My professor shares his cultural opinions with the class.
July 15, 2014 7:05 AM Subscribe
Today my science professor shared his opinion about stereotypes and criminal activity in class. I think this was inappropriate and I'm not sure what to do.
posted by anonymous to Education (35 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm taking physics at a local private college, part-time, as preparation for graduate school. My professor is obviously very enthusiastic about physics and devoted to teaching. In the first week of class, he used some clumsy metaphors to describe physical processes, but nothing egregious.
Today while explaining a lab procedure our professor explained that we needed to look for data in the right place. He said that most stereotypes exist for a reason, and that most crimes are committed by young male minorities, so that when a store is robbed and the store owner describes the perpetrator as a young black or Hispanic man, the police should look for the perpetrator in a black neighborhood, not a white neighborhood. This was to help us understand that we should look for data in the right "neighborhood" I guess.
I feel super uncomfortable and upset about this but I don't know what to do. It's not even like we are in a sociology class where we are supposed to be talking about this stuff and sometimes people bumble into saying racist or outmoded things. It's just physics. I don't want this adjunct professor to lose his job or something but I also don't want to hear this stuff in class. I just want to do physics.
I know that there is probably a process or office at my college that addresses this stuff, but I've never seriously considered or needed to find them before. Part of me doesn't want to rock the boat. What should I do? How do I do it? How do I find the person I'm supposed to talk to? Can I do it anonymously or will that make the place/person think I'm lying? I keep imagining ways this could go horribly wrong.