US medical school apologizes after declaring English speakers ‘privileged’

The monthly message from its DEI office had declared all people who were English-speaking, white, middle-class, Christian or male were automatically ‘privileged.’

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine apologized Thursday after receiving backlash over a newsletter sent to all employees that called out a large section of the American population as being “privileged” without having earned it.

“The January edition of the monthly newsletter from the Johns Hopkins Medicine Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Health Equity used language that contradicts the values of Johns Hopkins as an institution,” the school’s spokesman said. “Dr. Sherita Golden, Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Chief Diversity Officer, has sincerely acknowledged this mistake and retracted the language used in the message.”

Golden had chosen “privilege” as the “Diversity Word of the Month,” defining it as “a set of unearned benefits given to people who are in a specific social group” that “provides advantages” to them “at the expense of members of other groups.” She included in her example all people who were English-speakers, white, Christian, middle-class, able-bodied, middle-aged, heterosexual or CISgender (people whose gender identity corresponds with the sex registered for them at birth).

She criticized these “dominant groups” for “often believ[ing] they have earned the privileges they enjoy or that everyone could have access to these privileges if only they worked to earn them.”

Among the prominent people who bashed the school after her message was posted on the X account of the End Wokeness group and went viral was the social media site’s owner Elon Musk, who reacted simply, “This must end!”

Donald Trump Jr., son of the former president, wrote, “The rot and racism in higher education goes so much further [than] Harvard, MIT and Penn (my alma mater) it has taken over virtually every institution and needs to end now.”

Golden “deeply regretted” and “disavowed” her definition in a follow-up email to school personnel, writing, “The intent of the newsletter is to inform and support an inclusive community at Hopkins, but the language of this definition clearly did not meet that goal. In fact, because it was overly simplistic and poorly worded, it had the opposite effect.”

Saying that she was sorry, she added that she would “work to ensure that future messages better reflect our organizational values.”

The medical school has been criticized before for its wokeness, especially regarding sexual identity. Last May it issued a guide to 50 different pronouns that its employees could use, while in its online glossary of LGBTQ+ terms, it went so far as to define a lesbian as “a non-man attracted to non-men,” although gay men were still called “men.”

Commentator Piers Morgan, writing in The New York Post, asked incredulously at the time, “And this misogynistic garbage is coming from one of the planet’s supposedly smartest medical brains? People who literally study biology every day of their lives?”