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Smith College Whistleblower Jodi Shaw Resigns Over “Racially Hostile Environment” Created By Critical Race Training

Smith College Whistleblower Jodi Shaw Resigns Over “Racially Hostile Environment” Created By Critical Race Training

“Being told that any disagreement or feelings of discomfort somehow upholds ‘white supremacy’ is not just morally wrong. It is psychologically abusive…. [T]he college is so deeply committed to this toxic ideology that the only way for me to escape the racially hostile climate is to resign.”

https://youtu.be/blqpCMChBpI

We have written several times about Jodi Shaw, the Smith College staff member who objected to what has become a scourge in higher education, Critical Race Training tactics, sometimes misleadingly called “anti-racism” training.

Our separate website, criticalrace.org, documents such trainings in higher education, and I went into depth on the destructive tactics in my recent interview with Allie Beth Stuckey:

So what I think it does, it really creates a fissure on campus, because you are either with them or you are against them. And if you’re against them, by definition, you are racist.

Forget about what your views are, forget about how you conduct your life. And so you set up this conflict on campus of the anti-racist versus the racists, but it’s completely constructed by them. It’s not reality. Most people on campus are non-racist. They go about their life. They don’t get involved in politics. They don’t get involved in activism. They treat everybody fairly. They don’t discriminate. That whole cohort of people, who is almost certainly a majority of students on campus, are now branded racist.

And that is a coercive tool that is used for political purposes on campuses. We see it all the time, but particularly this year, it’s us versus them. And I think that’s entirely a negative for a campus. It’s also very coercive. You don’t learn things by being coerced. The school might be able to force you as a freshmen or sophomore to take a course where they teach this stuff. And we all know the vast, vast majority of students are just going to sit there and shake their head and go along to get along, because they don’t want to be called names. But it doesn’t change any minds. It doesn’t convince anybody. It perpetuates what’s been going on that they claim is negative.

So I think what’s the downside. It brands, people who are not racist as racist, because that’s the way they’ve constructed it. It demonizes large sections of the campus. It coerces large sections of the campus and it doesn’t change any minds. I don’t know how it could get any worse than that.

On October 30, 2020, we first reported on Shaw’s video, Smith College whistleblower hits campus Critical Race Theory indoctrination: “Stop reducing my personhood to a racial category”

We followed up with posts about how Smith College Alums Demand Whistleblower Jodi Shaw Undergo More White Privilege “Training” to “Safely Interact With Students” and Shaw’s appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Story of Smith College “Critical Race Theory” Whistleblower Jodi Shaw Goes National:

Shaw also appeared on Legal Insurrection Foundation’s December 2020 panel, “How Critical Race Training Is Harming Higher Education

Bari Weiss, at her substack, an update today about how Shaw has resigned, Whistleblower at Smith College Resigns Over Racism. Weiss starts by examining how pervasive the problem is, and how Shaw is an exception in being willing to speak up.

We all know that something morally grotesque is swallowing liberal America. Almost no one wants to risk talking about it out loud.

Every day I get phone calls from anxious Americans complaining about an ideology that wants to pull all of us into the past.

I get calls from parents telling me about the damaging things being taught in schools: so-called antiracist programs that urge children to obsess on the color of their skin.

I get calls from people working in corporate America forced to go to trainings in which they learn that they carry collective, race-based guilt — or benefit from collective, race-based virtue.

I get calls from young people just launching their careers telling me that they feel they have no choice but to profess fealty to this ideology in order to keep their jobs.

Almost no one who calls me is willing to go public. And I understand why. To go public with what’s happening is to risk their jobs and their reputations.

But the hour is very late. It calls for courage. And courage has come in the form of a woman named Jodi Shaw.

Weiss then reprints Shaw’s resignation letter:

Dear President McCartney:

I am writing to notify you that effective today, I am resigning from my position as Student Support Coordinator in the Department of Residence Life at Smith College. This has not been an easy decision, as I now face a deeply uncertain future. As a divorced mother of two, the economic uncertainty brought about by this resignation will impact my children as well. But I have no choice. The racially hostile environment that the college has subjected me to for the past two and a half years has left me physically and mentally debilitated. I can no longer work in this environment, nor can I remain silent about a matter so central to basic human dignity and freedom.

I graduated from Smith College in 1993. Those four years were among the best in my life. Naturally, I was over the moon when, years later, I had the opportunity to join Smith as a staff member. I loved my job and I loved being back at Smith.

