Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Power outage rocks campus
Power outage rocks campus
Jack Brandt September 13, 2023

Augustana risks letting liberal arts education fail

Welcome to Augustana, where a liberal arts education takes “liberal” literally.
Symposium Day occurred on September 28th and was themed “Transformation”, perhaps to detail transformation in society?
If that was the case, “Active Anti-Racism: Strategies for Fighting Against Racism and Oppression” missed the mark entirely.
Let me very clearly specify; my problem with the panel was not the concept, but the content. White shaming, or shaming of any race, should have no place on a liberal arts campus or in society.I do not like, support, or perpetuate racism. I just feel that we’re doing it all wrong.
The panel opened with two men, both wearing “Black Lives Matter” T-shirts, beginning the talk with “institutional racism”; meaning the institutions that proceed with white supremacist agenda.
To be clear, there were no minorities or African-Americans leading this panel, it was entirely made up of white professors and activists. These men then proceeded to claim that this panel would not be consisting of insults and attacks, but about having a conversation.
Unfortunately, that meant blaming most of the United States’ problems on capitalism. The reasoning behind it, while understandable, is incorrect and vaguely racist; that a majority of poor people are minorities and vice versa. It’s understandable to view this system as making the “rich richer and the poor poorer”, as the colloquialism goes, but this system we have is the least biased and least corruptible system in existence; see the failures of socialism and communism.
To blame the inherent racism in society on a system of economics is just silly.
The other side of the discussion was the idea of white privilege. Now, this idea is not entirely devoid of truth.
There exists such an idea. But there also exists [insert race] privilege. Every race has something entitled to them and arguing the semantics and the fault and blame of each race individually does not bring the collective together to fight racism.
This panel focused on no transformation of society and just rehashed old wounds which defeat the purpose of unity.
This Symposium day, in general, seemed like a flawed concept. I vaguely detailed in my last article “Improve Augie’s Free Speech Rules” the concept of a liberal arts education. And the most annoying thing is that some don’t quite understand what that entails.
A liberal arts education is supposed to spur the discussion of different ideas and viewpoints in order to provide maturing and growing adults with the variety of ideas that this country holds so that they could perhaps form their own opinions.
The concept doesn’t work when the liberal arts education does not provide any differing viewpoints. There were few to no conservative or even right-leaning panels at Symposium day. Nothing sponsored or led by right-leaning speakers or groups. The administration is not doing their job correctly if they refuse to provide an opposing viewpoint.
The adults that we prepare and send forth into the workplace from this establishment need to be able to handle and discuss an opposing idea, otherwise, we fail future generations who will need to make their own way through life and society.
The Active Anti-Racism panel failed to do anything but anger those who are tired of being blamed for their descendant’s failures and Symposium Day failed to provide opposing ideologies; which is fundamental to a liberal arts education.

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Augustana risks letting liberal arts education fail