My nomination for the most Orwellian phrase of the moment is, “We need to have a conversation about X [race, class, gender, policing, inequality—fill in the blank].” What “we need a conversation” means in practice is, “You shut up and agree with the left.”
It seems the (checks notes) Harvard Business Review agrees, in an article titled, “Academia Isn’t a Safe Haven for Conversations About Race and Racism.”
The interesting thing about this article is that it is written by two “progressives” entirely in sympathy with the leftist view of racial matters, but amusingly they note that there aren’t serious conversations about race because white progressive shut down minority voices. That’s not quite how they put it, but it is easy to read between the lines here:
Our research, personal stories, and the experiences of many others don’t offer much cause for optimism. Why? When people of color give voice to the discrimination they experience, they are often silenced by their white colleagues, many of whom purport to be liberal progressives. And although there is a perception that academia is a safe haven for these kinds of honest conversations, it is often the opposite. Until this changes in education and beyond, it’s our view that we will be unable to reach racial equity in white institutional spaces. [Emphasis added.]
If you need further evidence of the closed-mindedness of the “we need to have a conversation” crowd, have a look at this Tweet sent out a couple weeks ago by the liberal arts program at Penn State:
Notice something wrong with this? Why yes—students objected to the third statement, “Dear conservative students: Your viewpoints are important.”
The Penn State Daily Collegian reports:
The tweet, which had lines reading “Dear conservative students, Your viewpoints are important” and “Dear Latinx students, You will not find walls here,” faced backlash from Penn State students who found the tweet harmful toward students of color and ignorant of the systemic issues that oppress people of color in the United States today. The tweet was later deleted. . . .
Student Cassandra Nuñez said the experiences of conservative students and students of color cannot not be presented as equal in any way. . . “Conservatives in the United States do not live in a system that was built from the blood and trauma of their ancestors — a system that continues to put down people who look like [their ancestors] every day,” Nuñez said via email. . .
Imani Murray said by adding conservative students to the inclusivity tweet, the university neglected her experience as a Black woman. . . Murray said the tweet demonstrated a lack of understanding from Penn State’s administration and brought a sense of shame and humiliation to Penn State’s communities of color.
Good luck with any “conversations” at Penn State.