But the climate — and my place at the college — changed dramatically when, in July 2018, the culture war arrived at our campus when a student accused a white staff member of calling campus security on her because of racial bias. The student, who is black, shared her account of this incident widely on social media, drawing a lot of attention to the college.

Before even investigating the facts of the incident, the college immediately issued a public apology to the student, placed the employee on leave, and announced its intention to create new initiatives, committees, workshops, trainings, and policies aimed at combating “systemic racism” on campus.

In spite of an independent investigation into the incident that found no evidence of racial bias, the college ramped up its initiatives aimed at dismantling the supposed racism that pervades the campus. This only served to support the now prevailing narrative that the incident had been racially motivated and that Smith staff are racist.

Allowing this narrative to dominate has had a profound impact on the Smith community and on me personally. 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.

I was up for a full-time position in the library at that time, and I was essentially informed that my candidacy for that position was dependent upon my ability, in a matter of days, to reinvent a program to which I had devoted months of time.

Humiliated, and knowing my candidacy for the full-time position was now dead in the water, I moved into my current, lower-paying position as Student Support Coordinator in the Department of Residence Life.

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.

Every day, I watch my colleagues manage student conflict through the lens of race, projecting rigid assumptions and stereotypes on students, thereby reducing them to the color of their skin. I am asked to do the same, as well as to support a curriculum for students that teaches them to project those same stereotypes and assumptions onto themselves and others. I believe such a curriculum is dehumanizing, prevents authentic connection, and undermines the moral agency of young people who are just beginning to find their way in the world.

Although I have spoken to many staff and faculty at the college who are deeply troubled by all of this, they are too terrified to speak out about it. This illustrates the deeply hostile and fearful culture that pervades Smith College.

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.

I filed an internal complaint about the hostile environment, but throughout that process, over the course of almost six months, I felt like my complaint was taken less seriously because of my race. I was told that the civil rights law protections were not created to help people like me. And after I filed my complaint, I started to experience retaliatory behavior, like having important aspects of my job taken away without explanation.

Under the guise of racial progress, Smith College has created a racially hostile environment in which individual acts of discrimination and hostility flourish. In this environment, people’s worth as human beings, and the degree to which they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, is determined by the color of their skin. It is an environment in which dissenting from the new critical race orthodoxy — or even failing to swear fealty to it like some kind of McCarthy-era loyalty oath — is grounds for public humiliation and professional retaliation.

I can no longer continue to work in an environment where I am constantly subjected to additional scrutiny because of my skin color. I can no longer work in an environment where I am told, publicly, that my personal feelings of discomfort under such scrutiny are not legitimate but instead are a manifestation of white supremacy. Perhaps most importantly, I can no longer work in an environment where I am expected to apply similar race-based stereotypes and assumptions to others, and where I am told — when I complain about having to engage in what I believe to be discriminatory practices — that there are “legitimate reasons for asking employees to consider race” in order to achieve the college’s “social justice objectives.”

What passes for “progressive” today at Smith and at so many other institutions is regressive. It taps into humanity’s worst instincts to break down into warring factions, and I fear this is rapidly leading us to a very twisted place. It terrifies me that others don’t seem to see that racial segregation and demonization are wrong and dangerous no matter what its victims look like. Being told that any disagreement or feelings of discomfort somehow upholds “white supremacy” is not just morally wrong. It is psychologically abusive.

Equally troubling are the many others who understand and know full well how damaging this is, but do not speak out due to fear of professional retaliation, social censure, and loss of their livelihood and reputation. I fear that by the time people see it, or those who see it manage to screw up the moral courage to speak out, it will be too late.

I wanted to change things at Smith. I hoped that by bringing an internal complaint, I could somehow get the administration to see that their capitulation to critical race orthodoxy was causing real, measurable harm. When that failed, I hoped that drawing public attention to these problems at Smith would finally awaken the administration to this reality. I have come to conclude, however, that the college is so deeply committed to this toxic ideology that the only way for me to escape the racially hostile climate is to resign. It is completely unacceptable that we are now living in a culture in which one must choose between remaining in a racially hostile, psychologically abusive environment or giving up their income.

As a proud Smith alum, I know what a critical role this institution has played in shaping my life and the lives of so many women for one hundred and fifty years. I want to see this institution be the force for good I know it can be. I will not give up fighting against the dangerous pall of orthodoxy that has descended over Smith and so many of our educational institutions.

