Professor Allegedly Investigated by College for Months After Pushing Back on ‘White Fragility Training’
“a cartoonishly over-the-top disciplinary process that included the hiring of a private investigator, dozens of interviews, and claims of widespread trauma”
Questioning the left’s agenda marks you as someone who needs to be investigated. These are the same people who called Trump a fascist.
A Professor Pushed Back Against ‘White Fragility’ Training. The College Investigated Her for 9 Months.
Elisa Parrett, a newly tenured 38-year-old professor of English at Lake Washington Institute of Technology, the only public technical institute in Washington state, realized last June that she had some qualms about the approach her university—which is located in suburban Seattle and has about 6,000 students—had taken to diversity and inclusion.
Her concerns about the campus climate had been mounting for a while. “I wasn’t exactly open about my political positions at work, but I didn’t exactly keep them a secret either,” says Parrett, whose heterodox politics led her to vote for Green Party nominee Jill Stein in 2016 and for Donald Trump last year. “I simply avoided bringing politics up and avoided mentioning my views unless they seemed relevant to things other people had already said.” She didn’t like the rise of the concept of “safe spaces,” or certain aspects of what she calls “capital-A anti-racist pedagogy,” which she views as being distinct from mere opposition to racism.
But what most concerned her was an upcoming diversity training in which faculty and staff would be divided into white and nonwhite “caucuses.” In the wake of George Floyd’s death and the protests that then erupted all over the country, LWTech had, like so many other educational institutions, embarked on a large, highly visible attempt to make itself a more inclusive, less racist place. The session was a part of that. It was called Courageous Conversations, and it was scheduled for June 19…
What happened over the next nine months was both bizarre and oppressive. Because of a brief disruption that easily could have been brushed aside or handled with a warning not to do it again, LWTech went to war against a tenured faculty member, launching a cartoonishly over-the-top disciplinary process that included the hiring of a private investigator, dozens of interviews, and claims of widespread trauma.
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Tenured faculty have an obligation to do as Prof. Parrett did. If academic freedom is not used to address the real pressing issues of the day, then nobody should have the damned job protection at all and we can go to all adjuncts.