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Academia, That Temple Of The Mind

Don’t Oppress My People With Your Time-Keeping Technology

There’s much you can learn during a “diversity” course for faculty at Clemson University. Including the revelation that punctuality is racist:

The online training presents a variety of scenarios featuring fictional characters…  [On one slide], a character named Alejandro schedules a 9:00 a.m. meeting between two groups of foreign professors and students. The first group arrived fifteen minutes early, while the second arrived ten minutes late [and wanted to “socialise” first].

According to the course material, any acknowledgement of this tardiness, or of the customary expectation that people arrive on time for meetings, and that they generally apologise when they don’t, is denounced as wrong, and is marked with a large ‘X’ to stress the deviation from the new moral purity. Because casually disrespecting your host – by turning up late and offering no apology and then wasting more of everyone else’s time - is fine, and indeed culturally enriching, provided those arriving late have sufficient racial otherness. And so, instead,

Alejandro should recognise and acknowledge cultural differences with ease and respect… Time may be considered precise or fluid depending on the culture. For Alejandro to bring three cultures together he must start from a place of respect, understanding that his cultural perspective regarding time is neither more nor less valid than any other.

Yes, punctual and tardy are equally valid, apparently. Which will be a huge comfort when all of Alejandro’s subsequent appointments run late as a result or have to be truncated. Thanks to the “respect” in question being entirely unilateral. According to the course literature, this commitment to “diversity” and “inclusion” - and with it, a freewheeling approach to time-keeping - can “lead to better decisions.”

Somewhat related: “We should disrupt Eurocentric notions of time.”