White, black(ish) need not ap­ply

Only ‘ra­cially vis­i­ble’ wanted for univer­sity post

Winnipeg Sun - - NEWS - MARK BONOKOSKI mark­bonokoski@gmail.com @Mark­bonokoski

If there is a God, pray that “Ze” — as in a gen­der-neu­tral de­ity — will look af­ter the poor young souls who are hav­ing the mis­for­tune of grad­u­at­ing to­day from our uni­ver­si­ties and col­leges.

They ap­pear to be a doomed lot.

They are not taught how to think, but how to obey. They are not taught how to ar­gue, but how to ac­qui­esce.

The lat­est dis­grace, and it is sim­ply an­other bla­tant sur­ren­der to po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness in the post­sec­ondary world, comes cour­tesy of Dal­housie Univer­sity in Hal­i­fax where merit and su­pe­ri­or­ity have been kicked to the curb for the sake of pub­lic im­age.

The univer­sity has taken Justin Trudeau’s line that “di­ver­sity is our strength” and has turned it into a cause to cel­e­brate dis­crim­i­na­tion.

What the univer­sity will get as a re­sult is any­one’s guess.

This in­sti­tute of higher learn­ing, once a bright light, is in search of a new vi­ce­provost of stu­dent af­fairs, but the univer­sity will not make its choice based on merit or on the strength of cur­ricu­lum vi­tae, but on the colour of the ap­pli­cant’s skin.

White Men Need Not Ap­ply is so old-school, and so now are White Women, even though the glass ceil­ing still ex­ists.

No, at Dal­housie Univer­sity, only those who are “ra­cially vis­i­ble” or “Indige­nous” will be con­sid­ered for this se­nior ad­min­is­tra­tive post, mean­ing all white peo­ple need not ap­ply.

And, if you are black, you’d best be vis­i­bly black and not too light-skinned, one pre­sumes, by the univer­sity’s “ra­cially vis­i­ble” yard­stick.

Nor would an Indige­nous can­di­date, one sup­poses, un­less he or she had some phys­i­cal char­ac­ter­is­tic that sug­gests First Na­tions.

That be­ing the case, the ma­jor­ity of Mo­hawk aca­demics would likely not make the cut ei­ther for not be­ing dark-skinned enough to be sure-fired First Na­tions, as in First Na­tions be­yond the shadow of a doubt.

As for a clearly Indige­nous sur­name? Who knows?

It could be the ticket.

The in­cum­bent vi­ce­provost of stu­dent af­fairs at Dal­housie, Arig al Shaibah — now there’s a name that sig­nals non-white — is leav­ing the univer­sity in March, hence a search for her re­place­ment.

Folks who fol­low the in­creas­ingly bizarre world of univer­sity po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness may re­mem­ber her.

She led the charge last year in tak­ing dis­ci­plinary ac­tion against a stu­dent, Ma­suma Khan, who also hap­pened to be vice-pres­i­dent of the stu­dent union, who took to her Face­book page in the sum­mer to post her frus­tra­tions and take a shot at Canada 150 cel­e­bra­tions.

“White fragility can kiss my a--,” she wrote fol­low­ing her union’s vote not to par­tic­i­pate in the cel­e­bra­tions, and the back­lash she re­ceived for the union’s de­ci­sion. “Your white tears aren’t sa­cred, this land is.”

This had Shaibah go­ing off the rails and launch­ing dis­ci­plinary ac­tion against Khan and de­mand­ing, at the very least, that she get coun­selling and write a re­flec­tive es­say on the al­leged er­ror of her ways. Coun­selling? WTF?

The univer­sity’s heavy­hand­ed­ness ended up hav­ing it tak­ing a lot of heat from the pub­lic, and Arig al Shaibah right­fully be­com­ing the face of a univer­sity that took its po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness a lit­tle too se­ri­ously.

The re­sult, of course, was the univer­sity cav­ing in, and with­draw­ing its dis­ci­plinary ac­tion against Ma­suma

Khan — ad­mit­ting it may have tram­pled on the right to free­dom of speech by tak­ing such a harsh stand.

This, of course, is an un­der­state­ment.

One would think that Dal­housie would have learned its les­son over push­ing po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness again to the point of ab­sur­dity.

But ob­vi­ously not.

Now it wants only a “ra­cially vis­i­ble” per­son — or some­one clearly “Indige­nous” — to re­place the out­go­ing

Arig al Shaibah.

Live but don’t learn.

Now there’s a motto to em­brace.


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