This was an extremely difficult decision for me and comes at a deep personal cost. I make $45,000 a year; less than a year’s tuition for a Smith student. I was offered a settlement in exchange for my silence, but I turned it down. My need to tell the truth — and to be the kind of woman Smith taught me to be — makes it impossible for me to accept financial security at the expense of remaining silent about something I know is wrong. My children’s future, and indeed, our collective future as a free nation, depends on people having the courage to stand up to this dangerous and divisive ideology, no matter the cost.

Sincerely,

Jodi Shaw

Weiss writes in her post:

What is happening is wrong. Any ideology that asks people to judge others based on their skin color is wrong. Any ideology that asks us to reduce ourselves and others to racial stereotypes is wrong. Any ideology that treats dissent as evidence of bigotry is wrong. Any ideology that denies our common humanity is wrong. You should say so. Just like Jodi Shaw has.

If you would like to help support Jodi with her legal fees during this time — and I hope you do — here is her GoFundMe.

This is a very important letter, and I hope you share it far and wide.

While Shaw has shown great courage, don’t underestimate the pressure and stress on a person who stands alone against the entirety of the college bureaucracy, and student, faculty, and alumni activists. Such dissidents are not alone, of course, but they stand alone because others are afraid to speak up.

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Comments

Colonel Travis | February 19, 2021 at 6:53 pm

This is so wrong. It must be stopped.

Kendi’s theory that you must discriminate against whites or you’re not anti-racist is the basis of Critical Race Theory (CRT).

It teaches people that it’s okay to be racist – as long as it is against those races the woke approve of today.

The means justify some “equity” outcome. Equity defined as lowering standards and expectations of all people. It means going from “all men created equal” to “all men reduced to some lowest common denominator.” This is socialism wrapped up as race theory.

It’s extortion on a societal scale. They say you have to be an actual racist or we will smear you as a racist. You have to tear down our society or we will call you a bigot. It’s a rhetorical trick that is as clever as it is evil.

How did smart people get sucked into this? It’s no longer possible to be silent and hope this will naturally go away as people come to their senses. People are being bullied, cancelled and brainwashed.

They started with the young who are generally less skeptical and questioning. They used certain events (Floyd) to circumvent resistance.

At this point the only way to stop it is to join together. Create a separate economic union (an “EU”). Speak with your $$. Imagine 100 million people of like-mind who create their own socio-economic eco-system. A group that large cannot be cancelled. Socio-economic Brexit for America.

I know a group that is working on a non-profit org that plans to introduce this concept.

Reply if you would support such a concept.

    nomadic100 in reply to Ben Kent. | February 19, 2021 at 7:59 pm

    Bravo, Mr. Kent!

    henrybowman in reply to Ben Kent. | February 19, 2021 at 10:33 pm

    Heh. Yeah, I have supported such a concept. Out of this very principle, I had to cancel a credit card I had been with for 38 years, a bank I had done business with for 20, a restaurant chain I’d been patronizing for 30, two streaming services, and a domain registrar I’ve used for 20, among others. But I don’t see freedom-friendly alternatives cropping up to solicit my business, only “neutral-so-far” alternatives that could turn on me tomorrow. And I still have business that needs done.

    GatorGuy in reply to Ben Kent. | February 20, 2021 at 6:22 am

    Unfortunately for, you know, unity and all, the problem is perfectly assessed and managed, BK.

    Yes, I support this.

    Larry17 in reply to Ben Kent. | February 20, 2021 at 11:18 pm

    I would like to know more about this.

The Friendly Grizzly | February 19, 2021 at 7:08 pm

Maybe it’s time to re-segregate?

    JusticeDelivered in reply to The Friendly Grizzly. | February 19, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    I had an innate dislike for KKK and what it stood for.

    I approved when SPLC sued the white supremist group and bankrupted them.

    Eventually I discovered that SPLC was just another con game.

    The Zimmerman case and a long stream of others made me wonder if either of the above were the right outcome. I would like to that was not the case.

    And now we have CRT, yet I still cannot bring myself to wish those who are competent, study and work hard to fail. It is clear that they can and do.

    But the rest of them, all those strutting losers, really need to be put in their place. Anyone supporting them should receive the same treatment.

This site and other folks who call this stuff out are gaining ground. For what it’s worth, if you haven’t read The “Coddling of the American Mind” by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, it’s well worth your time. It’s short (269 pages), beautifully written, concise, clear and thoughtful. It puts a lot of things together in a very coherent way. https://www.thecoddling.com

I’ve said it for years: DEFUND the UNIVERSITIES. The beast thrives on money – often times government money regardless of private/public university. Unless and until these institutions are impacted by monetary forces, nothing will change.

