White city councilmember ousted for not addressing Black professor as ‘Dr.’
White city councilmember was voted unanimously out of his position after he neglected to address a Black professor as 'doctor.'
A fellow councilmember accused him of exerting 'white privilege' during the exchange.
A White city councilmember was ousted after he failed to address an African-American professor as “doctor.”
Carrie Rosario, a public health education professor at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, virtually attended a Greensboro zoning meeting in April, where she referred to herself with the title "doctor."
As The Charlotte Observer reported, Councilman Tony Collins referred to her as “Mrs.”
“It’s Dr. Rosario, thank you sir,” she responded.
“If Mrs. Rosario has something...” continued Collins.
“Dr. Rosario,” she said.
“Well, you know, I’m sorry. Your name says on here, ‘Carrie Rosario,’” said Collins. “Hey, Carrie.”
“It’s Dr. Rosario.”
“It doesn’t really matter,” asserted Collins.
“It matters to me. And out of respect, I would like you to call me by the name that I’m asking you to call me by. Thank you.”
“Your screen says Carrie Rosario.”
“I’m verbalizing my name is Dr. Carrie Rosario,” she pressed. “And it really speaks very negatively of you as a commissioner to be disrespectful.”
Following the exchange, the councilmembers unanimously voted Collins out of his position.
“It was a very disrespectful exchange between an important commissioner and a public citizen,” remarked Councilwoman Sharon Hightower, as reported in The Charlotte Observer. “That should never happen.”
Greensboro News and Record reported that Hightower accused Collins of leveraging his “white privilege” during the exchange.
Campus Reform reached out to Dr. Carrie Rosario, Greensboro’s Zoning Commission Board, and the UNC-Greensboro Media Relations Department; this article will be updated accordingly.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Jess__Custodio