President Barack Obama’s secretary of education, John B. King Jr., has officially released a Dear Colleague letter mandating a “commitment to diversity” at America’s colleges and universities and calling for taxpayer-funded campuses to create “safe spaces” where students, professors and administrators can talk about “race and discrimination.”
“Institutions can proactively support student success and college completion by” establishing “venues for safe and open dialogue on issues of race and discrimination among students, faculty, staff, and leadership of different backgrounds,” the outgoing education secretary instructs college administrators.
College officials should also train “students, faculty, staff” on “how to support diverse student populations and address the implicit biases we all carry with us,” the education secretary says. (RELATED: TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE: Are These Workshops From A Ku Klux Klan Rally Or A White Privilege Conference?)
Colleges “have a responsibility to make sure schools are safe and supportive places for all,” King asserts, and administrators must guarantee that students “never fear being threatened or attacked.”
King also notes that “protecting students’ free speech rights” is important.
The concept of “safe spaces” — places where adults can go to ensure that nobody will hurt their feelings — have been a source of contention and ridicule on America’s college campuses over the past year. (RELATED: College Presidents Grovel To Pampered Radicals At Mediocre, Absurdly Costly Private Schools)
Student protesters at Yale University, the University of Missouri and many other campuses made demands for “safe spaces” a focal point of their demonstrations last academic year. (RELATED: Mizzou Activists Demanded Generators And A TOASTY FIRE PIT As They Protested Poop Swastika)
King uses the words “diverse” or “diversity” 13 times in the 693-word letter. That’s once every 53 words. For good measure, King also manages to sneak in “diverse” or “diversity” three more times in six footnotes.
“When institutions become aware of any form of discriminatory harassment that creates a hostile environment, they are legally obligated to promptly and effectively address the harassment, eliminate the hostile environment, prevent harassment from recurring, and remedy its effects,” King commands. “Institutions should also make clear and widely publicize the ways that students can file complaints of harassment and discrimination.” (RELATED: University Officials: America-Themed Parties Are ‘Harmful’ And Offensive)
“I call upon you as higher education leaders to renew your commitment to diversity, to take swift and specific action to eliminate harassment and discrimination,” King also urges in his Dear Colleague letter, which he ends with the close “With great hope.”
While the notion of Dear Colleague letters may sound very polite and cordial, they have taken on tremendous force during the Obama administration because college administrators have considered them essentially equivalent to federal law.
For example, a 2011 Dear Colleague letter from the Obama administration’s Department of Education civil rights division has been the main source of a huge increase in incidents in which college bureaucrats have run roughshod over the due process rights of college males accused of rape. (RELATED: The Obama Administration Is Gripped By Radical Feminists Who Despise Due Process)
The 2011 letter entitled “Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence” is 46 pages long.
It dictates how American colleges and universities must respond to allegation of sexual violence and depends heavily — at times almost exclusively — on Title IX, a comprehensive 1972 federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.
If schools fail to respond appropriately to allegations of campus sexual assault, they risk severe financial sanctions, the 2011 Dear Colleague letter declares.
Professors from law schools at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Harvard University and George Washington University have charged that the 2011 letter’s directives force public and private schools across the country to adopt policies that threaten to dispossess students of basic, fundamental due process rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
Under the Obama administration, the growth in the Department of Education’s sex discrimination complaints has been astounding. In 2010, Obama’s Department of Education civil rights office saw just 391 such complaints. In 2014, the number was an astronomical 2,354. (RELATED: TWO PEOPLE Have Filed OVER 1,700 Sex Discrimination Complaints With Dept. Of Education)
For example, a now-expelled male student at Occidental College has filed a Title IX lawsuit of his own after a pseudonymous female student accused him of rape. An Occidental professor, Danielle Dirks, declared that he “fit the profile of other rapists on campus in that he had a high GPA in high school, was his class valedictorian, was on [a sports] team, and was ‘from a good family.'” (RELATED: Professor At Obama’s First College Brands College Student Rapist Because He Got Good Grades, Played Sports And Was ‘From A Good Family’)
King, the signatory of the November 2016 Dear Colleague letter, is most notable because he tried to hold a series of town hall-style meetings about Common Core back in 2013 when he was the state of New York’s education commissioner. He hastily cancelled his big Common Core town-hall tour after barely managing to get through a single PTA-sponsored forum in Poughkeepsie because he insisted on arguing with parents who expressed critical opinions about Common Core he didn’t want to hear. (RELATED: Education Bigwig Abandons Common Core Townhalls After Parents Try To Have Their Say)