Minnesota continues to get more than its share of news.
That certainly goes for news related to racism.
As relayed by The College Fix, a small college in the state is really upping the ante where it comes to fighting the foe.
Northfield’s Carleton College is forcing faculty to attend “antiracism” training sessions.
As a reminder, the concept isn’t about simply not being racist.
A rundown from CNN:
Some white people know that to become anti-racist, they must start to listen and brush up on the history of racism in their countries.
Some people are describing obviously racist behavior as the tip of the iceberg — calling people racist names or threatening people on the basis of race.
Then there’s the part of the iceberg that’s not easily visible to people if they’re not looking. This includes a range of subtle but insidious attitudes, behaviors and policies.
Among these are microaggressions. They are brief and commonplace verbal, behavioral or environmental indignities, [psychologist Beverly Tatum] said.
Examples of such microaggressions:
- “Don’t blame me. I never owned slaves.”
- “All lives matter.”
- “I’m colorblind; I don’t care if you’re white, black, yellow, green or purple.”
Not only is Carleton insisting faculty get schooled in the ways of antiracism, it’s requiring that programs be attended monthly.
The institution’s website lays down the law:
All faculty/staff will need to either attend the live session or watch the recorded session each month.
Apparently, not everyone on staff appreciates the “Affinity Group” training.
To those in charge, it seems, that only proves those people are racists.
Per an alleged slide from the March meetings:
We’ve been told that in some groups that, after saying that there’s no racial problem at Carleton, some people just refuse to participate.
This is uncomfortable, but totally predictable. After all, a refusal to acknowledge racism as real helps keep the system intact.
And here’s an excerpt some might consider ironic:
People have very different perspectives and are at very difference places on the issue of race. So don’t try and convert them to seeing your truth.
Reportedly, the training directly resulted from the demands of 13 students.
Calling itself the “The Ujamaa Collective,” last summer, the group submitted a 10-page document titled “Our Demands.”
“We, as black students at Carleton,” it explained, “desire to see our institution take swift, clear, and forceful actions on issues that affect the mortality (of) Black people and the wellbeing of Black students.”
[T]here…needs to be a recognition that black students at Carleton are not always made to feel safe, supported, or equal to their peers.
One demand: money.
From the Fix:
The list…included a call for “all members on this committee” to “receive financial compensation” because “Black students bear the burden of promoting and addressing issues facing the Black community, receiving no material support from the College.”
As for the aforementioned slide, it also stated, “[P]eople need time to understand that a completely different reality exists on campus for many of the folks they see every day.”
That notion of different experiences also applies to the training — it’s segregated.
From the website:
There are 12 sessions per month: 1 biracial/multiracial; 1 open to all races; 2 BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color); 8 white.
According to the Fix, “Affinity” refers to an affinity for one’s own skin color.
Hopefully, the training will remedy Carleton’s disparities. The liberal arts school deserves to be great — after all, its site advertises “unmatched teaching.”
As for unmatched unity, an educated guess tells me it might have a ways to go.
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