Duke University Health System

Is there a culture of racism at Duke University?

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Welcome back to the 1950's:

During his first meeting with his supervisor, Freetage says he was asked “whether he had a problem supervising ‘blacks’”and added that he needed to “start writing up ‘those people’ in order to ‘keep them in line.’” That same month, Freetage said he “overheard a conversation regarding management’s instructions to ‘clean house’ in his department, specifically discussing their intent to fire ‘colored’ workers who they said were ‘lazy,’” the lawsuit states.

When Freetage asked whether their diversity training could be applicable in this situation, the lawsuit states an administrative assistant laughed at his question and responded “Yeah that’s all bull****. We don’t actually do that around here. It’s all for show.”

The house needs to be cleaned, alright. Starting with this particular manager. For you Duke fans and alum who may be tempted to write this off as "exaggeration" or possibly "missing context," just don't. I encountered an almost identical set of behaviors when I was a manager, and had to serve as a buffer to protect African-American employees on countless occasions. And I can also tell you this, with all confidence: racial discrimination of this intensity can only survive if multiple "tiers" of management are of a like mind. Not saying it goes all the way to the top, but it's not just this one man. Which leads me to a discussion on institutional racism:

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