Wednesday 28th June 2017,

Indian American/ South Asian American

Ξ 21 comments

University Professor Says Spelling Bee Champ “Not Worthy…Send Her Back.”

posted by Randall

Roxanne Vaughan Facebook post

We’re learning of a blatantly racist remark directed at the 12-year old winner of the Scripps Spelling Bee.

This time it comes from an award winning professor from the University of North Dakota.

WDAZ reports Roxanne Vaughan made the remark on social media after Ananya Vinay of Fresno won the prestigious national competition.

“I’m sure she’s an immigrant, not worthy of interacting with our pure Americans. Send her back,” Vaughan wrote on her personal Facebook page.

Roxanne Vaughan

Roxanne Vaughan


 
Vinay is the 13th straight Indian American winner of the spelling bee.
 

The post has since been taken down.

Vaughan has not commented further, but others have.

UND also commented, stating the statement “is certainly not in keeping with University statement core values. We know we have work to do in that area and this underscores the fact that we have a lot of work to do.”

Vaughan had just been named a distinguished professor at UND in May.
ht Jason Fong

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21 Comments

  1. Ida says:

    RE: University Professor Says Spelling Bee champ “not worthy…send her back.”: I am not sure this qualifies as “blatantly” racist. It seems more subtle to me and speaks to bias. Many White majority Americans assume that if you do not look White, you are not really A,erican. And that can be a very unconscious/subconscious set of assumptions which slip out in unthinking/unguarded moments. A moment where her mind may have been too relaxed to go through the chain of LOGICAL REASONING to see where the girl was born, long she has lived here AND whether or not she is an American citizen. It suggests that she and others need to become more educated about other cultures (English is one of India’s official languages) and one’s underlying bias. No one in our current society can afford to rest on our social/racial awareness laurels.

    1. mindy says:

      RE: University Professor Says Spelling Bee Champ “Not Worthy…Send her Back” (In reply to Ida):Ida, I would like to think that we are past the point in time, if it ever existed, that “not worthy…send her back” wasn’t blatant racism. That’s about as subtle as an elbow to the nose. But you are right – every single human being carries around a set of preconcieved notions and biases, and we have to be make the choice to educate ourselves beyond that. Too many choose, instead, to build themselves a bubble and hunker down inside without facts.

    2. Rev. Linda McWhorter says:

      University Professor Says Spelling Bee Champ “Not Worthy…Send Her Back.”(In reply to Ida): Why are you making excuses for her and rationalizing her remarks? It IS blatantly racist. “Pure American” “Send her back” How is this NOT racist and white supremacist? Send her back to where? To Fresno, CA?

      1. Rob says:

        RE: University Professor says Spelling Bee Champ “Not worthy…Send Her Back”:(In reply to Rev Linda McWhorter)It has absolutely nothing to do with rationalizing or making excuses. In context, the quote from this professor could very well be calling out someone else’s racism. Indeed, the phrasing looks a lot more like that than it does like actual racism. The fact that no one has dug up the original context of this quotes is cause for concern and doubt.

        Given that you’re a reverend, one would think you’d encourage people to pause and think before they go and crucify someone without the whole story.

        1. Alan Reynolds says:

          RE: University Professor Says Spelling Bee Champ “Not Worthy…Send Her Back.”(In reply to Rob): Given the fact that she is a university professor, one would think she would know better than to post something on social media that could be taken many ways, and possibly lose her job over that decision.

        2. KRISTINA says:

          RE: University Professor Says Spelling Bee Champ “Not Worthy…Send Her Back (In Reply to Bob):” Far too often, Ministers have been called out for not taking a stand and calling out the blatant forms of “isms” alive in society. She has done just that. Calling out racism, even in its subtly. But I guess the old adage is true, damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    3. D says:

      RE: University Professor Says Spelling Bee Champ “Not Worthy…Send Her Back.” (in reply to Ida): Did you miss the ‘interacting with our pure Americans’ part? or are you ignoring it so you can discount the racism?

      1. Ida Leung says:

        RE: University Professor Says Spelling Bee Champ “Not Worthy…Send Her Back”(In Reply to D): I was trying to clarify that my original post was not a response to the professor’s comment. I thought I was posting a comment by a cnn reporter who made a bad joke about the winner being more familiar with Hindi or Sanskrit than English over her misspelling covfefe.

        Now I do see other comments trying to defend the Professor by saying she’s a good liberal, “on our side” etc. There is no defending her. In her right mind she should just apologize. Among a lot of other things, it was rude and mean to a 12 year old who was probably having the best moment of her life. That professor is a real downer.

    4. Nancy Walter says:

      RE: University Professor Says Spelling Bee Champ “Not Worthy…Send her Back: Hogwash

  2. Ida Leung says:

    RE: University Professor Says Spelling Bee Champ “Not Worthy, Send her Back.”: This was intended for the CNN comment, not professor who should really be muzzled. Probably poisoning students minds for a long time.

