The Corner

College Course Asks Students to Set Aside ‘American-ness,’ ‘Whiteness’

A political-science course at Indiana’s Butler University is asking students to discard the mindset of “American-ness,” and “maleness” alone with “whiteness,” “heterosexuality,” and “middle-class status.” The syllabus for Butler’s course in Political Science 201, taught by Professor Robin Turner, indicates that students are expected to use “inclusive language” that affirms “racial and ethnic background, stages of maturity, and degrees of limiting conditions.” According to the syllabus, the use of such language is a “fundamental issue of social justice.” 

The disputed portion of the syllabus for Butler’s “Political Science 201″: 

Butler University is standing by both Professor Turner’s course requirements, which came under fire from a student who wrote in The College Fix that he dropped the course because of them. A spokeswomen for the university, Courtney Tuell, told National Review Online that the use of inclusive language is “both encouraged and supported at Butler University” and  is “a standard for many writing styles.” Tuell said that students are not asked to disregard any aspect of their identities, but rather to write and speak in a way that “does not assume one group or another.” “Such dialogue helps prepare our students to interact with others professionally and fairly in an increasingly diverse America,” she said in an e-mail. “And it creates a respectful environment for all people.”

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