Author Topic: Alumnae of Christian Colleges now Demanding Fealty to BLM  (Read 299 times)

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Alumnae of Christian Colleges now Demanding Fealty to BLM
« on: June 12, 2020, 05:56:56 PM »
I wasn't going to post when I heard the first story, as it involved a college near me that I wouldn't call Christian. Rather, it's a very small college that was founded over 150 years ago as a Christian institution of higher education, but has seriously lost its way over the past 50 years or so. But then my cousin alerted me to something going on at the school her daughter attends, so I figured it's worth talking about.

The first story is from Bethany College in W.Va.:
Quote
Bethany students, alumni seek changes to make school more inclusive
by Julianna Furfari
Thursday, June 11th 2020

Dozens of Bethany College students are taking to an online platform to share stories of racial injustices they say they have experienced on campus.

Those students and hundreds of others are calling on the college to make it a more inclusive place. The petition was started by an individual who recently graduated from Bethany and has now gained over 1,600 signatures. The petition is called ‘Stand in Solidarity with Black Students at Bethany College’ and it is calling on the institution to be better. ...

Now, the college is responding(.) ... In a statement it said it is apparent that Bethany must do its part, do more, to play a positive role in changing the way the community thinks and acts when it comes to diversity.

The college also went on to list changes coming. For example, requiring anti-bias training for faculty and staff, including diversity training into curriculum, empowering a new president’s council on multi-cultural diversity, equity and inclusion and starting a task force on the black experience on campus. It also went on to say it is searching for a new director of diversity, equity and inclusion that will serve on the cabinet.  ...
Full story

The second school - Grove City College, Pa. - has never made any attempt to be quite so woke. I don't know yet whether it has responded to these ridiculous demands:
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Dear Honorable Paul J. McNulty and Board of Trustees,

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is a human rights campaign that combats systemic violence against the global Black community. Following the murder of George Floyd and many other unarmed Black men, women, and children at the hands of police officers, the BLM movement is now taking center stage across the world. While Floyd’s murder was the tipping point for the worldwide protests, systemic racism has pervaded the United States since the nation’s birth and beyond. While not exhaustive, here are some examples of systemic racism:

    Studies indicate that Black males are twenty-one times more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts.
    Federal data shows that the median wealth of white households is thirteen times the median wealth of Black households.
    Black-owned homes/units are valued at 35 percent less than white-owned homes/units.
    Black people are five times more likely to be incarcerated than white individuals.  (Bonilla-Silva, 2018; Kendi, 2016).

We believe now is an ideal time for Christian institutions to inform others about the importance of this crucial anti-racist work and its impact on communities worldwide. The theology of imago dei means that Christians should be the first ones to express outrage over injustices to our brothers and sisters of color. In Christ’s words in John 13:34, we are commanded to love one another: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Galatians 3:26-28 says that in Christ, we are all one body, one people. We “are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Likewise, Revelation 7:9 stresses the multiracial, multiethnic, multinational character of the body of Christ: “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.”

As members of this Body of Christ, an interracial, international group of people, Christians and their institutions--whether those be churches, schools, colleges, or other groups--have a responsibility to uphold equality and redress social injustices against marginalized individuals.

As a Christian institution of higher education, it is long overdue for Grove City College to take a stand on white supremacy and racism. The following are areas in which Grove City College needs to improve their Christian commitment to antiracism, love, and justice:

    The college needs to commit to hiring more Black and Indigenous People of Color. A cluster across disciplines would create an atmosphere of diversity and inclusion. As of right now, zero out of 160 full time faculty are Black professors.
    The college must commit to recruiting and admitting more students who are People of Color. Only 1% of Grove City’s ~2500 students are Black students. The college must take active steps to encourage admittance of People of Color through recruiting, inclusive financial aid packages, and emphasis on an anti-racist campus culture.
    The college must end the practice of tokenizing Black students and staff in media and marketing materials.
    Black histories, rhetoric, literature, and activism should be compulsory education, not simply occasionally offered electives. Likewise, histories, rhetoric, literature, and works by other People of Color must be included in the required curriculum. The current curriculum is missing this component:

