By Michael Davis
Dr. Saffari’s comments about St. Cloud State University [“Dr. Mahmoud Saffari: I am being scapegoated for St. Cloud State’s enrollment and retention failures,” MSR, Feb. 23] were right on the mark.
St. Cloud State University has a nasty history for being an unwelcoming place for people of color. They do not like anyone questioning their retention rates for students of color and issues and concerns regarding racism on campus. Any time someone speaks out about any of these issues, the university will try to make the individual out to be the problem.
Dr. Saffari did not do anything wrong to be dismissed from the university. When we protested Dr. Saffari’s situation to the public, the university used the Data Privacy Act to cover up what they did to this outstanding administrator.
Dr. Saffari stated that the university uses the ”divide and conquer” approach to divide people of color on campus. Once again Dr. Saffari’s comments were right on the mark.
The university uses the cowardly Uncle Toms (a Tom in my pocket) to keep cowardly faculty members of color and students of color in their place. These Uncle Toms will do anything to advance their careers at the expense of others. They know that St. Cloud State University is a racist place for both faculty and students of color.
Most of these Uncle Toms, when they arrived on campus, were treated badly by members of their respective departments. These same cowards ran to the Faculty of Color Caucus for guidance and help. However, once they received their tenure and full professorship, they act like they do not see or hear about racism on campus anymore. Some of them actually blame you for speaking out against racism on campus and accuse you of being a troublemaker.
What happened to the protesters who backed Dr. Saffari back in October 2011? The Uncle Toms have silenced most of them. The university has always used their cowardly Uncle Toms effectively to keep order on their plantation.
Uncle Toms will always go public to defend the actions of administrators. They usually write an article stating how things have changed in a positive way on campus for the last several years. What a big lie. These Uncle Toms have left Dr. Saffari to fend for himself.
Michael Davis is a professor at St. Cloud State University. He welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.