Smith College Drops Use of Word “Field” as Racially Insensitive

Smith College has always been woke to the point of insomnia. Now, however, it has embraced an “anti-racism reform” that even some on the left call looney. As discussed in a prior column on the same reform implemented at the University of Southern California, Smith has removed the word “field” from its social work program as racist.  The reason? It reminds some of the field work of slaves.The department formerly known as the “Office of Field Education” will be now referred to as the “Office of Practicum.”  Carolyn McDaniel, a spokesperson for Smith College, explained that this change is “consistent with the guiding principles of the social work profession, Smith College’s School for Social Work strives for intentional accountability.”
McDaniels added “rather than a reactive moment, this is a proactive decision to bring the language of the school’s program more in line with its goals and intentions.”This is all part of Smith Colleges plan titled Toward Racial Justice in “advancing inclusion, diversity and equity” at the school.  Using terms like “field work” is now considered triggering and microaggressive.At USC, the school explained:

“Language can be powerful, and phrases such as ‘going into the field’ or ‘field work’ may have connotations for descendants of slavery and immigrant workers that are not benign…This change supports anti-racist social work practice by replacing language that could be considered anti-Black or anti-immigrant in favor of inclusive language.”

The school heralded its replacement of the word “field” as another triumph in the fight for “dismantling oppressive and discriminating systems.”

Neither Smith nor USC is saying that the word is racist. They are saying that some may be reminded that slaves worked in fields. It does not matter that the word is not being used in even a remotely racist way. Rather than expect students to understand how words are used, it is better to ban them.

We faced the same type of logic at George Washington University when the school dropped the long moniker of “The Colonials.” I previously wrote about my opposition to the dropping of “The Colonials.” The university assembled a committee that seemed pre-disposed to drop the name after objections that, in my view, were historically and logically wrong. That followed an earlier panel that lacked any opposing views on the matter.

Now the school has adopted “The Revolutionaries” — a moniker that has greater appeal for many at the school but will likely be as usable in a sports context as the “Confectionaries.” Rather than expect students to know that our “Colonials” fought a war against an Empire and colonization, the school decided to drop the beloved moniker because some dismissed the actual reference and meaning. After all, a university can hardly be expected to stand on the meaning and history of language as an educational institution. The key is that when “The Revolutionaries” go to practice, they may want to avoid going to the “field” as opposed to “practicum place.”

It is that simple. The important thing is to believe  . . .  just like they said in the movie “Practicum of Dreams.”


130 thoughts on “Smith College Drops Use of Word “Field” as Racially Insensitive”

    1. On the Central Coast, ours are no longer “Strawberry Fields Forever”, but “White Plastic Fields Forever.”

      Hasn’t the ag industry implemented “plasticulture” in Washington yet?

      1. The University of Iowa Athletic Director has resigned. Forced out, because he could not stop refering to the area inside Kinnick Stadium, as the field.

    2. Is this kind of nonsense that faculty and students concentrate on? In my book, these students have absolutely no value in the private sector workplace as it demonstrates a mindset divorced from all notions of reality and an inability to focus on the substantive mission of moving product.

      1. As a local business owner, I can say that the worst employees I have had were liberal arts college grads. The only master’s degree holder I ever employed was the worst employee I ever had. There has been a clear correlation between higher ed degrees and poor performance. At this point, I wouldn’t touch a college grad with a ten-foot pole.

    3. Definitely a first world problem!
      However, once you have rendered all words meaningless the society will slip into the stone age.

  1. I see that Turley and his minions are unaware that the term colonials is one that is used as a derogatory term by the English. I also guess that they would prefer that the archaic terms would be applied to Washington because they would like to promote only his past views and not the revolutionary he later became as a result of the war. Try reading the book The Radicalism of the American Revolution which details all the radical social changes that took place in the course of the war. Washington went from being a standard slave owner to an abolitionist at the end of his life. Prompted most likely by the fact that 25% of his army was black and the urgings of Lafayette. Of the eight Presidents who were slave masters, he was the only one who manumitted them and gave them land and pensions.

