If you’re white, you may at some point have “whitesplained.”
But attendees of North Carolina State University aren’t likely to make your mistake — not, at least, after undergoing the school’s mandatory diversity training.
As reported by Campus Reform, NCSU is mandating all its students take an online diversity course.
According to the outlet’s reported access, “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Students” purports to provide “learners with the information and skills necessary to create a respectful and welcoming environment for everyone.”
The training’s official webpage names some “key topics”:
Privilege — CR reports — gets defined as “the set of advantages that a group gains when another group is stereotyped, stigmatized, or otherwise oppressed.”
Those with privilege, the course teaches, get the benefit of “tone-policing.” That’s where you nullify someone’s argument on the basis of their emotional state.
And why do you do something so stupid? That would be, to “preserve the status quo.”
The training also offers the 411 on hate speech:
“The American Bar Association defines hate speech as ‘speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other traits.'”
For those who believe they have — as Ricky Ricardo often said — “a lot of ‘splaining to do,” they shouldn’t do it.
The course describes “______splaining” thusly:
“[When] someone with privilege assumes they have expertise and starts explaining oppresison to a member of an oppressed group, rather than listening.”
And if you were wondering, the course pegs “whitesplaining” as “a form of racism.”
So there it is.
As made clear by the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity, NCSU’s “required diversity training” brings a very certain promise for the future:
We can all help build the cultural competence that furthers innovation and excellence.
“We think and do best together,” it says, “when we embrace diverse people and perspectives. To successfully solve the grand challenges in our world, we must ensure that our engagement builds on the accessibility and inclusion that furthers innovation and excellence at NC State.”
So again: Have you been guilty of whitesplaining?
Do you need to become more culturally competent?
If so, enroll soon — students have ’til April 1st to complete the training.
And to be clear, it isn’t just students who are getting schooled:
If you are faculty, staff, postdoctoral research scholar or a TA instructing a course, you must complete DiversityEdu: Personal Skills for a Diverse Campus. DiversityEdu is an online course focusing on engaging with diversity and growing an inclusive culture.
If you are a member of the staff (who is not an instructor of record) you must complete two modules: (1) Diversity: Inclusion in the Modern Workplace and (2) Managing Bias.
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