James Madison University has come under fire for pushing controversial rhetoric as part of its freshman orientation training for student leaders.
The PowerPoint presentation and accompanying video touched on topics such as social justice, identity, power, and privilege, and tagged anyone who fits the parameters of white, male, straight, and Christian as oppressors in a detailed table.
JMU College Republican President Juliana McGrath has shared her frustration with Fox News, saying training at the University of Virginia meant to bring students together will ultimately divide.
“When you teach things like this, the point is to try to bring people together and try to get people to understand different life experiences,” she said. “But by saying, because you are white, you are an oppressor; because you are straight, you are an oppressor; because you are a man, you are an oppressor, it brings people together and it does not did none of the goals of what I feel they were trying to do. “
JAMES MADISON UNIVERSITY TRAINS STUDENTS THAT CHRISTIANS AND WHITE MEN ARE “OPPRESSORS”
According to McGrath, the most “shocking” inclusion in the presentation was the implication that followers of the Christian faith were specifically viewed as oppressors even though all religious individuals, regardless of their faith, believe in the same thing – higher power.
“In our chapter of College Republicans, we actually have a very diverse chapter and we have people of different races, different backgrounds and specifically different religious beliefs. And that has always been very well received,” she said. declared. “I feel like no matter what your political beliefs, you always find some type of middle ground. And I think a lot of times religion is that middle ground. And so I think that to say Christians are oppressors to Jews or Muslims is not very fair because in the end we all somehow believe in the same thing We all believe in a higher power.
Junior JMU confirmed that the university will not be implementing Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) training in freshman orientation programs. Instead, it will be reviewed by the university following a significant setback by students and parents after the training literature was leaked.
McGrath lamented that impressionable young students might feel “unwelcome” if alienating rhetoric were to be included in their integration, in keeping with the school’s “right decision” to stop training. The student said some of her peers who were first-year guidance group leaders, also known as FROGS, decided to drop out of the program after the training.
A guidance official, who requested to remain anonymous, told Fox News he was “absolutely appalled” after attending the session and expressed concern that students, especially students first-year students receive this kind of information.
“Going to a predominantly white institution and learning that you are the oppressor may not be of use to any aspect of their life at JMU,” the leader said. “And on the other hand, it’s about teaching minorities, the LGBTQ community and other groups that they are inherently oppressed, which also cannot be beneficial for the early years. Ultimately, teaching some people that they are the oppressors can lead them to take more advantage of their ‘power’ and it teaches minority groups that they will always be oppressed. ”
Even though the school crashed the DCI training for first-year students, the chief said the FROGS were pressured by guidance counselors (OPAs) to complete the training anyway. social justice and that they will most likely continue to administer courses to first-year students.
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JMU removed the training video from YouTube following backlash from the community. The video defined ‘oppressor’ groups as those who have the power to define reality for themselves and others and, in turn, the ‘target’ groups’ absorb and internalize negative messages about them and end up. to cooperate with the oppressors (by thinking and acting like them). “
“I guess there are a number of critical donors at the university who have threatened withholding their donations if they continue to teach student leaders about these nefarious practices,” suggested the anonymous student. “From what I saw from being on JMU’s parents’ Facebook page and in the comments on Instagram, the parents are angry. They don’t want their high school students to go to JMU now, because who wants to that their children learn that they are the oppressor? “
Some OPAs and RAs were reportedly ordered to remain silent about what they had learned. This made McGrath question how valuable the training was to college.
“Obviously this training didn’t mean much to them one way or another if they didn’t want anyone to share it,” she said. “Because if you really believe it’s the right thing and it’s useful, why wouldn’t you want it shared?” “
The protest was originally re-enacted by faculty members Jennifer Iwerks and Jessica Weed who McGrath said tried to silence the voice of College Republicans in previous clashes. This, however, does not prevent McGrath and his peers from challenging the grip of the critical teaching of racial theory.
“Instead of making whites feel bad for just being white, I think we should be encouraging conversations,” she said. “Instead of teaching CRT, let’s teach people to understand what different life experiences mean to others. Let’s talk to people of different religions. By saying that because you are white you are an oppressor, you are making a generalization about someone based on their skin color, which is racism. “
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James Madison University did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment on this story. In an earlier statement, the school supported the training as an effort to “create an inclusive and welcoming community for all students”.
“The training was organized to ensure that each student guide for freshman orientation has the tools and understanding to work with incoming students, who may have a different background than their own,” we read in the statement to Fox News.
Jessica Chasmar of Fox News contributed to this report.