Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

U. of Iowa Spokeswoman's Comment Draws Fire

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

U. of Iowa Spokeswoman's Comment Draws Fire

Article excerpt

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa spokeswoman Ann Rhodes says she was trying to be funny, but her comment about White men being "the root of most evil" is drawing widespread criticism.

More than 300 negative phone calls and e-mails have been logged with the school following Rhodes' comments at a news conference announcing the arrest of a Black female dental student charged in a string of racist and threatening e-mails to her classmates.

Two men, Al Weaver of Cedar Rapids and Ted Chambers of Coralville, are so upset they may file a complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.

"Either you're a bigot or you're not," Weaver says. "She's carrying that philosophy through everything she touches."

A spokesman for the Iowa Civil Rights Commission says a complaint cannot be filed against an individual, although it could be directed at the university.

The comment by Rhodes, vice president of university relations, was made April 20 as she detailed the bizarre case and answered reporters' questions. …

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