A political science professor at Butler University asks students to disregard their “American-ness, maleness, whiteness, heterosexuality, middle-class status” when writing and speaking in the classroom – a practice the school’s arts and sciences dean defended as a way to negate students’ inherent prejudices.Disregard? The headline said "disavow." There's a big difference between disavowing something and disregarding it. But "disregard" isn't even the teacher's word. What is the teacher's word? I'm guessing, from reading this far, that the teacher would like students to become aware that their attitudes and opinions come from their own perspective and to enlarge their field of vision.
The syllabus of the class, called Political Science 201: Research and Analysis, goes on to ask students “to write and speak in a way that does not assume American-ness, maleness, whiteness, heterosexuality, middle-class status, etc. to be the norm.” It is taught by a black, female professor.So "do not assume"... It doesn't say "disavow" or "disregard." It says do not assume. Do not assume that do not assume means more than do not assume.
The writer at The College Fix, a student at Butler, says he "dropped that politically correct political science class."
Clearly, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Butler University believes its students were raised as racist and misogynist homophobes who have grown to harbor many prejudices, a stance that is both offensive and hostile to any student’s ability to learn.Now, I don't see the evidence that the teacher deserves this harsh judgment, but I believe the student really did experience her expression in this very negative way. It's easy to point at the probable and amusing irony: He read the syllabus from the perspective of a white, middle-class, heterosexual, American male. Maybe he'd benefit from experimenting with reading it from different perspectives. The teacher said do not assume and he assumed a lot (as far as I can tell). He assumed that she assumed that the students were racist, sexist homophobes. He was afraid she thought that and afraid she wouldn't be fair or that he couldn't learn very much from her.
That's where the teacher failed. She didn't anticipate the way her message would be perceived by incoming students. She repelled this student. And there's the other irony: She was not — to use the word she seems to treasure — inclusive.