      1. Under the doctrine of Diversity (i.e. color judgment, class-based bigotry), Equity, and Inclusive (DEI) or “god” doctrine, one may infer universal meaning. Also, the principle of political congruence (“=”) when viable.

    1. No parade of lions, lionesses, and unPlanned cubs playing in gay revelry on the Isle of Lesbos?

      And the albinophobic Rainbow symbols and rhetoric?


      Two men and a womb?

      What of the politically congruent (“=”) constructs (e.g. “Respect for Marriage Act”) for thee?

  2. The School of Karl Marx, Aldous Huxley and George Orwell

    An Unparalleled Institution of Higher Brainwashing

    1. Too bad you don’t know Orwell was also a communist. I suggest you read his best work, Homage to Catalonia to get a good view of his politics.

      1. The men I presented were “professors” in the school of bizarre and fantastical ideation.

        Yours must be the very definition of an unintelligible non sequitur.

      2. Orwell a communist? Hardly. He was a socialist who died an ardent anti-Communist after witnessing Soviet tyranny. And I dare say that he would have been an anti-socialist had he had lived to witness Britain’s catastrophic flirtation with socialism.

        1. “These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people.”

          – Abraham Lincoln, from his first speech as an Illinois state legislator, 1837

          “Everyone now is more or less a Socialist.”

          – Charles Dana, managing editor of the New York Tribune, and Lincoln’s assistant secretary of war, 1848

          “The goal of Socialism is Communism.”

          – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

          “The workingmen of Europe feel sure that, as the American War of Independence initiated a new era of ascendancy for the middle class, so the American Antislavery War will do for the working classes. They consider it an earnest of the epoch to come that it fell to the lot of Abraham Lincoln, the single-minded son of the working class, to lead his country through the matchless struggle for the rescue of an enchained race and the reconstruction of a social world.”

          – Karl Marx and the First International Workingmen’s Association to Lincoln, 1864

          Letter of congratulation and commendation from Karl Marx to Abraham Lincoln:

          Abraham Lincoln commenced the incremental implementation of communism in America; his successors advanced and furthered it. Look around you, there are wholly anti- and unconstitutional communist principles everywhere in America, as far as the eye can see.

  3. This is also consistent with the 2021 House of Representative’s Pelosi rule banning the use of “father”, “mother”, “son” or “daughter” because, in that case, they are “gender specific”.

    I suppose that would mean replacing “man” or “woman” with “person” when referring the Chair of a Committee. I always preferred the old way – i.e., chairman or charwoman. :))

    1. Gender (i.e. sex-correlated attributes): masculine, feminine, including sexual orientation.

      Trans-: a state or process of divergence (e.g. transgender spectrum).

  4. Brilliant. And yet 11 years later, no one apparently heeded his words.

    The forerunner of the Defend Free Speech campaign was called “Reform Section 5”. This speech by Rowan Atkinson at the launch event in Parliament in 2012 should be heard by every politician, journalist and campaigner before they start calling for laws to silence those they regard as ‘extremists’.

      1. “Extremists”

        In certain usages, those are often referred to as scare quotes. That made me think of the context that DHS program is funding. That is any group identified as a threat to the current regimes “orthodoxy.” So it could look like this: Extre”orthodoxy”mists.

    1. An Englishman who has a better understanding of the 1st Amendment and free speech than some who post on this here wanting to limit speech because they believe it is “hate speech,” or “intolerant speech,” or probably worst of all it falls within one of the numerous “woke” forbidden words.

      1. AHTENHUT!!

        Pretty clear here, Major, don’t need the M22’s.

        “Hate speech” laws would abridge the freedom of speech.

        “Hate speech” laws are unconstitutional and must be struck down posthaste.

        The Supreme Court must vigorously exercise its power of Judicial Review?

