Iowa Professor Under Fire Over Proposal For Exposing Her Students “White Ignorance”

University of Iowa assistant professor Jodi LinleyUniversity of Iowa Assistant Professor Jodi Linley is under fire for an article in a “peer-reviewed academic journal” in which she pledged to expose her students to “their own white ignorance.”  She says that she used her “identities as a queer, able-bodied, cisgender woman” to offer a  “teaching paradigm” that strips away white privilege.  She segregates by race and works toward “interrupting oppression” that occurs in classroom settings.

As a white professor, Linley insists that if she did not actively try to expose the white privilege” of her class  and “deconstruct whiteness,” she would be perpetuating white dominance.  She adds: “As a white assistant professor of mostly white graduate students who will become higher education leaders, I work to dismantle whiteness in my curriculum, assignments and pedagogy.”

She also segregates by race because “For white students, talking about race with an all-white group of peers … [reveals] their own white ignorance.”  She says that she rejects the notion that “neutrality and objectivity are realistic and attainable.”

Linley writes extensively on race and teaching, including her two most recent works Racism Here, Racism There, Racism Everywhere: The Racial Realities of Minoritized Peer Socialization Agents at a Historically White Institution (Journal of College Student Developmentand Teaching to deconstruct whiteness in higher education (Whiteness & Education).

Linley has been called a bigot for her teaching approach and views of her students.  The school has correctly defended her right to publish such views and to condemn threats directed at her.



136 thoughts on “Iowa Professor Under Fire Over Proposal For Exposing Her Students “White Ignorance””

  1. Reblogged this on The Inquiring Mind and commented:
    Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.
    truly as the Chinese curse has it ‘May you live in interesting times’

  2. The school is correct to defend her rights, but how does it act regarding others who take differing views? Does it shut down conservative speakers on spurious grounds? Is the university consistent in it’s actions?

    Moreover if I was an employer I would seriously consider sending the professor for counselling as she appears to be guilty of racial discrimation. In addition, I would seriously question the value of any course taught by this individual. I sincerely hope she does not have tenure.

  3. “The school has correctly defended her right to publish such views and to condemn threats directed at her.” — Turley

    Fair enough. But that doesn’t mean that she shouldn’t still be denounced as a bigot.

  4. Any white people here? Guess what? You came from Africa. You are white Africans. Oh, wait. Y’all don’t believe in science. Nevermind.

    1. Beautiful, baby!

      We’re all Africans and Africans are great.

      I get that.

      Can we abolish “Affirmative Action Privilege” now?

      1. Oh, and welfare, quotas, social services, forced busing, food stamps, WIC,HUD, HHS, HAMP, HARP, Obamacare, Medicaid, unfair “Fair Housing” law, discriminatory “Non-Discrimination” law, etc.?

  5. I thought this article was really interesting. “If the U.S. Constitution can’t protect free speech on campus, what can?

    Campus speech codes are hard to understand and hard to follow for the neurodivergent, as I argued in my previous article. In principle, this problem could be reduced by rewriting speech codes to be more concrete and detailed, with complete lists of prohibited words, forbidden ideas, banned images, and unwelcome mating tactics. The neurodivergent could simply memorize these lists and feel a little more confident that they understand what they are not allowed to say or do. But no public university would dare to print such lists of communication taboos, since the First Amendment violations would be all too conspicuous, and the lawyers from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) would sue for prior restraint.

    So, universities they have to keep their speech codes vague and overbroad. But then, vagueness and overbreadth are also unconstitutional. In particular, speech codes are unconstitutional if they impose a ‘chilling effect’ because they’re too imprecise about what they actually prohibit, so they force even the most reasonable people to err on the side of caution and self-censorship.

    The chilling effects of unconstitutional speech codes are exacerbated by neurodiversity. For example, if a graduate student with Asperger’s knows that they can’t predict other people’s reactions to what they say, and what they say could get them in trouble with university administrators, they may become very risk-averse about how they communicate – if they communicate at all. A speech code that imposes only a mild chilling effect on the neurotypical may impose a strong chilling effect on the neurodivergent. This is a discriminatory and illegal ‘disparate impact’ against the free speech rights of neurominorities.

