The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent


It's Getting Harder and Harder to Distinguish Satire from Earnest Wokeness, II

Rutgers English Department says grammar is racist.


Via College Fix, the Rutgers English Department purports to challenge "the familiar dogma that writing instruction should limit emphasis on grammar/sentence-level issues so as to not put students from multilingual, non-standard 'academic' English backgrounds at a disadvantage." So far so good. Helping students who struggle with standard English is exactly what an English Department that wants to helps disadvantaged students should do.

Instead, though, Rutgers goes even woker. Rather than merely deemphasizing standard grammar, the English Department declares that standard grammar is "biased," and endorses "critical grammar," which "encourages students to develop a critical awareness of the variety of choices available to them w/ regard to micro-level issues in order to empower them and equip them to push against biases based on 'written' accents."

In short, the Rutgers English Department wants to make sure that students who come to Rutgers with a poor grasp of standard written English not only remain in that state, but come to believe that learning standard English is a concession to racism. I remember when keeping "people of color" ignorant was considered part of white supremacy.