    While there are English Literature courses that cover various periods and places, and even a “Southern literature” course, there are only two courses in African, African-American, and/or Afro-European literature, other than a semester-long “World Literature Survey” that covers Africa, Asian, and Latin American literature. These courses on African and African American literature are only taught on occasional rotation within the English Department, and these are taught by white professors who have not infrequently committed microaggressions and used racial slurs during class.
    The Humanities core required of all students is based on white western civilization education. While the humanities should be required education for students of all disciplines, the current core does not include African, Asian, Latin American, or otherwise non-western histories, literature, rhetoric, art, or music. This must immediately change.
    The History department recently lost professors who were responsible for teaching Modern African, African American, and Histories of Minorities in America courses. These courses should be offered yearly as part of a broader and more inclusive curriculum. Hiring focuses should be on increasing diversity of instruction.
    Education department curricula should require anti-racist pedagogies and include Black and Indigenous histories, rhetoric, literature, and activism.
    Teacher education curricula and certification should require training by People of Color on how to teach children and adults who are from Black communities and emphasis on trauma-informed best practices, especially as many graduating teachers hope to enter urban schools and communities where they will be teaching majority students who are People of Color.
    The advances in anti-racist education made by courses in Culturally Relevant Pedagogy are positive and should be required of all Education Majors and Minors. Greater support and resources should be allocated for professors and departments working in these areas.

    Professors should be held accountable for both racism and committing microaggressions against Black students and colleagues.
    The college must examine its philosophy on anti-racist policing and protection on the campus and make public any records of excessive force used by campus safety and local police.
    The college must make public its budgetary allocations to campus safety and police in comparison to other departments and initiatives at the school.
    The college must evaluate, make public, and take feedback and recommendations on campus safety policies, hiring of campus safety staff members, and methods of submitting complaints against campus safety officers.
    The college must host yearly anti-racist based bias trainings for all offices and departments on campus, including Campus Safety, Student Life and Learning, Faculty, and Staff.
    The Chapel program should take initiatives to bring Black and indigenous speakers to campus. The Chapel program should include speakers from all Christian denominations and affiliations, not just Reformed, non-denominational, or Evangelical backgrounds. Specific emphasis should be placed on bringing speakers and programs directed by People of Color.
    The chapel and touring choirs, as they are white-majority groups, should no longer sing idiomatic Black spirituals. Musical ensembles should regularly program non-idiomatic music by composers of color.
    Finally, the college must vow to protect the lives and livelihoods of its Black community through direct, active rhetoric in support of anti-racist education and philosophy, concrete action, and measurable steps toward change.

Further, we are also deeply concerned about the rhetoric written and circulated by Paul Kengor and the Faith and Freedom think tank. These articles are supposed to be public-facing scholarship that represent the institution’s values, and Dr.

Kengor is the institution’s director. However, they reveal a deep-seated ideological commitment to rhetoric and ideas commonly held by white nationalists in far-right political spheres, rather than the often conservative and libertarian political beliefs held by the college at large. Here are some examples:

    White genocide: Kengor compares the babies of Muslim immigrants to suicide bombs (not bombers, bombs).

“Unlike Mr. Imran and his group, the ISIS-affiliated Muslims who attacked last week are blatant jihadists. They aren’t patient enough to wait for their babies to grow to adulthood. They’re not awaiting a demographic time-bomb to bring Islam to Europe. They want “victory” now. They are happily (yes, happily) willing to detonate themselves at this very moment. Their method is bombs rather than babies. They don’t want victory via life by outgrowing native Europeans. They want victory via death by killing native Europeans.”

    Christofascism: This article is about secularism, but its premise is that Europe and Christianity are the same thing.

“‘The faith is Europe and Europe is the faith.’ Well, the Christian faith is in worse shape in Europe than at any time since the first stones of Notre Dame were laid eight-and-a-half centuries ago.”

    Cultural Marxism is an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that grew out of the Nazi concept of “cultural Bolshevism.” Kengor mocks the idea that it’s a “conspiracy” and then presents the conspiracy narrative, being careful to frame Cultural Marxism’s origins among Jewish scholars as a coincidence.

