Racism talk leads to reprimand

discussion of structural racism led to a reprimand for Shannon Gibney, who teaches Intro to Mass Communications at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Three white male students complained they were singled out by Gibney, reports City Pages.

An English professor, Gibney also teaches African Diaspora Studies in a new associate degree program. About a third of MCTC students are African-American or African refugees. Overall, “people of color” make up 53 percent of enrollment and many students are the first in their families to attend college.

In a video interview with City College News, Gibney said she told Mass Communications students she was talking about “whiteness as a system of oppression,” but they took it personally.

[One of the white students asked,] ‘Why do we have to talk about this in every class? Why do we have to talk about this?’ I was shocked… It was not in a calm way. His whole demeanor was very defensive. He was taking it personally. I tried to explain, of course, in a reasonable manner — as reasonable as I could given the fact that I was being interrupted and put on the spot in the middle of class — that this is unfortunately the context of 21st century America.

Another white male student said, ‘Yeah, I don’t get this either. It’s like people are trying to say that white men are always the villains, the bad guys. Why do we have to say this?’

She told students to “feel free to go down to legal affairs and file a racial harassment discrimination complaint.” So they did.

The vice president of academic affairs found it “troubling” that Gibney “alienated two students who may have been most in need of learning about this subject. . . . While I believe it was your intention to discuss structural racism generally, it was inappropriate for you to single out white male students in class. Your actions in [targeting] select students based on their race and gender caused them embarrassment and created a hostile learning environment.”

MCTC issued a statement:

At MCTC, we believe it is essential for our faculty to actively engage students in respectful discussions in the classroom regardless of topic and to create an atmosphere in which students may ask questions as an important part of the classroom experience. Questions from students in classroom discussions are an essential part of the learning process. We expect that faculty will have the professional skills to lead difficult conversations in their classrooms and will teach in a way that helps students understand issues, even when students feel uncomfortable or disagree with particular ideas.

“I don’t feel safe in the class anymore,” Gibney told City College News.

“I definitely feel like I’m a target in the class. I don’t feel like students respect me,” she continued. “Those students were trying to undermine my authority from the get-go. And I told the lawyer at the investigatory meeting, ‘You have helped those three white male students succeed in undermining my authority as one of the few remaining black female professors here.’”

A similar complaint was filed in 2009, after Gibney was invited to speak at a City College News editorial board meeting, a former student editor told City Pages. In talking about structural racism in the media, Gibney singled out white editors and criticized them for not rooting out bias, according to Ryan, who would not give his full name.

Ryan complained to Gibney about her “unprofessional tirade” in an email. When she circulated his email and her response to students and faculty, he filed a harassment complaint.

Gibney gives her account of the incident in Gawker.

POSTED BY Joanne Jacobs ON December 5, 2013

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[…] EDUCATION: Racism Talk Leads To Reprimand. Which leads to the cry baby defense: “I don’t feel safe in the class anymore,” Gibney told […]

R Richard Schweitzer

Does a teacher need “authority” in order to provide learning experience to students?

One can understand the need for a certain level of **respect** in a learning environment. Even there, respect is earned and not an entitlement of the relationships.

That respect is established in the mutual recognition of the motivations of the participants in a learning process with its transfers of information gathering techniques understanding of analyses and recognition of individual preferences and prejudices that may affect that learning process.

Pat Cannon

Sounds like this instructor was hoisted by her own petard. Kudos to these kids for standing up to her bullying.

Dennis A.

Certainly an open and honest discussion of race seen from Ms. Gibney’s viewpoint is appropriate in a class formed for that purpose. What was the compelling reason for it to be discussed in an English class? I understand the students feelings…they were in the class to learn English…composition, grammar, punctuation, all of things that so many of our youth seem to not grasp. Ms. Gibney would have been doing her job to do exactly that rather than veer off into a discussion of race relations. Why should any student feel compelled to sit and hear that discussion? If the college administration feels as they stated “troubling” that Gibney “alienated two students who may have been most in need of learning about this subject. . .” Perhaps they do need it the most…but if so, a class in the subject of race relations would be far more appropriate.

[…] Read More – Community College Spotlight […]


“I definitely feel like I’m a target in the class. I don’t feel like students respect me,”she continued,

Yes, that will happen when bright students encounter incompetent teachers. Regardless of the race of the teachers or students.

Chuck Roadkill

So if “whiteness is a system of oppression,” would it follow that blackness is a system of victimization?


“whiteness as a system of oppression,”

What’s it called in Arab countries or African countries or Asian countries.


It’s about time. Racism cuts both ways, but racist Liberal professors have this fetish about blaming White people for everything. If that is the best they can do, then close down the classes. They are worse than worthless. They promote race hatred.

Leah Keever

They all know the buzzwords to use, don’t they? I don’t “feel safe.”
Because now the white male students are going to attack her? I don’t even think she believes it; she just knows that’s the word to use to get the PC morons to cry for her.

Howard Roark

Do college professors not learn at some point about the Golden Rule?

If you treat others with respect you are likely to be respected. If you blame others you might be blamed also.

Reformed Trombonist

> The vice president of academic affairs found it “troubling” that Gibney “alienated two students who may have been most in need of learning about this subject

That statement was uncalled for. It piles arrogance on top of injury. The vice president of academic affairs simply assumes this to be true. The kids are white males. Case closed.

Nancyy Walton

This woman is unprofessional and has no business in a publicly supported college. She should go into community organizing.

Mike Constitution

White privilege, structural racism, global warming, income inequality, Obamacare, etc. are all leftist constructs or consequences of policies designed to tear down the exceptional American culture of Constitutionally restrained government, individual liberty, and economic opportunity.

It is a culture that has raised more people out of poverty, saved more lives, and done more good in general and in a shorter time than any in history.

It is a culture that made citizens of its former slaves and, in a spasm of misguided guilt, elevated their ancestors to a protected class that institutionalized their status as “victims”.

The protected classes and their Democrat masters make their livings and increase their power by perpetuating all the mythical constructs listed above.

They are purely anti-American, anti-liberty, anti-opportunity, and most definitely pro-unrestrained government.

Everything they stand for keeps people dependent, poor, and ignorant.

But, it certainly is effective at buying their votes and that is really all that matters.


nothing for anybody to learn. the race theories of the 21st century are nothing but unicorns and mysterious worlds. pure fantasy

Happy Elf Mom

I wonder if this chick got her college education via affirmative action and now wants to gripe about those racist whites and the system of oppression. :/ Geez.


Next up, Ms. Gibney trashes her car with racist epithets, leaves a hangman’s noose on her door, cries to media about “hatecrime”. School shuts down to have a 3 day diversity seminar on “white privilege”

Alice Finkel

Imagine a “chess match” power grab between Alinsky on one side and Alinsky on the other side. Let them slug it out to their heart’s content, Alinsky vs. Alinsky. As long as they are kept busy with each other, they have less time to oppress the rest of us.

Perhaps then the rest of society could go about the business of getting things done.


I was going to post what Fen did

Expect the male students who protested her racism to be subject to retaliation. Especially with the administration basically calling them racist for pointing this out (alienated two students who may have been most in need of learning about this subject)


The leftists wrote the rules that allow these types of complaints. Now they are shocked that some white students might be offended when they get a one sided lecture on how racist they are from this leftie fanatic, in what was supposed to be a politically neutral English class. They thought they could continue to ban academic freedom for non leftists, and not think it would bite them someday. Can you say hoist on your own petard. Maybe this will even lead to a shocking change, to real academic freedom for everybody, and not just for leftists..

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