American University Professors Promise Black Students They’ll ‘Decolonize’ Curriculum

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By Ian Miles Cheong | 11:47 pm, May 19, 2017

Segregation is alive and well in on American college campuses, and this time it’s coming from the progressive far-left in its enforcement of segregated “safe spaces” for ethnic minorities.

Two weeks ago, American University in Washington DC agreed to give in to demands of black student activists who called for extensions on their finals and the creation of a “safe space” on campus for minority students, following an alleged racial incident involving Harambe, the gorilla tragically shot to death at the Cincinnati Zoo. University officials have thus far been unable to identify any culprits, and it is unknown whether the stunt was racially motivated or a hoax.

This week, the faculty of American University doubled down on their commitment to appeasing the black student activists by publishing an open letter promising to “decolonize curricula”.

As Heat Street previously reported, black students demanded exclusive use of the Bridge Café as a “sanctuary” for non-white students. Making good on its promise to adhere to the black students’ demands, the university administration agreed to ban whites from using a newly opened cafeteria for the rest of the semester, effectively creating a segregated space for minorities.

American University campus

The letter published by a group of American University faculty opens with “Dear Sisters,” and describes the struggles black women go through on campus—an environment described as “hostile, unsupportive—even dangerous at times.”

“Who knows the insult and injury you faced this past year, attending school at a place that sometimes felt like home and sometimes felt hostile, unsupportive—even dangerous at times? Who knows what frustration must’ve welled up inside you as you sought to be heard on equal terms as your more privileged peers? Who knows the pressure you must been under as you balanced the fun of college life and the stressors of academic study with living amid White supremacy and fighting for social change?

We, as women of color and our allies, understand the nature of stress and Struggle. But we cannot pretend to know what it was to have been in your shoes this past school year. We do know that you’re courageous, and we–a coalition of women faculty from the Races, Empires, Diasporas working group; the Critical Race and Cultural Studies Collaborative; and the Ethnographies of Empire Cluster–applaud you.”

The letter states that the faculty understands the “negative energy rising against you originates in the terrible past,” and decries the “detractors” of black women who “stifle your personal space,” “interrupt your peace,” and “override your voices in the classroom or act out when you speak your truth.”

It concludes with a statement and promise that the faculty are working behind the scenes, through programs, courses and assignments to “decolonize curricula, bring minority voices in from the margins, centralize intersectional studies of racial formation in our programs, and support one another as faculty and staff ‘doing the work.’”

Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken media critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.

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