By Dr. Harold A. Black

The Oracle Who Names is at it again proclaiming that henceforth illegal aliens be referred to as “migrants.” Interestingly all media have bent on one knee to comply including the “conservative” press. It was enlightening that a sports announcer got suspended for calling illegal aliens “illegal aliens.” The Oracle has spoken so all must obey. The Oracle’s children have also been busy. But since they do not have the same command over the media, their efforts to change the language has been less successful. One of the latest was the University of Southern California’s school of social work discovering that the word “field” was racist and announcing that henceforth, the word “practicum” will be used instead. The school said that “This change supports anti-racist social work practice by replacing language that would be considered anti-Black or anti-immigrant in favor of inclusive language.” So now “field” work is now called “practicum” work? Now doesn’t that just roll off the tongue? It is obvious that “school” should be put in quotation marks for that part of USC not a serious academic college. The same is true for some administrators at Stanford who had too much time on their hands. They released an index of “harmful language” showing words that were deemed racist. They included American, Hispanic, “Karen”, father, victim, straight, landlord, ladies, chief, brown bag, white paper, illegal immigrant (migrant!), master, blind, gangbusters and so on. Stanford points out that it took over a year to compile the list. That is reminiscent of asking “how many campus administrators does it take to change a light bulb?” At Stanford, the number of campus administrators almost equals the number of students. After a week or so, Stanford removed the guide when the Wall Street Journal pointed out that the guide read more like the Babylon Bee than from one of the country’s premier universities. Stanford seems to have forgotten that the vast majority of us do not associate racism with hardly any of those words and that those who feel that such words are “hurtful” and make them feel “threatened” are whiners and are best ignored.

This silliness is running rampant in our universities which have become temples of wokeness. Most every campus is overstocked with administrators pretending to be busy doing stuff. Like Stanford, many universities have an administrator–student ratio approaching one to one. Victor David Hanson points out that while college enrollment has dropped, the number of professors has increased slightly while the number of administrators has doubled. Each campus must now have a “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” (DEI) administrator and staff and while some do good in providing needed outreach, most oversee reams of paperwork to demand inclusiveness and to root out white supremacy. Of course, this is laughable since 90 percent of professors are leftist, progressive, socialists who give lip service to DEI all the time. Even southern state universities like my alma mater the University of Georgia have pockets of wokeness. Go to the website of its college of education (named for one of my dearest friends) and you will find homage to DEI on a breathtaking scale. Ironically, the college is housed in Aderhold Hall named for the university’s president when I was enrolled there. Aderhold was no fan of DEI. The university was forced to integrate during his tenure. My experience was that he did not want us at his university and many in his administration actively worked to limit the number of blacks admitted to Georgia and once we were there, put barriers in our way. Maybe the college should rethink the name of its building.

I have heard faculty at other universities express resentment over the expanding reach of DEI. Professors are supposed to commit themselves to the DEI goals (again mostly redundant) as part of the evaluation for tenure and promotion while departments are to submit plans for DEI. Some of the universities’ colleges require a DEI statement on every faculty syllabus. If that existed for my department I would respectfully decline. Some administrators also want DEI to be included in the course material. Professors are to be tested for implicit bias – even though such tests are worthless. Again, given the politics of most professors, the imposition of DEI seems redundant. Yet again, university presidents like most bureaucrats want to expand their personal empires and have done so by hiring more administrators whose job is to meet most all day and conjure up busy work. At the same time, academic standards have been steadily eroding and, in many colleges, indoctrination has replaced education. I once referred to Stanford as the nation’s best university. Sadly, that is no longer true.