Are you the kind of person who thinks that being civil in a classroom environment is conducive, perhaps even necessary, to the learning process?
You freaking racist
That’s apparently the thoroughly tested, academically reached conclusion of C. Kyle Rudick and Kathryn B. Golsan. They’re professors at the University of Northern Iowa. And, according to their recent academic paper, they claim that civility in college classrooms is nothing more than a tool of white supremacy.
The paper, published by the Howard Journal of Communications, is titled “Civility and White Institutional Presence: An Exploration of White Students’ Understanding of Race-Talk at a Traditionally White Institution.” So far, so academic gibberish.
However, according to Campus Reform, things actually manage to get worse from there
According to Rudick and Golsan, a “whiteness-informed civility … functions to assert control of space” and attempts to “create a good white identity.”
This civility thusly helps “reproduce white racial power
How did they arrive at this conclusion? Here’s their methodology: they found 10 white college students and asked them questions like “What do you consider to be civil behavior?” and “How do you think your racial identity may affect your understandings of civility when talking with students of color?”
The results of these interviews helped Golsan and Rudick reached a startling conclusion (and by “startling,” I mean absolutely bat-feces insane).
“Through an analysis of interview data, they generated 3 categories describing whiteness-informed civility (WIC),” the abstract reads.
“(a) WIC functions to create a good White identity, (b) WIC functions to erase racial identity, and (c) WIC functions to assert control of space. These thematic concepts show how WIC is characterized by logics of race-evasion, avoidance of race-talk, and exclusion of people of color. The authors conclude by offering ways for instructors to interrogate WIC through classroom practices informed by critical communication pedagogy
These people work at a public university — you know, one that takes your tax dollars. Just thought I’d bring that up here.
The authors also found that those individuals who said they tried to “treat everyone the same way” were just trying to create a “good White identity
“First, participants stated that they tried to avoid talking about race or racism with students of color to minimize the chance that they would say something ‘wrong’ and be labeled a racist,” the paper reads. “Another way that participants described how they tried to be civil when interacting with students of color was to be overly nice or polite.”
And if you try to go out of your way to be overly civil to minority students, you’re upholding “white privilege” and “white racial power
Well, I’ll say this much: They certainly gave the author of “When ‘Angelino’ Squirrels Don’t Eat Nuts: A Feminist Posthumanist Politics of Consumption Across Southern California” a run for their money in the academic insanity department, in terms of both titling and content.
It is worth noting that if Golsan and Rudick find civility to be an issue, the other option isn’t likely to be “critical communication pedagogy,” but instead incivility. This would likely take the form of incivility directed toward students because of their race — usually because they’re white, but apparently being civil towards African-Americans or other minorities is upholding “white racial power” or something, so who knows?
Of course, that’s not actually is going to occur. This is a silly exercise in pseudo-academic nonsense that’s likely to make its authors briefly sorta-famous, and then get cited by other also-ran academics who have equally inane ideas and need to pad their citation list.
The likelihood that this has any real effect in the outside world where person-informed civility (PIC) is generally necessary to function as a contributing member of society is virtually nil. But then, stranger things have happened — and the fact that this exists at all is proof that in some corners of academia, almost any kind of stupidity will pass as a valid contribution to the exchange of ideas