Princeton’s Racism Problem

On July 4th some three hundred faculty, staff, and alumni of Princeton University sent a signed letter to the university president, the provost, the deans, vice president for campus life, and the Princeton cabinet essentially condemning the entire institution of being irredeemably racist and white supremacist.  The signatories of the letter claim to speak for the “people of color” on the campus.  “Anti-Blackness is foundational to America,” the first sentence of the letter declared, and “plays a powerful role at institutions like Princeton . . .”  “Anti-Black racism” is said to “continue to thrive on campus,” said the privileged, pampered, and over-payed Ivy League professors and administrators.

If this is true, one wonders why on earth any black parents would even consider sending their children to such a racist hellhole.  Or why a black academic would want to work there when there are so many other colleges and universities that would be more welcoming.

The Problem with Linco... DiLorenzo, Thomas J. Buy New $29.99 (as of 11:50 EST - Details) In keeping with the latest Leftist academic fad that holds that all white people are genetically racist and that anti-black racism is “systemic,” the letter essentially demands that the white people at Princeton get down on their knees (figuratively speaking) and beg forgiveness for the sins of generations – and centuries – past by other long-dead white people.  It is a buffoonish caricature of collectivist thinking that ignores individualism and asserts the Marxian notion that one’s behavior is conditioned by the class or race one belongs to, not one’s own mind and free will.  What’s worse is that as the Ivy League goes, so goes the rest of the university world eventually.

Of the more than 300 signatures on the letter, it is interesting that yours truly did not detect a single member of the Princeton economics department, suggesting that there may be small remnants of sanity left at Princeton after all.  Very small.  Left-wing campus totalitarianism has long been dominated by socialists in various dubious-sounding academic disciplines, primarily in the humanities and social sciences, populated by people who became academics not to become scholars and teachers but tenured, Left-wing political activists.  Thus, the list of signatories is filled with names associated with departments of various “studies” majors.  If the word “studies” is in your major, it is probably a useless curriculum that will not prepare you very well for either graduate education or the job market.

The long-winded letter demands racial quotas, quotas, and more quotas, apparently oblivious to the fact that such racial discrimination in hiring was outlawed in the 1960s.  It bemoans the “demographic disparity” of Princeton’s faculty where department after department is staffed with faculty in such a way that is usually less than 13 percent black (the percentage of the U.S. population that is black), and that is supposed to be an outrage.  The implication is that at least thirteen percent of faculty in every discipline needs to be black, regardless of merit and all other criteria.  The letter demands that Princeton demeans itself by broadcasting its “ties” to slavery and white supremacy several hundred years ago, as though that has anything to do with what goes on at Princeton today.

Hiring, admissions, promotions, curriculum, salary, vacation time, are all to be doled out on the basis of race and skin color instead of merit, the letter further demands.  The signatories of the letter have to know that hundreds of others at the university would consider that to be grossly unjust, but they obviously don’t give a damn about them.  They’re white people, after all, and mostly male at that.  That all of this would create a poisonous and divisive workplace is obviously of no concern to them. Cultural Cancer: Treat... Kane, Daryl Best Price: $20.00 Buy New $9.95 (as of 04:04 EDT - Details)

The “invisible work by faculty of color” (i.e., the letter writers), which apparently means no work at all since it is “invisible,” is to be nevertheless rewarded with “course relief” (fewer classes to teach) and additional “summer salary.”  More pay for less work — money for nothing, in other words.  There is no mention of any “invisible work” performed by anyone who is not a “faculty of color” at Princeton.

Racial quotas are to be imposed on university committees as well; a Center for the Study of Anti-Racism” (i.e., anti-white studies) is wanted; standardized SAT and GRE (Graduate Record Exam) tests are to be discarded because of alleged racial disparities in the scores (if black students score lower than white applicants on the math SAT it is assumed to be because of racism); and it is demanded that the university “Remove questions about misdemeanors and felony convictions from admission applications,” which is also supposed to be racist.  Thus, these same Princeton faculty who have supported defunding the campus police insist that the university ignore felony convictions of prospective students.  Would any of them send their children to such a school?

University funds are to be given to various left-wing “community organizations” including one that a Princeton professor, Joshua Katz, who did not sign the letter, labeled a “terrorist organization” because it had committed violent acts in the community.  For that he was reprimanded by university administrators, including the ones in his own department.

Academic departments are to be rewarded with extra funding and faculty positions for being the most zealous about hiring based on race instead of academic accomplishments.  This applies especially to the most left-wing of all left-wing departments at any university – Gender and Sexuality Studies, American Studies, and Anthropology.  In addition, departments that are below average in hiring by race instead of merit are to be punished with withdrawals of resources and fewer faculty spots.  Hiring by merit is to be punished; hiring by skin color rewarded. The Red Trojan Horse: ... Elder, Alasdair Best Price: $14.85 Buy New $14.50 (as of 03:45 EDT - Details)

Money, money, and more money is to be thrown at “faculty of color” with “prizes [“A new car!?] , course releases [i.e, less teaching], and summer salary” for being involved in “inclusion” activities, one of many euphemisms for hiring and promotion according to skin color.  Post-doctoral studies candidates are to be chosen by skin color as well, and “student activists” are also to be “incentivized” with money from the university.  This sounds like university funding of Black Lives Matter rabble rousing in the community.  Can university-funded riots be far behind, given the violent and criminal past of this group of avowedly Marxist revolutionaries?

A faculty committee to “investigate racist behavior” of other faculty members is proposed.   Having lived in the academic world as a university professor for forty-one years, yours truly can confidently predict that such a committee would be used to hunt down, harass, and eventually fire anyone who disagrees with the Marxist-oriented faculty of color.  It has nothing to do with actual racist language or discriminatory actions.  There are already heavy penalties for anyone who behaves in such a way at any university.  The purpose of such a committee would be to add another layer of Left-wing censorship of opposing ideas.

Princeton does indeed have a racism problem.  The problem is with the racist “faculty of color” and their supporters who espouse the notion of “systemic racism” which condemns all white people solely on the basis of skin color, the exact definition of racism.  Martin Luther King, Jr. himself would not be welcomed at Princeton today by these letter writers with his old-fashioned notion that people should be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.  Such language would be investigated by that new Stasi-like “investigative committee” and denounced as the words of an “Uncle Tom” and a race traitor.

Political Theatre

LRC Blog

LRC Podcasts