In the debate around the possibility of including “trigger warnings” on content in college courses, it’s worth reading the words of Jade E. Davis over at Cafe, who teaches at UNC-Chapel Hill:
There was a day in a course where we were discussing race, media, popular culture, and educational attainment. There were black students in the classroom. I was at the front of the class, and in the middle of class discussion, a student said, “Well, all the black students are here because of affirmative action.”
Never mind that we were at one of the best public universities in the country, a school that can pick and choose who they admit from a group of top candidates across ethnicities. The assumption was still that those students — and even I — did not belong in the classroom space. There was no warning. The trigger was pulled. This is the experience the New York Times piece missed.
There is still an experience of race, of poverty, of out of place-ness for so many students that come up in classes all the time without any warning.