Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Racism at Bellevue Community College

A math professor at Bellevue Community College wrote an exam question that takes a vacuous swipe at Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. And the college doesn't appear to be bothered by it. Michelle Malkin has the story. She has a letter from Rev. Wayne Perryman of Mercer Island:
Dear Friends: The following sample math problem was given to students as part of their final exam at Bellevue Community College in Washington State. I was asked by black students to represent them in this matter. Some of these students attend my church. I am asking all of you and your friends to e-mail the school at the following e-mail addresses and express your outrage:,, and The following is the math problem given to the students. Condoleezza holds a watermelon just over the edge of the roof of the 300 -foot Federal Building, and tosses it up with a velocity of 20 feet per second. The height of the watermelon above the ground t seconds later is given by formula h= -16t2 + 20t + 300 a. How many seconds will it pass her (she's standing at a height of 300 feet) on the way down? b. When will the watermelon hit ground? If they used this same problem and substituted Condoleezza's name with Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton, there would be mass protest and they would shut the college down. Because it was Condoleezza Rice, they wanted to ignore it until I showed up today. Please e-mail the college and express your outrage and your support of having me at the table to resolve this issue. I am demanding that the college to do several things to correct the problem. This is serious. Please do not let me down, I want thousands of e-mails to come from all across the country. A CBS affiliate, KIRO TV did cover this story. Rev. Wayne Perryman
And she has a letter from a reader/listener Gary M with information about BCC's response:
This is no joke. I listened to a radio interview with a school spokeman this afternoon on the John Carlson show here in the Seattle area. The spokesman denounced the question but accepted at face value the instructor's claim that it was an unintentional reference, and he defended the instructor's 1st Amendment right to say what he wants.
Did Perryman say to contact BCC? Update. 4/13/06 BCC President Jean Floten held a campus-wide open meeting on Wednesday.
The college declined to release the name of the teacher who wrote the question. Floten said the teacher has apologized and requested cultural-sensitivity training.
See the Seattle Times Anger, apology over "Condoleezza" quiz Update. 4/13/06 The Smoking Gun has a copy of the exam; follow the link at the bottom to page 4.

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