Fortunately, it is possible to ensure that you will not be brainwashed, and it is possible to teach SJ theory without brainwashing students.
The defenses which work against brainwashing can also work against the SJWs pseudo-brainwashing—and in fact they can work even better. SJWs are not allowed to use physical torture or solitary confinement. Since it is possible to resist even those extreme measures, it stands to reason that the potential brainwashing effects of milder forms of coercion and isolation can be resisted.
If you are a student or are going to be a student in college (or even high school), it is well worth making an effort to inoculate yourself against the pseudo-brainwashing methods which may be used against you and against what you genuinely know to be true.
“Certain personality traits of the brainwashing targets can determine the effectiveness of the process. People who commonly experience great self doubt, have a weak sense of identity, and show a tendency toward guilt and absolutism (black-and-white thinking) are more likely to be successfully brainwashed, while a strong sense of identity and self-confidence can make a target more resistant to brainwashing. Some accounts show that faith in a higher power can assist a target in mentally detaching from the process.”
I recommend building self-confidence by having your facts in order. Print out materials from this website and have them with you. Discuss the information with a few of your friends before a SJ indoctrination event (such as a student orientation, “diversity training”, or mandatory diversity course at certain schools), to get some practice with articulating these ideas.
In addition, recognize that you don’t personally need a SJWs agreement. You don’t need to look to the SJW for approval. You might need the SJW for a grade, but that’s a different issue. If you are going through the world, doing your best to be kind to others, accepting people as people on their own merits regardless of race, gender, etc., then you are a good person, whether or not a SJW approves.
It is also helpful to understand the typical SJ program in advance. When you know what’s coming, you can think to yourself, “I don’t have to identify as my skin color. I can just be me…. I don’t have to accept the idea that there are two sets of rules, one for the ‘privileged group’ and one for everyone else. I can keep my own idea of what is fair…. I don’t have to feel guilty for things that I did not do. I can be sad that something bad happened, such as slavery, without identifying with it…. I don’t have to agree with the ‘check your privilege’ dogma. Even if I listen to others first, I can then express that I completely disagree with the notion that ones skin color, gender, etc., can put a taboo on what he or she can say…. Even though I can empathize with someone who is suffering, and listen to his or her experience, this does not mean that I have to agree with his or her facts or conclusions. They might be incorrect.”
If you have a healthy sense of self, and you are adequately prepared, then you need have no fear of an SJW. They will not be able to indoctrinate you against your will.
In addition, giving this information to other students can help them to be less vulnerable to the pseudo-brainwashing methods which may be used on them without their informed consent.
Is it possible to teach SJ theory without brainwashing?
Of course it is. Anything can be taught in an ethical manner.
I know for a fact that at least some, and probably most, SJWs believe they are doing good in the world. Probably most of them would be horrified to learn that their methods parallel methods used to brainwash prisoners of war. So please do not simply go up to SJWs and accuse them of brainwashing. That would not be fair.
However, at least some SJWs would be open to this information. We do hope that most SJWs would not use this information to refine their methods in order to engage in even more effective brainwashing. For those who want to teach in an ethical manner, here are a few ideas for how an ethical SJ teaching program would look:
- SJ theory would be taught as a body of information, rather than as a program intended to change people. Students would be instructed to read sources promoting SJ theory, alongside sources that dispute SJ theory. Students would be instructed to decide for themselves how they wish to relate to the material. There would be no expectation that students would buy into it. Ideas could be debated in a way that is fair, rather than certain ideas being promoted and others dismissed.
- Students would be taught about the concept of “identity”, and why some people think it’s useful to identify with their attributes. Equal time would be given to reasons why some people think identifying with attributes is counter-productive. They would be informed that it is possible to learn about different cultures and respect them, without getting caught up in cultural identities.
- Students would be taught about the theory of privilege, including “white privilege”, and why some people think that white privilege is what causes a gap in income between white people and black people on average. Equal time would be given to a rebuttal of this theory, and the best evidence against it would be presented. Students would be encouraged to think for themselves and decide whether there is anything about the white skin color in the country today that is a big impediment, a small impediment, or no impediment at all, to the progress of blacks and other minorities. Students would be taught of the danger that emphasizing our racial differences may result in an exacerbation of racism, including the possibility that skin-color-based balkanization gives fuel to white nationalist movements.
- “Check your privilege” dogma tells people to figure out if they have more privilege than others, and if so, to listen first to others and then accept a taboo against saying something that contradicts what the others have said. This dogma would not be taught except as a lesson in what not to do. Instead, students would be taught that any time one person is upset and another is emotionally stronger, it’s helpful for the emotionally stronger one to listen first, with two caveats: First, it would be an injustice if there were a taboo on the emotionally stronger one ever expressing his or her opinion. Second, it would be an injustice if the upset one were allowed to score extra points through emotionality. Being emotional does not confer validity to any conclusions which could be drawn.
