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The conservative blogs are going nuts over the University of Delaware forcing students to undergo "treatment for student's incorrect beliefs."  

Apparently, the U of Del is forcing students to admit that all whites are racist.

Here's the money quote:

"[a] racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. The term applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality."

Here's some excerpts from the forced "training" that the students go through: Link to excerpts.

What do you think of the U of Del's training program?  Is it defensible?  I mean, calling all whites racist by nature is a bit extreme, I think.  

Here's some more details.  This is taken from Fire, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Eduction ( I think that's what the acronym means).  

Apparently, all U. of Del freshmen are required to live on campus.  So there's about 7000 or so students this applies to.  

This "training" consists of, apparently, a series of mandatory meetings where the students will be changed.  There's mandatory group meetings, mandatory one-on-one meetings--where the RA's then write up the students responses and rate the students as "best" or "worse" depending on how they react.  As FIRE notes,' "Students are then expected to learn and articulate certain "competencies" in order to "become fully functional and effective citizens towards a sustainable society." '

The "core values" are prominently displayed all over the residence halls.  These views are very specific views on race, sexuality, social philosophy and environmentalism.  

I'm not quite sure how this differs from a massive "re-education" campaign.  Is there one?

Edit:  The U of Delaware responds to the claims.  Interesting tidbits: they deny it's mandatory, though they admit that the RA's made it mandatory to attend. They also appeal to the intelligence of their students to see through the brainwashing?  I.E. that they are too smart to be brainwashed (which begs the question of why have all the diversity training if it wouldn't have any effect).  It's up to FIRE to respond.  

I saw a comment from a student currently at UDel where they basically confirmed that it was mandatory and also brought out something new: students were awarded "points" for going to diversity events.  Points were redeemable for prizes.  And the only events eligible were for politically correct things.  Interesting.    

Originally posted to Vanceone on Wed Oct 31, 2007 at 12:08 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  without more info i can't pass judgement (0+ / 0-)

    either way....

    •  The U of Delaware pamphlet (0+ / 0-)

      is in PDF form on the website linked in the diary (assuming it's legit and unaltered).

      You campaign with the media you have, not the one you wish you had. I wish my two favorite candidates would figure that out.

      by cardinal on Wed Oct 31, 2007 at 12:16:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would assume it is (0+ / 0-)

        If the PDF was faked, I would imagine the U of Delaware would have said something by now.  That would be an easy defense.  

        •  true enough (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dennisl

          I guess I was just protecting myself from being embarrassed later (or, on a more serious note, I loathe those right-wing academic watchdogs -- so I feel a bit dirty in relying on their research).

          You campaign with the media you have, not the one you wish you had. I wish my two favorite candidates would figure that out.

          by cardinal on Wed Oct 31, 2007 at 12:24:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Good point, I'll add more info in the extended (0+ / 0-)

    entry

  •  Definitely fodder for Colbert (0+ / 0-)

    After all, Stephen doesn't see color; people tell him he's white.  :)

    "People should not be afraid of their government; governments should be afraid of their people." --V

    by MikeTheLiberal on Wed Oct 31, 2007 at 12:14:25 PM PDT

  •  I don't know if I'd call... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    debedb

    ....all whites racist or all males sexist or all straight people heterosexist, but the fact remains that all white people benefit from white privilege, just like all males benefit from male privilege, and all straight people benefit from straight privilege. This isn't a value judgment against anyone who falls in that category (which I do), it's just something that people should be aware of.

    •  Oh, please. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      redcardphreek

      White/male/straight people benefit from white/male/straight privilege only when the privilege is being given by a racist/sexist/homophobe.

      You can't be "privileged" unless someone actually gives you such a privilege. There are lots of reasons why a person could be "privileged" for perfectly honest reasons.

      And I sure as hell refuse to be held responsible because someone ELSE is a (blank)-ist, filling whatever you want into the blank.

