Dr. Carol M. Swain appeared on Fox News Channel’s Fox and Friends Weekend Edition to discuss the recent backlash facing Vanderbilt University for asking a quiz question suggesting the Constitution may perpetuate White supremacy by protecting the institution of slavery.
Host: Vanderbilt University is facing backlash for a quiz asking students this question. “Was the Constitution to perpetuate White supremacy and protect the institution of slavery?” One student in the class telling The Federalist that he was penalized for agreeing with the statement although the university claims that is not the case.
Here to react is Black Voices for Trump advisory board member and former Vanderbilt professor Dr. Carol Swain. Dr. Swain this is your alma mater in terms of teaching. What is your reaction to this story of whether or not the Constitution was founded on the protection of white supremacy?
Swain: Well we know that the true answer is false. And I’m not surprised that a question like that might appear on a university quiz because today the political left they walk in lockstep. And The 1619 narrative, The New York Times project seems to be driving the dialogue today.
Host: Vanderbilt University by the way said the following in response to this controversy. The question was supposed to stimulate conversation. The intent behind the purpose of the academic exercise has been misconstrued. Still doctor. This is is an issue not just at Vanderbilt but across higher education and perhaps lower education as well.
I want to ask you about this story from USC where a professor in a language course at the business school was talking about Chinese filler words. The equivalent of um’s you know how we use them as filler words we use in English and the Chinese filler word sounded like a racial slur in English and for that he has been placed on leave because some students were purportedly offended.
Swain: Well students are always offended about something. And what has happened in this culture of political correctness is that anyone at any time can claim to be offended and the professor bears the burden of that. And even if you are a tenured professor you are not protected. What it means is that students can no longer be educated because there is no way to educate students when you can’t teach your subject matter because someone in the classroom might be offended and complain.
And what they have given at many universities because of the multiculturalism and diversity inclusion equity they have given minority students a veto power over everything that a professor does. And it means that no real education is taking place at most institutions. And it’s not just colleges and universities. It’s also K-12 now. And its all part of this critical theory. It’s destroying American education just like it’s destroying other institutions.
Host: I want to get to that theory in just a moment, the one you mentioned, critical race theory. Do you believe this is driven out of students who are offended or is this a power grab? Something designed and used to take down a professor or a history book or whatever the target may be.
Swain: I think we’ve been training our students for a long time to be offended by everything. The whole concept of a micro-aggression is a perceived slight. And so universities have asked professors to give trigger warnings before they teach any subject that might offend someone or what offends a person today. The rules change constantly. There is no way you can teach or operate in an environment where the rules change daily.
Host: Again this was a word in Chinese that sounded liked an English language racial slur. The USC put out a statement, a USC faculty member during a class used a Chinese word that sounds similar to a racial slur in English. We acknowledge the historical and cultural impact of racist language. The faculty member agreed to take a short term pause. Another professor teaches that one course but he continues to teach his others. We are reviewing to better understand the situation and take the appropriate steps.
Let us return now Professor Swain to what you mentioned about critical race theory. Just last night the White House said federal agencies who teach critical race theories with a divisive racial sensitivity training will no longer receive federal funding. They are putting an end to any types of these programs. What are your thoughts on that?
Swain: I would say, praise the Lord! Because I think the diversity, equity, and does the opposite it says it will do. It is divisiveness training. And what I believe what America needs is unity training. And it’s something that I will be speaking and writing more about.
But corporations and schools, they need people that respect everyone’s rights that are going to bring everyone together and focus on the goals of the institution. We do not need divisiveness training. We need unity training. We need teams to come together. And what’s taking place today comes out of critical race theory and critical theory. It is Marxist. It is destroying America and its institutions.
Host: I hope you do write more about it. Critical race theory is something not many people understand or know much about and yet it’s the underpinning of so much of this going on, not just in government but corporate America and higher education as well.
Swain: And churches. Churches as well.
Host: Alright Dr. Carol Swain. Thank you so much for your time today.
Watch the full segment here: