Princeton’s ‘Healing Humanities’ Course Labels Black People as ‘Disabled’

Princeton University is under fire for teaching students that black men and women are disabled in this world because of systemic racism. Here’s the whole story. 

The Course

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The name of the course being taught is “The Healing Humanities: Decolonizing Trauma Studies from the Global South.” The curriculum teaches students that black people should be considered “disabled” due to systemic racism in America.

Systemic Racism

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Systemic racism refers to the systems in place in society that create racial inequality for people of color. 

Black People Are Oppressed

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The course’s description says that systemic racism in America is the reason black people should be looked at as oppressed and “disabled.”

Simultaneous Oppression

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The description also refers to “intersectionality,” saying “individuals can be oppressed by numerous groups simultaneously.” Intersectionality acknowledges that people have their own personal and unique experiences regarding discrimination and oppression.

Disabled Without Any Physical Impairments

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The course teaches from Jasbir Paur’s book, The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability. The argument in Paur’s book is that black people can be looked at as “disabled” without actually having any physical impairments. 

The Book

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In Paur’s book that the class follows along with, it talks about the structures in place in society that prevent black people from reaching their full potential, thus causing them to be handicapped or disabled in life. 

Decolonizing Students

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The course at Princeton University aims to “decolonize” students’ thinking by focusing on critical race theory concepts.

Oppression Is Connected

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The course description highlights how different forms of oppression, including racism, homophobia, ableism, and capitalism, can be connected.

The description also emphasizes that the class “contributes to a broader effort within the humanities to shed light on trauma and healing” from different points of view.

More Problems for Princeton

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The focus on “disabled” black people isn’t the only reason the class at Princeton is under fire. The course curriculum also includes ideas alleging “the Israeli military attempts to hurt Palestinians for profit.”

The Jewish Community Is Upset Too

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The course teaches that the Israeli army deliberately maims Palestinians for profit. This has Jewish officials outraged.


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The president of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald Lauder, said, “Princeton University is not only sanctioning hate speech, but establishing fertile ground for a new generation of antisemitic thought leaders.”

Professor Should Be Fired

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Critics called for the professor teaching this course, Satyel Larson, to be fired. They also say the students attending the Ivy League school deserve an apology. 

No Resources for Black People

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People are outraged because they say Larson teaches that black people don’t have the power or the resources they need to fulfill their potential and that this makes them disabled and handicapped.

The Course Is Racist

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Several online users commented on the story, calling the premise of the course racist. They say that to classify all people of color as “disabled” is a racist statement.

Disgusting Point of View

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Kirk Comeaux said he lives in an affluent neighborhood with “black neighbors all around” him. He said they are “extremely successful and great neighbors.” Comeaux can’t believe the “disgusting” way this course portrays black Americans.

Course Sounds Interesting

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Another user, Devon, didn’t see any problem with the new class being taught at Princeton and thought it sounded “like a good class.” He said, “The idea of institutional racism equaling a handicap is interesting” and that the school was “designed to get kids to look and think outside the box.”

Black People Disagree

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A black man, Herman Davis commented, “Yeah, us black folks ain’t asking for that. Idk where they got that from.” Davis seemed appalled by the new course being offered to students.

No Comment From the University

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Critics say that Princeton is “teaching students how to be racist.” Princeton had no comment about this class.

The post Princeton’s ‘Healing Humanities’ Course Labels Black People as ‘Disabled’ first appeared on Pulse of Pride.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / gary718. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.

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