Education: Who Is Impartial?

For 30 years, a white sociologist at a California university specialized in race relations, undaunted by racists' taunts that he was a "radical," a "nigger lover" and a "Communist." Today, he is seriously considering quitting his field altogether because of demoralizing attacks, not from his old critics but from militant black students. "It is too much of a hassle," he says, "to try to be an impartial behavorial scientist when the sole criterion for knowledge, understanding or credibility is the color of your skin."

All over the U.S., white sociologists who once prided themselves on being unprejudiced and basically sympathetic to the...

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