“A conspiracy theory? Well, that merely affirms the point. The vast majority of those advancing cultural Marxism aren’t even aware they’re doing so. Tell them and they’ll either blankly stare or mockingly laugh at you as a conspiracy monger.…

“Most to all of the leading practitioners of the Frankfurt School were Jews who needed a safe haven from Hitler’s madness. So, they and their Institute came to New York City, specifically to the campus of Columbia University, already a hotbed of communist thought.…”

    Western Civilization: Kengor opens the article by mocking students for not being able to tell the difference between a Dominican and the KKK, and then defends the concept of “western civilization.”
    The Tree of Life shooting: Kengor wrote a troubling piece about the Tree of Life shooting that focuses on how his children were nearby when it happened, which centers his family as a victim of the shooter. He refuses to identify the shooter as a racist/white nationalist/anti-Semitic. Instead, he talks about the shooting as an act of God. He also denies the Jewish faith its own definition, instead equating it with a precursor to Christianity. This final twist in the article completes Kengor’s’s reframing of the white nationalist massacre as a Christian event with Christian victims.

    Denial of LGBTQ People’s Human Rights and Propogation of far-right Conspiracy Theories about former president Barack Obama: https://www.faithandfreedom.com/barack-obamas-fundamental-transformation https://www.faithandfreedom.com/pope-francis-vs-the-demon-of-gender-theory

Having an institutionally endorsed think tank promoting such rhetoric reinforces the culture of anti-Blackness and racism on campus, because funding such rhetoric is tacit permission to promote white supremacist thought.

We the signatories are invested in helping GCC to change. Many of us are willing to provide our time to consult and share about our experiences as students. We represent a range of experience in a variety of fields and would be able to lend our perspectives as part of a task force. Other ideas are to contribute to a fund that is focused on financially promoting the objectives depicted in this letter.

In summary, we would like to include a brief list of concrete suggestions for how Grove City College can actively work to be anti-racist:

    Acknowledge the college’s history and participation in denial of education to Black students and apologize to people who have been harmed by racist teaching.
    Regularly invite chapel speakers who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
    Invite guest lecturers to campus who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
    Establish reciprocity with other schools in terms of studying elsewhere for a semester, similarly to the current Study Abroad programs; including collaboration with the nation’s historically Black colleges and universities and other Christian universities that have established a greater emphasis on diversity, such as Wheaton, Messiah, and others for students who may be inclined to attend Christian universities as outside semesters.
    Shut down the Faith and Freedom think tank and direct those funds towards anti-racist initiatives. Encourage Dr. Paul Kengor to retire or resign.
    Commit to hiring a full-time Diversity and Inclusion Team to overhaul the humanities core.
    Host listening sessions centering Black, Indigenous, and POC voices with Black, Indigenous, and POC alumni and Black, Indigenous, and POC students.
    Set up a scholarship fund for Black, Indigenous, and POC individuals.
    Create student programming for Black history month.
    Create a dedicated, separate Office of Diversity and Inclusion with specific means of directing student complaints and questions related to racism and experiences on campus.
    Host yearly bias trainings and anti-racist informed seminars.

As a concluding note, we argue that this should be the aim of every school providing a liberal arts education:

Everything I had worked for, all my years of study, had been to purchase for myself this one privilege: to see and experience more truths than those given to me by my father, and to use those truths to construct my own mind. I had come to believe that the ability to evaluate many ideas, many histories, many points of view, was at the heart of what it means to self-create. Tara Westover, Educated: A Memoir (p. 304)
Signed by 168 current and former terribly woke students. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1j_27VYcjPFd2aPWRPEjyarPteDh6ga7FREMoswCskqU/mobilebasic

The American people will never knowlingly adopt socialism, but under the name of liberalism they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation without ever knowing how it happened. --Norman Thomas, six-time Socialist Party candidate for U.S. President.

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Re: Alumnae of Christian Colleges now Demanding Fealty to BLM
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2020, 06:02:05 PM »
As far as I'm concerned, this is just #6 in the Cloward-Pivard strategy: Education – Take control of what people read and listen to us; take control of what children learn in school.
The American people will never knowlingly adopt socialism, but under the name of liberalism they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation without ever knowing how it happened. --Norman Thomas, six-time Socialist Party candidate for U.S. President.

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Re: Alumnae of Christian Colleges now Demanding Fealty to BLM
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2020, 10:02:10 AM »
Grove City College, like Hillsdale, is one of those school many conservatives respect for not taking federal money. This, apparently, is payback.
The American people will never knowlingly adopt socialism, but under the name of liberalism they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation without ever knowing how it happened. --Norman Thomas, six-time Socialist Party candidate for U.S. President.


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