Social Worker Sues Bridgewater State U. Alleging She Was Asked to ‘Defend Her Whiteness’ in Job Interview
“black students may not be able to relate to you because of your white privilege”
Given what we know about the climate of higher education right now, this is easy to believe.
The Daily Mail reports:
Social worker sues Massachusetts university after she was asked to ‘defend her WHITENESS’ during interview for professorship she didn’t get
A licensed social worker who unsuccessfully applied for a professorship at Bridgewater State University last summer has sued the college, after she was allegedly asked to defend her ‘whiteness’ during an interview.
Donna Johnston, a therapist in Plainfield, Connecticut, filed the race and employment discrimination suit in Massachusetts Superior Court last week, claiming she was subject to a racist interview when she applied for an assistant professorship position at the state-run school’s social work department in June.
Johnston, who did not get the job, says that she was asked a series of jarring questions about her ‘whiteness’ during the interview, presided over by an associate professor who has since left the university.
Johnston, 54, says she was asked to contemplate her ‘white privilege’ and ‘defend her whiteness’ by the staffer, and says she was told that ‘black students may not be able to relate to you because of your white privilege,’ according to the suit – which demands a jury trial and $50,000 in damages.
According to the school, Johnston’s answer – which saw her acknowledge her white privilege to the interviewer, the filing says – ‘missed the target.’
The social worker, meanwhile, attests that her qualifications exceeded those of three female applicants the School of Social Work ended up hiring in the weeks after her interview.
Two of the women hired were white and one was black, according to the school.
She argues that her so-called ‘whiteness’ cost her the job, and hopes that the suit will shine a light on other instances of ‘reverse racism.’
‘How I was treated during the interview was wrong,’ Johnston told The Boston Globe Wednesday of the suit.
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