Fail! Hillsdale College President Calls Minority Students ‘Dark Ones’

August 6, 2013  |  

It seems like a Michigan college president might need some schooling himself. Hillsdale College has issued an apology after its president made racially offensive remarks, reports The Huffington Post.

During a state legislature subcommittee hearing Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn described minority students as “dark ones.” The hearing was concerning the adoption of Common Core State Standards.

Arnn testified against Common Core standards, which have been adopted in more than 40 states in an effort to standardize education. According to Arnn, he took issue with the idea of government interfering with educational institutions. He went on to describe a letter he had received from the Department of Education shortly after taking over as president at Hillsdale, a small liberal arts institution. Arnn said the letter claimed his college “violated the standards for diversity because we didn’t have enough dark ones, I guess, is what they meant.”

Lawmakers attending the meeting immediately criticized Arnn for using “offensive” language, but he did not apologize. Instead, Arnn continued: “The State of Michigan sent a group of people down to my campus, with clipboards … to look at the colors of people’s faces and write down what they saw. We don’t keep records of that information. What were they looking for besides dark ones?”

A Michigan Department of Education spokesperson told the Detroit Free Press that officials visited Hillsdale in 1998 to conduct a routine evaluation of the school’s teacher preparation program. And it was during that visit, that they took note of the ethnicity of the students and faculty members in the program.

Hillsdale College finally issued an official apology several hours after Arnn’s statements. “No offense was intended by the use of that term except to the offending bureaucrats,” read the statement. It also said that while Arnn was sorry if offense was taken, his greater concern “is the state-endorsed racism the story illustrates.”

“I think this was Dr. Arnn’s way to indicate that he was offended with what they were doing in taking clipboards and walking around campus to record the color of students’ skin,” James Joseph, a 2010 graduate, told the outlet. “He’s a very magnanimous man with a generous and charitable spirit, but he doesn’t stand on public piety.”

“Hillsdale College is notably conservative. In 2012, the Young America Foundation ranked it one of the most conservative colleges in the country. The Hillsdale Collegian also reported that in 2012, Arnn’s most substantial campaign donation was to tea party favorite Congressman Tim Walberg,” reports HuffPo.

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