On the heels of the Black Lives Matter debacle, the woke city of Boston is providing another potent example of the perils of throwing piles of money at individuals whose only qualification is an ability to draw attention to themselves while fomenting racial division.
“Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research has laid off an undisclosed number of staff members, just over three years after its promising launch to reshape the national discourse on racial and ethnic disparities,” The Boston Globe reported Sept. 15. “The layoffs come as the center, led by renowned author and antiracist scholar Ibram X. Kendi, shifts to a ‘fellowship model,’ according to a university spokesman.”
Boston Baked Agenda
Why is the birth of the Center labeled as “promising” and Kendi described as “renowned” in the largest newspaper in Massachusetts? Perhaps it’s because The Globe openly went into business with this caustic agitator at the height of the George Floyd frenzy that gripped this nation a couple of years ago. BU’s antiracist office was created one month after Floyd’s death in May 2020.
The Globe soon got in on the fashionable endeavor.
“The Boston Globe is surrendering all pretense of non-partisanship by partnering with an especially radical black academic to launch The Emancipator, ‘an independent antiracist multimedia platform,’” Liberty Nation reported in March 2021.
Boston University hailed the venture by casting Republicans as the enemy in the quest for racial justice. The university wrote in a release at the time, “The timing of The Emancipator… comes as President Joe Biden moves to address racial inequities amid the growth of white supremacist groups and domestic terrorism, and with opposition from many Republicans who remain loyal to former President Trump, despite his role in inciting the January 6 attack on the US Capitol by Confederate flag–waving white rioters. Republicans are also stepping up efforts aimed at reducing the Black vote.”
Where Did All the Money Go?
Fast forward a little more than two years, and Kendi’s role at BU’s antiracist fortress is coming under withering fire. The university has announced that it is conducting an “inquiry” following complaints about “the center’s culture and its grant management practices.”
Once again, the main point of contention is money. As was the case with BLM co-founder and noted luxury housing aficionado Patrisse Cullors, mountains of green were tossed at Kendi in the hectic progressive fury to prove racial bona fides. What happened to it all?
“There are a number of ways it got to this point, it started very early on when the university decided to create a center that rested in the hands of one human being, an individual given millions of dollars and so much authority,” BU political science associate professor Spencer Piston told The Globe, referring to the mass layoffs.
The Center was indeed lavishly funded.
Its creation “was followed by a flood of donations to BU to support the center and Kendi’s work, including a $1.5 million, three-year gift from the biotech company Vertex and a $10 million donation from Twitter founder Jack Dorsey later that summer,” The Globe notes. “A few months later, The Rockefeller Foundation donated $1.5 million over two years to help fund the center’s COVID-19 Racial Data Tracker.”
The university’s independent student newspaper, The Daily Free Press, reports the Center received “at least $43 million in grants and gifts” for “what sources say has been an underwhelming output of research.”
The paper states TJ Maxx’s foundation, Stop & Shop and Peloton all donated more than $1 million. As Liberty Nation documented in March, knee-jerk big-brand corporate support was also a hallmark of the BLM boondoggle.
“It’s pretty hard for me to imagine they blew through $30 million in two years,” Piston told The Daily Free Press. “There’s been a lack of transparency about how much money comes in and how it’s spent from the beginning, which comports with a larger culture of secrecy.” It turns out dumping all that cash into the lap of a man who has said “there is no such thing as a not-racist idea” wasn’t such a great idea after all. BU professor and ex-Center staffer Phillipe Copeland blames Kendi and the academic institution that enabled him.
“From my perspective, the university allowed this to happen. They invited him to come. They gave him this power and money. They gave him public support, and now we’re in a situation where mass layoffs are happening,” Copeland told the student paper. “That didn’t happen in a vacuum.” The Center has been “a colossal waste of millions of dollars,” Piston crisply concluded.
Kendi had been away on leave for several months before returning to announce the layoffs.
“It was one of the most difficult decisions of my career to execute these layoffs,” he told Axios in an interview. “I’m really devastated, both because of having to lay people off, but then also because there’s certainly disgruntled people who are sort of using the moment to express problems. And allegations that are baseless, unfounded.” Does anybody care that this answer is completely meaningless?
Let’s sum up. Upwards of $40 million in financing, no discernible work of value produced, and a sudden need to cut costs to the bone. It’s all more proof that, for progressives, the emotional high that comes with a superficial feeling of fighting “injustice” is the only result that matters. Actual substance or proven results simply do not factor into the equation. And so, the whole process will be repeated when the next mass outrage moment comes, as it surely will.