University Administrator: “Modern Racism is Much Worse Than Old Racism”

By Isabella Foxen

Are microaggressions worse than Jim Crow Laws?

Willie Fleming, Chief Diversity Officer at Appalachian State University, seems to think so.

In a June interview with the Watauga Democrat, Fleming remarked, “We as a community should be aware about microaggressions. I think modern-day racism is much worse than old racism.”

Seriously? In the early 20th century, racism looked like separate water fountains, unequal access to voting, lynchings, and perpetual discrimination. Does Mr. Fleming truly believe that microaggressions are worse?

Microagressions are so trivial that the average person would never even realize if they were micro aggressed.  Today, even saying the phrase “where are you from?” or “I believe the most qualified person should get the job” are considered microagressions by social justice warriors on college campuses.

According to Fleming, actions like simply asking someone where they are from are more dangerous than slavery.

Refresh your memory with these graphic images of the pervasive violence African-Americans faced during the Civil Rights Movements.




Fleming’s statement is insultingly callous to anyone who fought and died for civil rights in America. Furthermore, this attitude is harmful to students because the distorted “social justice” worldview he champions is taught as fact, not fiction, to incoming students attending the mandatory diversity courses he’s working to implement.

Suggesting that modern racism is worse than the Jim Crow law or slavery laws of old is a gross insult to the achievements of the Civil Rights Movement. This in and of itself is an atrocity.

Willie Fleming should listen to Dr. Condoleeza Rice’s powerful memories of her experience growing up in Birmingham at the height of racial turmoil to remind himself what “old racism” actually looked like.