CRES guest speaker to talk about racism, history


Dr. Joe Feagin will be speaking at TCU Sept. 14.

By Tamera Hyatte

The Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies program plans to promote engagement and dialogue about race and ethnicity on campus through guest speakers this semester.

Dr. David Sandell, an associate professor of sociology and anthropology, said after the conservative commentator Ben Shapiro was brought to campus by the Young Americans for Freedom, he, along with CRES faculty and staff, wanted to invite speakers who would provide what he calls “empirical substance.”

Ben Shapiro spoke last November about leftist myths at TCU after a list of demands was issued by a group of three students to improve diversity and inclusion on campus.

“I felt we needed to bring a more insightful and empirically grounded dialogue to campus to provoke people to think,” Sandell said.

Dr. Joe Feagin, the Ella C. McFadden professor of sociology at Texas A&M University, is one of the guest speakers who will discuss topics from his co-authored book, Two Faced Racism.

Two Faced Racism is a book of journal entries by white college students at 28 universities in the U.S. that analyzes and explains such racist behaviors and attitudes in open and private settings.

“In the 1,000 plus interviews I have done over the last 40 years with Americans of color and 200 plus interviews with whites, I have learned much from listening to thousands of their accounts of racist experiences and how they counter them,” Feagin said.

Sandell said Feagin is a great selection to speak at TCU because of his background and experience in education and research.

“He will be very approachable and be a person of who many students who otherwise maybe wouldn’t come to hear this kind of talk,” Sandell said. “He would be a person with whom they could identify.”

As a Texas native, Feagin grew up in the Jim Crow era. During his time at Harvard, he began to engage in dialogue about race and racism and learned from the experiences of his black peers.

These influential experiences helped him develop a deeper understanding of white racism and how to combat the systemic problem.

“Whites must first face their own white racist framing, including learning an honest history of this country,” Feagin said.

Sandell said he hopes this lecture will reach people who need to engage in the dialogue and become more reflective on these issues.

“I’m looking for the long-term discussion, so that we can begin to build a campus that is more unified, more compassionate and more understanding of how other people’s experiences have shaped a part of who they are,” he said.

Feagin will be speaking Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Kelly Alumni Center.

CRES will also have additional guest speakers: Leila Fadel, a Lebanese-American journalist, Sept. 21 and Jonathan Eig, a former Wall Street Journal writer and New York Times best-selling author, Oct. 26.