By Bill Korach www.thereportcard.org
At colleges, universities and even K-12 around the country, administrators are increasingly focusing on matter of race. More specifically, they seem determine to vilify anything to with Western Civilization and Caucasians, otherwise known as white people. One high school teacher disputed the value of teaching Shakespeare saying “I do not believe that a long-dead, British guy is the only writer who can teach my students about the human condition.”
Here’s what going on just this month:
- The University of San Francisco this week is scheduled to host a segregated orientation dedicated to black students, a program that takes place in addition to its standard welcoming activities for all students.
The Black Student Orientation is slated for Aug. 18, the day prior to the university’s New Student Orientation.
The day-long event–billed as having been “designed by Black students, faculty, and staff to welcome new Black students to the USF Black Experience”–will “address the specific and particular needs of African American/Black students at USF,” according to the school’s website.
- A growing concern among Medieval Studies scholars is that the field is too dominated by white, male scholars who appreciate its link to Christian values and the fact that it’s been somewhat resistant to identity politics changes seen in other humanities departments.
The issue has been compounded by the concern among Medieval Studies scholars that white supremacists and the alt-right have co-opted crusade themes in memes to push for violence against Muslims and people of color.
Currently some scholars are planning a “Crusades and Alt Right” symposium this October to discuss the issue, an effort led in part by Virginia Tech medieval studies Professor Matthew Gabriele, who has argued the crusades have been misunderstood and misused throughout history to advance xenophobic nationalism.
Hundreds of Medieval Studies professors have also signed their names to a petition calling on the International Medieval Congress to create “a statement about the value, importance, and necessity of diversity in medieval studies.”
- Stanford University is slated to offer a class this fall called “White Identity Politics,” during which students will “survey the field of whiteness studies” and discuss the “possibilities of … abolishing whiteness,” according to the course description.
Citing pundits who say “the 2016 Presidential election marks the rise of white identity politics in the United States,” the upper-level anthropology seminar will draw “from the field of whiteness studies and from contemporary writings that push whiteness studies in new directions.”
Questions to be posed throughout the semester include: “Does white identity politics exist?” and “How is a concept like white identity to be understood in relation to white nationalism, white supremacy, white privilege, and whiteness?”
- A regent of the Texas A&M University Systemis on the record saying it can’t block a “White Lives Matter” rally scheduled for Sept. 11 on the flagship campus in College Station.
As a public institution, TAMU would violate the First Amendment if it denied a public facility to a group “due to political ideology,” he said.
TAMU did it anyway.
The Texas Tribune‘s Patrick Svitek tweeted Monday night that Chancellor John Sharp said the event “has been cancelled,” according to the university’s representative in the state house, John Raney. Another Tribune reporter quickly confirmed with the university.
Reports say that Texas Governor Abbott discouraged the “White lives Matter” rally saying that he did not want a repeat of the violence of Charlottesville over the removal of the Gen. Robert E. Lee statue.
- A high school English teacher inspired a heated debate over the weekend after writing that she does not want to teach Shakespeare to her students.
“I do not believe that I am ‘cheating’ my students because we do not read Shakespeare,” Dana Dusbiber, who teaches at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento California, wrote in The Washington Postover the weekend.
“What I worry about is that as long as we continue to cling to ONE (white) MAN’S view of life as he lived it so long ago, we (perhaps unwittingly) promote the notion that other cultural perspectives are less important.”
“I do not believe that a long-dead, British guy is the only writer who can teach my students about the human condition.”
The veteran teacher declared that she has a “dislike” of reading Shakespeare because of her own “personal disinterest in reading stories written in an early form of the English language that I cannot always easily navigate,” and because there is “a WORLD of really exciting literature out there that better speaks to the needs of my very ethnically-diverse and wonderfully curious modern-day students.”
If colleges and K-12 are determined to rewrite history and exclude the enormous contribution of Western Civilization we can expect increasing confrontation and questioning of the value of modern education.