By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — University of Wisconsin-Madison’s critical race theory-centric course mandate is about ensuring “safe academic and work environments” on campus and the “success” of graduate students, a UW spokesman tells Empower Wisconsin.
But a student forced to take and pass the Woke course before he could enroll for spring semester classes wonders what asking students to “reflect on their own personal values around power, privilege, oppression and the intersections of violence” has to do with his pursuit of a degree at a taxpayer-funded university.
‘Expected to complete this course’
Last week, Republican gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Kleefisch released a video on Facebook detailing a letter sent to UW-Madison graduate students.
“If you don’t complete this required program by September 24, 2021 an enrollment hold will be placed on your student account and you will not be able to register for Spring 2022 courses,” the letter states.
Empower Wisconsin obtained a copy of the letter sent to graduate and professional students.
“As you prepare for this semester, we want to convey the importance of your role as a member of the UW-Madison campus community and the impact your choices have on your experience and that of your peers,” the letter states.
It goes on to inform students that UW requires them to complete the UW Health Services’ online prevention education course called “Graduate and Professional Students Preventing and Responding to Sexual and Relationship Violence.” The course takes approximately 90-120 minutes to complete, and all “incoming students” in the grad and professional degree programs are “expected to complete this course.”
While the theme ostensibly involves ensuring safety on campus, the modules are filled with the kind of controversial race- and gender-centric radical indoctrination that is raising concerns on college campuses and in public school classrooms across the country.
The “Knowledge Check” quiz, which mandates a 100 percent score, asks students questions like:
Which of the following are examples of oppression? (Select all that apply)
Students are expected to define “institutional power, privilege, oppression, intersectionality, and micro aggressions” and to “Understand how marginalized folks are disproportionately impacted by violence.”
The program is filled with the kind of nonsense peddled by the racist “antiracist” and critical race theory crowd, that the United States of America was and remains a land of oppression and racism led by white supremacists who draw power from their “privilege.”
“Institutional oppression, then, is the social prejudices (racism, heterosexism, colonialism, etc.) that operates within institutions to justify, normalize, and support further harming and marginalizing oppressed people and elevating the status and power of dominant groups that already hold privilege,” a section of the course states.
One module is titled Critical Race Theory and Critical Race Feminism.
CRT, according to the indoctrinators, can help students understand “how a regime of white supremacy and its subordination of people of color have been created and maintained in America …”
‘I felt hoodwinked’
What does any of this have to do with dealing with sexual violence on campus? Nothing, says the graduate student who spoke with Empower Wisconsin.
“I felt hoodwinked,” the student said. “My concern is we are paying $10,000 to attend graduate school and I am committed to studying. Am I going to be penalized in a course because I don’t agree with them that ‘capitalism is evil?’”
The student said he actually tried to fail the quiz because he doesn’t believe in the divisive ideas the course is pushing. He couldn’t move forward until he provided the “correct” answer to a subjective question — the very definition of indoctrination.
UW-Madison spokesman John Lucas defended the mandated course and quiz, saying safe academic and work environments are essential to UW campus culture and the success of its graduate students.
“UW–Madison has dedicated resources to preventing violence, to supporting students who have experienced sexual harassment, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and stalking, and to investigating reports of sexual misconduct,” Lucas wrote in an email to Empower Wisconsin. “For nearly twenty years, University Health Services (UHS) has taken a public health approach to violence prevention by addressing individual, group, and campus-level risk and protective factors for violence, as well as sharing university values around creating inclusive environments.”
Okay, but why cram a bunch of stuff on white privilege and critical race theory into training that ostensibly aims to provide students resources on preventing sexual violence?
Lucas said the university will continue to update the training “ensuring that discussions of Critical Race Theory concepts are clearly noted as an academic line of inquiry supported by research, not UW-Madison’s position on issues of race.”
There are volumes of research showing the virtues of capitalism and that all white people aren’t out to oppress people who don’t look like them. That research is not included in the course.
So what do you do if you don’t agree with the teachings? Lucas says students are encouraged to share their questions and concerns about the program or their participation with UHS Violence Prevention. As we update the program, we will make it easier for them to do so.
“The program administrator is also available to discuss alternative options for students, including opting out of portions of the program or assessments or reviewing this or alternative content in a different format,” the spokesman said.
But the training still is required for all new graduate and professional students.
That’s why the grad student said he reached out to Empower Wisconsin.
“As I was going through it I thought policymakers and, really, any person in Wisconsin who doesn’t buy the ‘woke stuff hook line and sinker would like to see what was being required of UW students,” he said.