The federal government is a hell of a beast, and it’s going to take some time for the Trump administration to rein it in.
At least, that’s the charitable way to look at a new $229,000 grant the National Science Foundation has awarded to a professor who will use the money to research how so-called microaggressions affect blacks and Hispanics who are trying to break into the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. Otherwise, we have to accept that with the changing of the guard, our federal government will continue to waste taxpayer money on the silliest, most divisive nonsense they can find.
According to the University of Georgia, the study will “break new ground in higher education”:
This “high risk-high payoff” approach to supporting new, exploratory work will allow Mary Atwater, a professor in the department of mathematics and science education, to develop a potentially transformative venue for reducing racial microaggression, or the subtle, indirect or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group, in science education.
“There has been little research in this area in science education,” said Atwater, who is currently the Sachs Distinguished Lecturer in residence at Teachers College, Columbia University. “In fact, there is very little microaggression research that has been done in which the participants are people of European American descent.”
The press release goes on to note that while previous microaggression studies have focused on the minorities who “suffer” from them, this study will turn the tables on the microaggressors – the whites who keep blacks and Hispanics from succeeding by using whatever “indirect or unintentional discrimination” they have at their disposal.
“In addition to identifying any activities that might lead to microaggressions, Atwater’s study will look at why microaggressors are either aware or unaware of their acts, while also collecting data about policies that have been used by colleagues and administrators to minimize racial microaggressions,” the university reports.
Uh-huh. Will it, by any chance, consider the possibility that these administrators are unaware of their microaggressions…because they don’t actually exist? No, probably not, eh?
“Racism can function at different levels and appear in many forms,” said Atwater.
Indeed, it functions at so many different levels and forms that we can just make them up as we go along. We can just keep making them up until we’ve explained the unsuccessful life story of every single minority in the country, no matter how self-inflicted their lack of success might seem to the uneducated layman.
If they were determined to waste $200,000 of taxpayer money, they should have just given it directly to a random minority on the street corner. That probably wouldn’t do much good, but it would at least do less harm.