Scripps College: White Students Should Pay Minorities for ‘Emotional Labor’

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By Ian Miles Cheong | 3:43 pm, March 2, 2017

Scripps College, a prestigious women’s school outside Los Angeles, is promoting the idea that non-white students must be given monetary compensation for the “emotional labor” of having to deal with so-called microaggressions.

Campus resident assistants at the school are hanging up two sets of posters titled “Emotional Labor 101”: one for whites, and another for minorities, whom the posters dub as “victims of emotional labor.”

Per the Claremont Independent, both posters define “emotional labor” as having to exert energy “for the purpose of addressing people’s feelings, educating, making people comfortable, or living up to ‘social expectations.’”

Photo by Claremont Independent

They continue: “Victims of emotional labor can be cornered in classrooms, on social media, or in social events. If you are constantly having to explain or defend this could be you.”

The poster for minorities provides advice on what the victims can do to remove themselves from oppressive situations. “You don’t owe anyone anything at the expense of your mental health,” it reads.

It goes on to provide tips to avoid overexertion, suggesting that minorities can refer to Google to look things up, call on professors and white peers to educate people, and even demand payment for telling someone off.

“Charge for your services,” the poster suggests. “If you’ve decided you’re going to do it, at least get paid.”

The guide directed towards white students provides examples of how you might be forcing someone to perform emotional labor in the form of questions they could ask themselves.

“Could I have Googled the answer but I chose not to? Do I find myself in a situation where people of color from a marginalized group are educating me? What power dynamics are at play? Do I find myself getting defensive? Are people telling me I’m causing them emotional labor?”

The message ends with suggestions that white students should pay compensation, educate themselves with ethnic studies classes, join social justice communities, and “take ownership for the harm you caused.”

The posters mirror what you might find on social media—where social justice warriors often demand financial recompense for calling people out, and yell at others to “educate themselves” when taken to task for their statements.

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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