Have you ever talked to someone without making eye contact for whatever reason? Maybe you’re shy, or maybe you have ADHD and get distracted easily. Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter according to Oxford University.
You see, the UK school that’s often associated with an elite education has decreed that failing to make eye contact is racist.
Students who avoid making eye contact with their peers could be guilty of racism, according to Oxford University’s latest guidance.
The university’s Equality and Diversity Unit has advised students that “not speaking directly to people” could be deemed a “racial microaggression” which can lead to “mental ill-health”.
Other examples of “everyday racism” include asking someone where they are “originally” from, students were told.
Oxford University’s Equality and Diversity Unit explains in its Trinity term newsletter that “some people who do these things may be entirely well-meaning, and would be mortified to realise that they had caused offence.
“But this is of little consequence if a possible effect of their words or actions is to suggest to people that they may fulfil a negative stereotype, or do not belong”.
It’s worth noting that while Oxford argues it’s “everyday racism” to ask where someone is originally from, it’s also considered racist by many U.S. schools to not be immediately understanding of someone’s ethnicity and culture. From time to time, you have to ask questions to know that…but asking questions is problematic.
Is it any wonder that many of us view this whole thing as a no-win scenario and aren’t even bothering to try any longer?
Not everyone in the UK is agreeing with Oxford.
Dr Joanna Williams, a lecturer in higher education the University of Kent, said the guidance was “completely ridiculous” and will make students “hyper-sensitive” about how they interact with one another.
“Essentially people are being accused of a thought crime,” Dr Williams told The Telegraph. “They are being accused of thinking incorrect thoughts based on an assumption of where they may or may not be looking.”
Dr Williams, who is author of Academic Freedom in an Age of Conformity, said that Oxford University’s guidance was “overstepping the mark” by telling students “how they should feel and think”.
The reality is that people don’t look others in the eye for a myriad of reasons, and most of them have nothing to do with race. However, western colleges are determined to indoctrinate into the cult of social justice, and this can only happen if people feel guilty about everything they do.
So, we see colleges push forth the idea that almost everything anyone does is problematic in some way. Even tame behavior like simply not looking someone in the eye.