Emerson promotes professor who doubts that Black and White women can be 'true friends'

A creative writing professor at Emerson College who has produced work critical of White people is being appointed to an interim deanship.

Some students at Emerson take issue with her filling the position.

She may be replaced once the college hires a new provost.

Emerson College is appointing Kim McLarin, an associate professor of creative writing, to serve as the institution’s interim Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies. McLarin has written a number of essays and opinion pieces in which she denigrates White people, particularly White women.

In an article she wrote for the Washington Post, McLarin expressed doubt as to whether Black women and White women could be “true friends”. A New York Times piece she authored details her experience briefly dating a White man in which she ultimately decides to end the relationship because of the man’s race. She also wrote an essay for The Morning News in which she, among other things, argues that Morgan Freeman films are part of an effort by “White America” to “remain at the center of black consciousness.”

McLarin has written seven novels about feminism, race and family, alongside other topics. As a girl she attended highschool at the Philip Exeter Academy, one of the most prestigious prep schools in the nation. McLarin then went on to attend Duke University. Prior to being promoted to an interim dean, she headed Emerson College’s masters of fine arts program in popular fiction.

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When explaining her stance on friendship between Black and White women, McLarin writes that she doesn’t “generally” dislike White women, rather that she “[does] not trust them.” She goes on to claim, based on “a lifetime of observation and study, and also a highly unscientific survey of friends and friends of friends”, that most Black women share her opinion. 

“Put simply,” McLarin asserts “white women have power they will not share and to which they mostly will not admit, even when wielding it. Think about all the white women calling the police on black women and men for capital crimes such as grilling near a lake, driving through a neighborhood, bumping a leg on an overcrowded plane.”

Further elaborating on her views, McLarin makes the claim that many White Women don’t see Black women as “vulnerable” which, according to her, “means they do not consider us to be fully human.”

Sam Neves, Campus Reform Correspondent and President of Emerson’s chapter of Turning Point USA, told Campus Reform that he is opposed to McLarin’s appointment.

“Unfortunately, we're seeing a pattern” Neves asserted.

Neves pointed out that his club had recently been condemned as bigoted by university officials for “distributing stickers that criticize a tyrannical foreign government is racist”. This was in reference to stickers labeled “China kinda sus” Emerson TPUSA had recently been criticized for distributing. He criticized Emerson College for targeting his club for alleged racism but turning a blind eye to McLarin’s statements

“President William Gilligan can weaponize racism and reward it in the same month” Neves concluded. 

Neves also shared with Campus Reform that McLarin is being included on the search committee to designate the college’s next president.

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In a piece she wrote reflecting on the end of Barack Obama’s tenure in the White House, and the election of Donald Trump, McLarin claimed that poor and working class White people aren’t criticized by powerful institutions. She also asserts that “White America yearns to remain at the center of black consciousness.” As evidence of this, she cites “black-white buddy films, the Best Black Friend in sitcoms,” and “most of Morgan Freeman’s career.”

Campus Reform reached out to McLarin and Emerson College for comment; this article will be updated accordingly. Specifically, we asked the College if a White professor expressing similar views towards African Americans as McLarin has toward Whites would be acceptable.