I was alerted to this video by the tweet of Jodi Shaw (below). Shaw, of course, was involved in a huge kerfuffle with Smith College, which first got publicized when she put up a video on YouTube called “Dear Smith College: I have a few requests.”
Now there’s a Shaw equivalent at the University of Vermont: Professor Aaron Kindsvatter, who teaches about adult learning and mental health at the Unversity’s College of Education and Social Services. He made a nine-minute video below the tweet. You may have to watch it on YouTube, where for some reason it’s restricted by Kindsvatter himself. The video resembles that of Shaw, whose own videos probably inspired him, in saying that an atmosphere of anti-white racism pervades his campus—and in a very similar way that, according to Shaw, pervades the campus of Smith College.
— Jodi Shaw – Former Smith College Employee (@Smith_Surge) March 9, 2021
Kindsvatter’s plaint mirrors that of Shaw: he’s calling out “discrimination against whiteness” at the University of Vermont, a stance adopted by some “desperate persons who need a group to hate.” He’s worried that this ideology will find its way to hate groups, who will adopt its methods. I’m not sure what methods he’s referring to, however.
At any rate, Kindsvatter finds it hard to see how it became possible for people to denigrate anybody by their race “on such a progressive campus.” This was, he says, instantiated by a recent teach-in on “whiteness” in which “a number of social ills were associated in a causal way with people of a particular race” (he means white people).
He also learned that pushing back against anti-whiteness was “not okay”, and has learned that his University is instituting policies that will chill dissent, like adopting the official definitions of racism and antiracism from Ibram X. Kendi. He concludes that he would be considered a “racist” according to those definitions, which makes it difficult to dissent from University policy.
His requests, similar to those of Shaw.
1.) Stop reducing his personhood to a racial category in the teach-ins.
2.) Do not divide the university into groups of racial categories.
3.) Stop telling Kindsvatter that his values are “harmful” because he doesn’t adhere to the prevailing ideology.
4.) Do not present him with the alternatives of either accepting the policies of Kendi and DiAngelo, or being considered a racist (he says he’s read both authors “and did not find wisdom there”).
In the end, he says the University may be violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits “discrimination in the workplace on the basis of race, color, and national origin is prohibited.” He calls for those who share his concerns to meet up and talk about it.
Is he, like Jodi Shaw, doomed to be toast? I suspect he’s going to get a lot of flak from the administration, but we shall see. Perhaps there’s another GoFundMe campaign in the future. . .