Lorraine Moya Salas
Arizona State University
During a lecture in one of her courses—titled, “Foundations of Social Work”—Dr. Lorraine can be heard describing the United States as a “white supremacist system,” that was founded for the benefit of white people at the expense of Native Americans and people of color.
In the class—recorded and provided exclusively to the Professor Watchlist team by an anonymous source—Dr. Salas urges her students to confront the “implicit biases” present in themselves and American society. Claiming that stereotypes and prejudices construct implicit bias, she warns that unconscious actions can cause serious harm.
Attempting to provide an example to bolster her claim, Dr. Salas states that implicit bias causes doctors to act as if their black patients are slaves. She proceeds to cite a study that claims doctors give less pain medication to black patients as compared to white ones.
Dr. Salas alleges this is the product of the legacy of slavery; slave owners viewed blacks as subhuman and able to withstand a large amount of pain, so therefore doctors continue to believe that blacks can withstand a large amount of pain. Doctors will therefore prescribe black patients less pain medication.
Dr. Salas additionally cites a study that claims teachers will call on boys more often than girls in their classrooms. She claims this as proof that teachers think boys answer questions correctly more often than girls.
Throughout the lecture, Dr. Salas alleges that numerous racial, ethnic, and gender disparities in society are a result of implicit bias. She urges her students, as future social workers, to confront their own implicit biases and assigns an “implicit bias test” for them to complete before the next class.
Dr. Salas additionally claims that institutional racism produces inequality and disparities, attributing it to the legacy of slavery in the Americas. Although acknowledging that all cultures practiced slavery, she claims that no slave trade was enforced along racial lines until the Europeans did so in order to specifically oppress people of color.
Citing slavery, the genocide of Native Americans and discriminatory, Jim Crow laws, Dr. Salas claims that America was constructed as a “white supremacist culture” for the sole benefit of white people who have maintained their “white power structures” ever since.
In the accompanying slides, Dr. Salas cites Critical Race Theory to define white supremacy as a, “political or socio-economic system where white people enjoy structural advantage and rights that other racial and ethnic groups do not, both at a collective and an individual level”.
As Ben Shapiro writes in Breitbart News, Critical Race Theory is an intellectual branch of Marxism that views America and all of its institutions as being infected with white supremacy—to the point of some, including Nikole Hannah-Jones, even claiming America’s real founding was in 1619 when the first slave stepped foot in North America, and not 1776 when the American colonies declared independence from England.
Dr. Salas had previously published a paper on critical theory, titled, “Critical Theory: Pathway from Dichotomous to Integrated Social Work Practice.” In it, she urges social workers to embrace critical theory in order to accomplish social justice “at all levels of practice.”
Dr. Salas further states that while people of color can hold prejudiced views, they cannot be racist as they have no institutional power in a system that values whiteness. She urges white students in the class to be “allies” in order to help minorities access the resources available to them by way of “white privilege.”
The full audio of the lecture is provided below.
The Professor Watchlist Team reached out to Dr. Salas prior for comment but has not received a response by the time of publication.
Students and Parents may contact the School of Social Work at Arizona State University – Downtown Phoenix at (602) 496-0800 or at [email protected]
Updated – October 26, 2021