Who knew that our language is racist?
The University of Chicago, which issued a statement in 2015 supporting the freedom of expression, now thinks the English language is racist, and won’t admit graduate students in the English Department unless they pursue work in Black Studies.
The department wrote on its website:
Note: For the 2020-2021 graduate admissions cycle, the University of Chicago English Department is accepting only applicants interested in working in and with Black Studies. We understand Black Studies to be a capacious intellectual project that spans a variety of methodological approaches, fields, geographical areas, languages and time periods.
Also on its website, the department noted:
English as a discipline has a long history of providing aesthetic rationalizations for colonization, exploitation, extraction and anti-Blackness. Our discipline is responsible for developing hierarchies of cultural production that have contributed directly to social and systemic determinations of whose lives matter and why… In light of this historical reality, we believe that undoing persistent, recalcitrant anti-Blackness in our discipline and in our institutions must be the collective responsibility of all faculty, here and elsewhere.
So there you have it. The University of Chicago is countering what it sees as historical racism in the most common language in the Western world by using… racism.