NYU librarian laments 'fatigue' from 'presence of white people'

A New York University librarian recently bemoaned the “racial fatigue” she experiences “in the presence of white people” following an academic conference.

April Hathcock, a Scholarly Communications Librarian at NYU, recently attended the annual American Library Association [ALA] conference in Chicago, a trade conference for people in the library profession.

Right after the conference, Hathcock took to her personal blog to describe her “Post-ALA Race Fatigue,” lamenting that she was suffering from “serious race fatigue” after spending five days amongst her colleagues [emphasis in original].

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Race fatigue is a real physical, mental, and emotional condition that people of color experience after spending a considerable amount of time dealing with the micro- and macro-aggressions that inevitably occur when in the presence of white people,” Hathcock wrote. “The more white people, the longer the time period, the more intense the race fatigue.”

While Hathcock noted that she is normally exhausted after such conferences for reasons unrelated to racial issues, she said that this time she “hit her limit” after spending five days “being tone-policed and condescended to and ‘splained to.”

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Hathcock offered a litany of complaints about her fellow conference attendees, including the “white men librarians” who “complain about being a ‘minority’ in this 88% white profession.”

She also slammed the “nice white ladies” who told her to be “civil” and “professional” when she tried to “talk about the importance of acknowledging oppression and our profession’s role in it.”

Hathcock concluded by acknowledging that even though there were positive aspects of the conference, such as meeting new friends of color, she was nonetheless exhausted by the entire ordeal.

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“Luckily, the rest of my summer will be spent going on vacation with family,” she concluded. “And when I get back to it all, I’ll keep on fighting, bearing in mind the inspiring words Dr. Hayden imparted to us at the Spectrum celebration: ‘You gotta be in the room. You gotta be at the table. You gotta fight.’”

Hathcock did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Campus Reform.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen