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Princeton Librarian: ‘It Is Our Job To Silence’ Those Skeptical of Microaggressions

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By Jillian Kay Melchior | 3:00 am, November 3, 2016

A librarian at prestigious Princeton University thinks it’s her job to “silence” people who are skeptical of s0-called “microagressions”, according to a personal email reviewed exclusively by Heat Street.

The exchange began with former California State University-Long Beach librarian Cynthia Orozco, who runs a Tumblr about microaggressions in libraries and compiles a whole publication on the topic.

Orozco had given a speech last semester about microaggressions in academic sciences, but it was met with some skepticism from some in the audience, she said in an email to several of her librarian pals who are also in higher education.

Princeton’s Latin American processing archivist, Elvia Arroyo-Ramirez, emailed Orozco back: “FUCK THEM HATERS! trolls gonna troll. It is our job to silence them with the strength of our voices.”

Princeton Librarian email

Arroyo-Ramirez did not respond to Heat Street’s repeated emailed requests for inquiry.

She did block us on Twitter, where she describes herself as a “practicing archivist at the intersections of the analog and digital, queerness, latinxness, anti-oppressiveness,” noting her pronouns are “she/her.”

John Cramer, a spokesman for Princeton, says, “This Princeton employee, who was using her personal email, was not speaking on behalf of the University, which recently affirmed its commitment to the principles of academic freedom and freedom of expression as essential to the University’s educational mission.”

Shorter version: Silencing those who dissent from the prevailing social justice warrior ideology is actually not Arroyo-Ramirez’s job. But she has used her Princeton position to publicize her ideas about social justice and microaggressions.

Arroyo-Ramirez recently presented at a meeting for archivists hosted by the Museum of Modern Art, claiming that many search and catalog systems currently classify and arrange content “in ways that further marginalizes work by and about people of color, queer people, indigenous peoples, and others who don’t fit neatly into a classification system that sets the default as western, white, straight and male.”

The Princeton librarian was especially angered that some computer systems’ coding doesn’t neatly handle foreign-language characters with accents or tildes—and that tech experts suggested she “detox,” “clean” and “sanitize” the “problematic character” or “illegal” characters as a work-around.

— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.

 

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