Flat White

What’s woke this week?

13 March 2019

12:36 PM

13 March 2019

12:36 PM

Wokeworld’s Ministry of Inculcation has been out and about at schools, universities and colleges around the world recently and we’d hate you to miss out on their pearls of wisdom.

Curriculum crazies

A new report by Young America’s Foundation highlights the incredible range of woke courses available at some of the USA’s top universities. According to their website, since 1995 Young America’s Foundation has released their Comedy and Tragedy report to “document the intellectual abuse and flat-out indoctrination happening by way of the appalling curriculum at our country’s most (so-called) prestigious institutions of higher education”.

If you want to give yourself a migraine (2018 was a bumper year for BS) you can download the whole report here, but I just have to share some of my personal favourites.

At Davidson College, you could find out all you ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask about “Latinx Sexual Dissidence and Guerrilla Translation”. At the Ivy League Brown University you could try to get your head, and tongue, around “Humanity or Nah? Blackness, Gender, Resistance, and Memory in Monuments, Maps, and Archives”. The mind boggles at what could be in store at lectures for “Food, Sex and Gender” at Indiana University while “African American Women, Health, Hair and Sexuality” at the University of Iowa has clearly changed the world for the better. The University of Minnesota offered the perky-sounding “Marx for Today” for all those millennials who missed out on the results of Marx for yesterday, and many students for whom the study of Shakespeare was previously a bridge too far would have been flicking frantically through the Bard’s works to see just what they’d been missing with Northwestern University’s “Sex after Shakespeare”.

Brummie bunfight

It can get very complicated navigating the mores of wokeworld. When intersectionality is your byword who determines whose rights trump whose? Well, wokeworld recently found itself in this particular predicament when Muslim parents of more than 600 children enrolled at Parkfield Community School in Britain’s Birmingham withdrew their children for a day in protest at the school’s No Outsiders program. The program is the brainchild of assistant head teacher, Andrew Moffatt, and champions LGBTQ equality. Moffatt had resigned from a previous position when Muslim and Christian parents objected to his ‘coming out’ at a school assembly, as well as his lessons about ‘homophobia. So, who won this bothersome bunfight? The lessons have been halted until the end of April, so we might have to call it a draw for the moment.

In a nicely woke postscript to this story, you might be interested to know that Andrew Moffat is one of the finalists for the US $1 million Global Teacher Prize, You can read about the other finalists, who are all described as “champions of change”, here.  The prize is awarded by the Varkey Foundation under the patronage of that well-known wokester, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United (and Woke) Arab Emirates (UAE), and Ruler of the Very Woke Emirate of Dubai. Talk about your champions of change.

History Hot Water

A white principal at a Maryland school last week found herself in history hot water when she used – trigger warning! – ‘the N-word’ (yes, shock and horror, the ACTUAL word) in a speech during a Black History Month assembly. Joy Morrow offered to step up to the microphone, after a keynote speaker cancelled at the very last minute, to deliver an off-the-cuff, updated version of a speech she had given 25 years ago. In explaining the racism she had witnessed growing up (and which she clearly abhorred) she spoke the word she had heard used. Woke wailing ensued with some parents calling for her resignation and for sensitivity training for staff.

Predictably, Morrow issued a formal written apology for her comments after the school gathered students and teachers together for ‘rap sessions’ and discussions. I bet those rap sessions were informative, given the propensity for the N-word to be splashed liberally throughout rap and hip-hop lyrics. Welcome to history wars and hip-hop counter culture, where the’ N-word’ can only be used by those it is meant to offend.

Run away, run away!

Shades of the knights in Monty Python’s Holy Grail were evident in breaking news that Michigan University has planned “an exciting and important event in response to Ben Shapiro’s visit to campus”. Shapiro is speaking at the university on 12 March as part of the Fred Allen Lecture series he is conducting around the country. The usual protests and woke whingeing have accompanied Shapiro’s other appearances where he discusses his book, The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great, which will obviously never feature on a woke bestseller list.

The misologists at UM’s History Department, rather than engaging with Shapiro, are holding an alternative event at the same time – When Provocateurs Dabble in History: Ben Shapiro and the Enwhitenment (oooh, I wish I’d come up with that one), which will feature a dean and several professors at the university responding to, but only in a figurative sense, “Shapiro’s attacks on campuses and academia”. Now there’s a star chamber in an echo chamber for you.

Recess redress

To prove that wokeness has no cultural favourites our last story is from Spain. To celebrate International Women’s Day teachers at a Spanish high school were instructed that boys were not to be released for recess, as part of the feminist curriculum for the day. Reportedly this was to teach them “what women have felt for long periods in history”.

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