Smith College Alums Demand Whistleblower Jodi Shaw Undergo More White Privilege “Training” to “Safely Interact With Students”
After Jodi Shaw exposed Critical Race training at Smith College, an alumni Open Letter asserts that Shaw’s “deep preoccupation with disavowing the idea of White privilege, is indeed in need of further training before she can safely interact with students and fellow staff in the course of her employment.”
On November 23, 2020, Jodi Shaw, the whistleblower alumna and Student Support Coordinator of Smith College, who has asked the college to stop reducing her “personhood to a racial category”, shared on Facebook the following “snippet” of a then-forthcoming Open Letter against her:
The the Open Letter (archive)(which is not dated, but appears to be finalized on November 11, 2020) is currently signed by 55 alumnae of Smith College (archive), ranging from the graduating class of 1984 to 2020. (The 20th century signatories, however, are in the minority).
The Open Letter begins as follows (please note that the word “white” is capitalized, which is typically frowned upon by proponents of Ibram Kendi’s “Anti-Racism” doctrine):
Dear Smith College students, faculty, staff, and fellow alums,
Recently, a White staff member at the College began posting inflammatory videos to a YouTube account, the first of which [see NOTE below*] has amassed––at the time of this writing–– fifty-five thousand views. We have provided a link to a Vimeo here, so as to avoid contributing additional views––and therefore YouTube ad revenue––to the staff member in question. These videos expound at length, though with little actual detail, on various complaints about this staff member’s conditions of employment, largely relating to the College’s recent efforts to implement implicit bias and anti-racist training as a means of embracing equity and inclusion both on and off campus.
As a group of Smith College alums who share these values of equity and inclusion, we feel called to voice our support for the College’s ongoing commitment to anti-racist work. This work has been reaffirmed and refocused in recent months for members of the broader Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color (BIPOC) Smith community, for whom this is only the latest of many well-documented and ongoing instances of racism, silencing, and disenfranchisement. While applicable to the entire Smith Community, this work is of the utmost importance for current students and staff, whose immediate safety and wellbeing during an already difficult semester have been compromised by the overt resentment and ire expressed by this community-facing member of the Smith staff, and by the national attention it has garnered.
We applaud the creation of the employee White Accountability Group, as we recognize the importance of spaces for White staff to learn and address their biases together. We were also gratified to read President McCartney’s October 29th letter, written in response to the aforementioned video, affirming the College’s commitment to racial justice, equity, and inclusion.
*NOTE to above: The video linked in the Open Letter is not the original YouTube link posted by Shaw. It appears as though someone, other than Shaw, uploaded Shaw’s video to Vimeo and linked the Vimeo video to the Open Letter. Shaw commented on the Vimeo link:
Hi there. Thanks for watching my video. I see it has 360 views but only 50+ people have signed the letter. This tells me that at least *some* of you watching this support what I am doing. Please know you are not alone. The vast majority (I estimate 98%) of people who have contacted me have expressed support. Please know, there is NOTHING liberal about Smith’s “anti-racist” agenda. The ideology behind it would have us believe that ones immutable characteristics are the single most important thing about them and posits students/staff of color as *inherently* marginalized/oppressed and white students/staff as *inherently* racist. In other words, Smith’s “anti-racism” agenda teaches students/staff that their skin color is their destiny. This rhetoric is disempowering across the board, goes against liberal values, and is entirely antithetical to the traditional liberal arts education that Smith still bills itself as providing. If we want Smith to be an institution that empowers women – all women, including women of color- then we need to stop the neo-racist rhetoric. Racism is racism, even if it does come wrapped up in a progressive bow.
In the second paragraph of the Open Letter, the signatories concede that Shaw is gaining “national attention”. In fact, Shaw was recently featured on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight:
Shaw, herself, highlights one of the most (of the many) shocking sections of the Open Letter (emphasis added):
We believe there is ample work to be done in pursuit of justice, and that it welcomes all hands willing to humbly listen to difficult truths. We believe all Smith community members should strive to be grounded in the realities of the society in which we live. In the face of uncomfortable learning and change, there will always be those whose insecurity manifests as a digging in of heels. It is clear that this staff member, whose video evinces both a staggering lack of self-awareness and a deep preoccupation with disavowing the idea of White privilege, is indeed in need of further training before she can safely interact with students and fellow staff in the course of her employment.
Where to begin?
Certainly, in America we seek truth and justice through our court system; however, not all Americans, and certainly not all members of the Smith College community, are required to see the “reality” described by Open Letter signatories.
The signatories to this Open Letter describes Shaw’s initial video as “inflammatory”. Yet, many reasonable individuals would describe Shaw’s demeanor as balanced, her speech as articulate, and her first video (see below), as well as her subsequent videos, as thoughtful.
Shaw’s videos and the allegations within are garnering national attention, because she is raising legitimate claims of a hostile work environment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as she is claiming discrimination on the basis of race. The problem is this: most individuals that believe in “White Privilege”, “Systemic Racism”, “Implicit Bias”, and the Black Lives Matter Movement do not believe that white individuals can be discriminated on the basis of their race. Reality check: discrimination against every race is possible, and discrimination against every race is wrong.
