Johns Hopkins’ diversity chief labels whites, males and Christians as ‘privilege

Started by marshwiggle, January 13, 2024, 10:41:23 AM

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marshwiggle

From the New York Post:

QuoteA diversity chief at Johns Hopkins Medicine sent a "monthly diversity digest" email to staff with a letter that declared all white people, Christians and men are "privileged."

Dr. Sherita Hill Golden, chief diversity officer for the hospital system, also included "heterosexuals" and English speakers in the "privileged" category in her missive to all staff.

Under a section titled "Diversity is the word of the Month," Golden defined privilege as "a set of unearned benefits given to people who are in a specific social group" that operates on "personal, interpersonal, cultural and institutional levels."

She provided a list of privileged social groups, which included white people, able-bodied people, heterosexuals, cisgender people, males, Christians, middle- or owning-class people, middle-aged people and English-speaking people.

and then
QuoteGolden retracted her definition of privilege and issued an apology to staff Thursday morning after the backlash.

"The newsletter included a definition of the word privilege which, upon reflection, I deeply regret," she wrote in a memo, obtained by the Daily Mail. "The intent of the newsletter is to inform and support an inclusive community at Hopkins, but the language of this definition clearly did not meet that goal.

"In fact, because it was overly simplistic and poorly worded, it had the opposite effect," she continued. "I retract and disavow the definition I shared and I am sorry."
It takes so little to be above average.

Parasaurolophus

Those are indeed all characteristics with respect to which one may enjoy some privilege.

I fail to see why this merits being a news story, though I guess it's a Post publication. If anything, the story here is that JHU caved to bullying and censorship.
I know it's a genus.

dismalist

What's going on here, as in all of Critical Theory, is to change the meanings of words so as to elicit envy. For old-time Marxists it was "exploitation". To new-time Marxists, it's "privilege". What is observed is differences in average outcomes of various groups. Attributing those differences to exploitation or privilege begs the question as to their causes, but the envy elicited is meant to cause political action.

Thus, these are word games, played with a political purpose.

"When words lose their meaning, people lose their freedom." [Confucius]
That's not even wrong!
--Wolfgang Pauli

Ruralguy

I think some small tweaks in language could go a long way. Instead of talking about a large group of people as being "privileged", talk about small things that could give you a small advantage or disadvantage, and then step up to bigger things that could give bigger advantages or disadvantages. For instance, if as a child your parents got along and stayed together, it probably gives you an advantage. If you are born to a certain household income, also an advantage. Broadly speaking, being born white in America, even if poor, probably gives you some advantages, even if they seem small (not being met with as much suspicion, stereotyping, etc.). Obviously, not having certain income would lead to clear disadvantages.

People resent words like "privilege" because to them, it tends to negate, say, the hard work and other struggles of their ancestors, their own personal struggles, and so forth.   

marshwiggle

Quote from: Ruralguy on January 13, 2024, 12:40:46 PMPeople resent words like "privilege" because to them, it tends to negate, say, the hard work and other struggles of their ancestors, their own personal struggles, and so forth.   

It's ironic that the DEI mob who are indignant about certain people in the past not getting the recognition they deserved just because of the group(s) they were identified with now see the "solution" is to use terms like "privilege" to imply that people from other groups aren't deserving of recognition just because of the group(s) they are identified with.
It takes so little to be above average.

dismalist

That's not even wrong!
--Wolfgang Pauli

Hegemony


marshwiggle

Quote from: Hegemony on January 14, 2024, 02:30:06 PMOh, you guys. Fulfilling all the stereotypes.

So what do you think Golden meant by this?
Quote"The newsletter included a definition of the word privilege which, upon reflection, I deeply regret," she wrote in a memo, obtained by the Daily Mail. "The intent of the newsletter is to inform and support an inclusive community at Hopkins, but the language of this definition clearly did not meet that goal.

"In fact, because it was overly simplistic and poorly worded, it had the opposite effect,"
she continued. "I retract and disavow the definition I shared and I am sorry."

It takes so little to be above average.

dismalist

Quote from: marshwiggle on January 14, 2024, 02:50:39 PM
Quote from: Hegemony on January 14, 2024, 02:30:06 PMOh, you guys. Fulfilling all the stereotypes.

So what do you think Golden meant by this?
Quote"The newsletter included a definition of the word privilege which, upon reflection, I deeply regret," she wrote in a memo, obtained by the Daily Mail. "The intent of the newsletter is to inform and support an inclusive community at Hopkins, but the language of this definition clearly did not meet that goal.

"In fact, because it was overly simplistic and poorly worded, it had the opposite effect,"
she continued. "I retract and disavow the definition I shared and I am sorry."



It was not in fact overly simplistic and poorly worded. It was standard DEI boilerplate.

And it substituted the race war for the class war. Nothing new under the sun.
That's not even wrong!
--Wolfgang Pauli

apl68

Quote from: Ruralguy on January 13, 2024, 12:40:46 PMI think some small tweaks in language could go a long way. Instead of talking about a large group of people as being "privileged", talk about small things that could give you a small advantage or disadvantage, and then step up to bigger things that could give bigger advantages or disadvantages. For instance, if as a child your parents got along and stayed together, it probably gives you an advantage. If you are born to a certain household income, also an advantage. Broadly speaking, being born white in America, even if poor, probably gives you some advantages, even if they seem small (not being met with as much suspicion, stereotyping, etc.). Obviously, not having certain income would lead to clear disadvantages.

