One of the things I have found most illuminating in my visits to the online versions of campus newspapers is how a burrowing beneath an innocuous-seeming headline can lead to some valuable insights about the woke agenda in American academia today.
Take this November 1, 2021 news story in The Huntington News, the student newspaper of Northeastern University, Northeastern outlines required anti-racism training for all students, faculty, staff.
Now, who could possibly object to being schooled in the ins and out of “anti-racism?” What decent, modern person would want to be tarred as “racist” for opposing such training? Well, apparently nobody at Northeastern University given that there seems to have been nary a peep of protest against a quite openly bit of anti-white indoctrination at this second-tier private university.
Think I’m exaggerating? Let’s examine how the university itself defines some of the terminology it will use in these trainings (also know as hate generation workshops).
Luckily, the article mentioned above provides handy-dandy links to much of this indoctrinatory material.
The article quotes Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs David Madigan thusly:
The spirit of requiring everyone in our community to participate in this training is to promote our collective support for all things that improve our pursuit of shared values and communal efficacy,” Madigan wrote. “The purpose of the training is to better equip our community to combat racism and other systemic inequities.”
And what are these shared values? Through various hop, skips and jumps we eventually land on the page where some of the verbiage undergirding this "communal efficacy" can be read.
Here we get to explore “Anti-Racism Resources” and are told that:
Everyone should start with critical self-reflection and awareness to understanding one’s social positions within the broader context of race and power to make effective structural changes.
That is the starting point of this whole anti-racism project—if you are, say, a white middle class person you are an oppressor and need to work forward from that premise. This is what all students, faculty and staff at this so-called university are to be “trained” in.
Moving right along, we read that it is not enough to be an unprejudiced person who recognizes the inherent dignity of every person. No, no, no—you have to avow that only whites are capable of racism:
Anti-Racism – A framework for ending racism that goes beyond tolerating or celebrating racial diversity and addresses racism as a system of unequal institutional power between Whites and peoples of Color.
What a jolly view. Everything is about power. Only Whites have it.
And again, we are told that the only people who are racists are white people. (Speaking as someone who lived in East Asia and noted major racial antagonism in Beijing between Chinese students and African ones, I am not convinced of that.)
But this is what we are told:
Racism – Prejudice and discrimination supported by institutional power and authority used to the advantage of Whites and the disadvantage of peoples of Color. Racism encompasses economic, political, social, and institutional actions and beliefs that perpetuate an unequal distribution of privileges, resources, and power between White people and peoples of Color.
We also learn that equality is not good enough and that even if no harm was intended, everything is systemic and therefore society itself must be remade:
Equity/Equality – The term “equity” refers to fairness and justice and is distinguished from equality: Whereas equality means providing the same to all, equity means recognizing that we do not all start from the same place and must acknowledge and adjust imbalances. The process is ongoing, requiring us to identify and overcome intentional and unintentional barriers arising from bias or systemic structures.
There is not a lot of coherence in the thinking on this page. For example, at one point diversity seems to be something that is valued:
Diversity – The representation of all our varied identities and differences, collectively and as individuals.
And yet we are told that anti-racism is all about going beyond diversity—even as everyone who is non-white is lumped into the “peoples of colors” category.
And this is convenient for the anti-racist thought police because it negates any obligation on their part to actually prove that racism caused whatever it is that they wish to attack:
Institutional Racism – Policies, practice, and procedures that work to the benefit of White people and the detriment of people of color, usually unintentionally or inadvertently.
And how is this for out-and-out racial caricaturing:
Whiteness – A framework used to capture the all-encompassing dimensions of White privilege, dominance, and assumed superiority in society. These dimensions include: ideological, institutional, social, cultural, historical, political, and interpersonal. Whiteness grants material and psychological advantages (privilege) that are often invisible and taken for granted by Whites.
And in case some poor faculty member or janitor or white student prefers just to get on with his or her job or studies we are provided with this helpful bit of woke thought control:
Writing Prompt: Write your encounter or discovery narrative. Think about the first time you became aware of your race, ethnicity, gender, religion, orientation or even your privilege (advantage). Describe the encounter. Revisit this narrative from time to time as you learn and grow in anti-racist work.
Hmmm, instead of thinking of oneself as a human being, to be an anti-racist one needs to think about race and other woke self-identifiers every minute of every day and to be on the constant lookout for the following:
Structural Racism – The interplay of policies, practices and programs of differing institutions which leads to adverse outcomes and conditions for communities of color compared to White communities that occurs within the context of racialized historical and cultural conditions.
And this structural racism (remember--it is all built in and so human agency and human hearts are of no consequence) often takes the insidious form of everyday pleasantries:
Microaggression – A term used for commonplace daily verbal, behavioral or environmental slights, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative attitudes toward stigmatized or culturally marginalized groups.
Hmm, hard to think of a quicker way to poison interactions between different races than to render friendly comments as immediately suspect.
Good thing we can be trained to say as little as possible to anyone lest we give offense to the anti-racists who are now in control at many a college these days.
What is tragic about this rampant wokeism is that it makes universities venues for resentment cultivation and the imposition of a leftwing ideology and leaves behind the inspiring vision of Martin Luther King for a darker view. And these “trainings” are mandatory:
…this curriculum will become a permanent part of faculty and student orientation for all community members at Northeastern.
There is no discussion of excellence or the life of the mind. It is all about how whiteness is to blame for every social ill. Who would want to send their kid to or work in such a place?
Sadly, Northeastern University is but one of many institutions that have bought into the racket of the consultant class--see the article's mention of this parasitical outfit:
The curriculum was designed by Academic Impressions, a group that provides leadership, personal development and training to higher education institutions.
The money that goes to these peddlers in wokeness could have gone to scholarships for, you know, students like, say, people of color. But nooooooo.
In a November 1, 2021 Provost Madigan touts the university administration’s efforts to create:
a more welcoming, inclusive university
Oh, is that the same university that is forcing this on its staff members:
We are also updating faculty and staff evaluation processes to include demonstration of support for diversity, inclusion, and equity.
Ooooh, so welcoming. If you aren’t woke, too bad for your career.
Remember: this is a university. Academics should be judged on the quality of their scholarship and their teaching. Their time is precious and requiring them to spend time demonstrating and documenting their support for wokeness detracts from scholarship and teaching and mentoring as well as forcing them to mouth support for what is, in this case, a blatantly racist worldview.
It is a wonder that so far no one has sued the university for creating a hostile work environment. This kind of professional coercion is inimical to what colleges are meant to do—educate and provide refuges for those who care about free and open discussion.
Alumini: don’t send any money to any university that allots so much power to woke provosts and keeps as president a person who helps to support the money-mad wokeness that firms like Academic Impressions embody.
And students of all races—do you want an education or do you want to be someone else’s racist robot? If the latter, Northeastern University is your kind of place.