Senator Clay Davis, The Hegemonic Academy, and Whole Lotta Sheeeeeit!

Today, and for the last few weeks, I have been very discouraged and frustrated with the university I attend. I am a graduate student at the end of my program and have completed my research and thesis writing. I still need to defend. It will happen…in time, I hope.

I have learned one thing in my masters program. The academy is filled with to many archaic thinking mofos, but there are also great thinkers who push boundaries and create social change.

I went to school to learn and challenge myself as a former right wing extremist, as suggested by an effective counsellor. The counsellor suggested women’s studies or social work. Now at the end of my degree I find a lot of resistance to my theoretical lens that is based within the very curriculum I was taught, in my program. It is ironic that the information I was taught  is considered by a couple of men as not being sound due to the fact it implicates them as complicit in hegemony and schismatic socio-political function(s). I must shake my head and ask “why are you teaching a curriculum in a program that includes anti-oppression if you want to be such an ol’ boy in an elitest club.”

Perhaps the words I heard Cindy Blackstock speak at my university are becoming true . She said something to the effect that if I hear these social workers at this university speak of anti-oppressive practice again I think I am going to puke in my mouth.

I am currently reading Bell Hooks’ Teaching Community. What a beautiful and timely read. The gears of an archaic machine turn as it produces pre-ordained factory aligned marching bots. Hooks discusses the mechanical nature of most teachers in these contemporary and historical teaching institutions and blatantly calls them white supremacists. Although their actions can be overtly white supremacist, often their actions consist of complicit subtly. She left the academy because it was filled with individuals who are unwilling to self reflect on their contribution to maintain a privileged hegemonic schismatically designed institution that all to often intentionally harms students who dare to speak their minds and challenge the false authoritative system.

I live in a country where I have to pay for my tuition. That does not mean I am paying to oppressed, repressed, nor abused. It means I am paying for a service. I will do what I can to ensure that I get an appropriate service. I do not want to dictated to by individuals who believe they have reached a high and mighty power-over position, or authority.

My graduate studies are proving to be a long challenging and arduous path riddled with politics within the academy. I have been witnessing subtle in-fighting and apathetic bureaucracy. Meanwhile, wolves step out from behind closed doors with frothing mouths at the opportunity to gorge on a meal of left overs, while leaving the young to fend for themselves.  Attempts are made in a figurative lynching, I am supposed to accept the sacrifice of my work as a casualty, as a faculty member is targeted, and they attempt to force me to swallow the crow from other peoples plates. That is not happening.

I have been through far to many things in life to allow this to happen.

As I sat to drink a tea and relax, after a day of feet stomping academics who scream “I do not want to hear what you say!!! I want my power! My power-over!!! Where is it!! Give it to me…if not I am leaving. I am not listening to you.”

The door slams as the individuals chose to not engage is transformative learning because I would not accept the deposit being made into my work in order to offer back the same ideological position being imposed upon me. I am unapologetic about my position. I have been experiencing inappropriateness from a faculty that is interpretively breaching their role as an education service provider just because I will not buy into the belief that social work has cured itself from racism. Social work operates in conjunction with apartheid in Canada and is often an extension of a racist colonial arm that literally kills, rapes, beats, and neglects children. There is in fact a Human Rights complaint against the federal government about this very issue. The Supreme Court of Canada has approved the Human Rights complaint against the federal government for the continuation of atrocities against indigenous children in care of child welfare. Social Work is integral within that system. Social Work is complicit in racial policies that segregate the citizenship of First Nations people. Yes there are good Social Work Practitioners out there, and more importantly there are solutions. That is what my thesis is about: social transformation.

I drink my tea. I recall two poems I gave to my thesis supervisor over a year ago. So I thought I would share them now. Both are unpublished.

The first poetic narrative is about in-fighting in our program amongst faculty that I actually wrote about what I had witnessed my supervisor experience over a year ago. I watched her be ripped to shreds by faculty with rolling eyes. It infuriated me. I talked to three separate faculty members about this incident. They stated frustration and low tolerance thresholds with regret that a student was able to identify their physiological responses…now, a year later that dynamic continues.

The latter poetic narrative is about the discipline of social work, in reflection of when I was young and MCFD attempted to apprehend me. You see, when I was twelve and suffering physical and sexual abuse I went to child welfare. They said they would send the police over. The OPP came. They did not do anything but tell me if I was there kid I may get hit even harder. They blamed the child-victim for abuse. Child welfare decidedly took an indifferent response. Over a year after I had been surviving on my own by stealing and selling drugs MCFD attempted to apprehend me. I figured they just wanted to lock me in a foster home with another apathetic and most likely a child raping man. I said no and ran to the city.

I got to social work graduate studies on my own. Here I am  twenty four years later. Now I am fighting the same types of people situated in an apathetic system, the only difference is they have more wrinkles and have learned to diplomatically hone their pervasive hegemonic narratives.

One professor who has proven to be a closed minded fella, indicated that a student can write poetry about anything they want to without political backlash because poetry is seen as a frivolous expression. Thus, I this is an ode to he.

In the words of Senator Clay Davis:


People are people. We all make mistakes. If a person is not willing to self reflect and engage in dialogue that is conscious choice. When that choice adversely affects me, or results in an injury, that becomes a problem for me. I can forgive and move on if there is resolve through dialogue and communication. I can learn through dialogue. I am saddened when someone I trust will engage in dialogue and chooses not to. Nonetheless, I digress.

This is what it looks like in the clouds above me, where the faculty of our program linger.



*disclaimer: anyone who wants to get mad at me for this, or come at me politically for speaking my creative expression just remember poetic narratives are frivolous expressions that are easily disregarded.

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About Daniel Gallant

Daniel is a social worker (MSW,RSW) and is a current student of law, who is also an emerging writer and has been published internationally in literary journals. Poetry is his primary creative processing tool, and also has published creative non-fiction (auto-biographic). He has a B.A. in First Nations Studies. I am a consultant for media, scholars, and government bodies about violent right wing extremism in Canada and a trained counsellor; Daniel offers services to individuals seeking to leave violent extremist lifestyles, and facilitates public speaking on matters of resiliency. Daniel presents Scholars from the Underground Blog in order to promote transformation and to contribute to create safe spaces in society for true cultural transformation. Canada has to move from a racist nation to an inclusionary society. We are blessed to live in a space and time where we can now talk openly about these social issues. Daniel welcomes you to is Blogosphere.

One response to “Senator Clay Davis, The Hegemonic Academy, and Whole Lotta Sheeeeeit!”

  1. Whisper ♥ says :

    This was a great read! Its always a pleasure to engage in another persons work and discover as much integrity, depth and passion in their words –just as I have here. Unapologetic is a beautiful thing.

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