    But the fact that speech codes are flagrantly unconstitutional has not deterred American public universities from continuing to impose them. This is because even when universities lose lawsuits over First Amendment violations, they don’t lose much beyond the settlements they secretly pay out. These almost always include non-disclosure agreements to minimize blowback from any students, faculty, alumni, or journalists who care about the Constitution. So how can neurodiversity rights protect free speech if the First Amendment can’t?

    The ADA’s power to neutralize speech codes that discriminate against neurodiversity

    If the First Amendment isn’t enough, how can the neurodivergent stand up for our free speech rights? We need a more direct threat with higher legal stakes. We need to impose a clear and present danger of litigation that incentivizes university lawyers and administrators to kill their unconstitutional speech codes. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) offers a credible threat for doing just that.”

    1. Jill – is neurodivergent some new code word we are all supposed to learn to be “cool?” I think, when I parsed your comment, that I agreed with you, however, the neurodivergent is probably already covered by the ADA and that puts the university and professors at greater risk of doing something wrong regarding the neurodivergent student. And not only will they have FIRE to deal with, but the Feds. An entire audit of the school can be soooo tiresome.

      1. Paul,

        I hope you will read the entire article. I think you may be misunderstanding where the author is going with this idea. He is trying to provide a method to protect freedom of speech on campus. I don’t get from the author that he wants to be cool. He seems sincere and I think he is presenting some really good ideas that are worth giving a try.

        1. Jill – I spent way too many years in acadamia and these guys do like to make up new things to sound “cooll”.

      2. It’s “Future Shock” from the past.

        If they didn’t “innovate,” there would be no fiscal rationale

        for their paid position as “Affirmative Action Privilege.”

        Can you say mass layoffs?

  6. It isn’t bigotry that she is guilty of. She is guilty of being an arrogant know it all who thinks that insulting people will make them aware of their “privilege”. Typical of people who are well educated enough to identify real problems but terrible communicators who don’t understand that insulting people is a turnoff. The whole way this idea of “privilege” has been pursued by the left and academia is offensive and a turn off to most white people because they aren’t stupid. It is meant to insult and demean. That’s no way to make people more empathetic or aware of their own callousness toward others. This is a fad and it will pass.

    1. Typical of people who are well educated enough to identify imaginary problems but terrible communicators who don’t understand that insulting people is a turnoff.

      There, fixed that for you. The rest of your comment is spot on.

  7. I would think that the best way to show white students the ignorance that comes from their privilege would be to have them in a class with black students and moderate the class in such a way that the black students had equal time to express their views.

    1. But what exactly is our “ignorance that comes from our privilege”???

      Is it the fact that white people are more likely to have a father in the home who will read bedtimes stories to them, and thus totally unaware that 3 out of 4 black kids are illegitimate, and thus miss out on that good memory? Because that is not just an example I plucked out of thin air, to wit:

      Bedtime-story privilege? According to a professor at the University of Warwick in England, parents who read to their kids should be thinking about how they’re “unfairly disadvantaging other people’s children” by doing so.

      In an interview with ABC Radio last week, philosopher and professor Adam Swift said that since “bedtime stories activities . . . do indeed foster and produce . . . [desired] familial relationship goods,” he wouldn’t want to ban them, but that parents who “engage in bedtime-stories activities” should definitely at least feel kinda bad about it sometimes:

      “I don’t think parents reading their children bedtime stories should constantly have in their minds the way that they are unfairly disadvantaging other people’s children, but I think they should have that thought occasionally,” he said. But Swift also added that some other things parents do to give their kids the best education possible — like sending them to “an elite private school” — “cannot be justified” in this way.

