“Diversity Statement” published to the personal website of University of Massachusetts, Amherst Professor Amanda Ruth Waugh Lagji promises a commitment to make diversity and other social justice themes a part of every one of her classes. “Whether I’m teaching legal studies or literature, my courses are invested in the critical questions students encounter in their other courses and daily lives: issues of justice and law, narratives of power, and resistance and negotiation,” she writes. “Although my research and teaching interests in postcolonial literature already require that the texts I select come from diverse locations and authors, I strongly believe that diversity in the classroom is more than just assigning texts outside the British and American literary canon.” To that end, she states, “I strive to make diversity a perspective as well as a methodology in the classroom by considering the assumptions and values we (myself, and my students) bring into the classroom space, and I try to make the classroom a safe space for these conversations.” Lagji cautions that “‘safe” does not necessarily mean “comfortable” and will often involve “abstract or broad concepts [of] power, race, resistance, language, gender.” The professor notes that a majority of her students are white and because of that, she must “discuss how whiteness is constructed” and how race “has been inflected by religious and biological discourses.” “I intend to fundamentally alter the ways in which students interact and read all texts, as narratives that engage with the world they inhabit,” she promises. Lagji’s commitment to infusing social justice into every class and assignment will also include teachings on “policing in America,” war and refugees:
I firmly believe that diversity, in all its manifold manifestations, should be at the forefront of course design rather than attended to or accommodated as an afterthought.
The language that progressives like Lagji uses is quite intentional. However, words can change their meanings daily in the Left’s lexicon. Those that don’t follow the ever-changing letter, or prefer the traditional meanings of words, will be viewed as outcasts, as Legal Insurrection notes:
Progressives in academia are creating their own language and if you don’t speak it, you will be left out.