The president of Southern Maine University last week asked faculty members and students to sign a statement acknowledging “Black Lives Matter, and pledge to participate in “anti-racism behaviors.”
Dr. Glenn Cummings posted an open letter on the university website titled “Black Lives Matter Statement and Antiracism Pledge,” which follows, in part. The bolded text belongs to Cummings.
Dear USM Community,
Weeks before his passing, legendary civil rights leader and longtime Georgia Representative John Lewis reflected on the Black Lives Matter Movement in his first network television interview since the death of George Floyd.
The co-leader of the March from Selma to Montgomery and the widely acknowledged conscience of Congress said the Black Lives Matter Movement, “feels and looks so different. It is so much more massive and all-inclusive.”
Lewis also made this firm prediction about the Movement’s impact: “There will be no turning back.”
We agree. And in support of Lewis’ declaration, the Movement itself, and Black, Indigenous and People of Color everywhere, we say Black Lives Matter. Period.
We recognize that to reach our goals — to be student-focused every day, to be a great university to work for, and to uphold the principles of equity and justice — we must add our voices to the Black Lives Matter Movement.
For all of these reasons — and until we eradicate the systems of racism that harm Black, Indigenous and People of Color daily — we must never tire of declaring that Black Lives Matter. […]
We believe, as Ibram Kendi writes, that “the only way to undo racism is to constantly identify it and describe it — and then dismantle it.”
According to Ibram Kendi, author of “How to Be an Antiracist,” “you’re either racist or antiracist; there’s no such thing as being not racist.'”
What’s the problem with being “not racist”? It is a claim that signifies neutrality: “I am not a racist, but neither am I aggressively against racism.” But there is no neutrality in the racism struggle. The opposite of “racist” isn’t “not racist.” It is “antiracist.”
In other words, if you’re not actively anti-racist, you’re racist.
Cummings asked faculty members and students to “signify commitment to practicing anti-racist behaviors” by signing a pledge on the page.
Please consider signifying your commitment to practicing antiracist behaviors by completing the form below.
No administrator will see the list of people who pledge to practice antiracist behaviors. [False.]
The names of those who pledge to practice antiracist behaviors are being collected so that we may provide the USM community, at a future date, an aggregate-level report of the number of people who pledge.
Below, we have also outlined some suggestions for ways you can practice antiracism.
I’m not a lawyer, but is this even legal? In a word, no.
Writing for Reason, Josh Blackman, a constitutional law professor at the South Texas College of Law Houston and adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute declared the pledge request flat-out unconstitutional.
“This pledge is unconstitutional, and a violation of academic freedom. Universities cannot prescribe what shall be orthodox.”
Southern Maine University is a public university and as such, is partially-funded by taxpayers. Regardless, Blackman suggested “there very well may be retaliation against those who do not sign the pledge.”
University of Southern Maine publishing names of those signing statement supporting Black Lives Matter. https://t.co/GlKf0qZhU1
— Arutz Sheva (@ArutzSheva_En) August 13, 2020
So how does one who chooses to actively participate in “anti-racist” practices do so, you ask? Cummings suggested the following:
- If appropriate, become involved with the Intercultural and Diversity Advisory Council (IDAC) and the Faculty and Staff of Color Association (FSOCA).
- Give of your time and resources to organizations that are working to end racism.
- Read our Common Read, How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram Kendi, and join a USM-sponsored discussion group of the book.
- Engage with the “Tools of Resilience” resources.
- Attend workshops, events and conferences that focus on race-related issues.
- Educate yourself about oppression.
- Call out biased language or behavior.
- Call out friends and family members who say racist things.
Unbelievable. But not — because it’s real. Attend (reeducation) workshops. “Educate yourself” with Leftist propaganda. Call out your friends and family members who are not actively “anti-racist.”
What’s next? Report “guilty” loved ones to the “Anti-Racist Police”?
During Wednesday’s “The Ingraham Angle” on Fox News, guest-host Mike Huckabee shared his thoughts about the pledge.
“Higher education has become a bastion of speech codes, conservative intimidation, and much worse. Take the University of Southern Maine […] they’re asking community members to sign a Black Lives Matter statement and antiracism pledge.
“What’s worse? The school also published the names of people who sign it — which in this political climate means those who don’t sign it will almost certainly face retaliation, and maybe even have mobs showing up at their homes.”
Huckabee’s guest — also a constitutional lawyer — said the pledge is neither legal nor constitutional, as did Blackman.
Think about what’s going on, here.
We are now told it’s not good enough anymore to simply not be a racist, to simply treat everyone equally, with disregard to race.
We must now become proactively anti-racist, and actively participate in “anti-racist activities” concocted by agenda-driven Leftists who see “systemic racism” and “white supremacy” everywhere they look.
And if you fight back against the narrative? You’re a “racist,” of course.