Fighting Microaggressive Oppression at Duke

Editor’s Note: The following is a letter to the editor of Duke Today, written by an anonymous professor in response to Duke University President Vincent Price’s November 18 article, “President Price Update on Campus Climate Survey.”

Good to see that something is finally being done about the appalling racial climate that exists on the Duke campus. President Vincent Price recognizes that the results of a recent “Campus Climate” survey are “deeply troubling.” More than half of the non-white community “report having experienced microaggressions in the past year.” This is a shocking level of overt racism.

President Price is right to be concerned. I recently observed one white student ask another where she was from. The young woman, showing admirable self-control, seemed to be untroubled, and the two continued an apparently friendly conversation. But an LGBTQ+ student of color who was nearby overheard the microaggression and was clearly triggered. Their anguish was obvious. Just how many incidents like this must marginalized and oppressed Duke students put up with?

It is encouraging that President Price has set up a 20-person sub-committee to examine this issue. There are unfortunately three white men on the committee, but they are balanced by middle-of-the roaders Profs. Bonilla-Silva (“color-blind racism”) and Darrity (“reparations”), as well as seven or so other people of color (hard to be sure — pictures are sometimes ambiguous; perhaps some kind of badge should be mandated to make these identities clearer?).

We can only hope that firm steps will be taken in the future to end microaggressive oppression — and to eliminate other oppressions that still persist in a few departments, such as the tendency to privilege White Logic, ‘correct’ answers to math problems, and the idea of objective truth.

P. Ossum (pronouns: it, them)

Image: Chuck Givens, Public Domain


6 thoughts on “Fighting Microaggressive Oppression at Duke

  1. Let’s call it for what it is, Microagression Manipulation. It’s a form of gaslighting that exerts control over individual thought and individual value that one group tries to remove from another, not for the sake of progress, but for the sake of power and control. Microagression Manipulators are dangerous sociopathic individuals who rank no higher than a common bully, yet have a unique ability to lead by coersion. They tend to live in their world of false virtue, false truths, false historical contexts, while convincing the masses that they somehow are the moral compass for the greater good. The depths of their own individual deceit is profound. The university leadership that perpetuate this behavior, glorify it even, are significantly weak and destructive ambassadors for education. They don’t know it yet, mainly ignorant of their own intellectual demise, but they are destroying the once great pillars of education and free thought, rather than building upon it.

  2. I doubt it was really a professor writing this, the grammatical structure is too remedial. You can tell it’s satire because it uses leftist jargon, but not framing. For example, I would not focus on one person being “clearly triggered”, but ask how many more would be or have been? I would say the speaker is emblematic of how our society creates such poor moral character (“white privilege”) and claim the moral high ground (conveniently for me, on the political left). Moral equivalencies are also in fashion – they would posit that such microaggressions are mere symptoms of something more dire.

    I could have trolled him better, IMHO.

  3. The key issue here is to identify the forces behind it.
    – Who put so many of these ideologues into positions of power in academia, media, and government?
    – How did they do it?
    – Why did they do it?
    – What do they hope to accomplish?
    Looking at the general form, with a little thought, one can discern who is behind it, and the answers will shock you.

  4. Real satire now requires very little imagination. A superlative recording device will deliver in short order endless material, diverse in variety, eerily genuine in quality, and superbly realistic in presentation. What’s not to like about it?

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