“This is not your language”
By: Emily J
Tiffany Martínez is your typical hard working college student at Suffolk University in Boston. So when her sociology professor humiliated her in front of her peers, she took it personally.
In her personal blog, she wrote a post describing the incident. On Thursday morning, her professor handed back her paper which she had worked countless hours on. In front of her classmates, he said “this is not your language.” Mortified, Tiffany looked at the top of the paper and saw in big blue letters: “Please go back and indicate where you cut and paste.” Skimming through the paper, Tiffany also noticed the word ‘hence’ circled and the comment in between the typed lines “this is not your word.” ‘Not’ was underlined twice.
After the incident, Tiffany was hurt and frightened. As an aspiring professor, she began to question herself. “I spent the rest of the class going back through every single line, every single citation to make sure that nothing had been plagiarized, even though I knew I hadn’t,” She told Buzzfeed News.
Tiffany, who was born and raised in the Bronx, thinks her professor’s comments were a larger issue than what people of color go to on a day to day basis.
“My last name and appearance immediately instills a set of biases before I have the chance to open my mouth,” she wrote. “As a minority in my classrooms, I continuously hear my peers and professors use language that both covertly and overtly oppresses the communities I belong to. Therefore, I do not always feel safe when I attempt to advocate for my people in these spaces.”
Ever since making the post on her blog public, there has been an abundance of support. Here are some of the comments that she has recieved:
“This is outrageous! I’m so sorry that this professor treated you this way! Keep your head up and become the kind of professor we so desperately need in academia.”
“There is sometimes no cure for ignorance. You are obviously a gifted and talented student and will achieve incredible success. Keep working toward your goal, and don’t let the narrow mindedness of others limit you. Keep your chin up, and be proud of your accomplishments.”
“As a Latina and a woman who also went to school in this country, to law school, I feel you. I just want to tell you to keep going, what that professor did to you was based on ignorance and it is pitiful that American schools are full of this kind of people. You are brilliant and they can’t just take it that a Latina girl is more capable of doing what they can’t. Keep going and chin up, you can be whatever you want to be, please don’t pay attention to these fools.”
Tiffany, we know you are saddened and hurt by your professor’s comments and we agree with the people above. Keep your chin up and don’t let the haters get to you! You are beautiful inside and out and you have a bright future ahead of you.