You know the Left has won when communism replaces education…
A freshman tentatively raises her hand and takes the microphone. “I’m really scared to ask this,” she begins. “When I, as a white female, listen to music that uses the N word, and I’m in the car, or, especially when I’m with all white friends, is it O.K. to sing along?”
The answer, from Sheree Marlowe, the new chief diversity officer at Clark University, is an unequivocal “no.”
The exchange was included in Ms. Marlowe’s presentation to recently arriving first-year students focusing on subtle “microaggressions,” part of a new campus vocabulary that also includes “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings.”
Microaggressions, Ms. Marlowe said, are comments, snubs or insults that communicate derogatory or negative messages that might not be intended to cause harm but are targeted at people based on their membership in a marginalized group.
Among her other tips: Don’t ask an Asian student you don’t know for help on your math homework or randomly ask a black student if he plays basketball. Both questions make assumptions based on stereotypes. And don’t say “you guys.” It could be interpreted as leaving out women, said Ms. Marlowe, who realized it was offensive only when someone confronted her for saying it during a presentation.
Clark, a private liberal arts college that has long prided itself on diversity and inclusion, is far from the only university stepping up discussions of racism and diversity in orientation programs this year.
Once devoted to ice cream socials, tutorials on campus technology systems and advice on choosing classes, orientation for new students is changing significantly, with the issue taking on renewed urgency this year as universities increasingly try to address recent racial and ethnic tensions on campuses as well as an onslaught of sexual assault complaints and investigations.
A bystander intervention presentation for arriving freshmen at Wesleyan University last Thursday — “We Speak We Stand” — featured students acting out fictional episodes of campus sexual violence, harassment and problematic drinking, with examples of how to intervene. “Each of you has the power to bring to light sexual violence in our community,” one student told the group.
In August, the University of Wisconsin system, which includes the Madison flagship and 25 other campuses, said it would ask the State Legislature for $6 million in funding to improve what it called the “university experience” for students. The request includes money for Fluent, a program described as a systemwide cultural training for faculty and staff members and students.
But that budget request has provoked controversy. “If only the taxpayers and tuition-paying families had a safe space that might protect them from wasteful UW System spending on political correctness,” State Senator Stephen L. Nass, a Republican, said in a statement issued by his office, urging his fellow lawmakers to vote against the appropriation.
Mr. Nass’s objection to spending money on diversity training reflects a rising resistance to what is considered campus political correctness. At some universities, alumni and students have objected to a variety of campus measures, including diversity training; “safe spaces,” places where students from marginalized groups can gather to discuss their experiences; and “trigger warnings,” disclaimers about possibly upsetting material in lesson plans.
Some graduates have curtailed donations and students have suggested that diversity training smacks of some sort of communist re-education program. -Via NYT’s