The months since society observed the horrific, real time murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis have the potential to be transformational in so many areas, including the academy. Many White academics renewed their wokeness, born out of tragedy and pledged to do better. Yet, Dar et al. (2020), in a provoking essay, aptly points to how the academy in general, and business schools in particular, reproduce ideologies that reinforce White supremacy and subordinate people of colour. Although the academy is considered to be an arena where progressive views are fostered (Haynes, 2017), we tend to overlook the performance, networks and power structures of White academics and their White hegemony on a profession that is often held up as steward for racial justice and social change (Hikido and Murray, 2016; Melaku and Beeman, 2020). In the first editorial of a Special Issue on Black Lives Matter (BLM) (see Volume 39, Issue 7), we (Eddy Ng and Andrew Lam) wrote about how Asians are complicit in anti-Black racism. In this second editorial, we (Kim Bates and Eddy Ng), long-time colleagues and friends, reflect on and write about our many conversations on issues of racial justice and fairness in the academy. Our conversations revolve around academics as gatekeepers, our complicity in reproducing Whiteness and what makes us comfortable but reinforces our privilege. We engage in coalition building and engage in micropolitics to influence each other and resist change, to the injury of Blacks, racialized minorities and low status groups. Social science has helped us become cognizant of our biases and flaws, and humanities can guide us to become better humans. The future of the academy as a catalyst for progress and change lies squarely in our own hands.
Equality, diversity and inclusion: An international journal
College of Management
Bates, Kimberly A. and Ng, Eddy. "Whiteness in Academia, Time to Listen, and Moving Beyond White Fragility." (2021) : 1-7.