multiculturalism

Did you know that eating or even talking about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich could be considered racist?

That’s right.

Apparently, it’s because people in some cultures don’t eat sandwich bread. Verenice Gutierrez, principal of Harvey Scott K-8 School in Portland explained in and interview with the Portland Tribune:

“Take the peanut butter sandwich, a seemingly innocent example a teacher used in a lesson last school year,” the Tribune said.

“What about Somali or Hispanic students, who might not eat sandwiches?” Gutierrez asked. “Another way would be to say: ‘Americans eat peanut butter and jelly, do you have anything like that?’ Let them tell you. Maybe they eat torta. Or pita.”

…The Tribune noted that the school started the new year with “intensive staff trainings, frequent staff meetings, classroom observations and other initiatives,” to help educators understand their own “white privilege,” in order to “change their teaching practices to boost minority students’ performance.””Last Wednesday, the first day of the school year for staff, for example, the first item of business for teachers at Scott School was to have a Courageous Conversation — to examine a news article and discuss the ‘white privilege’ it conveys,” the Tribune added.

Gutierrez completed a week-long seminar called “Coaching for Educational Equity,” a program the Tribune says focuses “on race and how it affects life.” She also serves on an administrative committee that focuses on systematic racism.

“Our focus school and our Superintendent’s mandate that we improve education for students of color, particularly Black and Brown boys, will provide us with many opportunities to use the protocols of Courageous Conversations in data teams, team meetings, staff meetings, and conversations amongst one another,” she said in a letter to staff.

You can read more about principal Gutierrez’s sandwich-sensitivity philosophy here.

Next time you’re in the bread aisle at the grocery store, you may want to think twice. Sensitive liberal educators are now recommending the “torta” or the “pita” as a more culturally inclusive alternative.

Now that you’ve been made aware of the evil of PB&J, there’s only one question left to answer: Is white bread more racist than whole wheat?

Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix and author of the book SEX & GOD AT YALE: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.

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Northwestern University is busy implementing an ambitious program for diversity on campus. University officials have created a “Social Inequalities and Diversities” requirement, which all students will have to complete before they graduate.

The goal of the requirement is multifaceted. The draft proposal states that once completed, students will be able to “expand their ability to think critically”, “recognize their own positionality in systems of inequality,” and “engage in self-reflection on power and privilege.”

The exact details of the requirement are not finalized, but there are two main components. One will involve students taking an already-existing class, which addresses diversity and inequality in some way.

The other component of the Social Inequalities and Diversities requirement will be a “co-curricular requirement.”

According to the draft proposal, the co-curricular requirement will put students in small groups to “build relationships” and “develop strategies to improve student relations.”

But what the diversity co-curricular requirement actually is remains unclear.

In addition to the mandatory new diversity curriculum, three new full-time diversity jobs have been created at Northwestern, bringing the total number of campus diversity administrators to seven.

Together, the seven administrators will head up a new committee called the Diversity Leaders’ Group. According to an article in The Daily Northwestern, the group was formed due to a “need for collaboration” among Northwestern’s seven diversity officials.

University president Morton Schapiro announced the Diversity Leaders’ Group in an April 1 email to the Northwestern community. The group will “begin strengthening a coordinated approach” to enhance diversity on campus, Schapiro wrote.

Amid all these changes, the majority of confusion surrounding Northwestern’s new diversity program centers on the still undefined co-curricular requirement. All that is clear is that every student will be required to fulfill it—whatever it turns out to be.

In an interview with The College Fix, Director for Campus Inclusion and Community Dr. Lesley-Ann Brown said that “no decision has been made” on its exact nature yet, although the “Sustained Dialogue” program may be used.

“Sustained Dialogue” is an extracurricular program used at a number of institutions around the country. It is designed to educate students about race, gender, and class issues.

During an NU Faculty Senate meeting on April 3rd, some faculty expressed concern about how students would fulfill the co-curricular requirement.

Clarifying that the “logistics are still in the works,” Mary Patillo, a sociology professor, said that the requirement would be “a peer-facilitated activity and it will be run out of student affairs.”

“Our endorsement here would be endorsing the idea that peer-to-peer dialogue is as important as the kind of pedagogical substantive critical thinking [in the curricular requirement],” she said.

Fix contributor Charles Rollet is a junior at Northwestern University.

