Anonymous Email Protests Black Male Presence at Indiana University

Letter also alleges Black students receive more attention from career services.

Posted: 04/21/2011 03:28 PM EDT

We’ve all heard about the dearth of Black males on college campuses across the nation, but for one Indiana University student, it’s just too much.

An anonymous email sent to students at Indiana University School of Law–Indianapolis and forwarded to the legal blog “Above the Law” complained that there were too many Black men featured in the school’s publication materials. Blacks only make up 5.8 percent of the school’s student body.

“These banners are not a fair representation of the school,” the message said. “We should support diversity, not just African-American males ... The portraits and paintings in the law school sing the same song. It is a shame that the only place many groups see representation at the law school is with their reflection in the bathroom mirrors.”

The note went on to allege that the school’s career center, which it claims is led by Black women, caters more to Black students than students of other races: “It is a pervasive opinion that the OPD offers more assistance to members of certain groups. Is this how our institution is to be regarded?"

Do some of the writer’s complaints sound familiar? Yes, if you’re Black. African-Americans have dealt with underrepresentation on the television screen, movie screen, corporate boardrooms and, yes, college campuses for years and still do. But the university’s apparent attempt to attract more Black students to reflect the nation’s growing diversity sent this anonymous writer over the edge.

And irony of ironies, the writer then signed the letter “The Invisible Man.” The Invisible Man, you may recall is the famous 1952 book by Ralph Ellison about an African-American man who sees himself as socially invisible and his struggles with race and identity.

The writer isn’t invisible, just clueless.

(Photo: Indiana University)