In August, Stanford University’s Office of Religious Life invited two speakers to speak at numerous sessions for an event titled, “Sitting with the Trouble: Spiritual Tools for Ending the Racial Terror.” The event description claimed it is “nearly impossible” to think outside of “white supremacy.”
As Campus Reform reports, Rev. Lynce Pinkard and Nichola Torbett spoke every Monday in August; the event description stated, “How do we get free from a captivity in which razor-wire tentacles wrap themselves around every facet of our personal and institutional life? White supremacy so permeates our institutions, policies, practices, and ways of knowing that it is nearly impossible to think outside it. The prosaic solutions of governing bodies do virtually nothing–often less than nothing–to mitigate the everyday, ongoing devastation.”
The event description described Pinkard as a “Black writer, teacher, and public intellectual operating at the intersection of Christianity, economics, and social change. Her current work is decolonizing the human spirit and freeing people from what she calls ’empire affective disorder.’ Her commitment is to inspire and nurture a new generation of Spirit-filled servant leaders dedicated to the remediation, the building collective resilience for transformative change, and the pursuit of structural and systemic in the world.”
Torbett was described as “committed to helping other white people recognize their own trauma and discontent as catalysts for the dismantling of systems of oppression that are killing us all, and killing Black and Brown people first.”
Stanford University College Republicans President Stephen Sills told Campus Reform: “Unfortunately, this leftist pseudo-religious language is something we can only expect to continue to become more prevalent in the coming month … Unfortunately, the Office of Religious Life has been all too eager to stab religious Stanford students in the back in order to placate leftist religious orthodoxy. Earlier this year, they hosted abortion activist Loretta Ross, creator of the farcical term ‘Reproductive Justice.’ Needless to say, other religious students, including the Stanford Christian community, were not consulted.”
On June 1, the Dean of Students at Stanford University sent an email to students in which she approvingly cited a quote from Assata Shakur, a fugitive on the list of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists who was convicted of murder in the violent 1973 death of a New Jersey policeman.
The email from Dean Mona Hicks started by addressing COVID-19 issues, with a “variety of safety tips and advice to those who wish to engage in the nationwide protests,” Charles Hilu of The College Fix reported. Hicks stated, “As protest organizers around the world plan non-violent demonstrations, we must also recognize the grief and pain that are thrust into these spaces. Despite efforts to organize civilly, there are times when some will engage in destructive or harmful behavior. In every case, the well-being of our students is our top priority.”
The conclusion of the email stated, “I appreciate all of the emails and texts of solidarity and encouragement that I have received in my short tenure at Stanford. As a Black woman, I am also struggling to make meaning in our world today, but your humanity gives me hope — your energy, your education, your truth, and your purpose. This loving refrain from Assata Shakur still rings true as I shelter-in-place: ‘It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.’”