[This content was originally published on February 4, 2019 at The Ink On The Page.]
On Twitter, I’ve been threading some results of my latest low morale study (done with Ione Damasco), which centers the experience of racial and ethnic minority academic librarians. It is my hope that this work will bring into clearer view the additional emotional labor that librarians of color bear while dealing with abuse and neglect in American library workplaces.
These threads expound on my earlier report of additional Enabling Systems in the PoC low-morale experience.
- Participant data show that White women are soundly perceived by minority academic librarians as harbingers and enablers of workplace abuse and neglect.
- White women librarians alienate minority librarians through exclusionary attitudes or language.
- [One participant] stated, “Specifically, just librarianship as a profession, it’s predominantly White women [who have contributed to my low-morale experience]. And that’s just—I don’t know what else to say about that.”
- Respondents shared how White privilege also played a detrimental role in their low-morale experience, especially when it was invoked purposively while dealing with general enabling systems…
- White privilege also allowed uncivil behavior to go unchecked.
- Study participants also recognized the intersectionality of diversity rhetoric and White privilege when White colleagues invoked both enabling systems to offset events traditionally seen as only negatively affecting minorities – especially when such events were poised to also affect them negatively.