Posted October 19, 2018 10:07:00 For many years, the U.S. Department of Education has been promoting diversity training as a way to combat the “microaggressions” that are common among young people.
But that’s not what’s happening at the nation’s colleges and universities, which are being accused of using the training as an excuse to silence people of color.
The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the University of California at Berkeley last week alleging that the department has violated the civil rights of students of color by using diversity training to teach diversity as a means of excluding them.
The suit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), argues that the training is designed to instill in students a false sense of victimhood, and that it encourages students to “ignore their own experiences and their own history and be ashamed of it.”
This training “is designed to make students feel like they have to be perfect in order to be worthy of the institution,” said Michaela Smith, an attorney for the NAACP.
“This is really, really, seriously flawed, because that’s really the purpose of diversity training, is to make people feel like the only people who can know them, that they’re not special and they don’t deserve respect.”
The Department for Education, however, says it doesn’t need to justify why it uses the training, since the department only hires and trains the college and university leaders who receive the training.
“The Department of Higher Education has received no information or complaints from anyone at the University or from anyone in the community that suggests that this type of training has ever been used by the Department of education to create a hostile work environment,” the department said in a statement.
The department added that it is committed to improving diversity training programs and encourages colleges and institutions to hire more people of different races and ethnicities.
“While the training does not require that the person receiving it be white, it does ensure that all of the training participants are of a certain race,” the statement continued.
“If the person who receives the training feels that the way the training goes about creating that false sense that she or he is not worthy of this institution, then she or they should have the right to report the training to the department.”
But a new study released Monday by the National Center for Education Statistics found that while the Department for the last decade has offered diversity training at public colleges and university, that program has not changed the way it teaches about racism and white supremacy.
“Only about 1 percent of the colleges and Universities receiving these training programs are now using the curriculum as a substitute for white-only or ethnic-minority-only instruction,” the study found.
The study also found that students of colour at colleges and colleges of higher education were still more likely to be denied access to diversity training than students of other races.
Among students who were excluded from the training program, the percentage who were also denied access ranged from 2 percent to 17 percent.
For African Americans, that figure ranged from 3 percent to 32 percent.
And for Hispanics, it ranged from 7 percent to 33 percent.
In addition, students of Asian descent were also more likely than white students to be excluded from diversity training.
Among Asian-Americans, the number of students who had their access to the training restricted ranged from 1 percent to 7 percent.
Among white students, the average was 6 percent.
“Students of color have been systematically denied the ability to participate in a wide range of training programs,” said Jennifer R. Lee, executive director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at the Southern Poverty Law Center, in a release accompanying the report.
“Their participation in the program has been limited to the ‘one in four’ level and is not representative of the broader student body.”
In its statement, the department pointed out that its training is being used “in conjunction with a variety of programs, including the National Commission on Institutions and the People Who Need Them, the Diversity Education and Training Task Force, and the School Leadership Diversity and Equity Program.”
The department also said it was also making the training available online.
But the report does not address the extent to which students of different racial and ethnic backgrounds are excluded from these diversity training courses.
The report notes that the majority of colleges and the university leaders surveyed in the study were white, and only 3 percent of college students who received diversity training were African American.
Among Hispanic students, however