The Open Letter states that “there will always be those whose insecurity manifests as a digging in of heels,” but the author is likely describing herself. Still, the author, and the President of Smith College, Kathleen McCartney, continue to “double-down” on their efforts to champion the goals of the widely-disputed Critical Race Theory. The goal of this Open Letter is not about “prioritiz[ing] safety or welcom[ing] all students”, it’s about forcing everyone on campus—students, faculty, and staff alike—to adopt certain political ideologies “veiled” as apolitical.
The Open Letter, again, deems Shaw as lacking “self-awareness”, but the reader can conclude that it is the signatories who make assumptions about Shaw on the basis of Shaw’s race without knowing Shaw’s family history, childhood, or upbringing. You might call that…well, racism.
The Open Letter’s final argument, that Shaw is “in need of further of training before she can safely interact with students and fellow staff in the course of her employment,” does not pass, as attorneys say, “The Straight-Face Test”. The author’s argument is akin to the argument on many college campuses today: hate speech is violence. This argument is deeply flawed. Firstly, “hate speech” is subjective: what is “offensive” to one individual is not to another. Secondly, the argument that hate speech is violence lends credence to the idea that physical and violent force is a proper response to “hate speech”, à la ANTIFA.
Just because Shaw has an idea that the signatories do not like or agree with, does not make Shaw “dangerous”. In fact, I would submit that the signatories, who are indirectly suggesting a type of re-education training, are more “dangerous” to this college campus. Shaw is attempting to discuss legitimate concerns potentially impacting the students, faculty, staff, and administration of Smith College. The signatories are trying to shame and scare Shaw into silence, because Shaw disagrees with them, and in their view, there must be uniformity of thought on the Smith College campus. College is supposed to be the science lab of free speech and ideas, not the indoctrination center of controlled thought.
The Alumnae letter now has been published at the Smith College student newspaper, An Open Letter From Smith Alums In Response to Recent Videos. The list of signatories is up to 65 as of this signing. According to the letter:
This letter was written collaboratively by members of the Smith alum anti-racism Facebook group “Smithies Show Up (& Do the Work), with editorial guidance provided by Elizabeth Walters ’01, KT Herr ’07, and current Smith student Egypt Ballet ’23
Leah M. Baldacci, Esq. is the Investigations Counsel at the Legal Insurrection Foundation.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.
I understand why college students want to lessen so called “white” privilege. Most of what some consider as privilege is really hard work. Real life doesn’t hand out participation trophies.
Unless you did not earn it like the Democrats.
“I Want To Build A World Where Someone Like Me Is Impossible” – Meet The Trust Fund Brats Trying To Destroy Capitalism
As the reporter explains, the new generation of Brooklyn cool kids have blue check marks on twitter and low-paying editorial jobs at digital magazines like the (now defunct) Outline, Deadspin (a media outlet ostensibly dedicated to sports but realistically covered whatever its reporters and editors felt like writing about on any given day) or Jacobin, a magazine that has been described by some as “straight up Marxist” in its editorial slant. Almost all of them were white women, the most oppressed class.
One year later, a staff uprising at the NYT exposed just how deeply embedded these new crypto-marxist values have become in the modern American media environment. Staffers successfully ousted Opinion Page editor James Bennett over his decision to curate an essay from Republican Sen. Tom Cotton despite the fact that the opinion page is supposed to be an entirely separate editorial entity from the NYT’s newsgathering operation.
“Safely interact?” Safely? What’s the risk? That someone get’s the feelings hurt? These people are truly insane.
Clearly, Smith College is looking for an excuse either to fire Shaw or to send her to a re-education camp.
I understand China has some dandy camps in Xinjiang that are effectively teaching Uighurs to know their place. Smith would probably like to send Shaw there so she will know her place and stop complaining about the racist discrimination they are forcing her to endure.
Smith College is the Communist Chinese Party – Freeze their assets and bulldoze them under.
CCP Imposes Tough New ‘Social Credit Score’ Rules
China will consider individuals who seriously endanger people’s health and safety, or disrupt markets’ fair competition and normal social order, as threats to society under its new social credit guidelines.
State broadcaster CCTV reported that the measures were discussed during a recent meeting of the state council citing a state council meeting led by Premier Li Keqiang, President Xi’s point man for handling the fallout for the coronavirus.
Among these new punitive measures, China will promote quality development of the credit reporting industry, while encouraging the sharing of credit information related to finance, government administration and public utilities Speed up orderly use of government-related data Strengthen information security and privacy protection.
Every time I see something like this it strikes me the same way. It’s not people like Shaw (or most of us) who believe in the superiority of the “white race”, it’s the ones writing the letters and doing the protesting who are reacting defensively to their own perceived inferiority or, if white, the innate inferiority of other races.
“Secondly, the argument that hate speech is violence lends credence to the idea that physical and violent force is a proper response to “hate speech”, à la ANTIFA.”
And, the proper response to violence would be one or more bullets, as Thugvon and Brown learned.
Note that at no time is the substance of her “complaint” mentioned, considered, engaged or discussed. They go straight to the insults.
