The English language champions “white superiority,” an Open University training course has told scholars.
The “anti-racist” training program called Union Black teaches university staff that the idea of ”white hegemony” has been “secretly woven” into people’s minds.
This sense of superiority is rooted in the ‘cultural psychology of the English language’, according to course material which has now been studied by scholars at nearly 100 UK universities, which argues that white Europeans have the most ‘success’ imposed racist ideas.
Content of a module entitled “What is whiteness?” states, “Along with religion, politics, laws and customs, white superiority is embedded in the linguistic and cultural psychology of the English language.
“Therefore, given the global reach of the English language, the assumption of white hegemony has been secretly woven into the consciousness of whites, blacks, and people of color.”
This curriculum was developed by a group of diversity experts from The Open University, supported by a £500,000 investment from Santander, and has been taken up by universities including Leeds, Liverpool, Bristol, Birmingham and Imperial College London.
The material does not offer direct advice on how to approach the “white hegemony” supported by the English language, but calls on university staff who follow the training program to fight against the unconscious biases that everyone is “ ignored” or “in denial”.
White domination, a “political problem”
The course launched in 2021 argues that the problem of white dominance is not just linguistic but political, stating: “Historically, British politics has maintained white hegemony, making immigration an existential threat to white Britons.
He adds the controversial claim that: “In 1955 Prime Minister Winston Churchill won a general election on the theme ‘Keep England White’.”
What is “whiteness,” the Open University course defines as “the systemic and structural domination and oppression of ‘non-white’ peoples,” informing students that “‘white’ people do not only exist in opposition to ‘black’ people, who are socially constructed ideologies.
The course material claims that the majority group experiencing “reverse racism” from the ministry group is a “mythical” idea – as groups need power to be racist – further arguing that “some people have been poorly educated about what racism really means.
A module of the course entitled “Who can be racist?” suggests that white Europeans have been most successful in this regard.
He states: “An unbiased analysis of who may be racist suggests that no other ethnic or so-called racial group has succeeded in ideologically and economically imposing racialized ideas and practices on the collective psyche of its own groups and other groups compared to white Europeans.”
Affirmations are “characteristically awake”
The Open University course’s claims about race and the English language were called ‘ignorant’ by British Empire historian Dr Zareer Masani, who said: ‘He is typically awake, and that’s is an alarming sign of how awakening is taking over academia. It is not historical, it is ignorant and it is illiterate.
He added: “It is a sad reflection of the woke brainwashing of our future scholars. This betrays an abysmal ignorance of how any language evolves, assimilating various influences along the way.
“It completely ignores the contribution of non-whites to the English language. It totally dismisses the role of people from Achebe to Rushdie who enriched English by writing in English.
Santander said the Union Black course was designed in response to a report highlighting racial inequality in higher education, and the feedback has been positive.
A spokesperson for the Open University said: “We are proud to have worked with Santander to develop this course which aims to raise awareness of racism and build alliances to support inclusion.
“Participant feedback on the course has been overwhelmingly positive, and we recommend it to staff and students at all UK universities.”