      •  Of course the privilege exists (0+ / 0-)

        Not having to think about it if you don't want to is another form of privilege, incidentally. I've seen it with my own eyes. I was working at a store and I had a customer who was perfectly polite and friendly to me, only to be rude and condescending to a female, Indian-American coworker of mine. She was just as good of a sales rep as I was (if not better), but she got treated badly due to racism/xenophobia and sexism. That's my white privilege right there- being treated with respect when women or minorities get treated with disdain. I didn't do anything wrong or bad, it's just a privilege that I got. It doesn't happen every single time, of course, but it doesn't have to.

        Also, one need not intend racism to have a society that favors white men. Most people who make, interpret, and enforce laws are white and male. Most people who make important business and media decisions in this country are white and male. Even if they don't intend to discriminate, they are generally going to have a system that's more geared towards white, straight males. That's privilege, right there. Again, it's not a value judgment on any group of people, it's just the way things are. If you can't accept that, you have a serious blind spot when it comes to fighting racism in America. It's not just the procedures, it's the institutions.

        •  You cannot spin this one away I am afraid (0+ / 0-)

          It quite clearly states that whites are racist, because they are white and living in america regardless of, and this bit is highly amusing, "class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality."

          Yes, even poor, female, wiccans who are gay, are racist for being white.

          •  I don't necessarily agree... (0+ / 0-)

            ....that all whites are racist and particularly not actively racist. But I am pointing out that all whites hold racial privilege relative to all non-whites. And yes, even white, poor, lesbian, Wiccans have white privilege, even at the same time as they're discriminated against for their sex, their religion, and their sexual orientation.

            •  you are drifiting away from the topic (0+ / 0-)

              they are racists!  You tangents may make you feel that you are in some way limiting the damage of the university of delawares policies, but you are just commenting alongside.  

            •  another point (0+ / 0-)

              "I don't necessarily agree... that all whites are racist"

              What percentage of whites would you class as racist, i get the feeling you would say the majority.

            •  Here's a song about National Brotherhood Week. (0+ / 0-)

              Oh, the white folks hate the black folks,
              And the black folks hate the white folks.
              To hate all but the right folks
              Is an old established rule.
              But during National Brotherhood Week, National Brotherhood Week,
              Lena Horne and Sheriff Clarke are dancing cheek to cheek.
              It's fun to eulogize
              The people you despise,
              As long as you don't let 'em in your school.
              Oh, the poor folks hate the rich folks,
              And the rich folks hate the poor folks.
              All of my folks hate all of your folks,
              It's American as apple pie.
              But during National Brotherhood Week, National Brotherhood Week,
              New Yorkers love the Puerto Ricans 'cause it's very chic.
              Step up and shake the hand
              Of someone you can't stand.
              You can tolerate him if you try.
              Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics,
              And the Catholics hate the Protestants,
              And the Hindus hate the Moslems,
              And everybody hates the Jews.
              But during National Brotherhood Week, National Brotherhood Week,
              It's National Everyone-smile-at-one-another-hood Week.
              Be nice to people who
              Are inferior to you.
              It's only for a week, so have no fear.
              Be grateful that it doesn't last all year!

            •  Is there a measuring stick or chart that can help (0+ / 0-)

              us order every group, ethnic group, gendered group, age group, country of origin group, religion, ... and help us determine who has more privilege and is more racist?

              I think we all agree that White Men are more privileged and racist that Black Women, but it's a toss up as to where White Women and Black Men fit in.

              Chris Rock says White Women are more privileged and racist than Black Men, but feminists like Andrea Dworkin and Catherine MacKinnon disagree and think that Black Men have more privilege and racism than White Women.

              This is where it gets so confusing.

              Perhaps you can help out by creating a page at the Wikipedia or dKosopedia containing tables and ways to determine the innate privilege and prejudice of any given person.  This will help us understand the best way to handicap that person for society's benefit.

              For more information, or to get an idea what could be possible, google Harrison Bergeron.

