According to newly released video footage, University of Oklahoma instructors want to punish students who defy campus orthodoxy. Their plan is to “avoid ‘a rhetoric of dysfunctional silence’ that closes ears to marginalized voices,” by — you guessed it — silencing marginalized voices.
On Tuesday, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a nonprofit focused on protecting campus free speech, publicized video footage of an April 14 workshop on “Anti-Racist Rhetoric & Pedagogies” at the University of Oklahoma (OU). The workshop’s leaders presented slides about “systemic racism,” “white privilege,” and “subverting white institutional defensiveness.” In an attempt to teach so-called antiracism, the workshop’s leaders also promoted censorship and indoctrination.
The event was “one of nine professional development workshops for instructors and grad students” at OU. During the workshop, three faculty members taught their colleagues “how to foster an anti-racist environment in their classrooms,” brainstorming tactics for dissuading, censoring, and penalizing “problematic” speech.
A recording of an “Anti-Racist Rhetoric & Pedagogies” workshop acquired by FIRE raises alarm bells about the state of free expression and conscience at @UofOklahoma.https://t.co/8DXLXnaqbf pic.twitter.com/JkU5JMEOel
— FIRE (@TheFIREorg) June 22, 2021
One of the workshop’s spokeswomen, Kelli Pyron Alvarez, said she prohibits “white supremacist ideas or sources” as well as “derogatory remarks, critiques, and hate speech” from her classroom — unless, of course, students use them to be “antiracist” crusaders against racism. Pyron Alvarez failed to explicitly define the ideas and sources she forbids, but she plans to reprimand those who deviate from her script.
“If [students] use any of those things, if any of those come through in their writing or in their comments, I will call them out on it,” she explained. And if a student errs in front of her a second time, she wants him to be formally reported. “In the classroom, free speech does not apply,” she said.
Unsurprisingly, Pyron Alvarez noted that her students didn’t challenge her method of teaching last semester. She successfully chilled all dissenting speech.
“Imagine being an OU student who is ‘reported,’ presumably to the administration, simply for your choice of text to
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