      At one point, Swift even flirted with the idea of “simply abolishing the family” as a way of “solving the social justice problem” because “there would be a more level playing field” if we did, but ultimately concluded that “it is in the child’s interest to be parented” and that “parenting a child makes for what we call a distinctive and special contribution to the flourishing and well-being of adults.”

      Read more at:

      How much of so-called “white privilege” are things just like this? The “privilege” of living in a neighborhood where the residents aren’t shooting wildly at all hours of the day or night; the “privilege” of having parents who help you with your homework, and encourage you to do well in school; the “privilege” of having a mother who fixes you breakfast in the morning instead of letting you just eat cereal out of a box, etc.etc.etc.

      Because maybe the better way to fix the advantages of “white privilege” is to start teaching blacks how to better behave, and make smarter decisions—like not popping out 3 or 4 illegitimate kids by 3 or 4 baby daddies, while working part time at Church’s Fried Chicken. Or, blaming white people for problems caused by your own mother.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

      1. That only proves the professor at Warwick is suffering from a mental disorder. Probably suffered from no bedtime stories himself, now wants to take out his anger on others. Misery loves company.

    2. paulliverstravels – black students usually get as much chance to speak in class as any other student. The only time I have seen them or any other student shut down is when the professor is running out of time and need to finish covering x material.

  8. “She segregates by race and works toward “interrupting oppression” that occurs in classroom settings.”

    Isn’t segregating by race oppression? I’m sorry, wasn’t that the entire point of the Civil Rights movement?

    “She says that she rejects the notion that “neutrality and objectivity are realistic and attainable.”” So she’s admitting that she’s biased? Isn’t being non biased a requirement for employment at a university? Can you really walk into your job interview and claim that you have white privilege and will be helpless in the face of your own bias, incapable of being neutral, and actually land the job?

    Of course she has the right to publish and speak her views. And we parents have the right not to waste our money on a university that would proclaim blatant bias against our, or any other parents’ kids.

    Vote wisely with your money.

    I recently heard on the radio that the Democrats have fallen into the trap of the oppression wars. This is a competition for who is the most victimized, and most oppressed. All players are encouraged to oppress everyone who is less oppressed than they are. I’m guessing that the winner would be a transgender, African American Muslim who wears a hijab, who can freely persecute everyone down the oppression production line. Here we have a cis-gendered, white, female, lesbian, assumed to be atheist. She can oppress white gay males and on up the line. Where I’m stuck is if a white gay male atheist can oppress a black Christian gay man? Which is worth more points? Minority or gay? I love to see the minority transgender folk do battle with white gay cis gender men.

    Some people define their inherent, unchangeable self worthy by their victimhood status. And that leads to an existential crisis when the participant is white, or heaven forbid white male. What are they to do? Why, engage in suitable self loathing, perhaps a cilice around the thigh. And then to show their purity of heart to fascist nationalism, I mean to “The Cause”, they bully everyone else below them in the oppression chain of command.


  9. From your summary, it doesn’t seem that she thinks her “deconstruction” of whiteness will have any effect on racism at all. The fact that she segregates her own classes is revealing. She may wind up with exactly what the white supremacists want.

  10. This is a manifestation also of the corruption of teacher training as a discipline (see Thos. Sowell’s “Inside American Education”. A crude but workable solution might be as follows:

    1. Have the federal authorities strip NCATE of any parastatal franchise it currently holds.

    2. Intervention by state legislatures: close extant state teachers’ colleges and debar private institutions from using the term ‘teachers college’ or ‘school of education’ unless their program conforms to spec.

