Target: Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University
Goal: Keep critical race theory course in college curriculum despite pressure from white supremacists to cancel it.
An upcoming Arizona State University course that takes a critical look at the position of white people in the modern United States could be canceled just because the school has been inundated with complaints from white nationalists. These kinds of courses are an important tool in creating a socially aware and compassionate next generation. Demand that the school keep the course in the curriculum.
The course, called “U.S. Race Theory and the Problem of Whiteness” and scheduled for the upcoming spring semester, is designed to encourage “students to examine how people talk about—or avoid talking about—race in the contemporary United States” and confront all the issues that conversation highlights. This is standard fare for many university courses that deal with race in the United States—it’s not controversial.
Unfortunately, many people seem not to have gotten that memo. After Fox News aired a segment criticizing the course, the white supremacist National Youth Front launched a campaign to get the class canceled. The course’s professor has been threatened and the university president’s office inundated with complaints.
So far the university is holding firm and refusing to the cancel the course, but it’s unclear if it will continue to do so. Sign the petition below to express your support for the university and the course and urge it not to bow to the pressure of white supremacists and racists.
Dear President Crow,
I am writing you today regarding U.S. Race Theory and the Problem of Whiteness. Unlike what I suspect is the bulk of messages your office is getting, though, I wanted to express my full support for your university, professor Lee Bebout, and the course. The kinds of topics this class is going to tackle are issues this generation need to know about.
If the next generation is going to do any better when it comes to power than the current generation in power is doing (which, admittedly, is a pathetically low bar), it needs to be aware of the created systemic power structures that are part of the foundation of society, both nationally and globally. Understanding “the problem of whiteness” is a fundamental component of that education. If the next generation of white Americans is going to do any good in the world, it needs to understand that white privilege exists, that racism exists, and that both are built-in to American society.
Lee Bebout’s course seems like it will do much to teach college students these kinds of concepts—as such, it should be kept on as part of your curriculum. I urge you not to bow to the pressure of racists and white supremacists who say you need to cancel the course.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Visviva via Wikimedia Commons