Rebecca Walkowitz, who chairs the English Department at Rutgers University, should consider changing her name to Rebecca WOKEowitz to better reflect her position on implementing radical progressive policies. Walkowitz chose “Juneteenth” to inform staff, faculty, and students about a new initiative to “contribute to the eradication of systemic inequities facing black, indigenous, and people of color,” by deemphasizing traditional grammar rules.
The email entitled, “Department actions in solidarity with Black Lives Matter,” endorses the requirement at Rutgers for all fall 2020 English instructors to attend at least one workshop remotely on “how to have an anti-racist classroom.” Also, the email details the “launching a web page to provide access to events, resources, and affiliated groups,” while also “organizing two teach-ins focused on Black Lives Matter, “anti-racism,” police brutality, and prison reform.”
Further excerpts of Rebecca Walkowitz’s email include; The Graduate Writing Program serves graduate students in all SAS disciplines as well as students in select programs outside SAS, has undertaken. In response to current events, it will undertake the following initiatives:
- Workshops on social justice and writing. These will address topics such as the politics of citation and knowledge (the “Cite Her” movement and the “Gray Test” on citing women and people of color).
- Increasing focus on graduate student life. We plan to increase curricular content and also programming to focus on managing graduate student life especially for first-generation students, including issues such as the student-committee relationship, self-advocacy, etc.
- Incorporating “critical grammar” into our pedagogy. This approach challenges the familiar dogma that writing instruction should limit emphasis on grammar/sentence-level issues so as to not put students from multilingual, non-standard “academic” English backgrounds at a disadvantage. Instead, it encourages students to develop a critical awareness of the variety of choices available to them w/ regard to micro-level issues in order to empower them and equip them to push against biases based on “written” accents.
See Rebecca Walkowitz’s co-authorship of the response to the George Floyd protests; Department of English Statement on the murder of George Floyd, systemic racism, and our community – “We stand in solidarity with the protests calling for transformation in this country … This means advocating for—now and well into the future—substantive changes in the ways that education, housing, health care, distribution of wealth, policing, and governance function (or fail to function) in this country.”
Apparently, Walkowitz and Rutgers assume minorities cannot master the English language and must be granted certain considerations. How is that not the most condescending and racist thinking of all? Is Walkowitz aware that she is declaring the color of a person’s skin determines a natural deficiency of intellect? This is a complete set up for minorities who pay good money to learn skills to compete in the real world with their counterparts who will know proper grammar and the most grotesque of virtue signaling.
The poison of “wokeness” is ruining Rutgers, as it’s destroying other institutions across the United States. Rutgers is also “decolonizing” its reading list of white authors for the sole reason of being white. It’s amazing how this avoids the label of racism, but it does in this world of burgeoning leftist insanity.
So, the woke award of the week goes to Rebecca Walkowits of Rutgers for announcing that the use of proper grammar is racist, and by extension, the act of speaking clearly is basically a moral crime.