    3. Prescribe by law binding on state colleges and universities the following:

    a. The foundation of Schools of Administration which offer 48 credit post-baccalaureate degrees with one or another of the following courses of study: general public administration, general philanthropic administration, educational organizations, medical and nursing organizations, general social services, and law-enforcement and the courts.

    b. The foundation of Schools of Psychology with four courses of study: clinical / counseling, industrial / school, rehabilitation, and certificate programs for aspirant school administrators. These would be distinct from academic psychology departments in the faculty of arts and sciences.

    c. The foundation of schools of security services (replacing ‘criminal justice’ majors). These would include certificate programs in child-protective investigations (among other things).

    d. The foundation of schools of museum and library services. These would offer modest certificate programs in different aspects of what museum and library staff do all day, programs which would incorporate some course work and a practicum.

    d. The foundation of revised teachers’ colleges. These would do nothing but train teachers. They would offer certificate courses in types of teaching and preparatory courses for those aspiring to take certain state examinations. And that’s it. The certificate programs would consist of a menu of courses specific to the certificate in question on lecturing, examination, critiquing student work, supervising group projects, and (for most certificates) teaching methods. There would be 4-7 course for a typical certificate. Only for special education or perhaps ESOL might the course work be extensive enough to be called a degree. After the completion of the course work, the aspirant would have an unpaid internship for the balance of the year. If successfully completed, they’d have a stipended apprenticeship for a year. During your internship and apprenticeship, you’d be appended to a state-certified master teacher. The types of certificates offered might be as follows: general elementary teacher, academic secondary teacher, vocational secondary teacher, music teacher, art teacher, athletic coach, special education, ESOL, and geography teacher. You could have enhancements in the form of an extra year of apprenticeship (for music teachers, art teachers, and coaches – have on in a secondary setting and one in an elementary seting) or in the form of examinations (for general elementary teachers – you might have one for social education and one for general science which would have optional preparatory courses of six months and 1 year respectively).

    5. Require those who wish to attend state teachers’ colleges meet certain prerequisites: (1) the passage of a general baccalaureate examination that tests one’s English grammar and one’s mastery of algebra and arithmetic (necessary for any aspirant), (2) the passage of a social education examination (in history, geography, and civics) for those wishing to teach social research subjects at the secondary level; (3) the passage of a general science examination for those wishing to teach that at the secondary level; (4) the completion of 35 to 70 credit-hours in a given subject (art, music, athletics for those seeking those certificates; mathematics, English or world literature, history, geography, physics, chemistry, biology, geology, or one of a menu of a dozen foreign languages for those seeking an academic secondary certificate, (5) the completion of an apprenticeship program or 35 to 70 hours of course work for those seeking a vocational certificate,

    6. Provide for working teachers to enhance their certificates with academic course work and examinations. Allow a selection of experienced teachers to be certified as master teachers (primarily through examinations).

    7. Close extant schools of education, social work, and library administration. You’ll clear out a lot of ideologues in so doing. The point of these institutions should be to teach some practical methods courses, not to indoctrinate the young in rancid and stupid professional / social ideologies (of which inane babble about raaaaacism is but one example).

  11. There’s a simple solution to the problem this woman presents, and that’s for the trustees to go to school with Kenesaw Mountain Landis. Close the department in which this woman teaches and put all the faculty therein out on the curb. The fact that she was hired is a facial case that the pedagogic program of that department is academically unserious or willing to tolerate that in accordance with professional fashion.

    What Fr. Paul Shaughnessy, SJ had to say about religious orders applies here. In any human organization, 5% may be scoundrels, 5% heroes, and the remainder keeping their head down trying to do their jobs. In a healthy organization, the organization sanctions its errant members and the heroes set the overall tone. In a corrupt organization, the object of the organization is to quell bad publicity. You need to start firing the poltroons on the faculty for allowing these scandals to take place.

  12. “Iowa Professor Under Fire Over Proposal For Exposing Her Students ‘White Ignorance'” screams the headline but the irony is that they already are — being taught by Caucasian Comrade Jodi, here.

  13. Isn’t it nice that the University of Iowa hires the mentally handicapped?

  14. ‘White privilege’ is a lifestyle and potential that is seemingly available to whites only. Yet there is Black privilege, Asian privilege, Jewish privilege, etc. The future for any race or other group in society is to rise to the level of privilege enjoyed by those who enjoy it, not drag them down. Affirmative action was and continues to be a necessary means of adjusting the inequalities that exist because of the ethical shortcomings of those who have been and continue to be privileged. Assistance and adjustments stemming from society as a whole continue to be needed, in spite of the privileged with blinders. However, the driving force in the pursuit of this elusive privilege will always be the desire and strategies of the downtrodden.

