University's 'racial justice' definition eerily similar to socialism

Celine Ryan
California Senior Campus Correspondent

  • Southern Connecticut State University has created a "Syllabus for Racial Justice," which provides a definition of "racial justice" that is eerily similar to that of socialism.
  • The document defines "racial justice" as "a process where power and resources are redistributed so that people of color have equal access, opportunities, and treatment leading to equitable outcomes for all."
  • November is “Social Justice Month” at Southern Connecticut State University and to celebrate, the school has created a “Syllabus for Racial Justice," which provides a definition of "racial justice" that is eerily similar to socialism.

    "The resources provided here are intended for faculty and staff to explore in an effort to strengthen their understandings of how systemic racism operates in our lives, communities, and classrooms, the university explains. "This syllabus is part of a larger endeavor for faculty to integrate racial justice pedagogies into our practice.”

    "Racial Justice": "A process where power and resources are redistributed so that people of color have equal access, opportunities, and treatment leading to equitable outcomes for all."   

    The syllabus explains that the “working document" will receive multiple additions over the upcoming year and that the university hopes to develop a permanent online home for the material, accessible to the public. SCSU prefaces the material with a breakdown of a handful of social justice terms. 

    SCSU defines "racism" as “prejudice + power.”  

    [RELATED: Conn. college promotes David Hogg for 'Social Justice Month']

    The school goes on to define "white supremacy" as "an institutionally perpetuated system of oppression that manifests in our lives, communities, and schools,” and a "complex system of beliefs and behaviors rooted in systems designed to maintain the superiority of those designated white,” clarifying that these beliefs and behaviors include those that are "overt, subtle, unconscious, [and] conscious.”

    Finally, the document clarifies its purpose by offering a definition for the term "racial justice": "a process where power and resources are redistributed so that people of color have equal access, opportunities, and treatment leading to equitable outcomes for all. It is the disruption of our current systems which maintain white supremacy.”

    That definition is markedly similar to the definition of socialism. 

    Socialism is "a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole," according to Dictionary.com

    [RELATED: Academics target 'whiteness' at social justice conference]

    The rest of the syllabus is chiefly composed of various reading recommendations. One section titled "What is Whiteness and how does white privilege operate in our lives?” suggests that university employees take time to read two books by “Whiteness Studies" lecturer Robin D’Angelo, titled "White Fragility" and "Critical White Studies: Looking Behind the Mirror."  The same section recommends additional readings such as “White Debt,” by Eula Biss, and "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" by Peggy McIntosh.

    Other sections provide instructors with reading recommendations to address questions such as "How Does Systemic Racism Operate in Educational Spaces?” and "How Do I Teach for Racial Justice?” 

    The document closes by inviting educators to suggest additional content from their own experiences and classrooms for the final section titled "How Do I Develop Anti-Racist Curriculum In My Discipline?", which the university notes will be amended with resources throughout 2019.

    “Racial Justice Pedagogy Project at SCSU is the work of a faculty subcommittee which has been focusing for the last two years on how to take social justice to the classroom, student organizations, departmental meetings, etc., rather than simply focusing on events during our annual Social Justice Month,” SCSU spokesman Patrick Dilger told Campus Reform.

    “This syllabus is part of a larger endeavor for faculty to integrate racial justice pedagogies into our practice. In the coming year, we will be adding content to this material as well as resources related more explicitly to teaching,” he added.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @celinedryan





    Celine Ryan

    Celine Ryan

    California Senior Campus Correspondent

    Celine Ryan is a California Senior Campus Correspondent, and reports on liberal bias and abuse on campus for Campus Reform. Celine is a sophomore at Cuesta College, where she serves as president of Young Americans for Liberty.

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