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Shakedown Redux

Meanwhile, at Scripps College - a liberal arts college for young ladies, in Claremont, California, and where annual tuition is close to $50,000 - you must also pay to be scolded as racist and oppressive, by dint of having questions and simply being white:

Campus resident assistants at the school are hanging up two sets of posters titled “Emotional Labour 101”: one for whites, and another for minorities, whom the posters dub as “victims of emotional labour.” Both posters define “emotional labour” as having to exert energy “for the purpose of addressing people’s feelings, educating, making people comfortable, or living up to ‘social expectations.’”

You see, inculcating pretentious guilt, and then exploiting it, is terribly exhausting. And having to deal with “microaggressions,” like being disagreed with, or being asked questions you can’t answer in a sufficiently self-flattering manner, is way too much like hard work. And so, students with That Magic Brown Skin™ are encouraged to demand compensation from their paler peers for the “mental toll” of having to explain why everyone else is racist and should shut the hell up:

“Charge for your services,” the poster suggests. “If you’ve decided you’re going to do it, at least get paid.”

Those deemed sufficiently brown - and therefore by default morally superior and emotionally fragile - are cautioned to “avoid overexertion” when “educating” their paler, less enlightened classmates. “The burden does not rest on your shoulders,” declares the poster. “You don’t owe anyone anything at the expense of your mental health.” The instructional posters are, however, rather less indulgent of students of pallor, who are warned to consider how “people of colour” – who, despite such pampering are apparently “a marginalised group” - are being fatigued by any questioning of their claims. “Be mindful of your place and position,” reads the Guide For White Students, before suggesting that the melanin-deficient should offer financial compensation, “take ownership for the harm you caused” and “think about social justice issues.” 

Sadly, there’s no mention of any financial compensation for white students who are continually being told, by so-called educators, that they’re inherently oppressive and therefore bad people who should feel ashamed. It seems that this ‘microaggression’ business only works one way.  

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