By: Kate Cortes   

diversity12142134As reported by The College Fix, University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student Jason Morgan is
receiving media attention after he sent an email letter refusing to
attend mandatory “diversity training” classes for Teaching
Assistants. The letter, sent on Sept. 22, claims that the mandatory
diversity training is liberal indoctrination, and requests that the
classes be made optional, as “neither the Department nor the
university has any right to subject anyone to such intellectual
tyranny.” Morgan did attend the first day of the “training”, in
which he was presumed racist for being white, and was taught to ask
students which pronouns they use to describe themselves
(he/her/trans)?

Good for Jason Morgan for standing up to his University’s administration and giving a voice to conservative students nationwide who are subjected to “trainings” that conflict with their religious, philosophical etc. beliefs. 

Below is Morgan’s letter:

Dear Graduate Director Prof. Kantrowitz,

Please forgive this sudden e-mail. I am writing to you today
about the “diversity” training that new teaching assistants (TAs)
are required to undergo. In keeping with the spirit of the
Wisconsin Idea, I am also blind-copying on this e-mail several
journalistic outlets and state government officials, because the
taxpayers who support this university deserve to know how their
money is being spent.

As you are probably aware, all new TAs in the History
Department are required to attend one orientation session, two TA
training sessions, and two diversity sessions. Yesterday (Friday,
September 20th), we new TAs attended the first of the diversity
sessions. To be quite blunt, I was appalled. What we were given,
under the rubric of “diversity,” was an avalanche of insinuations,
outright accusations, and suffocating political indoctrination (or,
as some of the worksheets revealingly put it, “re-education”)
entirely unbecoming a university of our stature.

Students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and
students at probably every other public institution of higher
education in this country, have long since grown accustomed to
incessant leftism. It is in the very air that we breathe. Bascom
Hill, for example, is roped off and the university is shut down so
that Barack Obama (D), Mark Pocan (D), and Tammy Baldwin (D) can
deliver campaign speeches before election day. (The university
kindly helped direct student traffic to these campaign events by
sending out a mass e-mail encouraging the student body to go to the
Barack Obama for President website and click “I’m In for Barack!”
in order to attend.) Marxist diatribes denouncing Christianity,
Christians, the United States, and conservatives (I am happy to
provide as many examples of this as might be required) are assigned
as serious scholarship in seminars. The Teaching Assistants
Association (TAA)-which sent out mass e-mails, using History
Department list-servs, during the attempt to recall Governor Scott
Walker, accusing Gov. Walker of, among other things, being
“Nero”-is allowed to address TA and graduate student sessions as a
“non-partisan organization”. The History Department sponsors a
leftist political rally, along with the Socialist Party of
Wisconsin, and advertises for the rally via a departmental e-mail
(sent, one presumes, using state computers by employees drawing
salaries from a state institution). In short, this university finds
it convenient to pretend that it is an apolitical entity, but one
need not be particularly astute to perceive that the Madison campus
is little more than a think tank for the hard left. Even those who
wholeheartedly support this political agenda might in all candor
admit that the contours of the leftism here are somewhat less than
subtle.

At the “diversity” training yesterday, though, even this fig
leaf of apoliticism was discarded. In an utterly unprofessional
way, the overriding presumption of the session was that the people
whom the History Department has chosen to employ as teaching
assistants are probably racists. In true “diversity” style, the
language in which the presentation was couched was marbled with
words like “inclusive”, “respect”, and “justice”. But the tone was
unmistakably accusatory and radical. Our facilitator spoke openly
of politicizing her classrooms in order to right (take revenge
for?) past wrongs. We opened the session with chapter-and-verse
quotes from diversity theorists who rehearsed the same tired “power
and privilege” cant that so dominates seminar readings and official
university hand-wringing over unmet race quotas. Indeed, one
mild-mannered Korean woman yesterday felt compelled to insist that
she wasn’t a racist. I never imagined that she was, but the
atmosphere of the meeting had been so poisoned that even we
traditional quarries of the diversity Furies were forced to share
our collective guilt with those from continents far across the
wine-dark sea.

