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Smith College disputes Jodi Shaw exposé: Our “equity and inclusion training” has not created “a racially hostile environment for white people”

Smith College disputes Jodi Shaw exposé: Our “equity and inclusion training” has not created “a racially hostile environment for white people”

Shaw: “facts do not matter to Smith; what matters to Smith is its commitment to destructive race-based policies. I look forward to seeing Smith in court.”

https://jodishaw.net/action/

Jodi Shaw is the former Smith College staff member who blew the whistle on horrific mandatory white-shaming training programs at the college. We have covered Shaw’s situation for several months:

Smith’s videos and writings have been replete with very specific examples of the trainings, including these mentioned in her resignation letter:

…. For example, in August 2018, just days before I was to present a library orientation program into which I had poured a tremendous amount of time and effort, and which had previously been approved by my supervisors, I was told that I could not proceed with the planned program. Because it was going to be done in rap form and “because you are white,” as my supervisor told me, that could be viewed as “cultural appropriation.” My supervisor made clear he did not object to a rap in general, nor to the idea of using music to convey orientation information to students. The problem was my skin color….

As it turned out, my experience in the library was just the beginning. In my new position, I was told on multiple occasions that discussing my personal thoughts and feelings about my skin color is a requirement of my job. I endured racially hostile comments, and was expected to participate in racially prejudicial behavior as a continued condition of my employment. I endured meetings in which another staff member violently banged his fist on the table, chanting “Rich, white women! Rich, white women!” in reference to Smith alumnae. I listened to my supervisor openly name preferred racial quotas for job openings in our department. I was given supplemental literature in which the world’s population was reduced to two categories — “dominant group members” and “subordinated group members” — based solely on characteristics like race….

The last straw came in January 2020, when I attended a mandatory Residence Life staff retreat focused on racial issues. The hired facilitators asked each member of the department to respond to various personal questions about race and racial identity. When it was my turn to respond, I said “I don’t feel comfortable talking about that.” I was the only person in the room to abstain.

Later, the facilitators told everyone present that a white person’s discomfort at discussing their race is a symptom of “white fragility.” They said that the white person may seem like they are in distress, but that it is actually a “power play.” In other words, because I am white, my genuine discomfort was framed as an act of aggression. I was shamed and humiliated in front of all of my colleagues.

Shaw’s situation, and her resignation, have received substantial media attention. Shaw easily raised much more than the $150,000 she sought to cover legal fees and living expenses, and has pledged to donate any funds in excess of that amount to others who need help. (The “hold” on her GoFundMe page has been lifted.)

Against this backdrop of specific instances of race-shaming listed by Shaw, and negative publicity, Smith College’s President Kathleen McCartny has issued a public Statement responding to Shaw’s resignation letter. McCartny does not address any of the specific instances raised by Shaw in her resignation letter, and instead accuses Shaw of smearing the college. McCartny pledges to continue the “equity and inclusion” training:

FEBRUARY 22, 2021

Dear members of the Smith community:

A college staff member resigned last Friday in a letter that she made available to the public. Ordinarily, a personnel matter of this nature would not warrant a letter from the president to the college community; however, in this instance the former employee, in her letter, accuses the college of creating a racially hostile environment for white people, a baseless claim that the college flatly denies. In addition, her letter contains a number of misstatements about the college’s equity and inclusion initiatives, misstatements that are offensive to the members of our community who are working every day to create a campus where everyone, regardless of racial identity, can learn, work and thrive.

I write to emphasize that Smith College remains unyielding in its commitment to advancing racial justice, a commitment that includes and benefits every member of our community. Given the centrality of this work to Smith College’s mission, I want to take this opportunity to ensure that each of you has accurate information.

The employee suggests that Smith tried to buy her silence. But it was the employee herself who demanded payment of an exceptionally large sum in exchange for dropping a threatened legal claim and agreeing to standard confidentiality provisions. Further, while the employee aims her complaint at Smith, her public communications make clear that her grievances about equity and inclusion training run more broadly—as she puts it “to the medical field … the publishing field, the tech field, it’s in the schools, the legal field, public schools, private schools, colleges of course, government. It’s everywhere.”

