This makes me mad :[

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This makes me mad :[

Postby Laliniel » February 8th, 2008, 9:09 am

I gave the preliminary presentation to the professors today for my JP Morgan Chase project. Tomorrow morning, we're presenting to the company, but the professors wanted a quick run-through. Anyway, the project was introduced by 2 interior design professors and 1 industrial design professor to integrate both majors for this project.

Anyway, the industrial design professor had one thing negative to say about our project: For the presentation, we were told to put in 3 scenarios of people. She complained because one person's name was Tyrone. His up-close photo was of a white guy. I know someone who is white IRL named Tyrone - but she told me that she thought I was trying to make a joke and that people would get angry that I was using a black name for a white man. So I tried explaining to her that Tyrone isn't a racial name, it's just a name. So then she goes, "Well it sounds like you're trying to get different kinds of people into the space" but she said it as if all 3 people should have been white... so I kinda snapped and was like, "Well, people who aren't white are welcome into our space as well..."

Grrrrrr I'm sorta tempted to report her to the university for making racist comments like that. Apparently she said something similar to a different group who had an Asian student in their scenarios. My group mates who were right there as it happened turned to me after we left and were like, "Did she seriously just come out and say that???" lol. Grrr. The other professors came to me afterward and told me not to change it, so I'm guessing that they think it is fine and that this woman is out of her mind. I can understand different generations interpreting various races differently - but this woman is maybe 30 years old. And lives in Syracuse! I can't even interpret this :P

Oh well, just venting, write back and calm me down :P lol
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Postby Charahn » February 8th, 2008, 9:25 am

Alex,


Are you comfortable with your presentation? Are your team mates comfortable with it? These are the important questions. You need to be at that state to be able to make a great presentation.

As far as this professor goes, it really sounds to me that this is the only issue she could raise to make herself feel secure in holding her "position of mentor" (kind words for AUTHORITY) over you and the other group. Stand firm in your convictions. Those that receive your presentations are going to infer whatever they choose to no matter how you present it.

Go for it and ...... GITTER DUN!


Bill




sheesh --- 1150+ postings! I am such a SLACKER
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Postby Pressto » February 8th, 2008, 9:36 am

I'm sorta tempted to report her to the university for making racist comments like that

I would because she sounds like one of those people destroying the education system.
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Postby Cuin » February 8th, 2008, 10:37 am

I can see it both ways, honestly. You're absolutely right -- a name is a name and it shouldn't matter the race of the subject. However, your professor may have a point as well; if the public perception is that a particular name connotes a specific race, and use of that name might prove detrimental to the overall presentation, then it would be prudent to change the name to one that better fits the accepted paradigm of the audience. In other words, the time to challenge an audience's conventions -- intentionally or otherwise -- is not when you're pitching an idea at them.

As for the name in particular, I have to agree with your professor; this is generally the name of a black male. Case in point: when I was a young musician in college, I caught an ad in the university newspaper for a local drummer who was looking to jam with other musicians. The ad gave a phone numer and said "Ask for Tyrone." I remember telling my wife how exciting it would be to play with a black drummer, as they tend to approach the instrument differently than white drummers and have a fundamentally different touch. So I called the guy, and it turned out that Tyrone was his middle name, which he had used to gauge the response from his ad. His first name was Ashley, and far from the talented, ethnic drummer I had imagined, he was an ordinary white guy who had just gotten out of the Marine Corps after seeing action in the Gulf War and was looking forward to getting back into the local music scene. The point is, I consider myself a fair, thoughtful and progressive type of guy and I still fell into the race trap. If it happened to me, you can bet it'll happen to a bunch of stodgy, corporate banker types.
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Postby Wenceslas » February 8th, 2008, 10:58 am

As for the name in particular, I have to agree with your professor; this is generally the name of a black male.

That's a racist statement.

Tyrone Power would object to you saying that.
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Postby Rredd » February 8th, 2008, 3:58 pm

The thing to consider with a cooler head would be where this prof is coming from.

Either they are completly racist themselves or they THINK they are doing you a favor by helping you to not appear to be racist.

Some folks approve and some disapprove of the whole faux-inclusive thing where for an advertisement you intentionally include at least one woman, one black, one hispanic, one asian etc... the quota approach. You see it all the time in marketing material. I think it's cheezy as hell but perhaps not a bad thing??

She may also have mispercieved some kind of slight in how you brought up the name or something. Basically the RL version of the forum drama queen... misinterpret some casual thing and go way overboard in response. In other words, she means well but misinterpreted your intent, or projected an intent that wasn't there at all. She likely also has a history of doing this, hence the other profs dismissing her comments.

Is your "Tyrone" portrayed in any way as weaker, poorer, dumber or in any way derogatory? Did someone accidentally slip into some kind of ebonic accent saying "Tyronnnne"?

For the record I have a cousin Tyler who everyone calls Tyrone.

I'm thinking it is what I bolded above... Misguided good intentions.

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Postby Laliniel » February 8th, 2008, 4:24 pm

Thanks for your responses.

Bill - I was way focused on this from the start and nothing that woman could say would break my spirit for presenting it. That said, I was selected as one of the 5 out of 10 groups to present and had the opportunity to discuss this design with Chase this morning! We will see who the overall "winner" is as it was a class competition - probably sometime next week.

Pressto, Cuin, and Rredd - I agree with you all in some way or another. I don't want it to become an issue of me overreacting, but I also feel that the woman was only bringing up these points to have something to say about the presentation. I would have been fine with her saying "Maybe you're presenting Tyrone too stereotypically" but instead, she was literally laughing saying, "Well you picked a humorous name." My gut instinct says that she was saying it in a racist way. I personally am not going to let my grade get affected by this since she will be contributing to the overall grade - so I will wait until that is finished and then contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs to perhaps ask what they think about it.

The presentation is done now, and I have some free time at the start of my weekend! At least that's some great news :]
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Postby Auricas » February 8th, 2008, 9:34 pm

I think you should let it go. If she wants to be racist, let her be racist. If she is not racist, then it was an inappropriate comment, no more.

I think you should report it only if it does, somehow, end up affecting the grade/outcome of the project. Having her own personal opinion is one thing, but penalizing you or others for it is grounds for disciplinary action. If she does dock you for it, she'll have to document her reasoning (I assume) either verbally or written, which will give you all the ammunition you need to take her to town.

But for now, shrug your shoulders and focus on winning that competition.
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Postby Pulgrey » February 8th, 2008, 9:52 pm

--shrugs-- recognizing things about or perceived about race is not a negative thing in an of itself. Information is much like any other tool , its only as good or as bad as its used.

What race do you picture when someome mentions the names Jose or Abdul?

Damn now your a racist for even thinking about it =P
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Postby Pressto » February 8th, 2008, 10:07 pm

I think you should let it go. If she wants to be racist, let her be racist. If she is not racist, then it was an inappropriate comment, no more.

Sorry but I 100% disagree because this is a Teacher who is doing this on the job and as I stated before I believe it is people like her who are destroying the education system in this country.
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Postby Auricas » February 8th, 2008, 11:13 pm

Pressto wrote:
I think you should let it go. If she wants to be racist, let her be racist. If she is not racist, then it was an inappropriate comment, no more.

Sorry but I 100% disagree because this is a Teacher who is doing this on the job and as I stated before I believe it is people like her who are destroying the education system in this country.

How so? What effect does her comment have on Laliniel, her project, or her future if it does not affect the grade she gives?

I will grant the possibility that this person was trying to flaunt her authority, but that in itself does not cause any detriment to the student besides maybe some annoyance or a good laugh.
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