Department Chairs at my college will now be obligated to read two extremely woke books about race and get together with the administration to discuss them. We were officially informed in writing that we are expected to express agreement with the books during the discussions. The books aren’t DiAngelo or Kendi but very similar.
This will be happening in August, the busiest time for Chairs. Just think about it. We are grown people, academics. And we are given a reading list and told what we are supposed to think about the reading even before we do it. We have to interrupt the work we are doing to start that the academic year – and believe me, it’s a buttload of work – and engage in public declarations of how we are guilty for being white.
In Russia, before an election, people who work at state-owned institutions have to write essays titled “Why I support President Putin.” There’s a worksheet provided to show how much space you are supposed to fill. Nobody asks people if they support. They must support because they are told to. The essays exist to humiliate people and let them know that no hint of dignity or personal opinion will be tolerated.
Can anybody tell me how the two situations are different? And I mean, OK, Russians can be excused because they maybe spent a few years not in a totalitarian regime in the last 100 years. They sincerely don’t know better. But what’s wrong with Americans?
This used to be a very nice country.