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Letters: Racial bias in the workplace

October 25, 2013

Re "UCLA faculty survey cites racism," Oct. 19

The UCLA report on the university's policies on addressing accusations of racial bias mentions retaliation against a nonminority faculty member for speaking out against discriminatory conduct in his department.

Something similar happened to me as a graduate student. The fact that my department as a whole was inclusive did not deter my advisor from making things difficult for me after I failed to show enthusiasm for his racial prejudices.

There exist many kinds of diversity besides race at a large public university like UCLA. Willingness to serve students and work with colleagues across these differences should be a precondition for employment and a criterion for advancement.

For those who cannot abide by these requirements, there certainly exist other schools where they will only need to serve their favorite categories of students.

David Mason

Culver City

Advance degrees are no cure for racism. That only comes from a willingness to learn about diversity.

Due to economic necessity, my mother only went as far as the third grade in Mexico, yet I have never met anyone so educated. She taught me the value of respect and compassion for others regardless of race.

On the other hand, there are people I label "well trained but poorly educated" who have mastered the skills needed to perform their tasks but lack the education or willingness to work with people who are "different."

Unfortunately, some of these people become "gatekeepers" who decide who goes first, who gets promoted and who gets fired. It is their way of protecting the status quo.

More must be done to scrutinize management candidates for signs of bigotry. As a Latino professional, I desire only equal access to opportunity based on my own merit, period.

Armando Duran Cepeda

Yorba Linda


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