One might expect that students studying to become social workers would be encouraged to disregard the race of the individuals they encounter, in the interests of engaging with the whole person. Not so at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, where the creeping tentacles of Critical Race Theory have infested the curriculum to such an extent that students are now encouraged to miss class to attend racially-segregated “anti-racism” trainings.
Students enrolled in a Masters of Social Work program at the university were told that they should attend one of two training sessions: either a “White Accountability Group (WAG)” or a separate meeting for those identifying as “Black, Indigenous, Multiracial People of Color (BIMPoC).”
In a parallel to the racial division, the intended purposes of these two groups also diverged. The “White Accountability Group” was intended for those with “white skin privilege” to “critically engage in whiteness, white privilege, and hold each other accountable.” Participants in the group were expected to “explore how to recognize whiteness and white privilege, identify and interrupt internalized dominance, and collectively develop strategies for liberation and change.”
By contrast, students enrolling in the “Black, Indigenous, Multiracial People of Color” session were advised that “Affinity groups for black, indigenous, people of color can be magical places in a predominantly white institution.” This group promised to provide “a safe and supportive place” for “naming the problem and defining or reframing the problem.”
According to the email sent to students, the goal of this “anti-racism” training was to promote students’ “understanding about how implicit bias, racism, and white supremacy impact the CSW’s culture and climate.” Apparently at the University of Tennessee, white supremacy and racism can best be thwarted through racial separatism.
“Even if you have to miss class time, we strongly urge you to find a way to make this work,” UT Dean of Equity and Inclusion J. Camille Hall expressed to the students.
According to Young America’s Foundation, which exposed the segregated meetings, that same Dean Hall led an orientation session during which “students were divided into random groups to roleplay a scenario in which a ‘student on campus was a Trump voter and whether it was okay or not to call them racist.’”
“This is just another instance of the pervasive Critical Race Theory craze that has taken academia by storm,” YAF commented in a report. “The goal of segregating their events is to convince people that race is their defining attribute and they are either inherently good or bad as a result.”
For the ironic and absurd use of racial segregation to promote “anti-racism,” UT-Knoxville’s social work orientation should be recognized as one of the most egregious instances of Critical Race Theory put into practice on campus.