“raises alarm bells about the state of free expression and freedom of conscience at Oklahoma’s flagship university”
Explosive recordings obtained by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) show how higher education continues to censor and indoctrinate students.
This is another example of political bias on college campuses. Students are being told what to think and what not to think.
The University of Oklahoma is a public university. What’s happening here is a clear violation of the constitution.
Daniel Burnett and Sabrina Conza report at the FIRE Newsdesk:
‘Stop talking right now’: University of Oklahoma training shows instructors how to censor, indoctrinate students
Do you question whether refusing to use preferred pronouns is hate speech? You can’t — writing on that topic is “not acceptable.”
Think Black Lives Matter shouldn’t engage in property destruction? We’ll have to “re-adjust” your thinking.
If you’re a student at the University of Oklahoma — congratulations! Your instructor may already have done all of the thinking for you. But beware: Deviating too far from an instructor’s personal opinions can cost you.
A recording of an “Anti-Racist Rhetoric & Pedagogies” workshop acquired by FIRE raises alarm bells about the state of free expression and freedom of conscience at Oklahoma’s flagship university…
“Anti-Racist Rhetoric and Pedagogies” is one of nine professional development workshops for instructors and grad students at OU. Held on April 14, it featured three faculty presenters teaching instructors how to foster an anti-racist environment in their classrooms. But it’s not just racism the presenters encourage participants to root out.
One of the workshop leaders, Kelli Pyron Alvarez, explained in the recording how undergraduate students in one of her introductory English courses are “a little bit more emboldened to be racist” (17:17). To combat this, she forbids huge swaths of classroom speech, including “derogatory remarks, critiques, and hate speech,” as well as “white supremacist ideas or sources,” unless the student is using those sources to dismantle racism.
In one chilling passage, the instructor uses the phrase “report them.”
If you are wondering what sources or ideas are off limits because they fall into Pyron Alvarez’s subjective categories of white supremacist sources or “derogatory remarks” — well, she never specifies, so you should be.
Making a mistake can cost you: “If they use any of those things, if any of those come through in their writing or in their comments, I will call them out on it.” (18:20)
And if it happens again, “report them.”
Imagine being an OU student who is “reported,” presumably to the administration, simply for your choice of text to analyze or what sources you include in a bibliography.
This is an actual description of thoughtcrime.
Pyron Alvarez’ fellow workshop leader Kasey Woody later goes into some detail on how instructors can “steer” students away from “problematic territory” to accomplish this. (46:01)
“I, in this case, usually look for my students who might be, like, entertaining the idea of listening to a problematic argument. Then I say, ‘we don’t have to listen to that.’” (45:45)
That’s right — even thinking about listening to a disfavored argument is apparently to be discouraged.
This short clip will give you an idea of what’s happening:
A recording of an “Anti-Racist Rhetoric & Pedagogies” workshop acquired by FIRE raises alarm bells about the state of free expression and conscience at @UofOklahoma.https://t.co/8DXLXnaqbf pic.twitter.com/JkU5JMEOel
— FIRE (@TheFIREorg) June 22, 2021
The hour-long video of the training is below if you have the time or desire to watch it. Here’s an example of what you’ll hear:
Another participant asked what rights instructors are supposed to respect. (You will no doubt be shocked to hear that freedom of speech or conscience is not found in the workshop leaders’ answer.) Asked what they should do if, for example, a cisgender student wanted to examine arguments about the use of someone’s preferred pronouns, Woody focuses on “leading them” away from wanting to even debate the issue, because, she suggests, the stakes aren’t as high for a cisgender student. She advises instructors to sit the student down and “have a conversation — and be kind with the student about it — but help kind of lead them.” (57:30)
Pyron Alvarez has a distinctly different answer.
“I’m not so kind,” she responds. “If they’re writing and their goal is like ‘Oh, I should be able to use whatever pronouns I deem acceptable for this person despite how they identify,’ then they are invalidating that person’s humanity and their existence. And that’s not acceptable. So I flat out tell them that. This is what this is doing. You need to pick something else. You’re not doing that.”
These people are not educators. They are political actors and tyrants, and they’re being paid with taxpayer dollars.
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