Arizona State University (ASU) bowed down to public criticism and revoked a job offer to an incoming dean over allegations she was racist and used microaggressions against them. Microaggressions are emotional triggers that can be sparked by any word or phrase, which have become commonplace on college campuses as college students have become unable to maturely process emotions or different viewpoints.
Fox News reported that Sonya Forte Duhé was slated to become the next dean at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Media on July 1, but that is no longer the case. Former students criticized her for microaggressions, specifically about using the phrase, “good police officers” in a tweet. Although the tweet has been deleted, she wrote, “for the family of George Floyd, the good police officers who keep us safe, my students, faculty and staff. Praying for peace on this #BlackOutTuesday.”
“BlackOut Tuesday” was a day on social media for users to post an image of a black square to remember the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Duhé taught at Loyola University-New Orleans before accepting the job at ASU. Twenty-three of her former students at Loyola accused her of discouraging her black students from pursuing television careers. One student claimed that she was told that her hair was too messy, while another said that Duhé criticized his voice because he is gay.
ASU faculty members sent a letter to ASU President Michael Crow to revoke Duhé’s job offer because hiring a dean accused of racism would damage the university’s reputation. Also, several faculty members said that they would leave the university if Duhé was hired.
Unfortunately, accusations without evidence have become a go-to tactic from the outrage mob, or “cancel culture.” Cancel culture is the attempt to cancel, fire, and publicly shame individuals for not being part of the mainstream culture. Most often, cancel culture targets political conservatives, or those not sufficiently liberal or left-wing in their ideology. Duhé became another name on the wall of cancel culture victims in higher education.