A North Carolina official was removed from his position Tuesday for refusing to refer to a black woman using her doctoral title during a virtual meeting.
Tony Collins, a construction contractor and former member of the Greensboro City Council’s Zoning Commission, was ousted by a unanimous city council vote for ignoring Carrie Rosario’s request to call her “Dr. Carrie Rosario,” according to the Greensboro News and Record.
Dr. Carrie Rosario, a public health professor at UNCG had to check Tom Collins on his disrespect! He has been removed from the zoning commission of Greensboro!
This is the shame we have to carry. They have so much privilege to the point that they think we’re no due respect pic.twitter.com/ro2m2OpEyp
— I’m different different (@BradMase) April 23, 2021
Rosario holds a Ph.D. in public health and works as an associate professor at UNC-Greensboro, according to Daily Mail. The video recording of the commission’s Monday meeting shows Collins addressing the college professor as “Mrs. Rosario.”
“It’s Dr. Rosario, thank you, sir,” Rosario responded.
“If Mrs. Rosario has something,” Collins continued.
“Dr. Rosario,” she said
“Well, you know, I’m sorry,” he responded. “Your name says on here ‘Carrie Rosario.’ Hey Carrie.”
“It’s Dr. Rosario,” she reiterated. “I wouldn’t call you Tony, so please, sir, call me as I would like to be called.”
“It doesn’t really matter,” Collins dismissed her objection.
“It matters to me. And out of respect, I would like you to call me by the name that I’m asking you to call me by.”
“Your screen says Carrie Rosario,” he replied.
“I’m verbalizing my name is Dr. Carrie Rosario,” she said. “And it really speaks very negatively of you as a commissioner to be disrespectful.”
Before the intense interaction with Collins, Rosario corrected another commissioner regarding her doctoral title and he apologized, saying, “I really don’t want to offend you in that regard, so, Dr. Rosario, I do apologize for that,” according to Charlotte Observer.
Councilwoman Sharon Hightower asked the City Council to vote Collins out of his position for exercising “white privilege” by refusing the black woman’s request to be called “doctor,” according to the Greensboro News and Record. (RELATED: Black History Event At University Interrupted By Racist And Pornographic Images And Slurs On Zoom)
“I cannot judge what is in Mr. Collins’ heart, nor would I presume to, but I will say that racism as a system devalues and dismisses Black women — and Mr. Collins’ actions were evidence of the microaggressions that we face on a regular basis just trying to go about our daily lives,” Rosario told the Charlotte Observer, who reached out to her for comments.