- Students would be taught that the idea of a “color-blind society” is objectively responsible for the vast majority of our progress overcoming racism. They would be taught the history of the goal of a “color-blind society”, including the contribution of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the vast progress that was made in overcoming racism before skin privilege theory could possibly have had a significant impact. In addition, they would be taught that even after skin privilege theory has taken hold in certain quarters, the goal of a “color-blind society” is still alive and well, with many adherents, and continues to help move us past racism, even as skin privilege theory is also in operation in certain contexts.
- Students would be taught about how the IAT has been used to unfairly convince people they are unconsciously racist, and about how we know today that the IAT is not a reliable or valid test. Students would be taught about the strong liberal bias in social science research which gave rise to use of this test, and would be encouraged to be skeptical of any social science research which confirms liberal bias. Students would be encouraged to be skeptical of any test which purports to change their view of themselves, if it contradicts their own experience.
- Students would be taught that some people think it’s a good idea for white people to feel guilty and apologize for slavery, while others believe it is an injustice to ask people to apologize for what they did not do. Slavery would be acknowledged within a global historical context, with many examples of historical slavery around the world. Examples of cultures with slavery would include indigenous American tribes, African tribes, Muslim caliphates, Chinese dynasties, and others. Appropriate context would also include the abolition of slavery, with a suggestion that to whatever degree anyone feels it is appropriate to feel any shame about slavery, it is equally appropriate to feel pride about its abolition.
- Students would be taught about micro-aggression theory as a social construct. They would be taught that this theory is not validated by research, and that there is reason to believe it is doing more harm than good. They would be taught about the pitfalls of equating words with violence, and the danger that over-protecting people from offense can result in making them more fragile, less resilient. Students would be taught that mutual respect includes an intention to avoid unnecessary offense without censorship of points of view, and includes the value of forgiveness for unintentional slights.
- Students would be taught that the context in which Social Justice theory has taken hold on campus is one of massive leftist power (or, in SJ parlance, “privilege”). Students would be taught of the overwhelming ideological imbalance on campuses today, and the fact that it was not always so. Students would be taught that there is strong evidence of widespread discrimination in the faculty hiring process, intended to protect and expand the power of leftists in today’s universities. Students would be encouraged to make their own efforts to research the other side, any time a professor makes statements with political ramifications.
- Students would be taught to recognize the steps of brainwashing, and that it is unethical to engage in coercive methods intended to change people to further a political agenda without their informed consent.
I regard the above as the minimum changes that would need to occur for SJ theory to be taught free from the practices of pseudo-brainwashing. However, it would also be possible and perhaps useful to take things a few steps further:
- Students could be taught that liberals have a political interest in the races being balkanized and focused on victimization and grievance, because this enhances the political base of the Democratic party. On the other hand, conservatives have a political interest in more and more citizens being empowered to achieve a good living through their own efforts, because this enhances the political base of the Republican party. Students could be asked to explore the question: since the vast majority of professors are Democrats, is it a conflict of interest for them to be teaching politics of victimization and grievance?
- Students could be taught that traditionally, it was considered a corruption of education for professors to use their positions as an educator to advance a political view. Today, many professors state openly that one of their goals is political advocacy. Many professors use their positions to recruit political activists for their pet causes. Students could be asked to explore the question: in what way are the goals of political advocacy contrary to the goals of education?
- Students could be asked to identify all the jobs at the college or university which depend upon a sense of grievance and victimhood. This may include entire university departments, as well as certain administrative positions. As a thought experiment, students could be assigned the question of what university positions would end, and what new positions may be created, if a university culture is grounded in personal empowerment and resilience rather than victimhood and fragility. The question can be asked: Is job preservation a conflict of interest for those who choose to advance a victimhood-grievance mindset rather than a personal empowerment mindset?
- Students could be informed that black students, who arrive at college already behind academically, fall further behind their peers in academic skills, within two years. In addition, black students study 10 hours a week on average, compared to 12 hours a week for white students. The causes for this disparity could be explored. The following questions could be asked: Are black students’ chances for success in life better served by political activism or by academic learning in college? Does a grievance mindset or a personal empowerment mindset better support their success?
However, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for SJWs to give up on pseudo-brainwashing techniques. Instead, it’s better to focus on building confidence in your own views. The next chapter is a great reminder for why we believe this country is a land of opportunity–and it gives you valuable arguments you can use against the SJ program at the same time! Click below on the right….