Racism in Academic Philosophy in Canada, England, and USA
By: Shawn Alli
Posted: May 9, 2016
*All individuals and organizations receive 7 full days of pre-publication notice (11 including weekends).
*I ask for a request for comment from the philosophy department instead of the university spokesperson because it's the philosophy department (philosophers) that are racist or sexist.
*I round up to one decimal place for all figures.
*All statistics are created from philosophy department websites.
Allow me to be blunt. Systematic racism exists in the 21st century with no signs of tapering off. It exists in Hollywood, science, the workplace, and especially in academia. While you may think that academia no longer bears the stench of racism from the mid 20th century, I assure you that it does.
In the 21st century it's not possible to legally discriminate against people because of their race. So racists choose a less visible but darker manner. They put their racist ideologies into action via the hiring process, through the employment/lack of employment of visible minorities in high paying/status careers.
While it's illegal to discriminate against a future employee because of race, you can't prove it. You can't prove racial discrimination. Racist employers cover up their action by saying they're the best qualified for the job.
On the surface, academia is an institution of equality for all. In reality it's just white-Europeans telling you what to do, how to live, and what to think. While I can't prove this for all university disciplines on the planet, I can prove it for academic philosophy departments in Canada, England (not including Wales and Northern Ireland), and USA. Grab some popcorn and have a seat. You'll see racism at its best in the pie charts below. I include this in Philosophy Reborn Part II: Social Humanities.
I set the bar at 1/3 (33.3%). I'm saying that if an academic philosophy department doesn't have at least 1/3 of its tenured faculty as visible minorities, they're racist. More accurately put, I'm saying that the philosophers in the department (who make up the hiring committee) are racist.
But why 1/3 and not 1/2 or 1/4? Unfortunately, I only have a subjective answer. If there are zero tenured visible minorities in a department of ten philosophers, it should be obvious that the philosophers are racist. But what if there's one visible minority (10%)? That's more about filling a quota (affirmative action) to make it appear that the philosophy department isn't racist. Two people (20%) still feels like affirmative action instead of respecting visible minorities as tenure-track professors. But three people (30%) or 1/3 is my standard. Anything below that counts as racism for a university department in my book.
The 1/3 count is relative to universities because they're quite old (decades to centuries). University executives have enough time to be culturally diverse in their tenure-track faculty. But I don't recommend using the same bar on small businesses or new corporations. That's judging too harshly. You need to give them time to thrive and expand.
I only include separate philosophy departments. I don't include philosophy departments in combination with humanities, english, literature, psychology, public affairs, social inquiry, languages, history, classics, economics, political science, social sciences, communications, and religion.
Though I'm against the tenure system, it still exists, so I have to use it as the highest standard of success. I only count full tenure-track professors as professors. This includes associate, assistant, curator's professor, commonwealth professor, distinguished, distinguished visiting, endowed professorship/chair, research assistant, or emeritus recalled.
I don't include emeritus, affiliated faculty, cross-appointed faculty, adjunct, graduate students, part time lecturers, lecturers A or B, readers, senior lecturers, sessional lecturers, permanent lectureship, instructors, full-time adjunct, post-doctoral fellow, visiting assistant, visiting scholars, courtesy professor, continuing lecturer, regular visiting, recurring visiting faculty, limited term assistant, long term visiting, or replacement.
The UK doesn't have a tenure system so I only include full professors.
Professors of Portuguese, Spanish, Greek, Italian, Ukrainian, or Israeli/Jewish nationality are not visible minorities.
I'm not able to include all philosophy departments because some don't have pictures of their faculty members. I can't say a department is racist if I can't see them. I don't include the following philosophy departments because of a lack of profile pictures:
Brock University (10)
Université de Montréal (22)
Université du Québec (16)
Université Laval (17)
University of Manitoba (12)
University of Ottawa (20)
East Carolina University (18)
Fordham University (29)
Loyola University Chicago (29)
Metropolitan State University of Denver (13)
Texas State University (12)
University of Massachusetts, Boston (12)
University of Wisconsin-Platteville (12)
West Chester University (13)
Wichita State University (10)
I only include philosophy departments that have 10 or more tenure-track/full professors.
All figures are for the 2015-2016 academic year.
Unfortunately, the margin of error is impossible to estimate. In the book I include 130 universities and 2186 professors. I push that down to 129 and 2176 in the online article due to pre-publication corrections. I take out an entire department because "teaching professors" aren't tenure-track professors. Yet some are teaching for over 9 years in the department. 9 years without tenure? Seriously?
Most philosophy departments don't comment so I'm not sure if my tenure-track numbers are accurate. While all pie charts may be inaccurate they at least show the overall picture. And the overall picture is racism and sexism in philosophy departments in regards to tenured faculty. Feel free to check the department websites for yourself.
And if you include all philosophy departments regardless of size or cross-listed departments, I believe that the numbers will be worse.
Total Number of Universities: 18
Total Number of Professors: 334
Total Number of Universities: 7
Total Number of Professors: 122
Total Number of Universities: 104
Total Number of Professors: 1720
All Three Countries
Total Number of Universities: 129
Total Number of Professors: 2176
Even if you place the racism bar at 10%, the philosophy departments in all three countries fail separately or together.
Out of 129 philosophy departments not one passes the 33% standard for both visible minorities and women. Not a single one. That's not an accident. That's intentional. While most people have no problem with seeing the lack of women in the workplace as sexist, the lack of visible minorities somehow doesn't translate into racism. Intellectuals and journalists definitely have politically correct blinders on if they can't see that less than 10% represents definite racism by academic philosophers.
And that's usually how it plays out in the 21st century. Visible minorities are welcome, but only at the lowest or middle rungs. They're not welcome at the highest levels of power/social status/job security.
Just as the highest paid people in Hollywood are white men, most tenured academic philosophers are white men. Again, that's not an accident. That's intentional due to racist and sexist ideologies.
Make no mistake. If you don't call out academic philosophers as holding racist ideologies in regards to tenure, the status quo will reign. Nothing will change. 20 or 50 years later white men will still be the knowledge givers while visible minorities will stay as the knowledge seekers.
While ideologies are the problem, they can't be put on trial. Ideologies have no intentionality on their own. Only people (beings with consciousness) have intentionality (Philosophy Reborn Part I: Purpose) and can be held accountable for their racist or sexist ideologies.
If you want to find out how a particular university stacks up, you only need to scroll down to see racism in the 21st century.
*Note: Out of 129 universities, only 11 universities are kind enough to provide a response to my email request for comment (7 days pre-publication notice, 11 including weekends).
Saint Mary's University - Responds to an email request for comment.
University of Birmingham - Responds to an email request for comment.
University of Nottingham - Responds to an email request for comment.
Princeton University - Responds to an email request for comment.
Rutgers University, New Brunswick - Responds to an email request for comment.
Texas Tech University - Responds to an email request for comment.
University of Connecticut - Responds to an email request for comment.
University of Delaware - Responds to an email request for comment.
University of Oregon - Responds to an email request for comment.
University of Pennsylvania - Responds to an email request for comment.
University of Tennessee, Knoxville - Responds to an email request for comment.
And if you'd like to see sexism in academic philosophy take a look at the article: Sexism in Academic Philosophy in Canada, England, and USA.