Another sign that America’s higher institutions are being overtaken and dominated by radical zealots is the decision of the University of California’s Suzanne Dworak–Peck School of Social Work that the term “field” could be racist, anti-Black, or anti-immigrant and that it should be avoided. For example, the term “field work” will be replaced with “practicum”.
Non, I am not lying.
Similar nonsensical moves were made by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services earlier in the month. To refer to field work, they claim you should now use the terms “community/local offices” or “community/local employees”.
This bizarre language change is so wrong that it’s difficult to know where to begin. Is there any evidence to support this silly language change? Are there complaints or studies that show it is offensive? Slavery was once practiced in the fields by slaves, as well as migrants, but there are many other words that can be associated with slavery. Are we going to ban all of them? Logically, since slaves were brought aboard ships, logic would suggest that we also drop the word “Chain” from our vocabulary. “Chain,” along with “cotton,” Africa, and “ocean,” is a word that needs to be eliminated. I’m sure there are many more words if USC pays six figures.
While slavery was a significant scourge on the nation’s history, its effects are still felt today. However, changing common words will not change the past or make things better in the future. It is just virtue-signaling weirdness.
How about sports? Is “football” now considered a racist dog whistle? A movie called “Community/Local Office of Dreams”, however, doesn’t sound the same.
USC’s use of the word “practicum” is also painfully awkward. This is a word that doesn’t roll off the tongue, and is not commonly used in common vernacular. What is it? Merriam-Webster defines it as:
A course of study that is specifically designed to prepare teachers and clinicians. It involves the supervision of the practical application of theory previously studied.
Uh, okay. Field work is what you mean.
The memo continues to defend the decision.
They wrote Monday that the change would support anti-racist social worker practice by replacing anti-Black and anti-immigrant language in favor of inclusive language. “Language is powerful. Phrases like “going into the field” or “field work” may have negative connotations for descendants from slavery and immigrants.
Critics were not impressed. Cherise Trump (no relation) was the executive director at Speech First, which is a free speech organization. She blasted the move in an opinion piece to the Washington Examiner.
Administrators use despotic tactics to silence students’ voices and to teach them that anything can be considered offensive. Students should not let universities decide what is right or wrong. These attempts to restrict and compel speech on campus campuses must be taken seriously. Faculty, federal, and state legislators need to take action when they see universities enforcing speech codes, regardless of how absurd.
Christina Pushaw, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s aide, also had thoughts.
We have become so used to seeing our universities fail in recent times that it is almost hard to notice. This can’t happen. We must not allow it to happen. USC has been ignoring its reputation as an academic institution that is serious.