What I don’t get is the idea that students need a professor “who looks like them” in order to learn. That is, black students. Nobody says this about Indian, Chinese or Ukrainian students.
First of all, I’m not sure how the “looks like them” criterion is applied. Do we assume that “all black people look alike”? Or do we take into consideration that a black person from Ghana looks nothing like (to anybody but a total racist) an African-American student from St Louis?
Another issue is how that makes the professor feel. You go to school for many years, learn, read, write, publish… and then get hired because of your “look”? And what, the people at the interview evaluate you in terms of the “look”? Like, whether you are black enough? Like in, “yeah, but she’s Indian black not black black?”
I feel very uncomfortable participating in these conversations about “the right look.”