Contributed by Shannon S. Coulter
New posters at Scripps College, a prestigious women’s school near Los Angeles, are calling for white students to pay non-white students, whom they describe as “victims of emotional labor.”
Heatstreet reports that Campus resident assistants are displaying two sets of posters called “Emotional Labor 101.” One set is for whites and the other for minorities. Both define the term “emotional labor” as exerting energy “for the purpose of addressing people’s feelings, educating, making people comfortable, or living up to ‘social expectations.’”
According to the Claremont Independent, the posters say: “Victims of emotional labor can be cornered in classrooms, on social media, or in social events. If you are constantly having to explain or defend this could be you.”
The poster for minorities gives tips and advice to help victims defend themselves, including calling on professors and white peers to educate people, as well as referring them to Google. “You don’t owe anyone anything at the expense of your mental health,” the poster explains.
The guide encourages minorities to ask for payment for telling someone off: “Charge for your services. If you’ve decided you’re going to do it, at least get paid.”
For the white students, their poster provides guidance on how they could ask themselves questions to make sure they are not forcing their minority peers to perform emotional labor. The poster suggests they ask themselves, “Could I have Googled the answer but I chose not to? Do I find myself in a situation where people of color from a marginalized group are educating me? What power dynamics are at play? Do I find myself getting defensive? Are people telling me I’m causing them emotional labor?”
Like the poster for minorities, payment is discussed. In this case, the poster suggests that white students compensate minorities to “take ownership for the harm you caused.”
White students are also advised to seek education through ethnic studies classes and get involved in social justice communities.
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