Free access to 40+ digital editions
In this new Trump world, the historical legacy of race and racism has become even more visible. Unfortunately, we cannot escape the social mechanisms that sort us by race. But colleges and universities can no longer afford to sit idly by while some feel emboldened by the racist rhetoric now deemed presidential. We cannot wait until ignorance spirals into hate. And we cannot wait until implicit bias turns into explicit violence. After all, people of color cannot escape racism, not even at institutions of higher learning.
A tougher stance is vitally important for new students — and for black students who choose to stay and matriculate at schools with well-publicized racist incidents. Lauren Mims, of Fairfax, Virginia, earned her bachelor’s at UVA in 2012 and is currently pursuing a doctorate in educational psychology. Mims credits UVA for incredible relationships and opportunities — “I feel like I grew up at the University of Virginia” — but has always felt like race relations at UVA could be better. “I would hear a lot of microaggressions in the classroom. There was an incident with Yik Yak where there were racial slurs calling black students monkeys. There have been racist posters put up [on campus],” she said.
By the 1950s, the Civil Rights Movement was gaining momentum. Membership in the NAACP increased in states across the . A 1955 lynching that sparked public outrage about injustice was that of Emmett Till , a 14-year-old boy from Chicago. Spending the summer with relatives in Money, Mississippi , Till was killed for allegedly having wolf-whistled at a white woman. Till had been badly beaten, one of his eyes was gouged out, and he was shot in the head before being thrown into the Tallahatchie River , his body weighed down with a 70-pound (32 kg) cotton gin fan tied around his neck with barbed wire. David Jackson writes that Mamie Till , Emmett's Mother, "brought him home to Chicago and insisted on an open casket. Tens of thousands filed past Till's remains, but it was the publication of the searing funeral image in Jet , with a stoic Mamie gazing at her murdered child's ravaged body, that forced the world to reckon with the brutality of American racism."  News photographs circulated around the country, and drew intense public reaction. The visceral response to his mother's decision to have an open-casket funeral mobilized the black community throughout the .  Vann R. Newkirk| wrote "the trial of his killers became a pageant illuminating the tyranny of white supremacy ".  The state of Mississippi tried two defendants, but they were speedily acquitted by an all-white jury . 
Opposition to racism revived in the 1920s and 1930s. At that time, anthropologists such as Franz Boas , Ruth Benedict , Margaret Mead , and Ashley Montagu argued for the equality of humans across races and cultures. Eleanor Roosevelt was a very visible advocate for minority rights during this period. Anti-capitalist organizations like the Industrial Workers of the World , which gained popularity during 1905–1926, were explicitly egalitarian.