Title 6 of the ’64 civil rights act specifically prohibits race based discrimination.

“If a recipient of federal assistance is found to have discriminated and voluntary compliance cannot be achieved, the federal agency providing the assistance should either initiate fund termination proceedings or refer the matter to the Department of Justice for appropriate legal action.”

Persecuting white people for being white, and objecting to that persecution appears, to me, to meet that definition.

If only this nation had something akin to a Department of Justice to enforce such laws.

    You’re right – but the Biden Administration will never defund the Universities.

    We need to unite to fund the good and to defund institutions that are destroying society. A economic Brexit of sorts.

    Is it too much to expect people to act based on their values. To put their $ where their mouth and head are?

    It would require millions of people. But, it seems that there is no choice. Otherwise it will come to a point where people have no choice but to leave the US or accept Big Brother.

      henrybowman in reply to Ben Kent. | February 19, 2021 at 10:43 pm

      “Is it too much to expect people to act based on their values. To put their $ where their mouth and head are?”

      Pulling your $ can be painful, but is technically simple.
      Finding a more appropriate place to put those $ can be near-on impossible.

      Yeah, there’s sometimes some patriot enclave offering to provide you the “same” service. But you find out their service is not even a fraction as capable as what you gave up.

      Look at all the gold-medal profs getting cancelled by squish universities. Where’s the new, robust university I can send my kids to that hired all those profs? Where’s the patriot bank that won’t rat me to some gnome in DC for buying ammo or traveling to a protest? Where’s the patriot streaming service that can show something more entertaining than B&W public domain B-movies (with ads)?

      Edward in reply to Ben Kent. | February 20, 2021 at 9:23 am

      The Barak Biden administration will find, as Ms. Shaw was informed, that the Civil Rights Act provisions were never intended to, and do not, apply to white people. The administration will act accordingly.

CRT converts more people to racism than it will ever deconvert, born from the resentment of those force-fed ideas they know to be ridiculous.

Which will be paraded around as proof than even more CRT is needed. A vicious, self-perpetuating cycle.

As real racist attitudes have faded, leftilibrals have had to invent more and more phoney racism to keep the issue on life support. They’d never willingly give up their most useful political axe.

This is exactly why universities and colleges need an explicit, fundamental statement that protects speech and expression, much like that at the University of Chicago. Without that bedrock the social justice wankers will eventually take over the institution. This is what happens after that.

    But UCF claims to have such a statement, and they’re being sued by Speech First. Statements are only as good as the administration that backs them up.

am old enough to remember when the aclu, regardless of what the governmemt may/may not have been willing to do, would have walked in to the university president’s office and served him personally

I wonder if it could be argued in court that some tenants of CRT are in direct opposition to religious belief.

In Buddhism a fundamental tenant is to be “true to your inner nature”. Examples of this are found, for example, in the story of the frog and the scorpion, or a saying that is used as the title of a Jon Kabat-Zinn book “Wherever you go there you are.”

So by engaging in some aspects of CRT like denouncing your whiteness, you are being forced to go against a religions teaching.

    Longplay in reply to thad_the_man. | February 19, 2021 at 9:22 pm

    It violates something more broadly applicable than religious tenets. It’s essentially racial harrassment that creates a hostile work environment. Anyone coerced into attending such “training” should sye the pants off their employer.

Following the PRC model, or the PRC is following the Progressive model, including: selective-child, rabid diversity (i.e. color judgments), to concentration/reeducation camps. Diversity [dogma], not limited to racism, is a progressive (i.e. monotonic) condition and threatens to liberalize (i.e. diverge).

Semantic games. Conceptual corruption. Conflation of logical domains. One step forward, two steps backward. #HateLovesAbortion

Has any word been abused as much as “training”?

I think of “training” as a very short course intended to teach a narrowly defined skill. Such as, how to effectively use a software application, or how to perform maintenance on a particular machine.

Is it necessary to point out that this political bullying, these coercive methods used to get participants to publicly agree with “truths” they privately deny, are not “training.”

Yet everyone, it seems, continues to call this sort of thing “training” when it is nothing of the sort.

