A suburb of Madison, Wisconsin is reeling after a local student union appeared to solicit “microaggression” stories from area students.
According to the Libs of TikTok Twitter account, the BIPOC Student Union at DeForest Area High School sent an email to all students who had identified themselves as “person[s] of color.” The email asked minority students to record a video talking about their experiences with microaggressions and send it to the Union.
“We are reaching out to you because you identified as a student of color when enrolling for school. As such, we are reaching out to you to ask about your experience as a person of color at DeForest Area High School,” the email said.
“DeForest BIPOC…Union is planning a video project based on microaggressions (indirect or subtle discrimination against members of a marginalized group) you have experienced and/or overheard at school. The video will be presented at a staff meeting in hopes of educating them on microaggressions and preventing them from happening in the future. It may also be shared with the student body at a later time, and possibly shared on social media,” the Union continued.
The Union also included a photo visually explaining what they wanted. The photo included a faceless student holding a sign saying “I don’t appreciate you sharing your culture in the classroom.”
Despite the increasing outcry against microaggressions among left-wing academics, public figures, and activists, the scientific justification for their prominence is hazy at best.
“Microaggressions…lie entirely in the eyes of the beholder. Therefore, if a person feels “microaggressed” against, he or she is automatically deemed to be the victim of a microaggression,” said the late Scott Lilienfeld, who was a professor of psychology at Emory University until his death in 2020.
“The problems here are twofold: First, if person A is offended by a statement but person B is not, this would mean it both is and is not a microaggression, a proposition that is patently illogical. Second, science hinges on the ability to corroborate findings using converging sources of evidence. If a concept is entirely subjective, it is exceedingly difficult to study it scientifically, let alone subject it to rigorous tests,” he continued.
In addition, this is not the first time that DeForest Area High School has rubbed people the wrong way. Back in October, DeForest Area School District superintendent Eric Runez publicly denied that the district was teaching critical race theory (CRT).
“[Gloria Ladson-Billings] teaches graduate-level courses and those are not things that we teach,” said Runez. “Do we teach about racism and historical inequities? Yeah we do, but those are historical facts. If we don’t want to repeat things, it’s important to teach what was happening in history.”
However, DeForest’s director of instruction Rebecca Toetz has made it her mission to improve “representation and cultural inclusivity in the curriculum,” telling K-12 Dive that the effort “is timely in light of the nation’s reckoning with systemic racism, a dual crisis that ran parallel to the pandemic.” The argument that the United States’ core institutions — law, education, and more — are systemically racist is a core component of critical race theory, as well as its ideological branches.
As of Monday evening, neither DeForest Area High School nor its parent district has released a statement regarding the BIPOC Student union’s email.