Mod's notice: Given the clear outcome of the poll below, I've now closed the question (MO).
I have the highest voted answer to this controversial post regarding racism against an Indian student. The claims in the OP are quite extraordinary, but the poster deserves the benefit of the doubt, so I gave sincere advice. Then I read this reply by the OP on my answer that was just posted yesterday (September 19th):
In the end, I remarked to this individual that one serious problem is that I'm a high caste individual, and look at white people in my university as an abominable low caste, and that automatically creates a lot of problems.
I had to re-read it to make sure I wasn't misunderstanding. Then I looked back over the rest of the posts, and I'm not sure what to make of it. The OP implicates the following list of people with some very over-the-top racism, including physical confrontations and swearing:
- Other PhD students
- The department chair
- The Dean
- Multiple faculty
It's certainly possible that this person landed at the most racist institution in all of Massachusetts. But in light of the quote above, it seems more plausible that either the OP is the problem, or more likely, the whole post is an elaborate and puzzling attempt at trolling.
At a minimum the conversation has become so focused on this person's bizarre situation that I can't imagine it being particularly useful to other readers. I'm not sure what the appropriate action would be though.
So what does the rest of the community think? Am I being overly harsh in my judgment after reading the above comment?
Some more context from the linked chat room from the same OP:
I wrote this after documenting a huge number of incidents inside our department, and got a reply from the Title IX office saying there's nothing really wrong. Actually I'm not sure if all of the documented incidents could be dealt with by the Title IX office, but certainly there were major serious incidents there that they should have dealt with. Caste is officially a protected category in this university. I felt a bit sick myself talking in this manner with these disgusting hypocrites who pretend to be such progressives that they make caste a protected class, but with this cabal, it felt fine. I wanted to see their reaction; if they would do anything now that I claimed that the whole problem was basically casteist. This was meant to slander them even further. I mean, caste should be a protected class, but very very few places in the US have added caste as a protected class, if I'm not wrong. I was basically baiting them at this point. I hope I could make the context clearer; I was basically trolling, and trying to conjure up an image of myself as a casteist a**hole and that too by calling white Americans in my university lower castes by default, in a farcical tone. None of this is really relevant here, but from my high school and college days (my opinion changed from middle school when I was more swayed by the opinion of General category folk around me), I have openly advocated for caste based reservation in India and why it is important for it to continue for at least a few generations, and have faced the wrath of some of my friends for saying this. Of the handful of really close friends I made in college, about half of them were from a non privileged caste. We never discussed caste then of course. In fact literally four of my most closest friends who I hung out with in college were all from a non privileged caste. I've lost touch a little bit, but good old days, and we'll meet again! But again, this is what you would call "reactive behavior" at best, but I felt the time for continuing politeness with our university administration was pretty much over, after their continuing dismissals of all incidents.
This was exactly what I had written in the very last email to the Title IX office: "Actually a lot of these problems stem from the fact that I'm a high caste individual, and look around in this university and see a dimwitted peasant class that is a natural anathema for me. Do you think that can enable you to take some kind of action?" I did not say 'white people in the university were an abominable lower caste'. The idea was to bark back. The context was that this university made headlines by adding caste as a protected class, and thus showed off it's progressive cred.I should mention that in the prior emails, the documentation that I had was huge, and this thread or the chat probably covers at most 30% of everything documented there.
OP later clarified:
I hope in the discussion, I could make it clear that I don't actually view white people in my university as a lower caste, or want to look down on lower castes in India.