If you’re looking for peak idiocy from academic institutions that are falling all over themselves to kowtow to the mob’s notions of “social justice,” look no further.
The English Department at Rutgers University has declared that proper use of grammar is a hidden form of racism because it disadvantages students of “multilingual, non-standard ‘academic’ English backgrounds.”
Grammar is rather boring, so the department is going to sex it up with all sorts of fascinating additions.
The “critical grammar” approach challenges the standard academic form of the English language in favor of a more inclusive writing experience. The curriculum puts an emphasis on the variability of the English language instead of accuracy.
“This approach challenges the familiar dogma that writing instruction should limit emphasis on grammar/sentence-level issues so as to not put students from multilingual, non-standard ‘academic’ English backgrounds at a disadvantage,” Walkowitz said. “Instead, it encourages students to develop a critical awareness of the variety of choices available to them [with] regard to micro-level issues in order to empower them and equip them to push against biases based on ‘written’ accents.”
“Variability instead of accuracy” means incorrect usage of grammatical norms. It’s nice that someone speaks a foreign language, but isn’t the whole point of teaching proper grammar teaching foreigners the proper way to speak English?
Yes, but it’s white and it’s male, and it’s gotta go.
Unfortunately, Rutgers apparently missed the mark with some activists. Aside from being incomprehensibly stupid, the change is, itself, virulently racist.
Leonydus Johnson, a speech pathologist and libertarian activist, said the school’s change makes the racist assumption that minorities cannot comprehend traditional English. Johnson called the change “insulting, patronizing, and in itself, extremely racist.”
“The idea that expecting a student to write in grammatically correct sentences is indicative of racial bias is asinine,” Johnson told the Washington Free Beacon. “It’s like these people believe that being non-white is an inherent handicap or learning disability…. That’s racism. It has become very clear to me that those who claim to be ‘anti-racist’ are often the most racist people in this country.”
I guess it depends on how you think about the idea of “language.” You and I and the rest of the sane world see language as a way to communicate. Writing or speaking using a common language with (mostly) agreed-upon definitions for words is the key to communicating and understanding ideas. Even abstract ideas like emotions and feelings can be communicated using commonly accepted forms of grammar.
Grammar “greases the skids” of communication by making things easier to understand. Form and function merge seamlessly and effortlessly so that an intelligent conversation is possible.
But “critical grammar” is so counterintuitive that we’d have to think about every word we use in order to avoid “bias.” That’s the price we pay for “decolonization.”
The Rutgers English department created a Committee on Bias Awareness and Prevention in 2012. In light of Black Lives Matter protests, the school has moved past bias awareness and prevention and into a focus on “decolonization.” Walkowitz’s email talks of “decolonizing the writing center.” The department offers a specific internship titled “Decolonizing the Writing Center” to “make the writing centers more linguistically diverse.”
When will students revolt against this nonsense? Or will they remain sheep and be led around by their noses by ignoramuses so besotted with ideology they can’t think straight?