The English department at a public university declared that proper English grammar is racist.
Rutgers University's English department will change its standards of English instruction in an effort to "stand with and respond" to the Black Lives Matter movement. In an email written by department chairwoman Rebecca Walkowitz, the Graduate Writing Program will emphasize "social justice" and "critical grammar."
Walkowitz said the department would respond to recent events with "workshops on social justice and writing," "increasing focus on graduate student life," and "incorporating ‘critical grammar' into our pedagogy." The "critical grammar" approach challenges the standard academic form of the English language in favor of a more inclusive writing experience. The curriculum puts an emphasis on the variability of the English language instead of accuracy.
"This approach challenges the familiar dogma that writing instruction should limit emphasis on grammar/sentence-level issues so as to not put students from multilingual, non-standard ‘academic' English backgrounds at a disadvantage," Walkowitz said. "Instead, it encourages students to develop a critical awareness of the variety of choices available to them [with] regard to micro-level issues in order to empower them and equip them to push against biases based on ‘written' accents."