Rowan University has published a guide for their professors instructing them how to “call out” supposed microaggressions in the classroom, with ideas such as meritocracy and wanting to be inclusive highlighted as especially negative.
“Interrupting Microaggressions,” which is available on the Rowan University Bias & Response Team (BART) website, has a section entitled “The Myth of Meritocracy,” which states that arguing”everyone can succeed in this country, if they work hard enough,” is in fact not a reflection on the social mobility of America but a microaggression that could easily hurt the feelings of students.
“Colour blindness,” the idea that someone “does not believe in race” when dealing with people and treats everyone equally regardless, is also listed as a problematic idea. The speaker should be asked to articulate what they do believe in instead, according to the guide. The same applies to inclusivity in regards to gender.
A quote from the guide details the philosophy of the university in dealing with microaggressions:
At Rowan University efforts to provide a respectful, inclusive learning environment and community are dependent on everyone’s ability to recognize, respond to, and prevent bias-related incidents… As a [professor], you have an obligation to take an active role in fostering an appreciation for diversity and sending the message loud and clear that bias-related acts will not be tolerated.
Along with the full guide published by the university, the website contains links to other resources on the subject, including a video by Fusion Comedy that compares microaggressions to mosquito bites, and an article by Everyday Feminism that tells prospective “allies” to help minorities and oppressed people by “talking less.”
A separate document entitled “Tips for Interrupting Bias” is designed to assist those called out for their microaggressions, which offers helpful advice such as “taking responsibility for and acknowledging your own behavior” and to be mindful to avoid their “natural defensive tendencies” when they are criticized.