At Smith College, our commitment to, and strategies for, advancing equity and inclusion are grounded in evidence. Research demonstrates the continued presence of systemic discrimination against people of color across all areas of society, from education to health care to employment. Redressing the reality of racism requires asking ourselves how we might, even inadvertently, reinforce existing inequalities or contribute to an exclusionary atmosphere. While it might be uncomfortable to accept that each of us, regardless of color or background, may have absorbed unconscious biases or at times acted in ways that are harmful to members of our community, such self-reflection is a prerequisite for making meaningful progress. The aim of our equity and inclusion training is never to shame or ostracize. Rather, the goal is to facilitate authentic conversations that help to overcome the barriers between us, and the college welcomes constructive criticism of our workshops and trainings.

As a college, we remain committed to continuous learning in support of the humanity, worth, and dignity of every member of our community.

Sincerely,
Kathleen McCartney

Shaw has issued a response to McCartny’s Statement:

My Response to Smith’s Statement, February 22, 2021

On Friday, I resigned from my post at Smith College because I could no longer tolerate the effects that the hostile work environment was having on my physical and mental health. As I mentioned in my resignation letter, I resigned in lieu of accepting a generous settlement from the college that would have, like all settlements, required confidentiality. I have been moved beyond words by the outpouring of support from people across the political and ideological spectrum who recognize the danger that the toxic critical social justice ideology poses to individual freedom.

Today, the president of Smith College responded to my resignation letter. In her statement, she says:

The employee suggests that Smith tried to buy her silence. But it was the employee herself who demanded payment of an exceptionally large sum in exchange for dropping a threatened legal claim and agreeing to standard confidentiality provisions.

This is a mischaracterization of my conversations with Smith, and one I feel is critical to address in light of the trust people have placed in me and the generous support I have received from so many since my resignation.

After I went public in October with my complaints about the hostile working environment at Smith, the college made clear to me that they would like me to accept a severance and leave. I offered to accept a severance only if Smith would take meaningful steps to end the racially hostile environment by ending their mandatory race-based struggle sessions and their requirements that employees judge each other and the students in our care on the basis of their skin color. Smith quickly made clear to me that they would not consider such changes. The ideology would stay. Only a financial settlement with the college was possible.

I then had to consider how I could do the most good for this cause. Was it by bringing my own case and continuing to speak out against Smith? Or could I negotiate a large enough financial settlement to allow me — as I am now trying to do through my fundraising — to help others at Smith and beyond escape their hostile work environments? This would have required a very substantial sum — one that I suggested, but that Smith did not consider.

Instead, they offered me enough money to make myself and my two children comfortable for a time, but not to do what I need to do for this cause that I am so committed to. My lawyer urged me to consider accepting Smith’s offer, given my financial situation and the toll the hostile work environment has had on my health. But I turned it down. The importance of telling the truth and, I hope, urging others to do the same wasn’t worth the price.

I knew this was going to be an ugly process, and I’m sure this is not the last attempt Smith will make to discredit me. It seems that facts do not matter to Smith; what matters to Smith is its commitment to destructive race-based policies.

I look forward to seeing Smith in court.

Shaw probably is in for a long haul. As we have seen in the Gibson’s Bakery v. Oberlin College case, and numerous student due process cases we have covered, colleges and universities bring a particular viciousness to their litigation tactics, while preening moral superiority because they are in “higher education.”

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Comments

    Ben Kent in reply to Rab. | February 23, 2021 at 8:47 am

    Smith College is going down like Oberlin College in the Gibson Bakery case.

    The college administration is blinded by a woke agenda.

