The Diversity Guidebook: How to Politicize Everything
It is becoming more difficult for educators to elude the oppressive imaginings of diversity squads on college campuses.
Professors are loath to admit that the classroom has become a minefield where they routinely risk a combustible encounter with an angry student. “You show me an angry student” says a retired college administrator, “and I’ll show you a complaint about racial bias,” he wrote in a now-deleted post.
“Implicit bias,” and the even more obscure, “microaggressions,” cover a nebulous area of academic terrain, but that doesn’t stop students from harming careers of perceived offenders.
Educators are now caught in the crosshairs of today’s grievance culture. There are legions of complaints filed by Social Justice Warriors (AKA students), but one recent action serves as an excellent exemplar of the lengths to which students will stretch to find something — or anything — to ensure the ideologic cleansing of their classrooms.
In this case, a physician-instructor learned she was on the receiving end of a complaint filed by a first-year medical student at a well-known university. Apparently, she had offended the student’s “ethnic sensibilities.” The drama ensued over the instructor’s selection of six slides (repeat six) showcasing a cross-section of patients for a basic course on taking a history and physical. The student “felt” her ethnic group was shortchanged with only one-slide featuring African-Americans.
When peering through a viewfinder of racism, where everything lacks racial parity, the student was bound to make a simple mathematical mistake. Not that it should matter, but the instructor -- who remains mindful of SJWs on campus -- deliberately selected two slides of African-Americans, two of Hispanics and one Asian. The token white patient made up the sixth slide.
There is a perverse irony to be drawn from the complaint. Statistically speaking, African-American patients were actually over-represented, accounting for 33-1/3 percent of the slides, and 13 percent of the national population.
“Facts do not matter,” says the physician who received a letter of concern from the dean of the medical school. The top-level administrator complimented the student for her “awareness” and was supportive of the millennial in the grievance process. The physician did not share the dean’s viewpoint. “I don’t know how this (medical) student plans to enter one of the most stressful professions,” says the instructor, “when she takes offense at an imagined slight” which turned out to be a nonissue.
Obsessing over “racial parity” is now a way of life on college campuses. Students routinely take aim at instructors “believing” that they hold the moral high ground. Cowardly administrators are not about to dismiss frivolous complaints, realizing they could be the next victim targeted by a student.
Millennials have gained political leverage and they know it. They are emboldened to lodge the pettiest of complaints, as evidenced by the necessity to create the indefinable term “microaggressions.” Apparently, the problem was significant enough for Texas A&M University to be awarded a sizable grant to teach engineers how to eliminate MGs from their classrooms.
This “Big-Brother” atmosphere (excuse the non-neutral gender reference) is having a corrosive effect in both the classroom and admission’s process. The real problems -- the physician suggests -- remain a well-kept secret in the classroom.
“We are admitting a caliber of medical students,” she says, “who fail to meet several of the basic academic standards and as a result many are ill-prepared to pass a demanding (scientific) curriculum.” Any hint at this reality could result in the educator possibly being labeled a “hater.” Or, equally concerning, be relieved of her position.
Addressing the more logical reason for the medical student’s complaint will most likely never surface in an administrator’s file. The student is known for struggling with the workload and the majority of her complaints revolve around one issue: She finds the curriculum “too hard.”
One member of an admissions committee touches on the thought process behind dropping the academic bar to admit underqualified medical students. “Patients want doctors who look like them,” says the committee member. Such ridiculous rationales contribute to the “diversity delusion,” causing students more harm than good. Many of the students of color are known to switch majors from the hard sciences to the less demanding humanities, according to author-researcher Heather Mac Donald.
But to any fair-minded observer in academia’s ivory tower, the progressive culture must be championed over academic standards. Diversity officers now take pride in infiltrating all of academia, refusing to draw a line between the humanities and hard sciences: The intellectual demand for “Critical Race Theory” should be indistinguishable in all majors.
Even more troubling are the nonsensical guidelines for students in the hard sciences. Medical students can no longer identify the gender of a patient in the examination room, but they must defer to the patient and inquire as to how the patient “identifies.”
Through fiendishly clever compliance guidelines, medical students must adhere to these sensitivity training protocols. How else are they expected to pass their evaluations? In the process, they are compelled to ignore commonsense thinking. “I’m afraid to address obvious health issues,” with patients, says a fourth-year medical student. He is currently on rotation at a clinic with a large Hispanic clientele and several of the patients are dangerously overweight. “I have to think twice about saying, ‘Okay, Mr. Hernandez you must cut down on the fats in your diet,’” suggesting he eliminate many of the ethnic foods containing cheese, starches (i.e. rice) and sugar-infused desserts.
“I might be called a racist,” says the student, who happens to be Hispanic.
If that wasn’t enough of a “sensitivity” hurdle, medical students are now forced to listen to the political viewpoints of their medical supervisors: Some of whom don’t hesitate to share their racial bias. The Hispanic medical student was subject to an informal harangue by the dean of his medical school. She was espousing her hateful views toward the police, labeling them “all racist cops,” at the height of the Black Lives Matter national protests.
“Do you apply that term racist to officers of color?” asked the student. “Or do you mean all white officers are racists?” The resident is engaged to a police officer.
The dean wasn’t interested in an open and intellectual discussion, preferring to limit the conversation to outputting information. “Why don’t you write down your thoughts,” she recommended to the student, “and (then) throw away the paper.” This wouldn’t be the first time an instructor veered outside the bounds of his or her academic expertise.
One could pose the question: Would the dean’s response qualify as a “micro” or “macroaggression”? No one will ever be the wiser in today’s toxic collegiate environment. Espousing hateful views and reducing individuals to their racial essence can go down in the dean’s career as another day in academia.