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9 Jul, 2020 04:49

Princeton University faculty seek to establish racial thought police & punish insufficiently diverse disciplines

Princeton University faculty seek to establish racial thought police & punish insufficiently diverse disciplines

Professors at prestigious Princeton University have assailed the school for its alleged “anti-Black racism,” issuing a lengthy list of demands including bribing departments to hire minorities (and punishing those that don’t).

Over 350 Princeton faculty members have signed on to an open letter demanding the university prioritize the fight against “anti-Black racism,” which the writers insist “has a visible bearing upon Princeton’s campus makeup and its hiring practices.” Members of every department of the Ivy League school except Chemical and Biological Engineering and Operations Research and Financial Engineering have added their names to the July 4 manifesto, giving its 48 demands significant heft. 

For an “anti-racist” missive, however, some of the demands seem curiously…racist. Nonwhite faculty are to receive extra sabbaticals, extra pay and extra awards to compensate for the “invisible work” they do, the letter states, explaining how minority professors are called upon to “chiefly and constantly ‘serve’ and ‘represent’ [racial diversity] in the interest of administrative goals” even as its authors enumerate ever more diversity-focused administrative goals. 

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Lamenting that just 7 percent of tenure-track faculty are non-white, the writers suggest giving those oppressed few “a full year of course relief” to seek out and recruit more faculty of color. 

More ominously, an “outside committee of academics, law professors, artists, and cultural advisors from communities of color” are to be brought in to make decisions about “race, racism, anti-racism, and racial equity” that will impact the entire campus, while an “internal committee of faculty and students of color” must be appointed to hold the university accountable for carrying out these outsiders’ demands. 

In addition to essentially bribing departments to hire minority professors, the school is ordered to financially punish those that don’t, “enforc[ing] repercussions” for those departments that “show no progress in appointing faculty of color.” Any hiring process that shows “no evidence of a concerted effort to assemble a diverse candidate pool” is to be squashed. 

The university is guided toward racial segregation in the name of countering racism, whether by tasking minority faculty with hiring their racial peers or paying minority students to mentor underclass(wo)men of their own race. Administrators are to hold “semesterly open conversations” only with “students, faculty and staff of color” – no whites allowed, apparently. The Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity is ordered to work with individual departments to devise tailored plans for “anti-racist research, teaching, hiring, and retention,” ensuring no discipline can squirm out from under its responsibility to redress centuries-old grievances. 

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The university website must include a line on its homepage acknowledging the campus’ occupation of “indigenous land,” and all faculty must undergo anti-bias training, the letter continues, adding that standardized testing should probably be abolished (it’s “strongly correlated with the underrepresentation of people of color on college campuses,” after all). 

Perhaps most disturbingly, the letter-writers want a faculty committee tasked with “investigation and discipline of racist behaviors, incidents, research, and publication on the part of faculty,” a sort of diversity Stasi empowered to enforce the rigid parody of tolerance that has become the new normal in academia. Suggesting the guidelines for what constitutes racist behavior and so on will be “authored by a faculty committee,” they appear to be nominating themselves for the role. 

Lest Princeton students feel like they’re left out of the action, the letter-writers suggest the school “acknowledge, credit, and incentivize anti-racist student activism,” starring with a “formal public University apology to the members of the Black Justice League” – the student protesters who have for years demanded Princeton remove the name of former US President (and former Princeton president) Woodrow Wilson from its School of Public Policy and International Affairs. The group staged a 2015 sit-in demanding the removal of Wilson’s name from all school buildings due to his racism, preceding the wave of “anti-racist” activism that has taken academia – and the US itself – by storm. 

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Indeed, many of the BJL’s demands (including a dedicated black-only student space on campus) are echoed in the professors’ letter, and similar screeds have popped up at universities across the country, from the California State University faculty union to the University of Texas football team. 

Princeton voted last month to remove Wilson’s name from the school, a decision university president Chris Eisgruber justified by pointing to the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

But the letter-writers’ intentions extend far beyond the Ivy League institution’s walls. “Given Princeton’s influence,” they write, these “principled steps” are designed to “move the dial further toward justice for…the world.”

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