U of Iowa: Allegation of Anti-White Bias Unfounded

July 7, 2008 - 8:02 PM

(CNSNews.com) - After investigating allegations by a civil rights group that racist remarks by a University of Iowa official reflect a "hostile environment" toward white men on the campus, the US Department of Education dismissed the charges for lack of proof.

"OCR [Office for Civil Rights] has determined you have not provided sufficient factual support for your allegation that there is a hostile environment for white males at the University for OCR to proceed with case resolution activities," the DoE wrote Louis Calabro, president of the European-American Issues Forum, a California-based civil rights group.

"Therefore, OCR is closing this allegation as of the date of this letter," it said.

Calabro had alleged that comments by the vice president of university relations, that white men are "the root of most evil" reflected an ingrained "hostile environment" toward white men and European-oriented culture on campus.

Two incidents of allegedly racially-motivated hate crimes against African American students in April prompted comments from Ann Rhodes, vice president of university relations, who said, "I figured it was going to be a white guy between 25 and 55 because they're the root of most evil."

Police arrested a black female student at the university's college of dentistry in connection with the incidents.

Rhodes said her remark was "a poor attempt at humor." In an April interview, she said: "I feel so horrible about this and I apologized as quickly as I could and I've been apologizing ever since. This is the worst thing I've ever said."

University authorities accepted her apology and decided not to pursue the matter further.

However, after reviewing the university's student resources facilities, including the affirmative action web site, Calabro said he found evidence of policies that portrayed white men as the purveyors of racial animus and perpetrators of hate crimes.

Videos such as "The Shadow of Hate" and "The Color of Fear," which were available to students, grossly misrepresented race relations, depicting white people in a negative light, he said. Calabro also complained about the lack of university resources that address the needs of white men.

The curricula at Iowa reflected an increase nationwide in racial stereotyping of whites as oppressors of minorities in university curricula in recent years, which should not be financed by taxpayers, Calabro said.

The DoE also rejected these allegations: "After careful consideration of the questions you raise, OCR has determined the questions you raise do not assert facts ... Therefore, OCR will take no action with regard to your questions about the University's affirmative action program, diversity recruiting program, women's and ethnic studies program, and actions to dispel stereotypes. OCR is closing these issues as of the date of this letter," it said.

Calabro also criticized what he called the university's disproportionate enrollment of minority students. In a state that has 3 percent minorities, 15 to 18 percent of the medical and dental schools at the university are made up of minority students, Calabro said.

"At the very least, this can be called 'disparate impact' which, under EEOC guidelines, is unfair," he said. "That's a red flag."

Steve Parrott, interim director of university relations, said that employment statistics at the university spoke for themselves.

University figures provided by Parrott showed that 93 percent of its faculty and staff are white people. Of 13,182 persons employed by the university, 8,060 are female and 5,122 are male. Of the 5,122 males, 4,636 are white; of the 8,060 female employees, 7,633 are white.