In a recent Facebook post, state Rep. Mark Baisley (R-Roxborough Park) bemoaned that policymakers on the left “focus on the implications of race, sexuality, and ‘climate,'” and criticized Colorado Community College System (CCCS) officials for discussing racial demographics in a recent tech funding proposal.
Baisley, who sits on the Joint Technology Committee, called it “obsessive” that CCCS “always feel[s] compelled to include the racial demographics in every conversation regardless of relevance to the general topic.”
“They don’t know how obsessive this sounds,” Baisley wrote in the Facebook post.
Baisley went on to criticize CCCS Chancellor Joe Garcia’s explanation of the word “minoritize,” which Baisley said he’d never heard of, and wrote that the “college needed a term to describe those who are ‘culturally disadvantaged’ due to not being white.”
“Perhaps one day we will actually take Dr. Martin Luther King at his word and stop judging people by the color of their skin,” Baisley added.
Asked for comment by the Colorado Times Recorder, Chancellor Garcia clarified the meaning of the term, writing via email, “I certainly don’t want Rep. Baisley or others to misunderstand what the term ‘minoritized’ means or how it is used.”
“I think the best way to answer it is to point to the now generally accepted use of the descriptor ‘enslaved people’ rather than ‘slaves’ to describe those individuals who were legally held in bondage and treated as property at one time in this country,” Garcia said. “Their enslaved condition was the result of a legal and social construction and was not something that described their inherent identity. To refer to them simply as slaves makes it sound like it was their identity, their destiny, their natural condition, not one that was imposed upon them. Likewise, people of color (‘BIPOC,’ but that takes us down yet another road) who we refer to as ‘minorities’ carry with that term implications that are the result of the way we view them in terms of power relationships that aren’t always, and certainly won’t be for long, simply a function of their relative numbers. Even where they may be in the majority on a campus, for example, they are viewed as having certain characteristics that are not inherent, but socially constructed and imposed.”
CCCS is made up of 13 different colleges across the state and aims to make higher learning accessible for the approximately 125,000 students it serves each year. CCCS students account for nearly half of the total number of students of color in undergraduate programs in Colorado.
Baisley, who also sits on the House Education Committee, also “liked” one Facebook comment that reads, “Defund every one of them offering any kind of racial or gender studies, or climate change BS.”
Asked via email by the Colorado Times Recorder if he indeed thinks colleges that offer racial and gender studies courses should be defunded, Baisley wrote, “I hold no objections to anyone wishing to take courses on any topic they wish to study including gender and race. But if American (“We The”) People are expected to pay for it, the teaching should reflect ‘the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God’ (Natural Law) — our nation’s founding principles that we are all intrinsically equal. No instruction that advances the Left’s unnatural caste system should be funded in whole or in part by taxpayers.”
Asked whether he believes structural racism exists, Baisley said he does, but with some caveats – namely, that it is perpetuated by “the left.”
“The short answer is ‘Yes,’ which is why I object to propagating agenda-laden terms like ‘minoritize,'” Baisley wrote. “The Left invents such language to institutionalize structural racism toward preserving their positions of centralized control over vulnerable people.”