So we know that math is officially racist according to the Cult of the Wokerati, but what about compound interest, which Albert Einstein described as “the eighth wonder of the world—he who understands it, earns it. He who doesn’t, pays it”?
The question becomes relevant because the latest object of campus outrage is financial guru Suze Orman, who was recently the online keynote speaker at the annual conference of NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. I’ve never been much impressed with Orman when I used to see her on TV, because, like Dave Ramsey, her message is basic financial common sense combined with some discipline, and after that you just let compound interest take over. But Orman and Ramsey have huge followings because we don’t teach any financial literacy in school much any more. I’m an outlier, having become enamored of compound interest in the seventh grade, and then reading Ben Graham’s The Intelligent Investor in college.
Well, you’ll never guess what happened to Orman when she gave her standard financial literacy talk to a group of college staff. Actually, of course you know what happened, but I’ll let Inside Higher Education take it from here:
NASPA, one of the nation’s top professional associations for student affairs professionals, issued a lengthy apology Thursday for an “insulting and insensitive” speech by financial expert and television host Suze Orman, which drew immediate criticism from those attending the organization’s virtual conference. . .
Those who watched Orman’s address said her comments, meant to inspire student affairs workers to advocate for higher pay and boundaries in their jobs, focused on major personal obstacles to wealth — “fear, shame and anger” — without noting systemic barriers to wealth such as class, race or gender. Some observers said Orman equated “net worth” to “self-worth,” which some felt was an insensitive way to frame the discussion of financial literacy with an audience made up of many entry-level student affairs professionals who are historically underpaid and heavily indebted with loans they used to finance their undergraduate and graduate degrees.
NASPA leaders emailed and tweeted a statement apologizing to conference attendees a few hours after Orman’s speech. The statement said the association had “missed the mark” for providing a speaker who made comments “offensive to your lived experiences and to our NASPA values.”
“We cannot discuss financial literacy without first acknowledging the inequitable and unjust systems that have prevented Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, Queer, Trans, first-gen, low-income, and many other historically minoritized and marginalized communities from attaining education and generational wealth,” said the statement, which was signed by NASPA board chair Angela Batista, President Kevin Kruger and Michele Murray, chair of the 2021 conference.
Footnote: Orman is a lesbian who has been married to her partner for more than 10 years (in other words, well before Obergefell), but as you can see, the current catechism of intersectionality requires that the race narrative take precedence over everything.
Maybe next time the conference should invite Al Sharpton to address them on tax avoidance strategies. That will suit their ideology better.