White privilege courses now mandated at more colleges, such as Bates College

White privilege courses now mandated at more colleges, such as Bates College
Image: Northern Arizona University

On April 5, professors at Bates College in Maine voted to mandate that students complete a new set of classes on “Race, Power, Privilege, and Colonialism.” Students who do not take the class will not allowed to graduate. Similarly, Northern Arizona University now requires students to take  four diversity courses to graduate, all rooted in left-wing “critical theory.”

This is part of a larger trend, in which “schools are making it harder to focus on academic subjects such as economics, history, math, and science, by forcing students to waste time taking classes that indoctrinate them in left-wing ideology, such as ‘critical theory”’ or critical race theory,” according to a former Education Department lawyer.

Of the two “Race, Power, Privilege, and Colonialism,” courses, one must be United States-focused and will be designated as “RPPC US,” the other will target international affairs and will be designated “RPPC I.”

The RPPC 1 class will peddle the false notion that countries are underdeveloped due to colonialism. In reality, Third World countries that were not colonized are less economically advanced than those that were colonized, as the father of modern Liberia, William Tubman, noted. Tubman, who served as Liberia’s president from 1944 to 1971, observed that Liberia was economically poorer than its neighbors because it had not had “the benefits of colonization.” Colonization of Third World countries usually made them more agriculturally and economically productive, eventually curbed the practice of slavery, and led to the abolition of barbaric practices like suttee (the burning of widows on their husband’s funeral pyre). Most people in many pre-colonization African societies were slaves: For example, the slave population accounted for two-thirds to three-quarters of the total population of Songhay-Zarma people, who created the Songhai Empire. That empire was the successor of the similarly heavily-enslaved Mali Empire celebrated in progressive high-school textbooks, whose most famous leader, Mansa Musa, went on a pilgrimage to Mecca with an entourage of 12,000 slaves to cater to his every desire.

The new mandate passed with 88 faculty members voting “yes,” 25 voting “no,” and seven abstaining from the vote, reports The Bates Student.

The new mandate, which will go into effect in 2026, is the latest in a long chain of events sparked by student protests at the university in late 2020 when students demanded the adoption of a critical race theory (CRT) course.

Following the protest, the Dean’s Office declared that in winter 2021, the faculty would “conduct an exploration of how all students could substantially engage race, racism, power, and privilege in the Bates curriculum.”

The Bates Student published an update on the status of the coming CRT requirement in April of 2021. According to Bates College Student Government (BCSG) co-president Lebanos Mengistu, without the soon-to-be requirement in place, students could graduate college without ever “finding themselves” in places where discussions on race and privilege happen.

Many other colleges are now mandating that students take courses on race, privilege, and critical race theory. The State University of New York System (SUNY), for example, introduced a new Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice (DEISJ) requirement that will be imposed in fall 2023.

In other colleges, the new course are vountary. The University of Maryland College Park recently created an anti-black racism minor that it will begin offering during the fall 2023 semester.  The minor is a component of a project called the “Anti-Black Racism Initiative” made possible through grant funding.

Critical theory and critical race theory are also proliferating in K-12 schools. The Minneapolis and St. Paul Public Schools in Minnesota have adopted Ethnic Studies requirements as a high-school graduation requirement. “Less than half of high school students in St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS) are proficient in math or reading but” soon all of them “will be required to take a Critical Ethnic Studies (CES) course before they can graduate,” reports the Center of the American Experiment. “Course concepts will include: identity, intersectionality, race, dominant/counter narratives, racism, white supremacy, racial equity, oppression, systemic oppression, resistance and resilience, social/youth-led movements, civic engagement, hope and healing, and transformation and change.”

These courses use critical race theory texts such as How to be an Antiracist, and other texts that “support CRT’s key concepts, including race essentialism, systemic racism, active racial discrimination and anti-capitalism.” Critical race theory is a radical ideology that is hostile to the free market economy, equating it with racism: “To love capitalism is to end up loving racism. To love racism is to end up loving capitalism….Capitalism is essentially racist; racism is essentially capitalist,” says the best-selling book promoting critical race theory, “How to Be An Antiracist.” That book is a “comprehensive introduction to critical race theory,” gushes the leading progressive media organ Slate. It advocates discrimination against whites, saying, “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination [against whites]. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”

The St. Paul schools also cite the protocol “Courageous Conversation” as part of Critical Ethnic Studies. That CRT-influenced protocol has “guided school districts to deem traits such as the ability to plan ahead and ’emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology’ as attributes of ‘whiteness.’” Schools have also disparaged individualism and planning ahead as signs of “cultural racism,” under its baneful influence.

These school systems are not alone. Detroit’s school superintendent, Nikolai Vitti, says critical race theory is deeply embedded in his school system: “Our curriculum is deeply using critical race theory, especially in social studies, but you’ll find it in English language arts and the other disciplines. We were very intentional about…embedding critical race theory within our curriculum.”

“Unequivocally, critical race theory is taught in K-12 public schools,” said the Heritage Foundation’s Jonathan Butcher, noting he wrote a research paper detailing numerous instances of school districts openly using the phrase “critical race theory” in curriculum plans.

Seattle Public Schools noted that its “Black Studies” class includes critical race theory. “Critical Race Theory” is also “explicitly included in a course at Ballard High School in Seattle,” reports the conservative Washington Examiner. Seattle is reportedly injecting critical race theory into its curriculum, including a mandatory Black Studies course “that will be required for graduation from Seattle Public Schools.”

“Minnesota’s proposed new social studies standards” would mandate “Ethnic Studies” embedded with concepts found in critical race theory, according to the Center of the American Experiment. Police have existed since the ancient Sumerian civilization, thousands of years ago. They did not originate with slave patrols, and organized U.S. police forces began in the northeast, not the slaveholding south. But Minnesota is apparently preparing to teach students the false claim that policing began with slave patrols.

LU Staff

LU Staff

Promoting and defending liberty, as defined by the nation’s founders, requires both facts and philosophical thought, transcending all elements of our culture, from partisan politics to social issues, the workings of government, and entertainment and off-duty interests. Liberty Unyielding is committed to bringing together voices that will fuel the flame of liberty, with a dialogue that is lively and informative.


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