In the fall semester of 2020, the University of Pittsburgh introduced a new mandatory course for incoming freshmen designed to teach critical race theory and Black Lives Matter propaganda. Titled “Anti-Black Racism: History, Ideology, and Resistance,” the course aims “to allow students to gain an understanding of the country’s long struggle with anti-Black racism.”
“The course is designed to inform us all about Black history and culture, about the multiple forms of anti-Black racism, and about how we can be anti-racist,” Pitt’s provost and senior vice chancellor Ann Cudd explained in a statement.
But while the Pitt administration claims that the purpose of its new mandatory instruction is to stifle racist thought and action, the content of the course proves that its intent is the exact opposite. Like much of critical race theory, the new class is based on the idea that all whites are inherently racist and seek to perpetuate that racism in society—a blatantly racist and offensive idea. Lectures presented in the class deride truly anti-racist principles such as “color blindness” and “meritocracy” as “microaggressions” while promoting race-based hiring and admissions.
The course overview, which is proudly displayed on the university’s website, praises the often-violent activities of BLM activists and instigators in glowing terms.
“In the wake of the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and many others in recent months, activists and scholars in the United States have taken to the streets, the workplace, and classrooms to decry anti-Black racism and call attention to the ongoing devaluation of Black lives in the U.S. and globally,” it states. “The wave of uprisings that have swept the nation and globe represent part of a long struggle of anti-racist organizing—one that can be traced back hundreds of years. This multidisciplinary course seeks to provide a broad overview of this rich and dynamic history.”
The “course objectives” take key principles of critical race theory such as the existence of “microaggressions” and the ubiquity of systemic racism in American institutions for granted. These objectives state that by the time an incoming Pitt student has finished the course they should be able to “Describe and explain key ideas and concepts concerning the social construction of race and ethnicity,” “Identify historical and current structures of power, privilege, and inequality that are rooted in Anti-Black racism,” “Explain how anti-Black racism acts individually, interpersonally, institutionally, and structurally,” and “Explain how institutions and policies contribute to and enable Anti-Black racism,” among other necessary lessons.
Each week of the semester-long course has a different focus. For instance, Week 11 is dedicated to “Formal Schooling and Anti-Blackness.” A description of the content for this week claims that “This lecture will provide you with an understanding of formal schooling as one of the most efficient conduits for delivering and recreating anti-Blackness.” It adds, “Throughout the lecture, you will be asked to consider how your schooling experiences have taught and mistaught you about the origins of this nation and who is worthy of being treated as fully human.”
Week 13 is devoted to “How to be Anti-Racist.” The description for this segment explains that “In this lecture you learn about implicit bias, how we develop our biases, and how the biases manifest themselves. We will review microaggressions and discuss their impact on the target. We will also consider ways to mitigate the impact of biases. We will also discuss what is means to be anti-racist and strategies you can use to be anti-racist in your everyday life.”
A video lecture included as part of this week by Cheryl Ruffin, Institutional Equity Manager, Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Pittsburgh, even goes so far as to label “color blindness” a “microaggression.”
“Color blindness expressly says that the experience of marginalized groups is not valid,” Ruffin claims. A slide presented with the presentation labels statements such as “there is only one race, the human race,” and “America is a melting pot” as examples of verbal microaggressions.
The “myth of meritocracy” is also presented as another category of microaggression, with statements such as “I believe the most qualified person should get the job” and “affirmative-action is racist” singled out as harmful and racist statements. In the topsy-turvy world of critical race theory, true anti-racism, such as color-blindness and equality of opportunity are derided as part of America’s legacy of racism, while racially-based affirmative action is an unquestionable good.
Suggested readings for this lesson include the book How to Be an Anti-Racist by Professor Ibram X. Kendi who has made a career out of identifying “metastatic” racism in every possible aspect of American life. Kendi believes that “All policies, ideas and people are either being racist or antiracist. Racist policies yield racial inequity; antiracist policies yield racial equity.” Naturally, “anti-racist” policies, in his view, are the policies promoted by the radical left.
Other course materials describe the radical Marxist and anti-Semitic Black Lives Matter movement as a “contemporary black liberation” movement. An essay by Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza’s titled “A Herstory of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement,” is also assigned as required reading. In the piece, Garza mocks attempts at “unity,” writing that “We perpetuate a level of White supremacist domination by reproducing a tired trope that we are all the same, rather than acknowledging that non-Black oppressed people in this country are both impacted by racism and domination, and simultaneously, BENEFIT from anti-black racism.”
For requiring all incoming freshman to take this mandatory instruction in racism, the University of Pittsburgh belongs on the list of the Top Ten Most Racist Universities.
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