The University of Washington-Tacoma Writing Center is promising students that they’ll stop perpetuating oppressive and socially unjust practices, according to a new statement from the Writing Center.
The “Statement on Antiracist and Social Justice Work in the Writing Center” was drafted up by the professional staff, tutors, and the Director of the Center.
The statement begins by arguing that racism is pervasive throughout campus life.
“Racism is the normal condition of things. Racism is pervasive. It is in the systems, structures, rules, languages, expectations, and guidelines that make up our classes, school, and society,” it says.
Not only is racism pervasive in school, but it can be pervasive in the writing center too, the statement argues.
“For example, linguistic and writing research has shown clearly for many decades that there is no inherent ‘standard’ of English,” it says.
The belief that there is one standard dialect of English has long been understood by some progressives to be oppressive, since minority communities, particularly some African American minority communities, speak a different dialect of English.
“All language varieties, from Hawaiian Creole English to Black English Vernacular to Spanglish are legitimate, rule-governed, and communicative,” the Director of the Writing Center, Dr. Asao Inoue, wrote in his recent book.
The Writing Center vows to “look carefully and compassionately for ways that we may unintentionally perpetuate racism or social injustice, actively engaging in antiracist practices.”
To do this, the drafters of the statement outlined a nine-point plan.
They promise to “be sensitive” to how their “language practices and other microaggressions may make some people feel uncomfortable.” Additionally, they’ll conduct ongoing assessments of how the center may perpetuate “potential inequalities or oppressive practices.”
“Just avoiding racism is not enough.”
The director of the Writing Center, Dr. Asao Inoue, has yet to respond to a Red Alert Politics request for comment.
Inoue is the publisher of “Antiracist Writing Ecologies: Teaching and Assessing Writing for a Socially Just Future,” which argues that “unintended racism that often occurs when teachers do not have explicit antiracist agendas in their assessments.”
His book also argues that race and gender are not real, writing, “As a social construction, race is complex, often composed of multiple factors that intersect in one’s life despite the fact that it is a fabrication by people over time.”
“We made up race, then it became something real. But it is not real, just as gender isn’t real,” he added.