So much for the myth of inclusion and tolerance.
That is their SOP in all the slave plantation institutions.
That’s standard debating technique. If the facts support your case, argue the facts. If the facts don’t support your case, attack your opponent.
That’s why leftists rarely argue the facts, but go straight to ad hominem attacks.
WP just another Communist Democrat Party fraud right up there with this one.
Coronavirus hype biggest political hoax in history
The only inclusion and tolerance is if you capitulate to the left. They will not tolerate dissent.
East Germany moved so quietly to Smith we hardly saw it.
Are the signers real people?
“further training” means re-education camp. What a waste of real estate and money and time.
We need to cut off all Federal, State, and Local aid to these institutions. White people might want a say in whether we should support such racist and noxious ideas as this ‘Critical Race Theory’ and the resulting cancellations. Also, tax them like any other business. Let’s see how long the Hate Industry lasts after being defunded.
White privilege is an idea rooted in white supremacy. It asserts that blacks are inferior by nature and must receive a benefit. The racists are those that play this race hustle to obtain power and assuage their white guilt.
Counsel, you are out of order in today’s leftist world. Those of us who reject the proposition that saying we’re not racist makes us racists will find ourselves relentlessly hounded. In this, Trump was correct: They weren’t after him; they were after us. My belief is that white people (even Democrats) increasingly are resisting the tenets of Critical Race Theory even if they’ve never heard the term. Why would any person make an affirmative attempt to interact with blacks or other minorities (although, really, we’re talking about blacks) if even the attempt makes them racist? You can only call people racist so long before they accept that label. This will not end well.
I’m so old I can remember a time when shrinks used to tell people they were responsible for their own feelings, and NO ONE could you feel something. Consequently, the issue of “offense” is not that someone offended you, rather, it is that someone did something to which you took offense.
That point was driven home with me in several ways; counseling after a divorce and coming to realize that I was wrong to assume responsibility for my ex’s “feelings” and shouldn’t have spent years “walking on eggshells” for fear of setting her off. The point also driven home to me through John 6 where the multitude that followed Jesus “took offense” and left Him when He spoke an uncomfortable truth. If Jesus were to have responded like this present culture demands, He’d have either soft-pedaled the truth or withheld it completely so as not to “upset” them. However doing that would effectively subject truth to fear.
God knows we’re seeing a LOT of subjecting truth to fear these days.
I do wonder where it is people have gotten the idea that they have the right NOT to be offended?
“and NO ONE could you feel something.”
“and NO ONE could make you feel something.”
My version, what I told my children around tween time, is that their mother and I might occasionally care if they were mad, but that the rest of the world did not care.
This applies to Dems or Rinos, they can play fairly and be civil, or not. They have not, and that means war to one degree or another.
When Hillary lost, they started a war over it. The only question now is will this turn in a hot war.
I hope it IS a hot war, JD – of the Biblical sort where their evil is confronted head-on by the Holy One and they come under His swift judgement.
It is already a hot war. With the theft of the presidential election and the impending possible theft of the Senate the Left has told us flat out that they are going for broke. If they ever gain full control of the Federal government there will be a true insurrection or there won’t be a free Republic ever again.
Hence their petulant desire to remake the world so that it will be forced to care.
What ever happened to Dr. King’s dream in which people would be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin?
Smith College. All girls. I think that should be corrected immediately! Men must be clawing and scratching at the gate to get in!
Men, maybe. Transgenders, of the quasi-female, and neo-female (i.e. indoctrination, medical corruption) kind, certainly. Trans/homosexual males, perhaps. One of the males in a couplet exhibits a greater degree of feminine attributes (i.e. mental) than the other. Still, no Duck Dynasties.
Projections from rabid diversitists. Lose your Pro-Choice, selective, opportunistic, relativistic quasi-religion (e.g. “ethics”). #InStorkYouTrust is a progressive belief.
I don’t believe that even George Orwell envisioned this
Everything changed once we entered the Twilight Fringe. Well, at least one foot in, one foot out, …
Safety is the new faux victim buzz word to strip academic freedom.
There’s no middle ground with these malignant morons.
We need to divide the nation in two, before we have to do it by war.
I’m new on here and not much of a Social Media person. If I cross any lines with my comment, please let me know. This article is very disturbing to me. So tired of having my “white privilege” pointed out. My white privilege is this: My Grandma and Grandpa had 12 children. 2 died very young. Grandpa was 1/2 Cherokee and 1/2 white. Grandma’s family came from Ireland. They were migrant workers AND picked cotton. This was in the 1930’s. My aunts and uncles had to work hard. By the time I was born, they had settled in Roswell, NM. They were poor, but I NEVER once heard that word in their house. They never complained about having to pick cotton or anything. They didn’t feel sorry for themselves or thought that anyone “owed” them anything! I’m sure BLM would still call this white privilege. I will never apologize for the “lack of pigment” in my skin. And the only one I will ever kneel to is God.
I’m glad this teacher is standing up for what she believes!
Thanks for that, Kay. And welcome aboard.
I do hope Jodi Shaw receives enough punitive damages that she could have a building at Smith named after herself. The college president is inciting this overreaction against her.