              •  I think it's wrong... (0+ / 0-)

                ....to play the oppression Olympics. All women face sexism and that's a serious problem, no matter what their race. All racial minorities face racism and that's also a serious problem, whether they are male or female. I mean, there are some circumstances where race is going to trump gender or gender is going to trump race, but that's more of a case-by-case basis.

  •  I'm Aware of At Least One Race Relations Program (0+ / 0-)

    premised on the universality of white racism as well as the impossibility of minority racism.

    There is no denying white advantage and privilege, and I'll also affirm that even mild prejudice within a large powerful mainstream population creates racist outcomes for minorities.

    But it's still not the same as race_ism._

    And the American system is not a white supremacist system.

    On the other hand, there's a lot of support for those beliefs on the left. We see it in the immigration debate, which is routinely described as purely racism.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Oct 31, 2007 at 12:20:30 PM PDT

  •  Assuming (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dennisl

    that the document they link to is 1) really from the U of Delaware, 2) legit, 3) not altered or excerpted in any way. . .

    then that's some really screwy shit.  I'm a social-science professor, so I've been knee-deep in arguments over diversity training (and usually in favor of it) at several different schools during my college years and teaching stints.  The "only white people can be racists" argument is pretty much canonical in those sorts of things -- but the "white Americans are inherently racist," while used in service of a valid larger point, really muddies the definition of "racism" to the point of being useless.  For better or worse, its common-usage definition is simply not compatible with that stylized definition.

    You campaign with the media you have, not the one you wish you had. I wish my two favorite candidates would figure that out.

    by cardinal on Wed Oct 31, 2007 at 12:21:47 PM PDT

    •  hot-air link alert...but at least listen (0+ / 0-)

      before troll rating me kthxbai.

      http://hotair.com/...

      And here is the text acompanying the audio interview, it is Brian conducting, not Michelle :)

      Earlier today I interviewed Dr. Linda Gottfredson of the University of Delaware. She and a colleague, Dr. Jan Blits, led the way in exposing and ultimately stopping the university’s insidious indoctrination of students via on-campus housing. We discuss some aspects of the program that haven’t been in the press yet, how and why she and Dr. Blits exposed it, and its origins in groups like the American College Personnel Association and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, both of which push the agenda and materials that made up the Delaware program.

  •  This sounds like a drug counselor (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dennisl

    actually every drug counselor I ever spoke to, says if you smoke one joint you're a drug addict, if you drink one beer you're an alcoholic.

    This makes sense in their world.

    It is just deja moo to ne.

    The biggest threat to America is not communism, it's moving America toward a fascist theocracy... -- Frank Zappa

    by NCrefugee on Wed Oct 31, 2007 at 12:28:02 PM PDT

  •  Where exactly does it say... (0+ / 0-)

    ...that this is a mandatory program for all students living on campus?

    It looks to me as it could be part of an RA training or something. The fact that it's dated to mid-August, and noting the academic calendar doesn't have students arriving until at LEAST 8/25 shows this isn't mandatory for all students.

    This doesn't justify this document being a part of any training anywhere, but the situation isn't as bad/weird as it's being described.

    •  I believe this is part of the training given to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dennisl

      The R.A.'s, who then pass it on to the students.  From the website, each dorm has their own specific curriculum.  But the mission goal of the program is to have all this diversity, etc.  

      I'm not that completely up on it, but judging from excerpts from students who've gone through the process, it sounds like it was required.  

      Other articles have the RA's posting that these sessions are mandatory, so maybe it's an unwritten rule?

      •  chances are (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        debedb

        it's 5 mins, they BS in the hall, and then they go play XBox. This isn't a big deal. We did that all the time when I lived in the dorms, including "be nice and tolerant" stuff like this.

        •  Perhaps (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          redcardphreek

          Except the whole "write a report on your one on one meeting, detailing the progress the student has made" seems like it's a bit more ominous.  

