The progressive storm troopers at the University of California are ramping up their PC agenda. A faculty seminar discussing “diversity in the classroom” held at nine of the 10 UC campuses during the 2014-2015 school year came with a worksheet entitled “Tool: Recognizing Microagressions and the Messages They Send.” “Microaggressions are the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership,” states the opening sentence. The ultimate cure for such “hurtful” behavior? Tossing free speech on the ash heap of history.
The worksheet is divided into three columns, Themes, Microagression Examples, and Message. In one Theme section, under the subheading of “Ascription of Intelligence,” professors are informed about the potential pain engendered by “Assigning intelligence to a person of color or a woman based on his/her race/gender.”
And just in case professors are insufficiently erudite or “sensitive” enough to figure out exactly what produces such suffering among the student to whom they are tasked with disseminating this newfound wisdom, faculty trainers provide specific Microagression Examples. These include trigger statements such as, “You are a credit to your race,” and “Wow! How do you become so good in math?” Two more examples are apparently for the more obtuse faculty members as they spell out which ethnic group is targeted. “To an Asian person, ‘You must be good in math, can you help me with this problem?’ and “To a woman of color: ‘I would have never guessed you were a scientist.‘”
Again, one might consider such obvious information to be sufficient warning from these doyens of hypersensitivity. Nonetheless what such statements “really” mean is spelled out in the Message column: “People of color are generally not as intelligent as Whites,” “All Asians are intelligent and good in math/science,” and “It is unusual for a woman to have strong mathematical skills.”
It apparently hasn’t occurred to these trainers this particular lesson reeks with the stench of their own biases, the first and foremost of which is the pernicious and faddish notion that every white male, regardless of circumstances, benefits from “white privilege.”
Thus it is no surprise that these progressive hacks indicate as much in the Theme entitled “Color Blindness,” a concept they believe indicates a white person neither needs, nor wants, to acknowledge racial inequality. Thus the traditional notion that America is melting pot, or that people can look beyond color is re-imagined as an effort to force people of color to “assimilate to the dominant culture” or deny the significance of a person of color’s “racial ethic experience and history”—or their racial/cultural being itself.
That “thud” you hear is Martin Luther King Jr. and all of his achievements being tossed under the faculty trainers’ jitney.
Moving on to the Hate America part of the agenda, the worksheet brings up the “Myth of Meritocracy,” a category that makes it clear these trainers worship at the altar of victimization and the notion that racism, homophobia and misogyny are endemic parts of the American cultural ethos. Thus one can be triggered by “ugly” ideas such as “I believe the most qualified person should get the job,” “America is the land of opportunity,” and “Everyone can succeed if they work hard enough.” The trainers make it clear such statements fly in the face of the inherently biased nation America really is.
Three other Themes, “Criminality/Assumption of Criminal Status,” “Pathologizing Cultural Values/Communication Styles,” and “Second Class Citizen,” all reinforce the idea that bigotry is the default position from which faculty members must extract themselves. Once again the “dominant” white culture and any attempts at assimilation that undercut the multicultural experience are dismissed with unbridled contempt.
And again the level of obliviousness is astounding because it begs an obvious question: why would in-state, on campus students spend $34,500, and out-of state, on campus students spend a whopping $58,524 per year for nothing more than being subjected to a faculty trained to relay the message of inevitable rejection and failure that awaits their entry into an irredeemable society?
Naturally no list of professorial dos and don’t would be complete without addressing “Sexist/Heterosexual Language” and “Traditional Gender Role Prejudicing and Stereotyping,” where being forced to choose male or female when filling out basic forms, or having only two options, single or married to describe relationships are obvious slights. This is due to the assertion that the male experience is “universal” while the female and LBGT experiences are “invisible.” It is even insidious to look “quickly” at a woman’s ring finger if one is told that woman is over age 30.
University President and former DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano extended the invitation to this seminar, “Fostering Inclusive Excellence: Strategies and Tools for Department Chair and Deans,” to those department heads and deans, urging them to participate in an effort designed to “foster informed conversation about the best way to build and nurture a productive academic climate.” In addition, the seminar taught faculty how to approach prospective hires and current minority faculty using a theatrical production entitled “Ready to Vote?” The synopsis of the production talks about the nominating of a female Asian professor for tenure, and the minefield of perceived microagressions that attend such a “perilous” meeting.
Almost unbelievably, there was another handout included in this presentation. “Tool for Identifying Implicit Bias” is a compendium of warnings for faculty members outlining the pitfalls that may attend the hiring of women or minority faculty members. Professors are warned against making Snap Judgments about potential candidates, engaging in Elitist Behavior, embracing both Negative and Positive Stereotypes or a host of other topics all presumed to be “shortcuts” in the hiring process that can lead to “erroneous conclusions” and “adversely effect the fairness and equity of a review process.”
Conservative website The College Fix contacted the UC Office of the President, rightly inquiring as to whether such guidelines might have a “chilling effect” on professors’ ability to exercise their free speech rights. Representative Shelly Meron responded with an email.“These seminars are not an attempt to curb open dialogue, debate or classroom discussions,” it stated. “The seminars are part of the President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. Deans and department heads who attended the seminars could choose whether they wanted to convey the information to their faculty.”
As to the numerous and largely innocuous quotes considered microaggressions, Meron remained unmoved. “The quotes you referenced are taken directly from research done on this topic,” she explained. “We present this research literature/climate survey responses as examples so that faculty leaders can be more aware of the impact their actions or words may have on their students, and to provide faculty members with potential strategies to create an inclusive learning environment for all students.”
Inclusive? More like totalitarian, a reality epitomized by self-professed liberal college professor Edward Schlosser whose liberal students “terrify” him. “The student-teacher dynamic has been reenvisioned along a line that’s simultaneously consumerist and hyper-protective, giving each and every student the ability to claim Grievous Harm in nearly any circumstance, after any affront, and a teacher’s formal ability to respond to these claims is limited at best,” he explains.
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld was even blunter saying _comedians_ avoid college campuses because they’re “too PC” and that students use term like “racist” and “sexist” without knowing what they mean. Gay college student Anthony Berteaux responded with an open letter, whacking Seinfeld for sexist and racist humor “that can no longer exist in comedy because these concepts are based on archaic ideals that have perpetrated injustice against minorities in the past…So, yes, Mr. Seinfeld, we college students are politically correct. We will call out sexism and racism if we hear it. But if you’re going to come to my college and perform in front of me, be prepared to write up a set that doesn’t just offend me, but has something to say.”
Or else, it would seem.
Ironically, all of these suppressive reflexes are a hopeful sign that the revolution is on the verge of eating its own. Coupled with the skyrocketing costs of attending these de facto Marxist finishing schools that saddle thousand of underemployed students with thousands of dollars of debt, it won’t be long before college campuses resemble little more than anarchic caldrons of competing, infantilized grievance groups bearing their increasingly weighty crosses (or mattresses) of irreconcilable micro- and macro-aggressions until their burden of “hurt feelings” becomes too much to bear. “Right now, there’s nothing much to do other than sit on our hands and wait for the ascension of conservative political backlash,” writes Schlosser. Not backlash, professor. Sanity.
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