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Activist Group Demands Next University President Have ‘Lineage To Slavery’

Group led by professor who promotes Critical Race Theory
General view of the Rhode Island Rams logo on a pair of game shorts during the college basketball against Manhattan Jaspers on November 27, 2019, at Ryan Center in Kingston, RI.
M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A “think tank” founded by a professor at the University of Rhode Island that wants “to end white supremacy and demand change in the hiring of African Americans in all positions at the University of Rhode Island” is now demanding in a petition that with current URI president David Dooley set to retire in June 2021, “The next president of the University of Rhode Island must be an African-American with a lineage to slavery.”

The “Diversity Think Tank” states of itself:

Diversity Think Tank is a movement created to end white supremacy and demand change in the hiring of African Americans in all positions at the University of Rhode Island, specifically senior leadership positions who have not seen a single African American Leader in all 128 years of URI. This demand is organized through students at the University of Rhode Island and led by Professor Louis Kwame Fosu. Ending a long history of systemic racism and white superiority is not only our goal at our own University but also for helping other Universities who face similar all-white supremacy that persists in hiring and leadership practices.

The group issued a lengthy list of demands from the university in which it threatened, “Some Black, White and Latino students shall join in another class action lawsuit if the next URI President is not an African-American with an ancestry to slavery.” The group added, “And, if anyone reading this asks why the next president of URI must be an African-American but has never questioned why URI has had 128 years of white presidents then you must be a racist.”

Another demand issued by the group: “All current search committees that have produced the same URI senior leaders for 128 years without a single African-American, Latino, Native American or African-American with an ancestry to slavery must be disbanded with immediate effect.”

Another: “Make it mandatory for all incoming first-year students to take at least one Africana Studies course as a general education requirement. Make it mandatory to teach all incoming first-year students in their first semester the importance of diversity & inclusion, and courses on racism and systemic racism.”

The list notes, “Our Professor Fosu teaches constitutional law and the supreme court from a critical race theory perspective, just as he was educated and mentored at Georgetown Law by preeminent constitutional law professor Charles Lawrence III, who is also our nation’s foremost critical race theory scholar.”

More from the demands:

All White Faculty: You cannot be permitted to be conscious or unconscious racists, harm us with racism, support systemic racism with your silence, and then make money researching, discussing, recommending ambiguous ineffective solutions, and teaching us courses about your racist system of harm—this is incredulous (sic), while you have done nothing specific or significant at URI to end racism as you build your careers at conferences and other fora presenting irrelevant papers.

All white professors who are exploiting race and diversity in political science and other departments, by seeking research grants, creating conversations about racism, diversity initiatives, and teaching courses about racism, heading diversity and inclusion committees, while silently and implicitly benefiting from racism at URI, should immediately STOP your hypocrisy and exploitation. STOP teaching all those courses and discussions on race and diversity because you only privilege yourselves and never speak up with Truth about deplorable racism at URI. STOP exploiting our suffering because you DO NOT want to end racism! …

The “angry Black woman label” to silence Black women by professors and administrators on University campuses needs to end. Here we live in a society where only White men and their agents are allowed to be angry and stupid and keep their jobs.

President Dooley and Provost Donald DeHayes responded to the list of demands by stating:

The document includes numerous inaccurate statements as well as unwarranted, unsubstantiated, and defamatory personal attacks on several members of the URI community. Furthermore, the document also causes unwarranted damage to the good name and reputation of the University. We cannot in any way condone such overt attacks and your efforts to demonize members of our community with whom you may have disagreements.  In our view, the document that you have prepared is neither well-researched nor effective advocacy for the critically important efforts needed to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion at URI.

Adam Burnett of The College Fix noted that the think tank’s website states that Fosu does not speak to the media, instead directing reporters to contact three students and a university employee.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Activist Group Demands Next University President Have ‘Lineage To Slavery’