College has radically changed.
For those educated in Old America, you may remember notions of freshman year.
In the 80s, it was rumored to have gone something like this (Content Warning):
But the adventure has taken a turn.
Case in point: a recently-launched program at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
As described online, the social justice-seeking Gopher Equity Project serves as a “diversity, equity and inclusion online educational module for new students as they begin their UMN career.”
Its purpose: to “improve campus climate for all students.”
“Take the Training,” the school advises undergraduates.
Students are told to “take part in creating an inclusive campus and learn skills to navigate a diverse campus and society.”
Freshmen “will have follow-up conversations in their first-year college courses.”
They’ll be educated on oppression:
The online training guides you through concepts about equity, power, privilege, oppression, and identity and is important to creating a foundation of equity and inclusion on our campus.
The About page provides quotes praising the program:
“As a PWI [predominantly white institution] there are many students who don’t learn about any of this in their high schools, because diversity is such a big topic at U of M it allows the freshman to be ready for the conversation.”
“Students coming to the U are from a wide range of backgrounds and are about to experience a very unique climate full of diverse perspectives. I feel it is essential for the U to offer an introduction to DEI through this module.”
How far does the school go in promoting “diverse perspectives”?
A large sampling of the program’s suggested reading:
- How to be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
- Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements by Charlen Carruthers
- Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity by C. Riley Snorton
- Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
- So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock
- Antisemitism: Here and Now by Deborah Lipstadt
Podcasts recommended for further training:
- 1619 — examines the long shadow of American slavery
- Scene On Radio: Seeing White — examines racial structures through the lens of oppressors
- Modern Minorities — conversations about work and life through the lens of race and gender
- LGBTQ&A Weekly — interviews with the most interesting LGBTQ+ people in the world
- Making Gay History — bringing the voices of LGBTQ history to life through intimate conversations
- Transcripts — from Tretter Transgender Oral History Project about how trans people are remaking the world
Also suggested — the following TedTalks:
- Ideas about Race
- Ideas about the Justice System
- Ideas about Indigenous Peoples
- Ideas about Identity
- Ideas about Inclusion
- Ideas about Gender Equality
- Ideas about Feminism
- Ideas about LGBT
- Ideas about Activism
The training’s glossary includes the following terms:
- acephobia — Includes fear, dislike, or hatred of asexual people (asexual people generally don’t experience sexual attraction, though they may have romantic attractions and relationships).
- gender identity
- hate speech
- toxic masculinity
- whitesplaining — Regardless of intent, when someone with privilege assumes they have expertise and starts explaining oppression to a member of an oppressed group, rather than listening, it is sometimes referred to as “____splaining.” Whitesplaining is an example related to race, and is a form of racism.
If I’m not mistaken, there appears to be a slight ideological bent.
Either way, where college is concerned, gone are the days of “Welcome, everyone, have fun.” It seems 18-year-olds are being saddled with the weight of the world.
Additionally, they’re made to watch their words. Whereas academia was once a haven for free speech, the focus now, apparently, is speech of the “hate” variety.
What’s the end result? Perhaps it’s a student body extremely aware — of oppressors and victims, and into which group each individual falls. Many would say that won’t make for a unified experience.
But so goes our new normal, at many a “predominantly white institution.”
See more content from me:
UCLA’s Director of Race and Equity Wishes Death on Clarence Thomas
High School Biology Class Tells Kids Biological Sex Is a Social Construct
William Peace University Votes to Cancel William Peace — but It’s Still Called William Peace University
Find all my RedState work here.
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