“Who the **** Hired You?
Another Halloween, another race-related disaster at an American college. Only this time, it’s the faculty that’s falling under scrutiny.
Every year we hear stories about some college student disregarding every warning they’ve ever heard and wearing an insensitive or downright racist costume for Halloween. Some schools have even reverted to sending out emails reminding the student population to be cognizant of how their choice of costume might affect or offend those around them. Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut is one such school, but what started as an innocent reminder erupted into a heated debate.
The University sent out the following email as a polite reminder about the racial issues the holiday provokes year after year:
Halloween is also unfortunately a time when the normal thoughtfulness and sensitivity of most Yale students can sometimes be forgotten and some poor decisions can be made including wearing feathered headdresses, turbans, wearing ‘war paint’ or modifying skin tone or wearing blackface or redface.
Enter the Christakises, a husband and wife who both work at Yale and live in Silliman College, one of the University’s residential colleges. Husband Nicholas is Silliman’s master, meaning his role is much more involved with the students than that of just a regular professor. He lives among them and is in charge of making Silliman a comfortable space to live and learn. His email made many students question whether or not he was suitable for his role.