An “antiracist” poster in a college writing center insists American grammar is “racist” and an “unjust language structure,” promising to prioritize rhetoric over “grammatical ‘correctness.’”
The poster, written by the director, staff, and tutors of the University of Washington, Tacoma’s Writing Center, states “racism is the normal condition of things,” declaring that it permeates rules, systems, expectations, in courses, school and society.
“Linguistic and writing research has shown clearly for many decades that there is no inherent ‘standard’ of English,” proclaims the writing center’s statement. “Language is constantly changing. These two facts make it very difficult to justify placing people in hierarchies or restricting opportunities and privileges because of the way people communicate in particular versions of English.”
In the introduction to its “commitment” section, the Tacoma Writing Center pledges to “listen and look carefully and compassionately for ways we may unintentionally perpetuate racism or social injustice, actively engaging in antiracist practices” before making nine specific promises to students.
“We promise to emphasize the importance of rhetorical situations over grammatical ‘correctness’ in the production of texts,” announces the poster. “We promise to challenge conventional word choices and writing explanations.”
In an article accompanying the poster, the University of Washington, Tacoma revealed Friday that Dr. Asao Inoue, director of the writing center, is behind the new push for social justice.