    DaveGinOly in reply to Albigensian. | February 19, 2021 at 9:26 pm

    There’s no need for “re-education” camps. The Left is turning every government agency, every school, every university, and every workplace into classrooms for “re-education.” It’s really pretty slick. Without the barbed wire, guard towers, and dog-runs, most people will never realize they are living in a concentration camp.

    henrybowman in reply to Albigensian. | February 20, 2021 at 7:13 pm

    “Has any word been abused as much as “training”?”

    “Retraining.”

    For when you resisted the bullshit propaganda you received during “training.”

Another Prisoner of Woke, they will force out any dissenters.

JusticeDelivered | February 19, 2021 at 8:12 pm

Racism, and the same community tosses both N and F words around like candy being handed out on Halloween.

When I saw the headline I was deeply saddened because I think we need more courageous men and women like Ms. Shaw to stay and fight this insidious indoctrination but after reading her extraordinary letter I understand she had no choice.

It is so deeply troubling. I can probably count on 3 fingers the number of GFMs to which I have contributed over the years but I will making a donation to her.

    She is, indeed, courageous. This Smith Alum and former employee also fits the definition of a mugged liberal.

      henrybowman in reply to Edward. | February 20, 2021 at 7:18 pm

      Yes, but in the comment sections of some online venues she is receiving no love or credit for this, given the disclosure that “she is a lifelong liberal.” The question is whether she sees the error of her past allegiances, or whether she is only fighting for her personal rights?

I hope Jody can get some solid legal help and hang Smith College out to dry …

This shit has to be stopped.

    DaveGinOly in reply to PODKen. | February 19, 2021 at 9:16 pm

    “This was an extremely difficult decision for me and comes at a deep personal cost. I make $45,000 a year; less than a year’s tuition for a Smith student. I was offered a settlement in exchange for my silence, but I turned it down. My need to tell the truth — and to be the kind of woman Smith taught me to be — makes it impossible for me to accept financial security at the expense of remaining silent about something I know is wrong.”

    That and to keep her decks cleared for when she sues the bejezus out of them.

To paraphrase “randian” (who wrote a comment on this site upon which this is based):
False allegations of racism create a system of oppression.

Am I wrong in thinking this can’t be legal? Were this forced re-education aimed at “people of color “, coercing them into denigrating their race, the perpetrators would be hauled into court and hit with harsh financial penalties. Is this a matter of legal aid funding in addition to courage?

You aren’t wrong, but the question seems irrelevant. If the last few months haven’t taught us that “legal” is a one-way street, then I don’t know what will.

The nation as a whole is too far gone. The only winners are the destroyers. We’re just too far outnumbered.

Secession is our only hope for freedom and safety.

“Before even investigating the facts of the incident, the college immediately issued a public apology to the student, placed the employee on leave, and announced its intention to create new initiatives, committees, workshops, trainings, and policies aimed at combating ‘systemic racism’ on campus.”

Note the tipping point, Leftist tyrannical Smith’s “Reichstag fire” event, which led to such yet unwarranted, sweeping cultural changes at the college — an administrative reaction just waiting to happen — just unavoidably implemented in response to the obviously true and long-felt, pervasive climate of racism, long-present on campus.

Of course.

So ran the classic neo-Marxist, fake outrage — a persona-front for ushering in the sociopolitical authoritarianism now established, and so well-earned in the college administration’s view by its long march through the institution’s departments over decades and decades of revolutionary, social progress.

Jodi’s, at base, in my regular, everyday person’s opinion, a very mentally healthy person, to say at once about her the least and the most, a model of courage and conviction for today’s terrible, troubled times in America — its really tragic but wholly predictable Zeitgeist.

Temple should hire her immediately and contract her as a special consultant (in my fantasied re-do of itself), leading, first, to the dismissal of and separation from the racist, BLM-inspired, anti-Semitic Farrakhanian, Marc Lamont Hill.

In the days of Smith College’s founding and purpose and long after, Barri Weiss would be well on her way to a Pulitzer.

Not in today’s United States. I couldn’t feel any more put off than how I do in response to the present cultural climate — and determined to fight against its toxic ideology and pervasive, racist and perverse, bigoted tyranny.

Under no circumstances, would I hire any graduate from any of these leftist nut houses.

Flesh Tone Lives Matter

An extensive comment thread on this topic was posted yesterday on the private UNOFFICIAL, UNCENSORED Oberlin Alumni Facebook Discussion Group. It is gone this morning. The thread had strong opinions on the issue, some of which excoriated both Bari Weiss and Jodi Shaw.

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