Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Academic legislation?

I don't know about you but I am getting really tired of being portrayed as though I tramp around the suburbs wearing a white hood. Check this one out.

A branch of the University of Minnesota may require all education students at the school to understand and accept that they are either privileged or oppressed and that they be well-versed in issues like "white privilege," "institutional racism” and the "myth of meritocracy in the United States."

Critics are condemning the Race, Culture, Class and Gender Task Group at the University of Minnesota win Cities, which proposes making race, class and gender issues the "overarching framework" of all teaching courses.

And if that isn't enough liberal stupidity for you try this on for size.

• "Future teachers will be able to discuss their own histories and current thinking drawing on notions of white privilege, hegemonic masculinity, heteronormativity, and internalized oppression."

• Teachers will be able to articulate a "critical analysis of this story of America, for what it illuminates and what it hides or distorts" including:

- "myth of meritocracy in the United States"

- "historical connections between scientific racism, intelligence testing, and assumptions of fixed mental capacity"

- "alternative explanations for mobility (and lack of it)"

- "history of demands for assimilation to white, middle-class, Christian meanings and values"

- "history of white racism, with special focus on current colorblind ideology"

• "Future teachers are able to explain how institutional racism works in schools" and recognize that "schools and classrooms are often structured in ways that advantage and disadvantage some groups but are also critical sites for social and cultural transformation."

For some reason, I don't feel the need to run out and apologize to anyone. In fact, I can't be convinced that this idea is well thought out or serves a legitimate purpose. If any of the people that conceived of this notion think it will do anything but cause more racial tension they are wrong.

My great grandparents came to this country with nothing. While they did not come in actual chains they did suffer under the chains of poverty and ignorance. Through diligence, hard work and the desire to make a better lives for their families they elevated out collective social status to college educated professionals. That is the beauty of this country. Anyone can do it who chooses to. At my second full time job (because I want even better for my kids) I work with a group of doctors. Greater that fifty percent of them are African American. I do not fault them for their success. I admire them for it. Based on their performance as medical professionals I can safely assume that nobody gave them what they have. They earned it through hard work and a can do attitude. It is my hope that my children will have the drive and determination to succeed in their own way like those physicians and my immigrant great grandparents. So I would like to politely ask the nitwits of the alleged academic community to knock it off and try to focus on their job instead of constructing maniacal social policy.

Thus endeth the rant. Myth of meritocracy indeed.

The rest here.

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