          One would hope that you are right, though.  If it is not being pushed hard, I suspect we'll know soon enough.  Or if this story has legs.  

          •  im pretty sure it's going nowhere (0+ / 0-)

            RAs are always given stupid things for their residents to do and more often then not they don't do them, or they incorporate whatever it was into something fun. This really isn't that big a deal---we were given these things all the time and all it ended up doing was getting the hall to get to know each other.

  •  There's some pretty strange stuff (0+ / 0-)

    on the U of D website. I searched for the name on the front page of that PDF and found a load of similar things. But, strangely, not that particular one.

  •  Unbefuckinglievable. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dennisl, denk

    The stupidity of liberals and the malice of right-wing trolls. The PDF is not on U of Del stationary, it's an outline for a proposed training session by a private consultant - and yes, those clowns are a dime a dozen, and their "sensitivity training" is usually unbelievably stupid. Good thing this one was scheduled for August, which is of course when you're going to have a lot of students around. That's assuming these guys were ever hired, of course.

    Next - a link to a web page on the from U of Delaware: wow! Proof that there's an an office for residential life and such! I bet they even give free flu shots, those socialized-welfare-peddling commies.

    Can I please have you morons in my classroom? I'd love to flunk you for inability to reason and inability to do the most basic research. And I won't even have to pretend I'm flunking you all for your politics - except that being an asshole these days apparently counts as a political statement.

    •  Sorry, but I did (0+ / 0-)

      go to the UofD website and searched for the name on the front of the PDF. It's there, and there is some pretty strange stuff in the reading lists she provides. Check it out.

      •  She's not faculty or staff at UDel (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        denk

        Sure, there's a link on the UDel site with her name on it because she and her Whole New World consultants presented the plan to RA's in August.  It doesn't mean the freshmen were ever exposed to this nonsense.

        Close your eyes, stop your ears Close your mouth and take it slow Let others take the lead and you bring up the rear And later you can say you didn't know

        by njheathen on Wed Oct 31, 2007 at 01:38:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Response from FIRE to your post (0+ / 0-)

      Hi,

      I sent FIRE a message including your post, and asked for their response:

      "As I read your press release, I wasn't able to verify the claims made therein.  Could you please review it for accuracy and correct if necessary?

      Thank you,
      ..."

      Here is the reply I received:

      Thanks for writing. My name is Will Creeley, and I’m a Senior Program Officer for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. I too saw this comment over at a Daily Kos diary, and just registered as a member so as to be able to comment and clarify the matter. I’m a long-time Kos reader myself.

      First, and perhaps most importantly, please be advised that FIRE is a non-profit, non-partisan organization. Staff members here represent the entire bandwidth of the political spectrum, and since the First Amendment is not the exclusive province of any ideological viewpoint, our cases also run the gamut, as a quick look at our case archive will demonstrate.

      On to the meat of the posting in question. I can’t be sure which specific .PDF file the poster is referring to. Similarly, I can’t be sure what link to a UD website the poster is referring to. What I can be sure of, however, is that these are indeed in-house University of Delaware files, not file materials from private consultants. I encourage you to check out our collected materials and today’s response to the University of Delaware for many, many more pages worth of UD materials provided by internal sources that we’ve scanned and uploaded for public consideration. In fact, there’s over 500 pages worth of material to examine.

      As shocking as these materials are, this is no hoax. It’s hard to fathom why this particular poster is so vehement about the necessity of doing "the most basic research," when I’m not sure she or he has done any him or herself. We stand by our assertions, thoroughly backed by the evidence thus provided.

      I’d be more than happy to answer any further questions you may have, and I very much appreciate your taking the time to write us.

      Thanks again!

      Best,

      Will

      Will Creeley
      Senior Program Officer
      Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)
      601 Walnut Street, Suite 510
      Philadelphia, PA 19106
      Phone: (215) 717-3473
      Fax: (215) 717-3440
      www.thefire.org

    •  The speed at which you can detect trolls (0+ / 0-)

      makes me think you shouldn't be in front of students.

