A University of Wisconsin Student Challenges “Diversity Training”

A University of Wisconsin Student Challenges “Diversity Training” October 1, 2013

If you care about freedom of speech, and if you want universities and colleges to feature and even sponsor the free exchange of ideas, you should read this story. Here’s the tease from The Fix:

Jason Morgan, a University of Wisconsin-Madison student earning his doctorate there, has told his supervisor he objects to the school’s mandated diversity training for teaching assistants (TAs) because leaders of the first session he attended essentially called him – and the whole class – racist.

What’s more, the next session – on how to support transgender students – is something Morgan said he cannot support, as it runs in direct contradiction to his religious beliefs.

Here’s a bit of what Morgan, a bold and well-spoken dude, said of the campus climate–and his “diversity training”–at UW-Madison:

It is hardly surprising that any of us hectorees would feel thusly. For example, in one of the handouts that our facilitator asked us to read (“Detour-Spotting: for white anti-racists,” by joan olsson [sic]), we learned things like, “As white infants we were fed a pabulum of racist propaganda,” “…there was no escaping the daily racist propaganda,” and, perhaps most even-handed of all, “Racism continues in the name of all white people.” Perhaps the Korean woman did not read carefully enough to realize that only white people (all of them, in fact) are racist. Nevertheless, in a manner stunningly redolent of “self-criticism” during the Cultural Revolution in communist China, the implication of the entire session was that everyone was suspect, and everyone had some explaining to do.

Read the whole thing.

This was a courageous act by Morgan. He writes with verve and not a small bit of passion. He seems to have many points worth considering here. Students whose rights are infringed upon need to speak up on American campuses, lest they lose their freedoms altogether. Schools that purport to educate students neutrally are engaging in, or allowing campus groups to engage in, intellectual and moral “re-engineering.” Men and women of conscience, of varying religious traditions, should not go quietly in the night. They should raise a ruckus, just as Morgan did, knowing full well that they may face consequences for doing so.

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