Bayard Rustln on the
subject of anti-Semitism in the black community. He made an
observation to me that makes rather difficult the exchange
between Short and Levlne. His argument was that throughout
the evolution of the black struggle as it evolved through Its
various forms whenever there was a growth of nationalism there
you would find a growth of anti-Semitism. He focused on the
Integration aspects of the black struggle.
DR WILSON: He's wrong, but that's all right.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: These are Issues that are debatable.
The point is, if you teach group identity, which we all wish to
do, which then begins to move off into a pattern sometimes of
group nationalism —
MR LEVINE: It doesn't have to at all
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: It doesn't have to.
MR LEVINE: As a matter of fact, there is a real contradiction
over there. You are defining group identity wrong, Murray.
Teaching group identity is when we say to a high school literature
teacher, if you have 25 black children in your class in a worksho-
p, what black novels have you assigned to those children and
other children? We say, look, one of the things you must do in
order to relate to the child's group identity is to make sure that
in your literature course they read something that relates to
themselves and their background and their group and that they
also read another novel that relates to somebody else in the class.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: That's the nice part of group identity.
MR LEVINE: That's not the nice part. That is what we are
talking about in terms of group identity. What you are talking
about is not what we are talking about.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: Stay with the argument and please
don't get upset. The point is we want people to read novels about
other groups they are not familiar with. We want people to read
The Fortunate Pilgrim so they learn something about Italians.
That is the easy and nice part.
MR. LEVINE: No, it's not easy, because they are not being
assigned. That is why we are insisting that they do it.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: We like that and accept that. But as
the group identity experience moves forward you often are
confronted with issues of group separatism. Groups begin to
form their own eating, residential, et cetera.
DR. WILSON: That is not a natural outgrowth of group activity.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: It can be part of a continuum.
DR WILSON: Then say it can be a part of it, but don't say that
is a natural outgrowth.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: It is not automatic. I know, but it can
be part of a continuum. I think the issues get a little bit
DR. BALCH: I think there is a problem In assuming that
teaching a certain kind of subject is going to lead in a particular
direction. It may well be that in teaching about the different
cultures of various groups those who are not part of the group
will develop sympathy and appreciation for various things that
other groups have done, but they may also find some of them
alien and foreign. They may see in the history of the group
patterns of aggression and exploitation directed at their own
people. Knowledge does not necessarily make for sense of
When I hear the kinds of characterization of western civilization.
I frequently found not only in our university but outside of it that
the people who hold those views about the West (a) claim to know
something about it and (b) don't like it.
Maybe they are right, but If they are right, they are an illustra-
tion of the fact that studying of a society does not make you feel
better about it. and they would also be an illustration of the fact
that if they taught their views in the classroom they would proba-
bly not get the people who came from that background to either
sympathize with their view or, if they were won over, to feel better
A white student who is constantly told that his culture is not
only in the past but in the present largely pervaded by racism is
either going to end up feeling very hostile to the person who
brings them that message, or he is going to end up feeling very
guilty about himself.
If someone believes that is true and they are teaching it, I think
that it is their duty to present that, but it should not be taken
as an assumption that talking about these Issues will necessarily
make people feel better.
I also agree that to the extent we want to socialize our new
generation into values of tolerance and brotherhood. I think that
kind of character building process is going to be effective and
most appropriate at the lower grade school levels and not in
institutions which are designed to try to figure out the ways
Truth was somewhat also pooh-poohed a little while ago. If it
is going to be pooh-poohed, if you don't really care about what
is true and what is not. 1 don't know what we are doing here
presenting our views to the Commission. I assume we are not
feeding you a line. I assume we are trying to tell you how the
world actually works.
DR. WILSON: It would be interesting to find out who around
this table, unless they are gone, is pooh-poohed too.
DR. BALCH: 1 heard that everything was political and that my
defense of the university as a place where truth was sought was
naive. I suspect that Is not giving truth its due.
MR LEVINE: Dr. Balch. if you were teaching a university
course on the Holocaust, would you then anticipate that those
who are learning about the Holocaust would automatically assume
that western civilization was horrible?
DR. BALCH: No.
MR. LEVINE: If you taught the Holocaust and they assumed
that, would you worry a great deal about their assumption or
would you applaud them for their intelligence?
DR. BALCH: On the other hand, if I were teaching a course in
German studies and I made it nothing but the Holocaust, I would
think (1) it was dishonest and (2) my students would have every
right to be offended, particularly if they were German.
