Another “quick takes” on items where there is too little to say to make a complete article, but is still important enough to comment on.
The focus this time: If you have demonstrated institutional power, then you are not institutionally oppressed.
First, a little mood music:
Viewing “Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity” though the “lens of race” is all euphemistic speech for “racial discrimination”.
“Last summer, a working copy of the University of Texas at Austin’s (UT) ‘Faculty Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – Strategic Plan’ was leaked by a UT employee. As detailed in an earlier National Association of Scholars article, this plan included political litmus tests for hiring, promotion, and even scholarship. As the article concluded:
“In the name of ‘diversity, equity, and inclusion,’ university leadership has decided to end its search for truth and to instead become a redistribution scheme for the transfer of money from students and taxpayers to new hires that, by necessity, must be committed zealots of the regime. If this plan takes effect, Texans of diverse opinions can say goodbye to any dream of being hired by its most prestigious university.
“The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education also weighed in, sending UT a letter expressing similar concerns that the plan ‘presents a serious threat of establishing a viewpoint-based litmus test for both hiring and promotion.’
“Not to worry—UT eventually responded, explaining that the leaked document was only an incomplete draft, and that UT would ‘continue to seek faculty with a wide range of political, religious, philosophical, ideological, and academic viewpoints.’ Last week, after rumors from UT insiders circulated that UT President Jay Hartzell might be tactically delaying approval of this plan until after the Texas Legislature adjourns in May, UT quietly announced that the plan had been approved.
“While the final version of UT’s strategic plan has been massaged from the prior draft, in substance the plan’s means, objectives, and import remain the same: all faculty hiring and promotion decisions—and even the conferring of endowed chairs and teaching awards—must now be scrutinized through the lens of whether faculty contribute to ‘diversity, equity, and inclusivity.’ Millions of dollars will be spent on mandatory ‘diversity officers,’ whose job will be to enforce this diversity orthodoxy. New positions will be created that will be open only to those who would ‘increase diversity’ at UT. Muddying the waters further, the plan now adopts the amorphous, undefined concept of ‘diversity skills as a yardstick for hiring and performance.”
You are nothing more than your intersectional identities and this makes you either privileged or oppressed. This line of thinking is mandatory.
“Loyola University Chicago has announced plans to have every academic department perform a ‘Racial Justice Examen,’ in which those departments will evaluate and reflect how they are doing when it comes to racial justice.
“According to the Loyola University Division of Academic Affairs, the ‘Racial Justice Examen’ is part of a broader plan to create a ‘safe, respectful, and inclusive environment for students, staff, and faculty of color.’ The university will create this environment by reviewing campus procedures and providing diversity training to help students, staff, and faculty ‘identify and interrupt bias’ and learn about ‘identity and privilege’ on campus.
“To accomplish this, the university will move in three phases. In summer 2020, the university focused on examining the current diversification and equality efforts in every academic department.”
Stand against the academic institutions and the academic institutions will stand on you… give or take an occasional lifting in order to stomp.
“Reason published a piece by Jesse Singal about an English professor named Elisa Parrett. Parrett teaches at a public technical college outside of Seattle called the Lake Washington Institute of Technology. Last June 19, in the wake of the death of George Floyd, the school held an event called Courageous Conversations which was based partly on Robin DiAngelo’s book White Fragility. The event was mandatory in the sense that the school’s president sent an email asking every professor to attend unless they had a conflict with their teaching schedule. It was also segregated by race, meaning whites in one room and people of color in a separate one.
“Knowing what was coming, Parrett decided to write out a statement which she intended to read during the session. She asked a couple of other professors to offer input on her draft beforehand. Jesse Singal got a recording of the entire meeting…
“But five days later Parrett got an email from President Amy Morrison which had a very different tone. It read in part, ‘Because of your egregious behavior which has led to substantial harm to hundreds of colleagues on campus, I have asked Dr. Ames, Dean Doug Emory, and [executive director of H.R.] Meena Park to meet with you in the next few days to have a serious conversation about how successful you can possibly be on campus in the future.’
“Two days later, Parrett was placed on administrative leave. President Morrison sent a lengthy email mentioning Parrett by name and saying she was stunned by her statement during the training. A disciplinary complaint was filed against Parrett by the vice president who’d made the seemingly supportive call to her a few days earlier. The complaint alleged Parrett had behaved in a ‘corrupt, insolent and insubordinate manner.’
“When Singal emailed the Vice President about the story, she doubled down and claimed that Parrett had been ‘aggressively yelling at folks in the meeting.’ At the time, she was apparently unaware that Singal had the audio of the entire session. When he sent her a copy and asked her to point out where Parrett had yelled at anyone, a university spokesperson suggested Parrett’s ‘visible anger’ wasn’t conveyed by the audio.
“After a months-long investigation which cost the school a minimum of $80,000 and generated reports that were cumulatively about 200 pages long, the school suddenly announced about two weeks ago that the outcome would be a written reprimand and a demand that Parrett create no further disturbances to the school’s anti-racism efforts. Here union rep is filing a grievance about that since it’s not clear a tenured professor can be forbidden from speaking about an issue on campus.”