Research and teacher assistants at Texas Christian University were required to take a two-hour “microaggressions workshop” that encouraged students to become “anti-racist” in the workplace.
According to email correspondence from the Diversity and Inclusion office at Texas Christian University (TCU), graduate students were encouraged to take the university’s “Microaggressions Workshop” on March 2. The training is one of many trainings, such as the upcoming “Unconscious Bias Workshop,” which is also mandatory for students who hold research or teaching assistant positions.
The workshop was facilitated by the school’s Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator, Florencio Aranda, and TCU graduate student and former K-12 educator Leslie Ekpe. Aranda has advocated for students and staff to take part in the 21-day equity challenge which asks people to “develop a deeper understanding of how inequity and racism affect our lives and communities.”
Ekpe, the other facilitator, has written articles about the importance of becoming a “social justice educator.” In another article, Epke called on K-12 institutions to become “anti-racist” to alleviate the “ongoing racial injustice and global health crisis” of black people.
According to materials obtained by The Daily Wire, the training offered three case scenarios wherein students were instructed to stand up to alleged racism.
In the first scenario, a coworker opens up about wanting to send his child to private schools because he’s “worried about [his] daughter being in class with those kids.” In the second scenario, a 40-year-old woman at work became visibly upset because she did not get a promotion she thought she had in the bag. The person who did receive the promotion was a 25-year-old Indian-American woman. The 40-year-old woman is upset about affirmative action.
In the final scenario, an acquaintance asks you what you’re doing this weekend. You say, “Oh, I’m going to a workshop to practice talking about racism.” She looks startled and says, “Interesting. I wouldn’t need that. I’m colorblind. I don’t see race, only the human race.”
All three scenarios were designed to provoke students into confronting coworkers and friends that do not have an “anti-racist” worldview.
Another exercise obtained by The Daily Wire shows two columns, the first column has a statement and the second column has possible interpretations. Students were asked to match statements from the first column with possible interpretations in the second column.
All of these statements are considered “microaggressions.”
One statement reads, “you can succeed if you try hard enough.” Possible interpretations include, “your identity is invalid,” “you should assimilate to the dominant culture,” “you are lazy,” and “people of your background are unintelligent.”
Another reads, “you speak English very well.” Possible interpretations of this include “Blacks are all criminals” or “You are not American.”
The statement, “everyone take out your smartphone. Let’s take a poll,” was also considered harmful because people may interpret from the statement that “everyone has enough money for common items.” Assuming that students have the money for a smartphone while paying $50,000 in tuition does not appear harmful, but according to the training, it is.
Texas Christian University did not respond to requests for comment in time for publication.
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