Thought Reform 101

March 1, 2000

At Wake Forest University last fall, one of the few events designated as "mandatory" for freshman orientation was attendance at Blue Eyed, a filmed racism awareness workshop in which whites are abused, ridiculed, made to fail, and taught helpless passivity so that they can identify with "a person of color for a day." In Swarthmore College's dormitories, in the fall of 1998, first-year students were asked to line up by skin color, from lightest to darkest, and to step forward and talk about how they felt concerning their place in that line. Indeed, at almost all of our campuses, some form of moral and political re-education has been built into freshman orientation and residential programming. These exercises have become so commonplace that most students do not even think of the issues of privacy, rights, and dignity involved...

Schools: Syracuse University Columbia University Dartmouth College Oklahoma State University – Stillwater Harvard University Stanford University Johns Hopkins University Texas A&M University – College Station University of Oklahoma University of Cincinnati Northern Illinois University University of Pennsylvania Swarthmore College Haverford College Bryn Mawr College Oberlin College Wake Forest University University of Nebraska – Lincoln University of Massachusetts – Amherst Northwestern University University of California, Berkeley