2019-03-12 16:34:53 UTC
Reed College Trains RAs to Recognize Covert White Supremacy. Examples:
‘Colorblindness’ and ‘Assuming Good Intentions Are Enough.’
"It's provocative, and that was the intention."
Robby Soave|Mar. 12, 2019 11:00 am
Another Believer / Wikimedia Commons
Students who wish to become housing assistants at Reed College must undergo
training to identify overt and covert white supremacy. A handout used in the
January seminar lists examples of both: Overt white supremacy concerns
obviously racist things such as racial slurs, hate crimes, and using the
n-word, whereas covert white supremacy consists of a much broader and more
baffling spectrum of behaviors, including "assuming that good intentions are
enough," engaging in "cultural appropriation," expecting people of color "to
teach white people," being a "self-appointed white ally," and of course, use
of the phrase "Make America Great Again."
It's this last inclusion that drew the attention of The College Fix. But
whether or not MAGA should be considered always and automatically an example
of racism, there are enough questionable inclusions to make a reasonable
person wonder about this list.
As it turns out, the list was not created by Reed College. A staffer at the
college's Office for Inclusive Community found it on the internet and
printed it off.
"It's provocative, and that was the intention, to present the RAs with
something provocative and spur a conversation about the difference between
implicit bias versus explicit bias," Kevin Myers, a spokesperson for Reed
College, told The College Fix.
Note that this conversation did not take place inside a classroom—it took
place in a training seminar for student resident advisors and housing staff.
This is concerning; as part of a course's curriculum, one might reasonably
expect this information to be presented by an academic expert on white
supremacy, and the subsequent discussion to contain some nuance and room for
disagreement. The Office for Inclusive Community, on the other hand, is an
activist bureaucracy. What free speech assurances are there for students
entering an administrative training program?
When I talk about campus free speech issues in the context of my forthcoming
book, Panic Attack: Young Radicals in the Age of Trump (pre-order here), I'm
often asked whether I think the faculty are indoctrinating the students.
People are usually surprised to learn that the greater dangers to
intellectual diversity and freedom of expression may be coming from the
administration, and this Reed College seminar is an excellent example of why
that's the case.
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