    Jews have been treated as those not deserving of anything representing privilege for centuries. In spite of this, in most advanced nations, Jews enjoy a position of privilege at the top, primarily due to their individual and collective tenacity and interdependence. This is also true of Asian immigrants to the US and Canada, Indian immigrants, and other groups that were pushed down by those of white privilege. These groups were assisted by the enlightenment of the white dominant population but more so by their own drive and strategies. They were, in comparison to the Whites who steamrolled the indigenous peoples of North and South America, up against a far more formidable foe and achieved proportionately greater goals. Prejudice exists in all races and other groups.

    This teacher would do better to focus on the validity of privilege and the means to achieve it, rather than on making Whites deconstruct themselves.

    1. I don’t believe that immigrants from the Indian subcontinent suffered discrimination in the U.S. They really haven’t been in the U.S. for all that long; maybe the past 25 years or so in any appreciable numbers. Jews suffered social discrimination in the U.S., but not economic, as they created their own parallel businesses that were often more successful than those of their white counterparts. Those businesses sometimes became so successful that they became the establishnent, a la Goldman Sachs. The Chinese who immigrated during the 1800s were discriminated against, as were the Japanese during WWII (although people seem to overlook the fact that German-Americans were interred as well as Japanese-Americans.) The Indians and Asians who came to the U.S. in the past 40 years have done quite well, for the most part. More Asians have college degrees than do whites, and their average income is higher.

      1. Tin

        Indians from the sub continent along with Asians brought over from China, contributed to the building of the other railways that spanned the continent, the Canadian National and the Canadian Pacific during the 19th Century. When they came/were brought to Canada they suffered the same treatment as did other minorities that were deemed less than White. They kept together and built their own empires of logging, trucking, and sawmills. They started in the areas in-between the big companies and over a century or so grew to the same levels. When I grew up in Victoria, BC in the 60’s, if you had eyes for a girl who was of Indian extraction, no matter how Westernized she was, i.e. attending the same high school or university, you had to deal with her brother(s) and parents as someone of a lower station. All in all you never looked at them as anything but equal or better. The same was true of the Chinese. Treated poorly they kept close together and became, in most cases, stronger financially as well as culturally. Perhaps that is what makes a racist, seeing a minority rise above the level of the racist and then look down on them. Most White supremacists, racists, nazis and other scum are not so rich: financially, culturally, socially, mentally, in any way except hatred.

        1. That’s interesting. I wasn’t aware that Indian and Chinese immigrants helped build the Canadian railroads. In the U.S., immigrants were recruited from the Canton region of China to build the transcontinental railroad starting in California. The Irish immigrants began building it in the eastern U.S., and the two groups eventually met in the middle of the country. The Chinese also worked as cooks and laundrymen in the Gold Rush camps in CA. There was a law in CA that forbade white women from marrying Asian men, although white men were allowed to marry Asian women! The Japanese introduced the highly profitable rice growing industry to CA.

      2. Goofy w s ‘s have been shooting at the Sikhs from India because they wear turbans. They think they are mooooslims.

  15. Every band wagon has those that must be there for the betterment of society and those that just jump onboard because they hear the music and want to be part of the band, even though they have no abilities whatsoever.

    1. Unattractive by most standards,though there may be a culture somewhere to which they appeal.

    2. Cisgender is a made-up term that means straight (gender identity matches birth sex). Yet she claims to be “queer” which means not cisgender. I call her confused.

        1. So really, calling herself a “female cis-gender queer” is just a convoluted way of admitting she’s a dyke. LOL.

    1. Who cares as long as you get paid, she can always give out bad grades as a threat.

Comments are closed.