    I recently exchanged messages with the president of a similar liberal arts college (a peer of Smith College) in which I pointed out that Smith College is actually discriminating against Whites and Asians. I pointed out the hypocrisy of the Kendi approach which results in justifying more racism under the pretext of fighting racism. He said he believes that discrimination against Whites is acceptable and is what he called “legal discrimination” which includes anti-white/asian admissions policies. Basically he admitted that he drank the woke Kool-aide. I told him that Jim Crow laws were once legal and if your standard is what’s legal rather than what’s right you turn liberal art education upside-down. I suspect all the liberal arts presidents are bought into this.

    They are brainwashed. Reason and logical can no longer penetrate.
    Those who are brainwashed deny facts and actual reality and can no longer see “the other side” of an argument.

    Therefore, just like Oberlin, Smith College will take this all the way to a final court decision and then express dismay at losing – even denial at the loss. After Oberlin lost their case and had to pay over $20 million in damages – they sent a message to students and alumni expressing dismay at the loss – wondering how the court could not see the case their way?

      pst314 in reply to Ben Kent. | February 23, 2021 at 10:45 am

      “I recently exchanged messages with the president of a similar liberal arts college… He said he believes that discrimination against Whites is acceptable”

      That sort of statement is self-incriminating, and could be used in a future lawsuit. The more such self-incriminating admissions that can be collected the better.

What is your honest opinion of her chances professor?

I am asking because while it is a long haul with Gibson Gibson has at least for the time being won in court and I think a lot of people trust your legal judgement on these kinds of matters because you have always told the truth when the answer was unlikely to succeed.

JusticeDelivered | February 22, 2021 at 10:10 pm

” Our “equity and inclusion training” has not created “a racially hostile environment for white people”

Bullshit

“Rap Form”

I absolutely despise rap, foul, crude, demeaning to women, there is nothing redeeming.

Rap is a racially demeaning, even more so than Muslim call to prayer, which sounds like someone has a really bad case of the runs.

What of Gibson’s? I searched and last entry was a long time ago.

Could someone (with ample free time—which I don’t have) make a list of debunked and discredited social science theories pushed by the great minds of the time throughout the years? Theories which held complete sway in their day, but which now are read about with
a shake of the head and amused disbelief?

So people who are inclined to believe or grant any benefit of doubt to this current malicious, nonsensical “theory” can gain an historical perspective on the infinitesimally tiny likelihood history will be kind to this latest unified theory of righteousness du jour pans out as anything but pure bunk.

I see Critical Race Theory as number one on a future online news site listicle of “10 Crazy Social Science Theories You Won’t Believe Many People Actually Believed at the Time!”

    LukeHandCool in reply to LukeHandCool. | February 23, 2021 at 12:03 am

    I’ll start with geographic determinism.

    I have a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture (basically applied geography—our program was regional and large-scale design), and I almost completed an additional master’s degree in Geography. (Having little kids made me quit.)

    In the first half of the 20th Century “geographic determinism” was the prevailing theory pushed by the then academic giants of geography. Harvard’s department chair was a champion of the theory.

    Today “geographic determinism” is only used as a pejorative.

      DaveGinOly in reply to LukeHandCool. | February 23, 2021 at 12:59 am

      There are certainly many such examples in hard science. So I imagine there must be analogs in social science as well.

        I am a hard science PhD. Plenty of examples. At the risk of over generalization, pretty much anything called a “Social Science” is questionable.

      Dathurtz in reply to LukeHandCool. | February 23, 2021 at 6:10 am

      Pretty much anything driving education. If there is any experimental evidence that supports Gardner or the idea of multiple intelligences I can’t find it. Same goes for the “learning styles” bull.

      Teachers are taught it as the gospel, but I am aware of no experimental data that supports the two ideas that provide the entire theoretical underpinning of our modern education system.

