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Praising foreign students could form microaggression

A leading university has said lecturers should not compliment a foreign student’s English because it is a potentially racist “microaggression”. 
 
According to Imperial College London, saying “you’re so articulate” to an ethnic minority student carries an assumption that white people are more intelligent. In a diversity training manual the university says that Microaggressions are “subtle, invisible and insidious” remarks that create an “internal conflict” for minorities, likening the impact to “death by a thousand cuts”
 
The guidance comes as the Government unveiled free speech laws in the Queen’s Speech to tackle “rising intolerance” on campuses. In a crackdown on cancel culture, students and academics will be able to sue for compensation through the courts if they feel unfairly silenced.
 
The institution has issued staff with a list of phrases to avoid on campus telling scholars that it is “denigrating cultural values / communication styles” to tell an East Asian person to “speak up more” or to tell a black person “why do you have to be so loud?”

Staff should also not say, “I believe the most qualified person should get the job.” because this perpetuates the “myth of meritocracy” that black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people are not disadvantaged. The guidance suggests that saying, “I’m not racist. I have several black friends” is denying minorities’ experience of bias.
 
Head of the Free Speech Union, Toby Young, said protections from “overreaching diversitycrats” trying to police speech and thought are urgently needed. The union has dealt with 100 cases of campus censorship in the past year saying, “Universities have no business telling their academic staff what they can and can’t praise about their students’ work,” he said. “These misguided woke initiatives, which undermine academics’ autonomy and professional integrity, are exactly why we need more protection for free speech on campus.”
 
A spokesman for Imperial College said: “A video on the experiences of BAME colleagues does not ‘threaten free speech’, and we would reject any efforts to shut down these important discussions.”

 

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