  3. David says:

    RE: University Professor Says Spelling Bee Champ “Not worthy…Send her Back.”:White American, cure the sickness in your heart and mind.

  4. Elle says:

    RE: University Professor Says Spelling Bee Champ “Not Worthy…Send her Back”: The professor’s statement is so obviously satirical that it’s difficult to understand the negative reactions. She’s actually speaking out against xenophobia using humor, which makes the reactions all that more perplexing. Is our collective IQ so dumbed down these days that we can’t recognize a sophisticated attempt at lampooning our own ignorant view of immigrants?

    1. Ida Leung says:

      RE: University Professor says Spelling Bee Champ “Not worthy…Send Her Back”:(In reply to Elle)Perhaps sensitivities are increased because we live in a time of church burnings, nooses being hung in the nation’s capital. Even if it were said in jest, shouldn’t the educator been more sensitive to the feelings of the winner? How would you like to be called unworthy?

  5. Karen VH says:

    RE: University Professor Says Spelling Bee Champ “Not Worthy…Send her Back”:Sounds like she was sarcastically commenting on what some people think other Americans think. It was a snark fail.

  6. Michelleanne L Bradley says:

    RE: University Professor Says Spelling Bee Champ “Not Worthy…Send her Back”:Maybe the UND professor should go back and make sure the the “pure Americans” (I really hope she is meaning First Nations Peoples, because other than that, there are no “Pure Americans”) are not shitty students who cannot spell?

  7. Karen B Sue says:

    RE: University Professor Says Spelling Bee Champ “Not Worthy…Send her Back”:As a college professor, I know that myself AND many of my colleagues use sarcasm and irony in our posts, stating the opposite of what we mean, or being snarky about what others on the opposite side of the issue might say. Has anyone done any research to see if this statement was indicative of her views or previous statements? People are very quick to jump on academics these days for potentially racist comments or ideas. If this turns out to be her genuine feelings and ideas, then either she needs to be held to account and disciplined (or educated), but if everything she teaches and other comments indicate this is not ‘who’ she is, then we need to recognize that her intent may have been to point out how others might see this young lady not her own views. I hope this makes sense.

  8. Jeff Vaughan says:

    RE: University Professor Says Spelling Bee Champ “Not Worthy…Send Her Back.”: Come on, guys! If you want to really get a sense of if this was real or sarcasim, click on Dr. Vaughan’s university webpage. You will find that Dr. Vaughan has taken in and successfully mentored graduate students from India, Nepal, Argentina, Thailand. Is that the act of a racist? For goodness sakes people, do a little background research before you so quickly condem your fellow Americans. Otherwise, you too are going down the same path that you self-righteously abhor.

  9. Toni siddiwi says:

    RE: University Professor says Spelling Bee Champ “Not worthy…Send Her Back”:There’s nothing to self righteously abhor as you put it. Why should we have to guess whether she meant it or didn’t in the manner of Donald Trump! There are emojis. Use the dashed things, why should anyone else have to figure out whether you are being cute or racist or dumb or sophisticated? We have enough mysteries from the Horse’s mouth st the White House!

  10. Rob says:

    RE: University Professor says Spelling Bee Champ “Not worthy…Send Her Back”:Already posted this on the Facebook share, but seems like it needs to be said here too.

    Honestly, without context, this sounds to me more like the words of a liberal professor using irony to ridicule racist ideas. If she said that and means it literally, then she is obviously despicable and deserves to be fired. But even the literal nazis that live in America now don’t actually say things as literally and overtly nazi as this anymore. Even the grand wizard of the KKK couches his hate in more nuanced language than this.

    Anything is possible, but it strikes me as odd that this woman would rise to this distinguished position and just finally be unable to control her despicable, naked racism. On the other hand, it’s very common for educated liberals to draw attention to more covert forms of racism by employing racist tropes in a mocking/ironic way. Like I said, anything is possible, and racism this horrendous surely exist, but this latter explanation seems much more plausible to me, given the nature of the quotation and the absence of context.

    I’d look for the context before coming to any conclusions.

    Also, let’s be clear that this is in no way whatsoever defending racism. It’s pointing out that the person you are crucifying here is very likely a strong ally and not a racist at all.

  11. Archie says:

    RE: University professor says spelling bee champ “not worthy…send her back.”: Do people not understand sarcasm anymore?? Without understanding the context it is very easy to dismiss someone as a racist. However this person clearly meant this as a sarcastic comment. A simple google search will show you that she has in fact mentored and graduated Asian and other nationalities from her lab. As someone who knows her personally, I can say that she has been nothing but supportive to immigrants and people of ALL nationalities. An ignorant person reported her remark completely out of context and this is the result. She is a fine, upstanding citizen who is the exact opposite of a racist. So please stop maligning her without proper context.

  12. Nancy Walter says:

    RE: University Professor Says Spelling Bee Champ “Not Worthy…Send Her Back”: In response to your apologies, guess what? Think before you post.

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