    You don’t need to to some extent. Social science is only part science, I’m out of date but I remember reading a comparison of the scientific input on many subjects. Social science had about 20% scientific input. How that conclusion was reached I forget but they key point is many social sciences suffer from very limited studies in a particular area. Indeed some knowledge in the field is derived from plain bollocks. An example of this is the bystander effect which used the 1964 murder of a women in New York. According to the New York times no one reported the crime over a long period of time despite lots of witnesses, except that wasn’t true at all. Yet people still cite the example for the bystander effect because they don’t know that the basic facts were wrong. Hard science doesn’t rely on one example or study whereas social studies are plagued by what’s known as the repeatability problem. There are a small number of studies relatively giving limited results on a specific things and no one has repeated those experiments, particularly some famous ones like the Stanford prison experiment.

      Dathurtz in reply to mark311. | February 23, 2021 at 6:15 am

      Almost all of my education is in biology – about as soft as any real science gets. Even biology suffers from massive failures in replicability of its studies.

      Science is suffering a plague of nonsense getting published under loose standards. We have to have the training and experience to evaluate the experimental methodology ourselves because we can’t trust the publishers to do it.

        mark311 in reply to Dathurtz. | February 23, 2021 at 7:17 am

        I would never have thought that Biology would have suffered the same issues. That’s really disappointing.

          Dathurtz in reply to mark311. | February 23, 2021 at 12:44 pm

          Some of it is still very good. If you are looking at the specifics of describing the function of a protein in a metabolic pathway, the science will be solid. Genetics is still mostly solid, but is getting compromised because it leads to societally uncomfortable conclusions. There is also a problem of people simply lying about research results. A great example of that is the Japanese guys with their miracle stem cell results that were totally fabricated.

          If you are talking ecology, health, or certain ideas in genetics, then you need several pounds of salt for each study you read. That ignores the replicability problem, which is also a serious problem.

        lichau in reply to Dathurtz. | February 27, 2021 at 9:18 am

        Biology suffers from the incredible complexity of biological systems. It is just damned difficult. Not being able to solve problems doesn’t impugn the integrity of the effort.

        Social “Science”, OTOH, is mostly quackery.

    nordic_prince in reply to LukeHandCool. | February 23, 2021 at 11:10 am

    Phrenology is one of my favorite examples of pseudoscientific crap.

    The Kinsey report is also a joke, with its highly unscientific methodology.

    henrybowman in reply to LukeHandCool. | February 24, 2021 at 1:44 am

    You mean like eugenics?

    (That’s a tough one. Eugenics is actually good science — animal breeders use it constantly — but it’s bad social science, because doing it to humans becomes a moral issue.)

Equity and Inclusion training is textbook emotional abuse.
The facilitator will consistently criticize, shame, and humiliate the object of the training, the white person, in order to gain control and power over the individual. They attempt to trick the person being trained into believing that their unhappines with their removal of their personhood is a result of their own flaws. Any failure to buy into “Equity” as defined by the facilitator will result in losses, removed of relationships at work, loss of job/income. The victim, suffering from anxiety, depression and low self-esteem will eventually collapse into ‘belief’ as a way of redeeming some sense of self worth.

We can’t just ‘avoid’ dealing with this. Confrontation, such as Jodi has done is the only way to stop this.

“Research demonstrates the continued presence of systemic discrimination against people of color across all areas of society, from education to health care to employment”
______________

Bullshit.

Disparities are not proof of racial discrimination.

Is the disproportionate number of blacks in professional basketball evidence of systemic racism against whites and Asians? Of course not. But name any occupation or field dominated by whites, and you’ll invariably find some race-grifter claiming that it is proof of racial discrimination against “people of color.”

Unless there are laws or policies in place that treat whites better than other people, there is no “systemic discrimination,” there are just different people making different choices based on many different factors, including personal interests and abilities, cultural norms, values, etc.

People are entitled to have equal opportunities. They are not entitled to have equal outcomes. And the lack of equal outcomes is not evidence of “systemic discrimination” just because some people don’t like it.

Unfalsifiable dogma pushed with a militant zeal and open hostility to any other view.

In another time and place, they would have made find inquisitors.

Hoist them on their own petard.

Progressives have always said that it is the perceptions of the offended person that matter more than other facts.

Throw their own book back at them!

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