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(Image by Dave Cobb/Flickr)

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George Will delivers a devastating critique of the hyper-political agenda U.S. students are being force fed at the expense of genuine academic instruction:

The real vocation of some people entrusted with delivering primary and secondary education is to validate this proposition: The three R’s — formerly reading, ’riting and ’rithmetic — now are racism, reproduction and recycling. Especially racism. Consider Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction. It evidently considers “instruction” synonymous with “propaganda,” which in the patois of progressivism is called “consciousness-raising.”

Wisconsin’s DPI, in collaboration with the Orwellian-named federal program VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America; the “volunteers” are paid), urged white students to wear white wristbands “as a reminder about your privilege, and as a personal commitment to explain why you wear the wristband.” A flyer that was on the DPI Web site and distributed at a DPI-VISTA training class urged whites to “put a note on your mirror or computer screen as a reminder to think about privilege,” to “make a daily list of the ways privilege played out” and to conduct an “internal dialogue” asking questions such as “How do I make myself comfortable with privilege?” and “What am I doing today to undo my privilege?”

After criticism erupted, the DPI removed the flyer from its Web site and posted a dishonest statement claiming that the wristbands were a hoax perpetrated by conservatives. But, again, the flyer DPI posted explicitly advocated the wristbands. And Wisconsin’s taxpayer-funded indoctrination continues, funded by more than Wisconsin taxpayers….

The full article from Will is worth a read. Get it here.

The College Fix first reported on Wisconsin’s “white privilege” campaign here.

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A student-organized group calling itself the “White Student Union” says it will begin night time patrols on campus at Towson University near Baltimore, MD, in order to combat black-on-white crime.

The controversial group, founded by a few students last year, has been labeled a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The WSU published an article recently bemoaning the university’s “black crime wave.”

The group, however, claims that its planned night patrols are not racially motivated.

“We just want to make campus a better place. If we see a white person commit a crime against a person who is not white, we’re going to assist the person who was attacked every time,” WSU President Matthew Heimbach said in an interview with The Towerlighta Towson University student newspaper.

The WSU became the focus of controversy earlier in March during a panel on race at CPAC–the national conservative political action conference.

The host of the panel, K. Carl Smith, a black conservative who founded an activist group known as Frederick Douglass Republicans, spoke of a letter Douglass wrote later in his life offering forgiveness to his one-time slave owner.

At that point during the panel, Scott Terry, a member of the Towson WSU who was in the audience, spoke up, interrupting Smith, questioning what cause Douglass would have to offer forgiveness in the first place:  “For giving him shelter and food?,” Terry asked.

The remark prompted audible gasps from the audience. Onlookers appeared to be appealed that someone would openly challenge the idea that slavery was a great evil.

Terry said he believed Republican outreach to minorities was being done “at the expense of young, white, Southern males.”

Despite the isolated nature of Terry’s comments, liberal media outlets such as Think Progress and The Huffington Post were quick to publicize Terry’s remark as an example of racism among conservatives and Republicans.

Scott Terry seemed to be proud of his racist attitudes. He later told Think Progress that if he lived in a society where blacks were permanently subservient to whites, he’d “be fine with that.” He proudly claimed to be a direct descendant of Confederate president Jefferson Davis. And he openly advocated racial segregation.

In light of the controversy surrounding Terry’s remarks at CPAC, the announcement that the White Student Union at Towson–of which Terry is a member–will begin night patrols has naturally provoked concern at the university and among some outside observers.

The White Student Union is adept at provoking controversy and stirring up publicity for itself. Last year the group made national headlines when it wrote the phrase “White Pride” in chalk around campus. WSU founder Matthew Heimbach sometimes refers to himself as “commander Heimbach” in communications to other WSU members.

Is a ‘White Student Union’ really a good idea in the first place?

The entire White Student Union project may be designed to duplicate activities of “Black Student Unions” or “Latino Student Unions”–which are so common on American campuses. But attempting to appropriate the hyper-victimized racial identity politics of the left for the cause of white nationalism will do nothing to improve race relations in America.

The Towson group has consistently pointed to the issue of combating black-on-white crime as a primary purpose for its existence. In an interview with The College Fix, WSU founder Matthew Heimbach, who  “If there is a legitimate thug or criminal who is victimizing people, we can’t talk about it because of the color of his skin.”

On the contrary, Heimbach, Terry and the Towson White Student Union seem capable of talking about nothing but skin color. And their latest plan to conduct night patrols on campus appears to be designed, not to protect students, but to draw attention to their fledgling group and its half-witted ideas about white pride.

Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix.

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IMAGE: El Nagual/Flickr

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Northwestern University students will be expected to complete a quarter-long course in the “Social Inequalities and Diversities Curriculum” as a graduation-requirement. According to a report released on February 26, they will also be subject to a vaguely defined “Co-Curricular Requirement,” or a weekly discussion outside of class on the topic of social inequality.  Students will be expected to complete both within their first two years at the school.

Though situated in the highly diverse and notoriously liberal suburb of Evanston, over the years Northwestern’s campus has been no stranger to controversies of race.  In 1999 former Men’s Basketball Coach Rick Byrdson was murdered just off campus by a member of the white supremacist “Creativity Movement,” inspiring much dialogue on campus about societal race-relations.

More recently, Northwestern students have been in the news for appearing in black-face at a Halloween party, organizing a drinking competition that has since been dubbed the “racist Olympics,” and spewing racist slurs against a fellow Latin-American student.

In response to these events the University has attempted several times to initiate a dialogue on campus on the importance of racial tolerance and sensitivity.  Just last year, the University created a new administration-level position of “Assistant Provost for Diversity and Inclusion.”  In addition, since 2000 Northwestern has had a Faculty Diversity Committee, charged with creating concrete new proposals for increasing diversity at Northwestern.

Each June, the Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Patricia Tellus-Irvin, must release a report that details specific actions she and Assistant Provost will take in the coming year to improve diversity on campus.  Finally, after tensions came to a boiling point last spring a new “University Diversity Council” was formed, which just a week ago announced several new proposals to take effect in the coming years.

Yet some students believe Northwestern has not done all it could to combat racism and promote diversity on campus.  In response to an incident last month in which a black teddy-bear was hung by a noose inside the office of a black professor, NU4DiversityNow, For Members Only (a black student-group) and ALIANZA (a Latin-American student-group) organized a “March Against Northwestern’s Racism.” On the event’s Facebook page are many pictures of 1960’s era Civil Rights’ rallies, and the official event description references Northwestern’s “hegemonic culture,” which “perpetuates racist and sexist ideals that inhibit our [students] ability to thrive socially and academically.”

Several commenters expressed discomfort with the group’s tone during the event, with one student lamenting “Hate breeds Hate. Anger creates Anger, no matter the color/race of the person perpetuating it.”

The proposals set forth last week by the Diversity Council, however, would appear to contradict these students’ claims that Northwestern is a racist institution.  In fact, given the broad and progressive scope of the plans, many students are suggesting that the University might be going a bit far in their attempts to calm tensions between the university and its minority student community.

Though the Council included plans for many different efforts, what has drawn strong positive and negative reactions from students are the new curriculum requirements proposed by the Council.

Senior Steven Monacelli, President of Northwestern’s Student Political Union, commented, “Exposure to the stories and histories of a diverse range of people can only benefit one’s development.”  He added, “Many majors don’t delve deep into topics that this requirement will cover, so many students are never exposed to the content. The requirement will help to change that.”

Yet other students are not too keen on the new requirements.  According to Dane Stier, President of Northwestern’s College Republicans, “It is unfortunate not only that a university as prestigious as Northwestern would choose to perpetuate such a flawed and narrow-minded perception of diversity, but also that a top down, indoctrinating approach is being considered the appropriate solution.  The neglect of reality and logic in favor of emotional satisfaction is disgraceful and unacceptable.”

Regardless of student feelings on the issue, university officials have made clear that the implementation of the draft released is truly the “official proposal,” with implementation a question of “when” and not “if.”  As such, incoming students across disciplines can expect to be participating in the mandatory diversity curriculum by the fall of 2015.

Fix contributor Alex Jakubowski is a student at Northwestern.

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(Image by Kijkwijzer/Wikimedia Commons)

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College Fix/Student Free Press Fellow Andrew Johnson reports for National Review Online:

The University of Wisconsin–Superior became the latest school to join the Unfair Campaign, which looks to bring attention to the “unfairness” of being white. The campaign’s slogan is “It’s hard to see racism when you’re white” and claims that “society was set up for us.”

Below is a PSA ad:

A UWS spokeswoman told Campus Reform that the university is sponsoring the campaign because it is an “opportunity on our campus to talk about all privilege and to create conversation” as well as to “learn and to grow together.”

Read the full story here.

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