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Smith College Responds to MC Jodi Shaw

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This is hilarious stuff:

Dear members of the Smith community:

A college staff member resigned last Friday in a letter that she made available to the public. Ordinarily, a personnel matter of this nature would not warrant a letter from the president to the college community; however, in this instance the former employee, in her letter, accuses the college of creating a racially hostile environment for white people, a baseless claim that the college flatly denies. In addition, her letter contains a number of misstatements about the college’s equity and inclusion initiatives, misstatements that are offensive to the members of our community who are working every day to create a campus where everyone, regardless of racial identity, can learn, work and thrive.

I write to emphasize that Smith College remains unyielding in its commitment to advancing racial justice, a commitment that includes and benefits every member of our community. Given the centrality of this work to Smith College’s mission, I want to take this opportunity to ensure that each of you has accurate information.

The employee suggests that Smith tried to buy her silence. But it was the employee herself who demanded payment of an exceptionally large sum in exchange for dropping a threatened legal claim and agreeing to standard confidentiality provisions. Further, while the employee aims her complaint at Smith, her public communications make clear that her grievances about equity and inclusion training run more broadly—as she puts it “to the medical field … the publishing field, the tech field, it’s in the schools, the legal field, public schools, private schools, colleges of course, government. It’s everywhere.”

At Smith College, our commitment to, and strategies for, advancing equity and inclusion are grounded in evidence. Research demonstrates the continued presence of systemic discrimination against people of color across all areas of society, from education to health care to employment. Redressing the reality of racism requires asking ourselves how we might, even inadvertently, reinforce existing inequalities or contribute to an exclusionary atmosphere. While it might be uncomfortable to accept that each of us, regardless of color or background, may have absorbed unconscious biases or at times acted in ways that are harmful to members of our community, such self-reflection is a prerequisite for making meaningful progress. The aim of our equity and inclusion training is never to shame or ostracize. Rather, the goal is to facilitate authentic conversations that help to overcome the barriers between us, and the college welcomes constructive criticism of our workshops and trainings.

As a college, we remain committed to continuous learning in support of the humanity, worth, and dignity of every member of our community.

Sincerely,
Kathleen McCartney
President

I’m not sure what’s more ridiculous: 1)Shaw thinking that she’s owed a ton of money because her supervisor prevented her from humiliating herself in public, 2)Shaw thinking she’s owed a ton of money for being asked, as a middle-class professional, to attend meetings she considers a suboptimal use of her time, or 3)Shaw asserting that Smith College is a “hostile environment for white people.”

You may have also noticed some tension between the “these kids today with their TRIGGER WARNINGS and SAFE SPACES” line of argument and the “I demand a 7-figure settlement because I heard the phrase ‘cultural appropriation'” line of argument, but nobody can accuse the anti-CANCEL CULTURE school of even approaching coherence.

Anyway, Shaw’s grift GoFundMe is already north of 200 grand, so hopefully some of that can go to produce the mixtape of hip hop jams comparing JStor and Academic Search Premier the world has been starved of for so long.

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