Beverly Wilkins began instructing at the Harris-Stowe State University Department of Education in 2001. Latisha Smith was hired in 2007. Smith, who is black, was soon promoted to assistant dean, then dean. Within just three years of joining the faculty of the predominately black university, Smith was interim co-Chair of the Department.
In 2010, Smith fired Wilkins, citing budget reasons. But Wilkins, who is white, was replaced with two black instructors. Those instructors combined were paid $23,000 more than Wilkins’ salary. Clearly Smith didn’t fire Wilkins for budgetary reasons.
Smith fired all the white faculty with the exception of the one who was protected because of tenure. The only black faculty that Smith fired was a sex offender.
Wilkins’ lawyer said that the college discriminated against white employees and then deleted emails in attempt to cover it up. But one email remained, and it was damning to the college’s defense, as reported in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The email came from a black instructor who wrote that she was appalled by Smith’s blatant discriminatory behavior.
“I am floored to know that we have an interim leader that has voiced her prejudice so openly to me and others,” the email says. “This flagrant prejudice should not be tolerated or accepted.”
The lawsuit further states that at least “one high-ranking” Harris-Stowe official told the author of that email, “not to press these complaints or her ability to obtain tenure would be jeopardized.”
A St. Louis Circuit Court jury has awarded Wilkins almost $5 million in damages in attempt to compensate her for the racial discrimination she received from Latisha Smith and Harris-Stowe. The amount can still be modified by the judge or appealed by the college.
The White House has a habit of inserting itself in racial situations. Do you think Wilkins will be invited to meet with President Obama? Please comment below.
H/T: Daily Caller