Students at Pomona College have published a letter demanding that administrators rescind their offer to hire Sociology Professor Alice Goffman because she’s white.
The letter complains that the Sociology Department has not hired enough faculty of color to match the increased proportion of minority students.
It also cites criticisms of Alice Goffman’s book about the impact of the drug war on inner-city communities, yet ignores the praise the book has received from other scholars.
Students at Pomona College have published a demand letter urging administrators to rescind their offer to hire Sociology Professor Alice Goffman because she’s white.
The “Letter to the Pomona College Sociology Department,” published last Friday argues that by hiring Goffman, the administration has neglected their commitment to promoting diversity and supporting women of color.
The collective of “Sociology students, alumni, and allies” open their letter by expressing their “anger” and “concern” regarding Goffman’s hire, calling it a “failure” to address the lack of professors of color on campus.
Further, they argue that because the majority (56.7 percent) of students in the Sociology department are now people of color, it is problematic for the department to continue hiring white people.
“The Sociology Department at Pomona College has not consistently had enough full-time faculty members of color to support its marginalized students,” they argue. “The vast majority of Sociology majors are students of color (and most are women of color), but the faculty are not at all representative of their students’ diversity.”
They even call Pomona’s decision to hire Goffman an ‘egregious’ instance of ‘anti-blackness’ that is antithetical to “holding institutions of higher education accountable for the violence they enact on marginalized groups.”
The letter also raises some concern over her research methods and her book.
Goffman is the author of the noted ethnography On The Run—a book about the impact of the drug war on inner-city communities in Philadelphia. The book dra…
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