This reminds me of a professor I had in college who tried to test whether people were racist by asking them what color gorillas were under their fur. Anti-racists come up with crazy racist spins on things that non-racist normal people would never come up with. And then those people have to pause and try to understand the crazy racist Rorschach inkblot in their heads.
USC’s School of Social Work didn’t come up with anything new here. There has been a gradual purge of the term “field work” in academia.
The school sent out a letter announcing “we have decided to remove the term ‘field’ from our curriculum and practice and replace it with practicum. This change supports anti-racist social work practice by replacing language that could be considered anti-black or anti-immigrant in favor of inclusive language. Language can be powerful and phrases such as “going into the field” and “field work” may have connotations for descendants of slavery.”
Here’s one from Hancock College.
“Another important step in supporting students of color in the Earth Sciences is to address safety issues surrounding field work. Field work can evoke justifiable fears in students of color and present actual danger.”
Actual danger and justifiable fears.
But before USC’s School of Social Work adopts Practicum, its diversity deans may want to consider the fact that the Romans owned slaves.