Duke Medical School claims ‘timeliness,’ ‘individualism’ is part of ‘White supremacy culture’

Jul 9, 2024 | Latest News | 0 comments

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FIRST ON FOX – Duke Medical School claims it is “White supremacy culture” to expect people of color to be on time in a strategic plan for creating an “Anti-Racist Workforce.” 

The medical school said its goal is to “catalyze anti-racist practice through education,” in a 2021 plan titled “Dismantling Racism and Advancing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the School of Medicine.” The guide – praised by the school’s dean – called out what it deemed “White supremacy culture,” with its purported nitpicking of being on time, dress code, speech and work style. It also contains a series of negative terminology vis-à-vis White culture. 

“White supremacy culture is the idea (ideology) that White people and the ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions of white people are superior to People of Color and their ideas, thoughts, beliefs and actions,” the document stated. 

The document stated that America is rigged for the interests of White people, who get privileges, i.e. the “unquestioned and unearned set of advantages, entitlements, benefits and choices bestowed on people solely because they are White.” 

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“CRT scholars note that the social construction of race and racism is a regular component of American society; it is embedded in structures such as law, culture, and economics, which supports the interests of White people,” the guide stated in its definition of critical race theory. 

It went on to claim that White supremacy culture is “power hoarding” at the disadvantage of non-Whites. 

“In the workplace, white supremacy culture explicitly and implicitly privileges whiteness and discriminates against non-Western and non-white professionalism standards related to dress code, speech, work style, and timeliness,” the document said. “Some identifiable characteristics of this culture includes perfectionism, belief that there’s only one right way, power hoarding, individualism, sense of urgency and defensiveness.” 

The dean, Dr. Mary E. Klotman, praised the guide for reflecting the medical school’s “goals, priorities and strategies.”

“Our plan for dismantling racism and advancing equity, diversity and inclusion was created with an intentional and appropriate need for flexibility,” she said. “As you read this plan, consider the actions you might take individually, with your teams, and in your local units to support our collective goals. Each of you will play an important role in advancing our mission to dismantle racism and promote equity, diversity and inclusion at Duke and beyond.” 

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The school outlined a plan to create an “Anti-Racist Workforce.” Part of that mission included establishing pipelines for recruitment at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and community colleges. 

Another part of the document claimed White people have a “fragility.”

The term “White fragility” was coined by Robin DiAngelo in her 2018 book titled “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism.”

DiAngelo argues that many White people have a limited understanding of racism as a systemic issue and often react defensively when their racial privilege or purported unconscious biases are highlighted. 

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White fragility is described by the school as “feelings of discomfort a White person experiences when they witness or engage in discussions around racial inequality and injustice.” 

Allies to the cause of antiracism are individuals who “recognize[e] their privilege and commits effort to work with oppressed groups in the struggle for justice.” 

The White person may be triggered to engage in “a range of defensive actions, feelings, and behaviors, such as anger, fear and silence,” when discussions about racism come up, the guide said. 

“At the Duke University School of Medicine, we believe that equity, diversity, and inclusion are core elements of institutional excellence,” the university’s website states. “We are committed to developing and implementing a culture of inclusion in which faculty, staff, and students from underrepresented backgrounds experience a genuine sense of value, empowerment, and belonging.” 

Fox News Digital contacted Duke’s medical school for comment and did not immediately receive a response.

Some advocates for DEI and racial equity have embraced notions that professionalism is racially biased.

According to an article published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, “timeliness” is a product of capitalism and “professionalism… centers productivity over people, values time commitments, accomplishes tasks in a linear fashion, and often favors individuals who are white and Western.”

An article from the UCLA Law Review, published in 2023, calls professionalism a “racial construct.”

“It is that the standard itself is based on a set of beliefs grounded in racial subordination and white supremacy.  Through this analysis, professionalism is revealed to be a racial construct,” the article said. 

And in 2020, the National Museum for African American History and Culture explained how whiteness was linked to “delayed gratification; “Objective, rational linear thinking;” “cause and effect relationships;” and “decision-making.” 

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