Culture Beat / Sep. 21, 2016

Asking a Minority for Help? You're a Microaggressor!

Students are being indoctrinated under the watchful eye of the microaggression police.

At Gonzaga University, students are being indoctrinated under the watchful eye of the microaggression police. According to a detailed list of one course’s “Examples of Racial Microaggressions,” inquiries like “Where are you from?” and statements like “You are so articulate” send derogatory missives to Hispanics along the lines of “You are not American” and “It is unusual for someone of your race to be intelligent.” Also off-limits? “Asking an Asian person to help with a math or science problem.” The sheet flags this as inappropriate because it suggests “All Asians are intelligent and good in math/sciences.”

Just so we’re clear: It’s demeaning to suggest Hispanics are intelligent because their knowledge could possibly come across as “unusual.” But on the other hand, assuming every Hispanic is smart is also wrong. Good luck finding the middle ground. As if that weren’t ridiculous enough, National Review reports that the guide was distributed in a “gender studies class.” That’s half the problem right there.

“Context makes all the difference in these situations,” writes Katherine Timpf, “and context is exactly what lists like this ignore. In fact, without considering the role of context, such a list actually runs the risk of inhibiting communication — it can freak people out about saying things that they really don’t have to be freaked out about saying. Discussions about sensitivity are one thing, but making definitive claims that a particular phrase always has a particular meaning is not the way to deal with something as nuanced as language.”

Higher education is supposed to encourage thought and generate knowledge to help students flourish in the real world. Instead, universities are being held hostage by leftists who implant in their acolytes the absurd belief that avoiding “microagressions” and diving into gender studies will provide important life lessons. The reality is that it’s making the next generation equally dimwitted.

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