English is Racist

Yes, you heard it hear first. SJW Progressives at the University of Washington in Tacoma have decided for their “inclusive” writing course (s) that English in of itself is inherently Racist!

So the language you speak and think in is Racist. You are Racist. The words you speak are inherently racist.

So if you’re White you’re born racist and the language you learn is Racist. So you’re just a dirty Racist out of the box.

The Progressive’s Original Sin. And they are here to cleanse you of it, and any capacity for rational or critical thought along the way.

The UW Tacoma Writing Center has taken significant steps towards standing against racism in the field of writing. With its new antiracism and social justice statement, the Center starts a conversation on the discrimination and alienation that often go unnoticed in academia. As the statement urges, “there is no inherent ‘standard’ of English,” and with this in mind, the Center aims to ensure that through compassion and careful consideration, staff do not inadvertently embrace racist practices.

The writing center works from several important beliefs that are crucial to helping writers write and succeed in a racist society. The racist conditions of our society are not simply a matter of bias or prejudice that some people hold. In fact, most racism, for instance, is not accomplished through intent. Racism is the normal condition of things. Racism is pervasive. It is in the systems, structures, rules, languages, expectations, and guidelines that make up our classes, school, and society. For example, linguistic and writing research has shown clearly for many decades that there is no inherent “standard” of English. Language is constantly changing. These two facts make it very difficult to justify placing people in hierarchies or restricting opportunities and privileges because of the way people communicate in particular versions of English.

Because we all live, work, learn, and communicate within such racist systems, the consultants in the writing center assume that a big part of our job is to help students become more critical of these unjust language structures as they affect students’ writing and the judgment of that writing. In particular, being aware of racism as structural offers students the best chances to develop as writers and succeed on their own terms in an inherently racist society.

Furthermore, by acknowledging and critiquing the systemic racism that forms parts of UWT and the languages and literacies expected in it, students and writing center consultants can cultivate a more socially just future for everyone. Just avoiding racism is not enough because it means we are doing nothing to stop racism at large, and it amounts to allowing racism to continue.

Spearheaded by Writing Center Director Dr. Asao Inoue—who is also an associate professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences and director of university writing—the statement is very much influenced by Inoue’s research on racism in writing assessments. In his 2015 book, Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies: Teaching and Assessing Writing for a Socially Just Future, Inoue considered the many ways in which racism becomes apparent in academia, as well as proposed that only through the acknowledgment of structures of racism could they begin to be dismantled. Dr. Inoue, who has received two Outstanding Book Awards—the first in 2014 for Race and Writing Assessment and again in 2017 for Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies—from the Conference on College Composition and Communication, has dedicated his career to the study of rhetoric and composition, in order to better understand and work to solve racial inequity in academia.

Every student, regardless of their background, comes to college with a different collection of experiences, said Dr. Inoue. “The anti-racism statement is a document that took over a year to collaboratively create with writing center professional staff and student writing consultants. It was officially put up and incorporated in our work in the fall of 2016, so we are just beginning.” Dr. Inoue contends that in order for something to become anti-racist, there must first be an earnest discussion of how racism has produced certain standards of education or systems themselves. As a result of the pervasiveness of racism, Inoue argues, its presence must be acknowledged on a systemic level, and thus this statement was born.

“It is a founding assumption that, if believed, one must act differently than we, the institution and its agents, have up to this point,” said Inoue. While overt racism is usually easily identified, more elusive are microaggressions, forms of degradation which manifest on a subconscious and casual level. As the statement reads “Racism is pervasive. It is in the systems, structures, rules, languages, expectations, and guidelines that make up our classes, school, and society,”

Ultimately, the statement exists in the hopes that by understanding racism and imparting students with a critical thought process, that they may be better prepared not only to develop as writers but also to achieve their highest possible level of success.

Dr. Jill Purdy, vice chancellor of undergraduate affairs and an advocate for the writing statement, notes that it “is a great example of how we are striving to act against racism. Language is the bridge between ideas and action, so how we use words has a lot of influence on what we think and do.”

The writing center consultants and staff promise to listen and look carefully and compassionately for ways that we may unintentionally perpetuate racism or social injustice, actively engaging in antiracist practices. For instance, we promise to:

  • be sensitive to our language practices (what we say or allow to be said) and other microaggressions that may make some people feel uncomfortable or feel in some way inferior;

  • openly discuss social justice issues as they pertain to the writing at hand;

  • emphasize the importance of rhetorical situations over grammatical “correctness” in the production of texts;

  • be reflective and critical of the practices we engage in;

  • provide students ways to be more aware of grammar as a rhetorical set of choices with various consequences;

  • discuss racism and social justice issues openly in productive ways;

  • advocate for the things that will make our Center safe, welcoming, productive, proactive; (Orwell is proud of you, my son…)

  • challenge conventional word choices and writing explanations; (ed: Censorship)

  • conduct on-going assessments of the work of the writing center, looking specifically for patterns or potential inequalities or oppressive practices that may be occurring in the Center. (but not against white people, Christians , Cisgender Males)

We also realize that racism is connected to other forms of social injustice, such as classism, sexism, heteronormative assumptions, etc., in similar ways. We promise further to do our best to compassionately address these issues as they pertain to student writing as well.

But don’t worry, The Thought Police aren’t watching you, you racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, transphobic, bigot! 🙂

You are inherently Evil and it is our Holy Duty to beat that out of you so you become a mindless snowflake who responds without hesitation,deviation or even any thought at all to your Zombie Groupthink.

ego

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