Move over, Claudine Gay, as the next DEI comedy-tragedy is unfolding in Texas. As the competition for the most ludicrous classes and studies at American colleges heats up, Rice University in Houston has a strong new contender: “Afrochemistry.” Yes, seriously. Some black Americans expressed outrage.
According to the university’s description, the course will focus on the “study of black-life matter.” This should help students understand chemistry through a “contemporary African-American lens,” the description states, without specifying how one would apply a “racial lens” to the study of chemistry.
In addition, students with too much money from government or their bamboozled parents will “apply chemical tools and analysis to understand black life in the US,” it says. They will also “implement African American sensibilities to analyze chemistry,” the description states, as if people were supposed to know what that meant.
“We will approach chemistry using a historical and contemporary African American lens in order to analyze science and its impact,” reads a flyer about the course. “In addition, we will be using chemical concepts to better understand Black life in the US. As we consider not only what science is being discovered, but also ask why, how and by whom, etc.”
The description continues: “Diverse historical and contemporary scientists, intellectuals, and chemical discoveries will inform personal reflections and proposals for addressing inequities in chemistry and chemical education.” What sort of “inequities” might be found in chemistry was not specified.
According to the university’s marketing materials, the Afrochemistry course will also “empower students to consider approaches to STEM that enhance community impact.” Again, none of that gobbledygook was explained, though students in the “African American studies” department may know what it is supposed to mean.
The university is being ruthlessly mocked around the world, even by major media outlets. Multiple British newspapers ridiculed the “woke” university over the course, and even typically leftwing outlets such as Spiked highlighted it as an example of the “rot of identity politics within higher education.”
“Do Rice academics believe they have stumbled upon the ‘essence’ of being a black American, as if black Americans are a homogenous cultural bloc?” asked Alka Sehgal Cuthbert, director of
“Don’t Divide Us,” in the piece for Spiked.
“And even so, what does all this have to do with chemistry?” Cuthbert asked. “This is all hokum, bunkum, superstitious and retrograde. Such mythical thinking might have a place in artistic practice, but not in the study of the hard sciences.”
The course will be taught by Brooke Johnson, Ph.D., a Rice alumnus who is “passionate about the intersection of science and social justice,” according to her bio. She works as a “preceptor” in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) department, presumably because she could not find a real job producing something of value. While at Rice, she was a track athlete and is now listed as a “post-doctoral fellow.”
The course competes with other contenders for the most idiotic waste of money such as “Vampire: Blood and Empire” at University of Pittsburgh, “Gender in Gaming” at the University of Illinois, “Eco/Queer/Feminist Art Practices” at the University of Michigan, “Unsettling Whiteness” at Northwestern University, “Latinx Sexual Dissidence” at Davidson College, “Queering God” at Swarthmore College, and countless other such absurdities that have overtaken Western universities.
These sorts of asinine and obviously racist programs would never exist without massive subsidies extracted by government from those who produce wealth. To stop this madness, which is critical for the survival of civilization, state legislatures and Congress must stop the funding.