Boston University has begun a new program to right the wrongs of racism within.
As reported by Campus Reform, the school started its “21 Days of Unlearning & Learning” endeavor on July 6th.
And to be clear, it isn’t merely about not being racist.
It’s been said that “antiracism” is different than being colorblind, and the name of BU’s initiative drives that home.
The title: “21 Days of Unlearning Racism and Learning Antiracism.”
To reference a popular Christian saying, evidently, those who can shake off their racism are left with an antiracism hole in their hearts.
BU’s got three weeks on offer to fill it.
Some white people know that to become antiracist, 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 don’t care if you’re white, black, yellow, green or purple.”
The ideology is undeniably surging — folks are getting schooled from elementary school to the Armed Forces.
Cases in point:
Back to Boston U, per the official launch page, the three weeks of learning and unlearning are intended to “better prepare members of our community for a more diverse, equitable academic environment.”
Call it a career move — it’s sponsored by the department of Professional Development & Postdoctoral Affairs (PDPA).
The initiative provides “an opportunity to engage directly in antiracist texts and multimedia each day for 21 days.”
Furthermore, there’s been a curriculum upgrade — the department will now school students on racism against more nonwhite groups:
PDPA has updated last year’s curriculum to look beyond anti-black racism and include resources related to racism in other communities of color.
Apparently, a university podcast serves up intellectual nutrition where white supremacy’s concerned; so here’s a bonus:
This year’s 21 Days will include a special focus on issues of racism in higher education, inspired by the themes of Season 4 of our podcast, Vitamin PhD. We will also hold virtual community spaces for conversation throughout the program.
So, there ya go.
For people worried about anti-BIPOC bigotry, educators in Beantown are on the ball.
In the effort, perhaps they’ll battle microaggressions, as recently laid out by the UK’s Imperial College London.
According to the college, microaggressions comprise a “death by a thousand cuts.”
Myth of Meritocracy
i.e. statements which assert that race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity etc. do not play a role in life successes
“I believe the most qualified person should get the job. We need excellence!”
“Men and women have equal opportunities for achievement.”
“Gender plays no part in who we hire.”
“Everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough.”
“Positive action is racist.”
The playing field is even, so if Women/BAME/Disabled/LGBTQ+ people cannot make it, the problem is with them.
Black people are given extra unfair benefits because of their race.
Hopefully, in throwing off the notion of meritocracy, bolstered by the Professional Development & Postdoctoral Affairs department, graduates will triumph professionally and developmentally. In all their attempted affairs.
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