Colorado University-Boulder Conference: “Decolonize” Yourself But Not With a “Sense of Urgency”

Jonathan Turley:

The university’s Equitable Teaching Conference, hosted by the University’s Center for Teaching and Learning included a session titled “Anti-racist pedagogy and decolonizing the classroom,” taught by Dr. Becca Ciancanelli. One of the slides reportedly warned against “perfectionism,” “sense of urgency,” “quantity over quality,” and “individualism” as “Cultural norms of White Supremacy.”

Individualism is not a new matter of debate. When I discuss different legal theories in my class (including feminism, Critical Legal Studies (CLS), and Critical Race Theory (CRT)), a common point of criticism of these scholars is the elevation of the individual over the collective. It can also be part of a dichotomy of rights versus responsibilities in the law. However, these are writings that address the focus or purpose of legal rules or structures in society. The presentation at Boulder suggests that faculty and students should avoid individualism as a trapping of white supremacy in their own lives.