A Virginia Tech professor is under fire after she allegedly apologized to her students for being a straight, white woman.
Dr. Crystal Duncan Lane, who taught human development and family science, is accused of using her Human Development 1134 course syllabus to push her students into addressing inherent biases and racism, according to Campus Reform.
‘I am a Caucasian cisgender female and first-generation college student from Appalachia who is of Scottish, British, and Norwegian heritage,’ Duncan Lane, whose Virginia Tech faculty page has been deleted, reportedly wrote.
‘I am married to a cisgender male, and we are middle class. While I did not ‘ask’ for the many privileges in my life: I have benefitted [sic] from them and will continue to benefit from them whether I like it or not.’
Her students said Duncan Lane’s commentary was not appropriate or relevant to the course.
Virginia Tech professor Dr. Crystal Duncan Lane is under fire after she allegedly apologized to her students for being a straight, white woman
In the Who I Am section of the syllabus, which was obtained by Campus Reform, Duncan Lane referred to her privilege as ‘injustice’ and apologized for the way white people have treated people of color throughout history.
‘Who I Am’: Professor’s ‘apology’ in full
‘I am a Caucasian cisgender female and first-generation college student from Appalachia who is of Scottish, British, and Norwegian heritage.
I am married to a cisgender male, and we are middle class.
While I did not ‘ask’ for the many privileges in my life: I have benefitted from them and will continue to benefit from them whether I like it or not.
This is injustice. I am and will continue to work on a daily basis to be antiracist and confront the innate racism within myself that is the reality and history of white people.
I want to be better: Every day. I will transform: Every day. This work terrifies me: Every day.
I invite my white students to join me on this journey.
And to my students of color: I apologize for the inexcusable horrors within our shared history.’
‘I am and will continue to work on a daily basis to be antiracist and confront the innate racism within myself that is the reality and history of white people,’ Duncan Lane’s syllabus read.
She also encouraged students to take initiative to combat racism.
‘I want to be better: Every day. I will transform: Every day. This work terrifies me: Every day. I invite my white students to join me on this journey. And to my students of color: I apologize for the inexcusable horrors within our shared history.’
The news outlet spoke with two of Duncan Lane’s Human Development 1134 students who both expressed discomfort with the professor’s verbiage.
‘It is a class about disabilities, not political opinion, affiliation, nor judgment in any sort. If you are discussing disabilities, stick to your course,’ student Natalie Rhodes explained.
‘It hurts that someone says I was born with “innate racism” because of my skin color. [It] makes me feel like I should hide and worry about everything I say,’ shared another student who spoke on the basis of anonymity.
The students’ frustrations were echoed by social media users.
‘Crystal Duncan Lane? Fire this weak excuse for a human. She is an abomination,’ tweeted @kelley_dan.
‘I am not apologizing for being born white and neither should any other white. This woman should never be in front of any student, white or black.’
‘You should probably help Dr. Crystal Duncan Lane feel better about herself and fire her immediately and replace her with a person of color,’ echoed @ChrisW37679955.
Twitter user @donttre78745568 wrote: ‘Fire Dr. Crystal Duncan Lane! She is only helping CREATE a generation of racists!’
Students and social media users alike are criticizing the professor over her commentary
Others argued that Duncan Lane’s commentary was ‘indoctrination of students’.
‘I sincerely hope Crystal Duncan Lane is no longer a member of the VA Tech faculty. This indoctrination of students must stop. Are you sending your children to school to be told they are racist or should apologize if they are white?’ @Charles52576499 said.
‘Get rid of woke professors like Crystal Duncan Lane! Apologizing for being white! BS. Enough already. Stop the indoctrination our or Virginia students!’ added @sunsandred70.
MailOnline has contacted Virginia Tech and Duncan Lane for comment.
Duncan Lane’s commentary is the latest in the larger push nationwide amongst educators to teach students about critical race theory, which teaches that racism against minorities is embedded in every aspect of life.
The idea of concept of critical race theory became a nationwide debate during the Black Lives Matter protests that occurred last year.
The idea of concept of critical race theory became a nationwide debate during the Black Lives Matter protests that occurred last year (pictured a BLM protest in Chicago on Aug. 9, 2020)
Educational institutions across the country have started implementing the theory in their curriculum and procedures.
Just last month, James Madison University showed a training video to students and staff that described the difference between privileged and oppressed groups.
The video portrayed people who are male, straight, cisgender, or Christian as ‘oppressors’ and were considered a threat to submissive groups.
Similarly, the University of Kentucky hosted a $5,000 anti-racism workshop where deans and top faculty members were instructed to accept their ‘white inferiority’ and filled pledges for how they will enhance diversity, equity and inclusion within their departments.
One session at the University of Kentucky anti-racism workshop involved faculty members filling out pledges (such as the one above) with prompts such as ‘chosen metric for anti-racism,’ to whom they have chosen to be accountable, and the steps they’ve taken thus far to address it.
The workshop involved faculty members filling out prompts about their ‘chosen metric for anti-racism,’ to whom they have chosen to be accountable, and the steps they’ve taken thus far to address it.
At the start of the year, a growing number of academics announced they were refusing to teach Shakespeare in U.S. schools, arguing that the Bard promotes racism, white supremacy and intolerance, and instead are pushing for the teaching of ‘modern’ alternatives.
However, some educators are condemning the practice of critical race theory in the education system.
Earlier this summer, a group of academics came together to slam the ‘Dismantling Racism in Mathematics’ program which tells teachers not to push students to find the correct answers to math problems because doing so promotes white supremacy.
The pictured workbook has drawn criticism from educators for claiming that it’s racist to expect students to get the right answer to a math problem. The workbook encourages teachers to ‘identify and challenge the ways that math is used to uphold capitalist, imperialist, and racist views’
The program is centered around a workbook for teachers entitled ‘A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction’ which asserts that America’s education system – even mathematics instruction – reinforces the dominant power structures of white colonizers.
Grading students, asking them to show their work, requiring participation and even pushing them to get the right answer are depicted in the workbook as harmful to minorities.
Critical race theory has received criticism for it’s views on race and defining privilege and oppression based on the color of someone’s skin.
However, the theory has also been supported by other for it’s way in which the relationship between race and American politics, culture, and law can be further explored and built upon.
CRITICAL RACE THEORY: WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
The fight over critical race theory in schools has escalated in the United States over the last year.
The theory has sparked a fierce nationwide debate in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests around the country over the last year and the introduction of the 1619 Project.
The 1619 Project, which was published by the New York Times in 2019 to mark 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived on American shores, reframes American history by ‘placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the center of the US narrative’.
The debate surrounding critical race theory regards concerns that some children are being indoctrinated into thinking that white people are inherently racist or sexist.
Those against critical race theory have argued it reduces people to the categories of ‘privileged’ or ‘oppressed’ based on their skin color.
Supporters, however, say the theory is vital to eliminating racism because it examines the ways in which race influence American politics, culture and the law.