No longer exists at the University of Virginia
They’re coming for you next: Because medical student Kieran Bhattacharya dared to question the scientific validity of the term “microaggressions” during a panel discussion, the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine began an investigation that accused Bhattacharya of being a threat to others and banned him from the campus.
Here was what the student said.
“Thank you for your presentation,” said Bhattacharya, according to an audio recording of the event. “I had a few questions, just to clarify your definition of microaggressions. Is it a requirement, to be a victim of microaggression, that you are a member of a marginalized group?”
Adams replied that it wasn’t a requirement.
Bhattacharya suggested that this was contradictory, since a slide in her presentation had defined microaggressions as negative interactions with members of marginalized groups. Adams and Bhattacharya then clashed for a few minutes about how to define the term. It was a polite disagreement. Adams generally maintained that microaggression theory was a broad and important topic and that the slights caused real harm. Bhattacharya expressed a scientific skepticism that a microaggression could be distinguished from an unintentionally rude statement. His doubts were well-founded given that microaggression theory is not a particularly rigorous concept.
You can listen to the audio of this exchange here, beginning at about 28 minutes. Bhattacharya is respectful and calm, and is asking legitimate questions. It appears his main concern was the blanket vagueness of the term that allows anyone to claim a microaggression for almost any statement or act.
Apparently, the organizers of the event then decided that his questions were a microaggression in themselves, for which he must be punished.
Nora Kern, an assistant professor who helped to organize the event, thought Bhattacharya’s questions were a bit too pointed. Immediately following the panel, she filed a “professionalism concern card”—a kind of record of a student’s violations of university policy.
“This student asked a series of questions that were quite antagonistic toward the panel,” wrote Kern. “He pressed on and stated one faculty member was being contradictory. His level of frustration/anger seemed to escalate until another faculty member defused the situation by calling on another student for questions. I am shocked that a med student would show so little respect toward faculty members. It worries me how he will do on wards.”
In the end the school demanded Bhattacharya get psychological counseling or be banned from the campus. In addition, they used as part of their evidence his own attempts to defend himself, including his repeated requests for some specific charges against him, all of which were never forthcoming.
The student was informed that he must be evaluated by psychological services before returning to classes. Bhattacharya repeatedly asked university officials to clarify what exactly he was accused of, under whose authority his counseling had been mandated, and why his enrollment status was suddenly in doubt, according to [Bhattacharya’s subsequent] lawsuit. These queries only appear to have made UVA officials more determined to punish him: Bhattacharya’s mounting frustration with these baseless accusations of unspecified wrongdoings was essentially treated as evidence that he was guilty. At his hearing, he was accused of being “extremely defensive” and ordered to change his “aggressive, threatening behavior.”
He was ultimately suspended for “aggressive and inappropriate interactions in multiple situations.” On December 30, UVA police ordered him to leave campus.
The university tried to get Bhattacharya’s lawsuit dismissed, but the judge instead dismissed that motion and is allowing the case to go forward.
Any dissent or skepticism to this one component of modern leftist academic thought, designed to close students’ minds to hearing alternative perspectives, can no longer be tolerated in today’s universities. The medical school at the University of Virginia is now apparently a Stalinist camp, where no dissent or open discussion is allowed. And if you try it you will be smacked down for committing a “microaggression” against the new lords and masters of society.
Are you sending your children there? Are you attending the school? If so, you or your kids should get out, now. What this school is teaching is not something any of us want our children to learn.
Have any of your doctors gotten their degree there? If so, you should ask them if they agree with what the UVA is doing to Bhattacharya, and if they say yes, you better find another doctor. One should have grave doubts about such a doctor’s training or medical competence.
And is any state money being used by this school as it squelches free speech and independent thought? If so, maybe you need to find out what your state elected officials are going to do about it. Or maybe you should vote in different state elected officials who might better represent both you and the Bill of Rights.
Time is growing short. The people in America who still believe in liberty and free speech had been become outraged or there will no longer be any such thing left.