They’ve got some interesting things happening at the University of Kentucky.
And we’ve got some similarly curious goings-on, generally, around the country.
Many decades ago, it was decided that separating people according to skin color was wrong. Perhaps more relevantly, at some point, it was also concluded to be ridiculous.
Yet, suddenly, the culture’s picking up where the law left off — Americans are increasingly being placed in two categories — white and nonwhite (currently “people of color”).
In participation of our shade-oriented shift, the University of Kentucky reportedly made a change to its training of resident assistants.
According to an email acquired by Young America’s Foundation, the school held segregated sessions.
CAMPUS BIAS TIP LINE: Internal communications obtained by YAF show the University of Kentucky segregating Resident Assistants by race, putting white RAs in a so-called 'White Accountability Space' for training. https://t.co/T0l8KJkK4j
— YAF (@yaf) October 5, 2020
From the message allegedly sent by UK Resident Advisors:
[There will be] two separate breakout sessions — one for RAs who identify as Black, Indigenous, Person of Color and one for RAs who identify as White.
The college has high expectations:
You received an invitation to both sessions, but you are expected to attend only one that corresponds best to your identity.
Do you believe this is bettering the world?
— Alex Parker (@alexparker1984) October 7, 2020
It’s easy to imagine such an edict scoring the national spotlight two decades ago, cast as senseless or bizarre. In the 70’s — just after a colossal phase of integration — it would likely have been denounced as horrifying.
But given the context of 2020, the move may not be primed to make waves.
Kentucky’s “breakout sessions” were purportedly expected to occur Friday, August 7th following “a presentation from Brandon Colbert from Bias Incident Support Services (BISS).”
Brandon was set “to talk about microaggressions and microinvalidations in the workplace and the harm that they cause.”
These days, some institutions of higher learning are superiorly serious when it comes to racial engineering. Less than two months ago, I wrote of “racial justice” author Robin DiAngelo’s upcoming on-campus Connecticut cash-in.
From the article:
As it turns out, bigotry is big business: DiAngelo will drop in and drop science (at the University of Connecticut) for the low, low price of $20,000.
That was for a three-hour workshop in the fall.
Back to UK, Robin spoke in 2019 for a cool $12,000.
And about what? Via the writer’s website:
- Racism is the foundation of Western society; we are socialized into a racial hierarchy
- All of us are shaped by the forces of racism; no one is exempt
- All white people benefit from the racial hierarchy, regardless of intentions
- No one chose to be socialized into racism (so no one is “bad”)
- Racism must be continually identified, analyzed and challenged; no one is ever done
- The question is not if racism is at play, but how is it at play?
- The racial hierarchy is invisible and taken for granted for most white people
If racism — the judgement of an individual according to his or her race — is “the foundation of Western society,” are we changing things by training individual RA’s according to their race?
And if we’re not changing that practice, what’s the value of pointing it out?
Perhaps the difference is in the mandate to make amends. And amendments.
The University of Kentucky knows for sure.
Maybe they’ll tell you — in groups matching your pigment.
And if you’re wondering what the students in Kentucky learned, here’s The Washington Free Beacon:
The training for white RAs was called the “White Accountability Space,” while the training for non-white RAs was called “Healing Space for Staff of Color.” The White Accountability Space came with supplemental materials based on the book …But I’m Not Racist! by Dr. Kathy Obear, a white woman who claims she “has helped thousands of whites find the courage to challenge and change the dynamics of racism in their organizations.”
And the progress — and training — continues…
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