Taking The Tools To Success Away From People Who Need Them

Like it or not, people judge you by the way you speak. There is also a link between vocabulary and success. (See article here). So why has Rutgers University declared that proper English grammar is racist?

On July 24th, The Washington Free Beacon reported the following:

The English department at a public university declared that proper English grammar is racist.

Rutgers University’s English department will change its standards of English instruction in an effort to “stand with and respond” to the Black Lives Matter movement. In an email written by department chairwoman Rebecca Walkowitz, the Graduate Writing Program will emphasize “social justice” and “critical grammar.”

Walkowitz said the department would respond to recent events with “workshops on social justice and writing,” “increasing focus on graduate student life,” and “incorporating ‘critical grammar’ into our pedagogy.” The “critical grammar” approach challenges the standard academic form of the English language in favor of a more inclusive writing experience. The curriculum puts an emphasis on the variability of the English language instead of accuracy.

“This approach challenges the familiar dogma that writing instruction should limit emphasis on grammar/sentence-level issues so as to not put students from multilingual, non-standard ‘academic’ English backgrounds at a disadvantage,” Walkowitz said. “Instead, it encourages students to develop a critical awareness of the variety of choices available to them [with] regard to micro-level issues in order to empower them and equip them to push against biases based on ‘written’ accents.”

Additionally, the department said it will provide more reading to upper-level writing classes on the subjects of racism, sexism, homophobia, and related forms of “systemic discrimination.”

Our universities are supposed to be training the future leaders of industry and of our country. These leaders will need to be able to communicate effectively to do their jobs. Like it or not, correct English is the best way to communicate in the American corporate and political system. You can call that racist if you choose, but it is how things work.

Our education infrastructure has forgotten its responsibility to educate a person to become a contributing member of society. The decision by Rutgers not to teach basic grammar skills will limit the success of their graduates. The tuition at Rutgers is approximately $15,000 per year for out-of-state students. That’s an awful lot of money to pay for an education that fails to teach you the basics you need to succeed.

I Wonder What They Think Of Latin

On Monday, The Daily Caller posted an article about some recent insanity at one of our college campuses.

The article reports:

An “antiracist” poster in a college writing center insists American grammar is “racist” and an “unjust language structure,” promising to prioritize rhetoric over “grammatical ‘correctness.’”

The poster, written by the director, staff, and tutors of the University of Washington, Tacoma’s Writing Center, states “racism is the normal condition of things,” declaring that it permeates rules, systems, expectations, in courses, school and society.

Sounds like a junior high student who is tired of diagramming sentences.

The article further reports:

In an article accompanying the poster, the University of Washington, Tacoma revealed Friday that Dr. Asao Inoue, director of the writing center, is behind the new push for social justice.

On his Tacoma faculty page, Inoue states that he does “research that investigates racism in writing assignments.” Meanwhile, the professor’s Twitter presence indicates no love for President Donald Trump:

“[The statement] is a great example of how we are striving to act against racism,” said Dr. Jill Purdy, Tacoma’s vice chancellor of undergraduate affairs. “Language is the bridge between ideas and action, so how we use words has a lot of influence on what we think and do.”

The Tacoma Writing Center’s prioritization of social justice over grammar resembles previous concerted efforts to legitimize incorrect speech, such as Ebonics, “inventive spelling,” and “whole language.”

The purpose of language is communication. Using ‘inventive spelling’ may actually cause your message to be misunderstood. Legitimizing incorrect speech will only make effective communication more difficult. As the article states, “Language is the bridge between ideas and action…”  However, if your language is incorrect and misunderstood, the actions resulting from that language may not be what you had in mind.

The majority of Americans speak English, and as far as I know, some degree of English is taught in our schools. Taking away correct English will not only create problems in our communication with each other, it will prevent students from reading the classic literature that forms the basis of our society. Hopefully that is not the actual goal of this particular Professor.