      You clearly have many issues with allowing a free and open dialogue, and for some reason this FIRE and UDEL thing has really placed a bug up your butt as you hunt and kill right wing trolls here.

      We in the reality based left wing are open to dialog and we don't need the help of people such as yourself in labeling people.  It smacks of the authoritarian bullshit we find in the right wing.

  •  Wingnut Thinktank. Here's the real deal: (0+ / 0-)

    Excerpts from a response by a former RA at the university to the wingnut thinktank FIRE's allegations:

    http://www.t-g.com/...

    ...Not only has FIRE grossly misconstrued what is actually occurring at the university but they have added unnecessarily loaded language in their presentation of the issue which has further incited the criticism being foisted upon Delaware.

    To make clear before people paint me as a mouthpiece for the university: I am no longer working for the Office of Residence Life and I left voluntarily at the end of last semester. Also, I can only speak from my own experience and my observations of the system as a whole, and my statements do not necessarily reflect the opinions of other RAs.

    ...The university does have in place an extensive program to promote tolerance among its students living in the residence halls. Yes, it has a list of "competencies" it hopes students achieve in their time at the university and it does hope students embrace a notion of "citizenship." However, there is no "comprehensive manipulation" as FIRE claims.

    FIRE's main allegations for misconduct have to do with the university supposedly promoting a view that white students are to be encouraged by RAs to feel remorseful of their racist, supremacist past. This is simply not true and was never taught to me. I was never instructed to teach residents about this.

    ...I could go on and on with examples from my semester as an RA. From my first-hand experience, FIRE's allegations are largely unfounded and serve only to stir a pot that is essentially non-existent. I truly hope the FIRE's Web site re-evaluates its statements and tones down its rhetoric as to prevent the university from taking flak it does not deserve.

    check out Warcheerleaders Watch at www.warcheerleaders.andmuchmore.com

    by WCWatch on Thu Nov 01, 2007 at 02:51:52 AM PDT

  •  a quick word about udel (0+ / 0-)

    after taking a quick look thru all the comments here and in past threads i did not note any comments from anyone who currently attends Udel (although i could have easily missed one).  

    So i thought it might be appropriate to give my opinion, as a current graduate student at UDel, on this issue.  While I am not overly familiar with this specific aspect of the campus housing policy as it relates to diversity issues, I want to emphasize the priority that UD places on ensuring diversity in their student selection.  My department (Urban Affairs and Public Policy) is the department responsible for filling the Diversity Board (im sure that i screwed the actual title of the board up and right now im too lazy to find the exact title).  The people in this position do, in my opinion, an excellent job at trying to ensure that the people attending school there are very diverse.  Both in terms of race, gender, and general background etc.  

    My point is simply to suggest that while this may, or may not (im not getting into the specifics of the policy under contention) have been a worthwile/horrible/whatever policy, it should not reflect on the entire universities efforts to create a more diverse campus.  

  •  Please take a closer look at those making the cha (0+ / 0-)

    If you take a look at the faculty members quoted in the articles about the UD program including the one who is affiliated with FIRE (Jan Blitz) they are hardly credible sources on any issue involving diversity or toleration.  Both Blitz and Gottfredson do research on IQ testing and racial differences and they have received research funds from the Pioneer Fund which was labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.  They both argue that whites are genetically superior in terms of intelligence.  You can find Gottfredson's work (Egalitarian fiction and collective fraud) on David Duke's site.

    This is not an instance of some genuinely concerned, intellectually honest faculty members expressing concern. They have a racist political agenda and they are the ones who contacted FIRE and the media and no one is bothering to look into their past.  It angers me that they are allowed to represent the UD faculty on this.  It does not bode well for academic freedom when the university immediately folded and did not take a position on the motivation behind the programs (if the execution was poorly done--I'm not certain).

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