If you visited the University of Maryland’s counseling center website Friday morning, you’d find over a dozen different group counseling sessions, one of which was “White Awake,” reported Campus Reform.
“This group offers a safe space for White students to explore their experiences, questions, reactions, and feelings. Members will support and share feedback with each other as they learn more about themselves and how they can fit into a diverse world.”
This is obviously a social justice initiative, but I wanna know which University of Maryland administrator sat down and said “huh you know what would really be good optics for our school? A white-only space on campus.”
So anyway, after this story came out, the counseling group was modified to look like this: instead of “White Awake,” it’s now called “Anti-Racism and Ally-Building Group” and all references to whites have mysteriously gone missing.
The school said “Our Counseling Center acknowledges that we did not choose the right words in raising awareness about this research-based initiative, and how this group has been perceived is counter to the values of inclusiveness and diversity that we embody. Therefore, we are renaming the group to better reflect our intention and values.”
Uh huhhh. You know, This kind of reminds me of the White Student Union groups that popped up on different campuses over the past few years. They were pretty widely dismissed as hoaxes, and I think they were in terms of actual coordinated activity, but the Facebook pages definitely seemed to be operated by real people; I spoke through Facebook with whomever ran the UVA one last year.
That Facebook group has since been deleted. Now you’ve probably had a good laugh at the concept of white safe spaces and White Student Unions, but here’s the thing: that should be your response to EVERY identity-themed initiative. They’re condescending, they waste resources, and they waste time that can be spent actually bringing people together.
Pro-Israel Prof Suing University After Getting Dismissed
Dr. Melissa Landa, who was a professor for 10 years at the University of Maryland, is about to sue the school, according to Campus Reform. She is alleging discrimination based on her pro-Israel views.
“Colleagues began to ostracize me, withdrew from conference presentations with me,” Landa said. “I was no longer given the option of what courses I wanted to teach, I was against my will removed from a course I helped design and teach for 10 years, and I was told that I was compromising my professional responsibility by being in Israel to celebrate Passover.”
“Professors who speak out in favor of the BDS movement face no administrative consequences.”
That does seem to be the case. There are professors who dedicate pretty much their entire Twitter accounts to anti-Israel activism. Remember George Mason professor Noura Erakat, who takes severe umbrage at calling Palestinians a “mob,” but seems to have absolutely no problem using the word to misrepresent Israelis who were res ponding to a reported stabbing of a Jewish boy by a Palestinian? Or how about UC Berkeley professor Hatem Bazian, founder of American Muslims for Palestine, which was founded by former members of a group that donated $12.4 million to Hamas.
But back to Melissa. The education professor claims that John O’Flahavan, the associate chair of her department, removed her from a course she’d taught for almost a decade after learning that Melissa wanted to partner with Tel Aviv. O’Flahavan also allegedly denied her access to one of his classes, so Melissa couldn’t get research she needed.
“Three days after the university’s grievance board recommended that I be placed back in my teaching position and permitted to pursue my research, the chair of my department informed that she was not renewing my contract,” Landa said. “I subsequently filed a claim with the University of Maryland’s office of civil rights and sexual misconduct and in their investigation they contacted only two of my witnesses and provided no written substantiation for the university’s decision to dismiss me.”