Friday, December 2, 2016

Academia

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microagressions

One top university could ask students whether or not their professors committed any “microaggressions”–if a group of students get their way.

Student protesters at Emory University in Atlanta would like the college to compile each professor’s list of microaggressions so they could be officially be punished in the future.

Their demand, as published by the school newspaper, the Emory Wheel:

“We demand that the faculty evaluations that each student is required to complete for each of their professors include at least two open-ended questions such as:

“Has this professor made any microaggressions towards you on account of your race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, language, and/or other identity?” and “Do you think that this professor fits into the vision of Emory University being a community of care for individuals of all racial, gender, ability, and class identities?” These questions on the faculty evaluations would help to ensure that there are repercussions or sanctions for racist actions performed by professors. We demand that these questions be added to the faculty evaluations by the end of this semester, Fall 2015.”

The protests at Emory–which follow other, equally ridiculous protests at other universities nationwide–has led to students fighting against what they perceive to be racial discrimination, in the wake of the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

The problem with a so-called “microaggression”–and punishing professors for committing one–is that it’s, by nature, generally unintentional. It’s frequently an innocuous statement or comment that a minority student perceives as somehow unjust or racially discriminatory.

And while overt racism shouldn’t have a place in academia, microaggressions are much harder to police. Some other universities have declared that statements as innocuous as “America is a land of opportunity” could be constituted as a “microaggression.”

Worse, Emory isn’t alone: faculty at California’s Occidental College–the school thast President Barack Obama once attended–are considering a way for students to “report” professors who commit these microaggressions.

So far, the response from (predominately liberal) faculty nationwide has been that of horror. At Yale University, for example, a married faculty couple was forced out of their jobs after they dared to suggest that Yale shouldn’t tell students which Halloween costumes to avoid.

When even the most liberal members of academia are turning against a movement for being too ridiculous, students should take heed–and stop making increasingly crazy demands of their universities.

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white-men-are-the-problem

Newly minted Boston University professor of sociology and African-American Studies Saida Grundy has launched her career at Boston with this sweeping charge on Twitter:

“White masculinity isn’t a problem for America’s colleges. White masculinity is THE problem for America’s colleges,”

If Grundy were white and said this about black males as a group, it would be a clear cut case of racism and her career as an academic would end there. But she is not white. She is black and Boston University spokesman Colin Riley said Professor Grundy was simply exercising her Free Speech rights.

In other twitter posts, Grundy wrote:

“Every MLK week I commit myself to not spending a dime in white-owned businesses. And every year I find it nearly impossible…” and that white males represent a “problem population” that must solved although she did not say how.

An astute University of Massachusetts Amherst student named Nick Pappas first uncovered the series of tweets and compiled them on his website SoCawlege.com. Using the record as his guide, Pappas questioned Professor Grundy’s ability to teach racially diverse students when she voices racial hostility to both whites and males on social media. Pappas writes Grundy:

“You have to teach college aged white males eventually, no?…this seems like you are unqualified to grade their work as you clearly demonstrate some kind of special bias against them…”

Mr. Pappas told Fox News that his goal is to “show the rest of America how nasty people on the far left can get at colleges.”

Liberal turned conservative activist David Horowitz, who follows and documents racism in academia, told Fox News that he was “not surprised that Boston University is hiring a racist to teach African American Studies.” Fox quoted Horowitz as saying:

“Anti-white racism is rampant in Black Studies programs which are generally indoctrination programs in left wing politics.” “If she were a white racist rather than an anti-white racist, she would never be hired.

Professors are supposed to be experts in some scholarly field, and professionals in their classroom discourse. They don’t have a license to indoctrinate students in their prejudices – whether those prejudices are right or left…”

It is not known where Boston University stands on double standards, selective enforcement of “speech codes”, the duty of academia to pursue truth or whether it planned to recognize “white males” as a persecuted group worthy of the institution’s array of protections.

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