White Privilege at ASU: an Interview with a Classified Employee


On January 26th 2016, an anonymous comment was left on the Watching Adams Comments page which drew many reader inquiries. The comment reads:

To whom it may interest,
I am an employee of Adams State. I am just a classified employee, which equates to lowest form of employee on the campus. I saw and read something today that really upset me and there is nothing or nowhere to take this. If I contact the infamous HR department, I might as well kiss my paycheck goodbye. I know better than upset the apple cart. This administration talks a good game on diversity and being sensitive to each persons feelings and well being but there is no place to go if your not in lock step with the administration’s beliefs.

Here is the item that insulted me as a man and my race. It was an article, instructions and suggestions on how to denounce my race and declare that, because of my race, that I am a racist and until I do the following I will remain a racist. I, hopefully along with the majority of people, am proud of who I am, where I came from, what my ancestors and I have accomplished. This type of political attack should not be allowed but we all know that the school will do nothing but let’s be clear that the real crime here is there is No place for me to go and voice my concerns. It would be a death sentence.

After several inquiries for more detail, Watching Adams followed up with this commentator and conducted a brief interview to learn more about this situation. The interview is as follows:


WA: Can you describe what you saw and read today that really upset you? In as much detail as you feel comfortable, please describe this.

It was about White Privilege. How it is up to the white person to basically denounce it. The white privileged people has to denounce themselves because they want to not because it hurts so many feelings on and on.

WA: Where did you see this article?

It was/is posted on Dr. Carol Guerrero-Murphy’s door, Porter Hall, room 144A.

WA: Why don’t you feel comfortable contacting HR about this issue? Why do you believe doing so would lead to the termination of your employment?

When I was a new hire there was one of the schools get-togethers and I meet some other classified employees and the subject of the HR department came up. I mentioned that I needed to go talk to the ladies and all the other guys looked at me like they were talking to a dead person. I asked what’s up and they all gave me the warning that our HR department was not there for the employees, at all. I have, for many years, have kept my eyes open and I do have to agree that the HR department is totally in too deep with the upper administration. It’s like they are their own little gang. For a department that is intended to keep the University in line with the laws and uphold the laws and the State Constitution they are way to friendly with those that make policies that aren’t in accordance with our laws and regulations.

WA: If you did feel comfortable talking to HR in person, what would you want them to do to resolve your concern?

Simple, take it down. Those types of subjective political statements have no place in a diverse workplace.

WA: More broadly, what improvements to diversity would you like to see the ASU administration make?

Again simple solution, everyone gets equal treatment. Not special treatment.

WA: Why did you decide to leave a comment with Watching Adams about this issue? What would you like other people who read this to know?

I have read Watching Adams before and, in my opinion, it does address some of the issues that need attention at ASU. I want people to know that I’m from a mixed race family. My Mother is a blonde haired, blue eyed Mexican. My Dad is American. Both of my parents have pride in their past and what they have accomplished. They have taught me, by example, to be fair to all people. None of us understand this crazy Political Correctness fad. My mom tells me that it will be the end of the America that she dreamed of coming to as a young lady.