It is hardly surprising that any of us hectorees would feel
thusly. For example, in one of the handouts that our facilitator
asked us to read (“Detour-Spotting: for white anti-racists,” by
joan olsson [sic]), we learned things like, “As white infants we
were fed a pabulum of racist propaganda,” “…there was no escaping
the daily racist propaganda,” and, perhaps most even-handed of all,
“Racism continues in the name of all white people.” Perhaps the
Korean woman did not read carefully enough to realize that only
white people (all of them, in fact) are racist. Nevertheless, in a
manner stunningly redolent of “self-criticism” during the Cultural
Revolution in communist China, the implication of the entire
session was that everyone was suspect, and everyone had some
explaining to do.

You have always been very kind to me, Prof. Kantrowitz, so
it pains me to ask you this, but is this really what the History
Department thinks of me? Is this what you think of me? I am not
sure who selected the readings or crafted the itinerary for the
diversity session, but, as they must have done so with the full
sanction of the History Department, one can only conclude that the
Department agrees with such wild accusations, and supports them. Am
I to understand that this is how the white people who work in this
Department are viewed? If so, I cannot help but wonder why in the
world the Department hired any of us in the first place. Would not
anyone be better?

There is one further issue. At the end of yesterday’s
diversity “re-education,” we were told that our next session would
include a presentation on “Trans Students”. At that coming session,
according to the handout we were given, we will learn how to let
students ‘choose their own pronouns’, how to correct other students
who mistakenly use the wrong pronouns, and how to ask people which
pronouns they prefer (“I use the pronouns he/him/his. I want to
make sure I address you correctly. What pronouns do you use?”).
Also on the agenda for next week are “important trans struggles, as
well as those of the intersexed and other gender-variant
communities,” “stand[ing] up to the rules of gender,” and a very
helpful glossary of related terms and acronyms, to wit: “Trans”:
for those who “identify along the gender-variant spectrum,” and
“Genderqueer”: “for those who consider their gender outside the
binary gender system”. I hasten to reiterate that I am quoting from
diversity handouts; I am not making any of this up.

Please allow me to be quite frank. My job, which I love, is
to teach students Japanese history. This week, for example, I have
been busy explaining the intricacies of the Genpei War (1180-1185),
during which time Japan underwent a transition from an earlier,
imperial-rule system under regents and cloistered emperors to a
medieval, feudal system run by warriors and estate managers. It is
an honor and a great joy to teach students the history of Japan. I
take my job very seriously, and I look forward to coming to work
each day.

It is most certainly not my job, though, to cheer along
anyone, student or otherwise, in their psychological confusion. I
am not in graduate school to learn how to encourage poor souls in
their sexual experimentation, nor am I receiving generous stipends
of taxpayer monies from the good people of the Great State of
Wisconsin to play along with fantasies or accommodate public
cross-dressing. To all and sundry alike I explicate, as best I can,
such things as the clash between the Taira and the Minamoto, the
rise of the Kamakura shogunate, and the decline of the imperial
house in twelfth-century Japan. Everyone is welcome in my
classroom, but, whether directly or indirectly, I will not
implicate myself in my students’ fetishes, whatever those might be.
What they do on their own time is their business; I will not be a
party to it. I am exercising my right here to say, “Enough is
enough.” One grows used to being thought a snarling racist-after
all, others’ opinions are not my affair-but one draws the line at
assisting students in their private proclivities. That is a bridge
too far, and one that I, at least, will not cross.

I regret that this leaves us in an awkward situation. After
having been accused of virulent racism and, now, assured that I
will next learn how to parse the taxonomy of “Genderqueers”, I am
afraid that I will disappoint those who expect me to attend any
further diversity sessions. When a Virginia-based research firm
came to campus a couple of years ago to present findings from their
study of campus diversity, then-Diversity Officer Damon Williams
sent a gaggle of shouting, sign-waving undergraduates to the
meeting, disrupting the proceedings so badly that the meeting was
cancelled. In a final break with such so-called “diversity”, I will
not be storming your office or shouting into a megaphone outside
your window. Instead, I respectfully inform you hereby that I am
disinclined to join in any more mandatory radicalism. I have, thank
God, many more important things to do. I also request that
diversity training be made optional for all TAs, effective
immediately. In my humble opinion, neither the Department nor the
university has any right to subject anyone to such intellectual
tyranny.

Thank you for your patience in reading this long
e-mail.

Sincerely,

Jason Morgan

 

 

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