The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) is rushing toward radicalism. On November 7, chief equity officer Willette Burnham-Williams hosted a day-long virtual webinar titled Inclusion to Innovation. It provided 6 hours of continuing medical education credit to participants, and “strategic intentionality” was the primary focus – not improving care for individual patients.
Dr. Christopher King of Georgetown University set the tone for the webinar with a keynote address. He declared that clinicians are “operating in a system that has been rooted in injustice.” He says these systems must be “critically audited” because “bias is there; systemic racism is there.” He concludes by stating, “you can’t have quality and safety without equity.”
It only got worse from there. In the name of “infusing diversity and inclusion into the curriculum,” B. DaNine Fleming, Ed.D. and associate chief officer for inclusive excellence at MUSC, hosted a session with author/activist Robin DiAngelo. DiAngelo directed her remarks to “the white members of this audience,” asking: “did you study systemic racism,” along with questions that insult and demean participants:
Remarkably, DiAngelo’s brief reference to “a foundational understanding of systemic racism” before being able to practice is the sole mention of anything related to medicine. Her main message focused on “white fragility,” “explicit white nationalism,” “a sociology of dominance,” and quoting Ibram X. Kendi. After stating, “So there is no such thing as reverse racism,” DiAngelo told the audience:
If you are white, I want you to think about black people. You know they exist if you watch Disney movies, if you go to the grocery store and you buy pancake syrup and rice, you know they exist.
Then there was the final presentation of the webinar. Author Isabel Wilkerson used her presentation time to propagate discredited narratives related to January 6, 2021. Wilkerson asserted that “half a dozen” law enforcement officers “actually died as a result of that attack” and asked the audience to consider “what would have happened had the people who looked like the janitors” would have “broken into the United States capitol?” Her answer? “They would not have lived to tell.”
Why is the Medical University of South Carolina promoting these divisive topics and concepts, instead of focusing on medicine and providing better standards of care? It owes an appropriate learning experience to its students, faculty, and staff members, all of whom should worry about what’s happening to their institution.
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