MR LEVINE: Would you say that teaching about the Holocaust
is illegitimate academically?
DR. BALCH: No. Teaching about slavery isn't illegitimate either.
MR LEVINE: Can it do some good?
DR. BALCH: Yes. It should be part of every curriculum
because it is a real fact and because we should know about it.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: Commissioner Buckley.
COMMISSIONER BUCKLEY: The only thing I wanted to say
was part of the sensitizing of individuals and the community and
the people to this problem is going to have to be that when we
present these Issues we have to be careful about the frame of
mind in which we present it. You can present facts, but you
present both sides of the issue. It works in the classrooms now.
They are telling us how to do it as educators now. It can work,
but we have to be able to control some of that emotion that gets
involved and gets in the way of being able to talk about it.
DR. BALCH: If I taught the Holocaust. I would not present both
sides of the issue because I don't think there is another side. It
depends on the issue. Nor would I do that with slavery.
DR. WILSON: Then the pursuit of truth does not necessarily
mean presenting all of the aspects.
DR. BALCH: No. It means what is true is true.
DR. WILSON: You Just answered my question, and that is that
the academy is as politicized as every other institution and you
ought to deal with that.
CHAIRMAN FRIEDMAN: I think that is as far as we can go
today in the resolution of these questions.
I want to thank all of you. We have much to chew on. I think
the project is manageable, unlike some of the projects that we
have at the Civil Rights Commission. I think we can take the
material you have given us and the literature that has been
developing in this field, the discussion, and I think we can come
up and say something useful and helpful in terms of programs
that can be undertaken.
Thank you again for Joining us.
(Whereupon at 5:20 p.m. the meeting was adjourned.)
Papers and materials presented at the May 18, 1989, briefing
are listed below:
Tntroductoiy Remarks," Honorable Murray Friedman, Vice Chair-
man, U.S. Commission on Ctvll Rights and Chairman. Subcom-
mtttee on Campus Bigotry.
Testimony," Grace Flores-Hughes, I>lrector, Community Relations
Service, U.S. Dex)artment of Justice.
"Contemporary Antl-Semltism on Campus," actual testlrrx)ry
presented. Dr. JeflSiey A Ross, Director, Department of Campus
Afialrs/HJgher Education, Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith.
TIpdate materials to December 1988 report," submitted In
absentia by Joan C. Weiss, Eixecutive Director, National Institute
Against Prejudice and Violence.
Testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on
the Judiciary for hearings on the Commission on RaclaDy
Motivated Violence Act of 1988. July 12. 1988," Reginald Wilson.
Ph.D., Director, Qfiftce of Minority Concerns, American Council
on Educatioa One Dupont Circle, ^AV, Washlngtoa DC 20036.
"Oatllne for Briefing on Bigotry and Violence on College Cam-
puses," Patrick S. Cheng, Junior, Yale College, and member.
Campuses Against Racist Violence.
"A "New Racism* on CampusT* Thomas Short, Associate Professor
of Philosophy. Kerryon College.
"Racism In the Reagan Years: Resurgence or ReaflOrmatlon?'
lrx:luded wtth permission of Frederick A. Hurst. E:sq., Commis-
sioner, Massachusetts Commission Against DlscrlmlnatiorL
"The New Bigotry on Campus," irx:luded with perr"lssion of the
late John Adams Wetteiigreen, Professor of Political Science at
San Jose State University ^id member, California Advisory
Committee to the U.S. Commission on CMl Rights.
"Outline for Remarks." Irving M. Levlne, National Afialrs Director,
American Jewish Committee.
The Recoloring of Campus Life: Student Racism, Academic
Pluralism, and The End of a Dream," trxluded wtth permission
of Shelby Steele, Associate Professor of English at San Jose
The following organizations are sources of additional information
about campus bigotry and vlolerKe.
Center for Democratic Renewal. P.O. Bck 50469, Atlanta. GA
Center for the Study and Prevention of Campus Violence, Towson
State Untverstty, Towsoa MD 21204-7097
National Institute Against Prejudice and Violence. 31 South
Greene Stineet, Baltimore, MD 21201
AnU-Defamation League of B'nal B'rtth. 823 United Nations Plaza,
New York, NY 10017
Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washlngtoa Ave.,
Mon^omeiy, AL 36104, or P.O. Box 50469, Atlanta, GA 30302
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