People resent words like "privilege" because to them, it tends to negate, say, the hard work and other struggles of their ancestors, their own personal struggles, and so forth.   

Yes.  These are real issues, but common sense would suggest that the sort of crassly unsubtle and offensive wording we see in this case might prove counter-productive to those trying to raise them.

One supposes that the average DEI officer would be in favor of bans on civilian purchase of assault rifles.  But this one must have gotten that AR-15 she just perforated both her own feet with somewhere.
If any will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it.
For how does a man profit if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul?

marshwiggle

Quote from: dismalist on January 14, 2024, 02:54:37 PM
Quote from: marshwiggle on January 14, 2024, 02:50:39 PM
Quote from: Hegemony on January 14, 2024, 02:30:06 PMOh, you guys. Fulfilling all the stereotypes.

So what do you think Golden meant by this?
Quote"The newsletter included a definition of the word privilege which, upon reflection, I deeply regret," she wrote in a memo, obtained by the Daily Mail. "The intent of the newsletter is to inform and support an inclusive community at Hopkins, but the language of this definition clearly did not meet that goal.

"In fact, because it was overly simplistic and poorly worded, it had the opposite effect,"
she continued. "I retract and disavow the definition I shared and I am sorry."



It was not in fact overly simplistic and poorly worded. It was standard DEI boilerplate.

And it substituted the race war for the class war. Nothing new under the sun.

What I'm curious about is how people who are very pro-DEI view Golden's two statements together. Was her initial definition "overly simplistic and poorly worded", as in her words? In that case, how should it have been worded? Or, was her apology insincere but necessary in order to keep her job?

It takes so little to be above average.

Wahoo Redux

Quote from: marshwiggle on January 15, 2024, 01:11:56 PMWhat I'm curious about is how people who are very pro-DEI view Golden's two statements together. Was her initial definition "overly simplistic and poorly worded", as in her words? In that case, how should it have been worded? Or, was her apology insincere but necessary in order to keep her job?

I am no expert in this sphere and I have no idea how to resolve inequity in society except for the slow walk of trees that always seems to take one step back for every three steps, but I expect it is time to retire the term "privileged" because it has accumulated too much bad rhetorical weight by now.

And DEI programs seem to be back-firing and causing as many problems as they solve. We need to try something different. This is just an impression based on headlines, and someone with better facts might disabuse me of this. 

But it is also not as simple as this:

QuoteIt's ironic that the DEI mob who are indignant about certain people in the past not getting the recognition they deserved just because of the group(s) they were identified with now see the "solution" is to use terms like "privilege" to imply that people from other groups aren't deserving of recognition just because of the group(s) they are identified with.

"White privilege" is a thing.  It is a matter of history and the current effects of the past. 

The big thing I think is that we need to stop attacking the people who did not cause this mess.  The people Golden put in her sights were, for the most part, not born or in power yet.  No wonder they fire back.
Come, fill the Cup, and in the fire of Spring
Your Winter-garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To flutter--and the Bird is on the Wing.

Stockmann

The identitarian Left in the US is so adept at creating a backlash against itself (this, what happened at Harvard, etc) that mere incompetence isn't really a credible explanation anymore. I think it's more of a "reign over the ashes" situation - in practice the identitarian Left would rather alienate all sorts of plausible allies (working class whites, Hispanics, Asians, black immigrants...) than be led to victory by moderates. Kind of like how Putin, in the name of Russian greatness, is driving Russia into the ground, but that's irrelevant as long as he's in the Kremlin. Trump today being well on track to win the nomination and possibly the WH certainly puts this sort of news in context.

Kron3007

This is simply an example of things going to far and that the best solution (and what most people support) is usually somewhere closer to the middle.

I for one support the DEI intentions, but feel that it has simply gone too far and a lot of it is just window dressing anyway.  I suspect I am not unusual in this.  Most people support equity in the work place, but what we are seeing from the hardcore DEI people isn't really accomplishing this  effectively and is introducing new problems.

For me, I now find myself writing extensive DEI sections for every grant proposal.  Most of this is just fluff and has absolutely no substance or impact.  There are very real issues that need to be addressed, but I feel there are better ways to go about it.


Are the benefits worth the backlash we see?

ciao_yall

Quote from: Kron3007 on January 16, 2024, 04:58:09 AMThis is simply an example of things going to far and that the best solution (and what most people support) is usually somewhere closer to the middle.

I for one support the DEI intentions, but feel that it has simply gone too far and a lot of it is just window dressing anyway.  I suspect I am not unusual in this.  Most people support equity in the work place, but what we are seeing from the hardcore DEI people isn't really accomplishing this  effectively and is introducing new problems.

For me, I now find myself writing extensive DEI sections for every grant proposal.  Most of this is just fluff and has absolutely no substance or impact.  There are very real issues that need to be addressed, but I feel there are better ways to go about it.


Are the benefits worth the backlash we see?

My concern is that the backlash is not coming from "Hey, are we really accomplishing anything or is this just fluff?"

It's coming from "White Heterosexual Christian Males are suffering reverse discrimination and made to feel guilty and oppressed! Woke!"