'White privilege at its ultimate finest': Man kicked off city commission after failing to address black professor as 'doctor'


The city council of Greensboro, North Carolina, voted unanimously to oust a construction contractor from the zoning commission after a tense exchange in which he failed to address a black professor as “doctor,” the Greensboro News & Record reported.

Council member Sharon Hightower last week said Tony Collins exhibited “white privilege and entitlement. And what I saw last night at the zoning commission meeting was white privilege at its ultimate finest. It was absolutely disrespectful … to dress down an African American female was unacceptable,” WFMY-TV reported.

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What are the details?

Carrie Rosario is a Greensboro citizen and an associate professor of public health education at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, the station said, adding that she holds a DrPH — a professional doctoral-level degree in public health.

During the April 19 Greensboro Zoning Commission virtual meeting, Rosario introduced herself as “Dr. Rosario” to the commission before noting her opposition to a planned development near her home, WFMY reported.

Collins pushed back against Rosario’s comments — and in doing so referred to her as “Mrs. Rosario.”

She then jumped in and said, “It’s Dr. Rosario. Thank you. sir.”

But Collins persisted, again calling her “Mrs. Rosario” — and she corrected him again.

“Well, you know, I’m sorry,” he replied. “Your name on here says ‘Carrie Rosario.’ Hi, Carrie.”

“It’s Dr. Rosario,” she shot back. “I [wouldn’t] call you Tony, so please, sir, call me as I would like to be called. That’s how I’m identified.”

“It doesn’t really matter,” Collins replied.

“It matters to me,” Rosario said. “It matters to me. And out of respect I would like you to call me by the name I’m asking you to call me by. Thank you.”

“Your screen says Carrie Rosario,” Collins continued.

“My name is Dr. Carrie Rosario and it really speaks very negatively of you as a commissioner to be disrespectful,” she said, according to the News & Record.

“I’m not trying to be disrespectful, but you’re negotiating something that happened four years ago,” Collins replied, according the paper.

WFMY reported that Rosario corrected Collins five times, and he