SCSU Uncle Toms ignore campus racism



By Michael Davis

Guest Commentator


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


One Comment on “SCSU Uncle Toms ignore campus racism”

  1. Surveys of racism on 250 campuses and host communities by Dr. Howard J. Ehrlich concluded, “The St. Cloud study implicates a hostile community and a campus that is equally hostile. Levels of ethnoviolence reported here exceed those in any campus or community study that we have reviewed.”
    (Campus Ethnoviolence and Policy Options;” National Institute Against Prejudice & Violence, Report 4, March 1990)

    Little, if anything, has changed in 23 years beyond many more Blacks in town. SCSU’s president admitted, “Safety for students of color is a historic concern.” (“SCSU minority student reports ‘Nazi salute;’” Star Tribune, 12/18/2007)

    The Aspen Institute’s Roundtable on Race Relations selected St. Cloud for studying blatant and continuing racism. “Saint Cloud (MN), a historically white, urban hub surrounded by farm communities, saw an influx of residents of color during the 1980s due to demographic shifts in migration. It subsequently experienced one of the state’s highest rates of hate crimes.”
    (“Institute to study area’s race efforts;” St. Cloud Times 5/30/2008)

    More recently, another study produced similarly scathing results warning that rapid racial changes are “imperative.” (“Shining the Light: Revealing choice in the St. Cloud region;” Ohio State University, Kirwan Institute September 2010, pg. 23)

    Obviously, St. Cloud’s absence from lists of the most credible community ranking organizations (i.e. Business Week, Forbes, Kiplinger, Money Magazine and Places Rated Almanac) means outsiders are aware of its racist reputation.

    Meanwhile, Minnesota communities such as Eden Prairie (#1), Plymouth (#11), Woodbury (#13), Eagan (#15) and Apple Valley (#20) were cited for best overall qualities of life. (“100 Best places to live in America;” CNN, 7/12/2010)
    Mankato was ranked “15th best small city to raise a family in America.” (Forbes Magazine, 2010; and “25th best city for business careers and young people;” ING, 2010). Rochester was listed among the “10 Best cities for the next decade.”
    (Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine, 2011)

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