University Puts Freshmen Through Its ‘Equity’ Orientation, Schools Them on ‘Whitesplaining’ – Opinion

The college experience has changed dramatically.

Old America educated people may be familiar with the notion of freshman year.

It was believed that it went something similar in the 1980s (Content Warning).

The adventure took a new turn.

A recent program launched at the University of Minnesota in Twin Cities is an example.

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:

This online course will help you understand concepts around equity, power and privilege.

You can find praise for the program on the About page.

“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:

  • Antiracist TipsBy Ibram. X. Kendi
  • Radical Movements: UnapologeticCharlen Cartruthers
  • Black on both sides: Trans Identity HistoryC. Riley Snorton
  • Stamped From The BeginningBy Ibram. X. Kendi
  • The New Jim CrowMichelle Alexander
  • Do You Really Want to Talk about Race?Ijeoma Oluo
  • Black on both Sides: The Racial History and Trans Identity of Trans PeopleC. Riley Snorton
  • Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much MoreJanet Mock
  • Antisemitism is Here and NowDeborah Lipstadt

Use podcasts for additional training

  • 1619 —Examines the shadowy history of American slavery
  • Scene On Radio: Seeing White —Examines racial structure through the prism of oppressors
  • Modern Minorities —Talks about life and work through the prism of race/gender
  • LGBTQ&A Weekly —Interviews with some of the most fascinating LGBTQ+ persons in the world
  • Making Gay History —Intimate conversations bring the LGBTQ voices to life
  • Transcripts —Tretter Transgender Oral History Project: How trans people are making the world a better place

Also suggested — the following TedTalks:

  • Ideas on Race
  • Some thoughts about the Justice System
  • Ideas about Indigenous Peoples
  • Ideas About Identity
  • Some ideas about inclusion
  • Gender Equality: Ideas
  • Feminism: Ideas
  • Some ideas about LGBT
  • Ideas on Activism

The training’s glossary includes the following terms:

  • acephobia (asexual people generally don’t experience sexual attraction, though they may have romantic
  • Attractions and Relationships
  • anti-blackness
  • bipoc
  • cis/cisgender
  • Colorism
  • gender identity
  • Hate speech
  • heteronormativity/homophobia
  • Microaggressions
  • misgendering
  • Other than binary
  • oppression
  • Other
  • Toxic masculinity
  • trans/transgender
  • transphobia/transantagonism
  • 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.”



Get more information from me

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