First Grading, Now Good Grammar is Racist, According to this College Professor

Monica Sanchez | October 24, 2019
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First it was handing out A’s and B’s to students. Now, practicing good grammar in the classroom is on the chopping block.

MRCTV reported earlier this week that colleges and universities across the nation are considering doing away with typical grading practices in favor of “inclusive grading” because evaluating students based upon quality is apparently racist and enforces white supremacy.

It follows that practicing good grammar in the classroom enforces “white language supremacy,” according to professor and the associate dean of the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts at Arizona State University, Asao Inoue, The College Fix reported on Thursday.

Inoue was a guest lecturer last week at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. During his remarks, he explained that “we are all implicated in white supremacy” and that white language supremacy is “the condition in classrooms, schools, and society where rewards are given in determined ways to people who can most easily reach them, because those people have more access to the preferred and embodied white language practices, and part of that access is a structural assumption that what is reachable at a given moment for the normative, white, monolingual English user is reachable for all.”

“Your school can be racist and produce racist outcomes,” he said. “Even with expressed values and commitments to anti-racism and social justice.”

He supported the idea that the practice of grading is racist as well, arguing that “grading is a great way to protect the white property of literacy in schools and maintain the white supremacist status quo without ever being white supremacist or mentioning race.”

Inoue said that in order for people of color to succeed in college, even at the most liberal of schools, they have “to act, think and sound white to some degree,” writes The College Fix.

His solution? Creating a classroom environment where everyone feels “validated, heard, feeling present,” and a curriculum that is conscientious so as not to “reenact historical modes of colonization,” he explained in a podcast.

As The College Fix points out, “Inoue is known for advocating that students should be graded based on the ‘labor’ they put into their work, not the ‘quality’ of the finished product.”

(Cover Photo via Flickr / Paul Townsend)

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