        “…shall make…no law…abridging the freedom of speech,…”

        1st Amendment

        Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

  5. How did this whole issue crop up . . . oh sorry

    What chain of events led to this decision . . . oh sorry

    Are they out of their cotton-pickin’ minds . . . oh sorry

    Trying to follow their reasoning is giving me whiplash . . . oh sorry

    Resisting these people is a long row to hoe . . . oh sorry

    Just when I thought I had mastered the woke language . . . oh sorry

  6. What are the softball, soccer, and lacrosse fields to be called? What becomes of the outfield, the infield, outfielders, infielders, and midfielders? How is Track and Field to be handled?

  7. Field= an open land area.
    Slaves worked in the cotton fields, so let’s change the name to the Office of Polyester.

    Polyester= characterized by inelegant or unsophisticated taste

  8. @Anonymous: perhaps your conscience needs soothing. It seems to me that if one looks across the patchwork quilt of American achievement, there are a plethora of persons of color in high places, and if the Rollins case is any example they have already risen far enough to begin to demonstrate the very moral and ethical turpitude for which they decried their former oppressors. Time for you and others of your ilk to move on

  9. In 1920 the USSR admonished American Communists to start recruiting blacks. Certain blacks have been agitating ever since. It blew up in the 60s when Black Power advocates became openly communist, along with white student groups, particularly the SDS. They have taken over academia, not to mention the Democratic Party. Their goal is revolution and the establishment of a new world social order, the same goal Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels established in the 1840s. Joe McCarthy was right.

  10. Great that this comes leaping across the United States from the west coast and the birthplace of the Looney Tunes and to the upper east coast to the home of Elizabeth Warren , the east coast Looney Tune. I would wonder if any of these people have ever actually seen a real field, much less worked in them.
    The US and the American colonies were not built on the acts of slaves. They never exceeded 10-12 % of the population, almost entirely in the South making planters rich and some NY banks rich. It actually retarded the growth of industrialization in the south and evolution of its economy raising 2 cash crops that you could not eat, exhausted the soil (In the “Fields”), etc. This denigrates the non slaves who worked the “fields” in the northeast, and midwest, raised the crops that fed the nation and the world. The Union won the war because it had 2.5 times as many people, an evolved industrial and agricultural economy.
    Frankly I think they’re take on working in the field to be non factual, denigrating, elitest, and just downright disgusting. “Field” work is hard, and requires thought on how to be efficient and productive , and rewarding to those who came figure out how it works. Breaking a sweat watching YouTube on your coach does not cut it.
    Field work is where it happens, not in the Senior Professors office, even though they put their name first on all the papers. Now that smacks more of slavery.
    My whole life was in the “field”. I loved it and the people I met there were most of the best I ever knew

    1. I grew up working in the “fields”! Child labor? I learned the values of a good life. In return, I was given good food and clothed and sent to school. Those were the good days. We never had to lock our doors.

  11. Now is probably a good time to remember Dorothy Parker’s famous observation: “If the girls of Smith College were laid end to end, they could be.”

  12. So they are proactively eliminating words that they imagine will have the potential to cause emotional harm to as of yet non-existent victims? Oh boy.

    I suspect they aren’t finished rewriting the English language. Slaves also worked in houses, homes, kitchens, barns, bedrooms, ships, boats, etc. Yet for some reason, they can still use the words “slave” and “slavery” as long as they are used in the proper context.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but to me, the “Woke” language is nearly unintelligible.

  13. Cancel culture progresses with Diversity (i.e. color judgment, class-based bigotry) under the Pro-Choice ethical religion.

    That said, diversity of individuals, minority of one. #HateLovesAbortion

    1. It’s not true that the word has been banned. Everyone knows that the Universities teach that the only truth that exists is how people “field” about something….

  14. This has gone past the realm of absurdity – like Alice Through the Looking Glass – that out of touch but in a far more pernicious way. When will we be prohibited from using “Africa” or “slave” or “cotton”. Perhaps these words have already been banned – I don’t really keep up on such useless concepts. The bare idea of banning a word is in direct opposition to freedom and perhaps those who are having such difficulties in dealing with free thought should find a different nation in which to reside. They would feel much safer there under the wings of a totally controlling environmnent and we could breathe free once again.

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