I thought the race debate reached a new low when Gummy Bear maker Haribo was accused of racism for making African mask Gummies, but what happened at UCLA this week makes that look sane. 25 University of California Los Angeles students participated in a sit-in protest because, get this, one of their professors had the gall to correct grammar and spelling issues on some black students’ papers.
Val Rust, a professor of education and information, was the target of the protestors for what they feel was racial insensitivity. Describing themselves as “aggrieved minority students,” they claim that the professor was wrong to correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar in the papers of black students.
Call 2 Action: Graduate Students of Color, the group which launched the sit-in, said the act of correcting a black student was “micro-aggression.” But it’s much worse than you think. The group issued the following statement:
“A hostile campus climate has been the norm for Students of Color in this class throughout the quarter as our epistemological and methodological commitments have been repeatedly questioned by our classmates and our instructor. The barrage of questions by white colleagues and the grammar ‘lessons’ by the professor have contributed to a hostile class climate.”
Did you get that? Trying to hold black students to a college level of proper writing skill is a hostile act of racism. And you know they are serious; just look at all those big words they used in their statement.
For all the hype and grandstanding over their professor’s “crime” the only example the protesters could put forth was this: he told a black female student that the word “indigenous” should not be capitalized. The student felt this correction was “ideologically motivated.” Indigenous is an adjective and should not be capitalized unless it’s at the beginning of a sentence like the way I just used it. I learned that in grade school.
For his part, Rust has claimed that he meant no offense to minorities, stating, “I have attempted to be rather thorough on the papers and am particularly concerned that they do a good job with their bibliographies and citations.”
What a monster. He’s like Hitler and the KKK rolled into one inhuman racist entity.
The professor also thinks that the protest is at least partially motivated because he allowed a discussion/argument to take place in his class between a white student and a black student. The black student told the white woman that she had no right to feel oppressed, and Rust did not express agreement either way. Will this man’s crimes never cease?
Correcting punctuation and allowing discourse are not acts of racism; they are what college professors are supposed to do. Al Sharpton has taught these students well. Take anything negative that happens to a black person, especially if it is their fault, blow it out of proportion and voila: you have racism. Of course they are still students and haven’t yet figured out how to turn that racism into money, but Rev. Al has a good post-graduate course for that.