The left sees racism everywhere, except in itself. These so- called progressives proclaim that only white people can be racists. The Missouri Court of Appeals – Eastern District disagrees. It has affirmed an almost five million dollar judgment for violation of the Missouri Human Rights Act, by black administrators at Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis, Missouri, against a white professor.
Harris-Stowe State University (HSSU), a historically black college, hired Professor Beverly Wilkins in 2001. Most of the other professors in the Teaching Education Department where she worked were black. From 2001 to 2009, Professor Wilkins moved from part-time to full-time, taught summer classes, and received excellent reviews.
In 2009, HSSU hired a new co-chair for the Teaching Education Department, Dr. Latisha Smith. Shortly after that, another faculty member e-mailed several board members, stating that Smith had espoused black power beliefs and had voiced her prejudice openly to faculty. This whistleblower received a warning from a high ranking HSSU official to not press her complaints, or the administration could deny her tenure. After that, the HSSU promoted Smith to Dean of the department, where she became Wilkins’s boss.
In 2010, HSSU learned that there would be budget cuts from the state. They decided to eliminate open and unfilled positions and cut several people and replace a few later. Smith recommended HSSU terminate Wilkins after the summer session and then hire a replacement. HSSU moved to do just that, despite the fact that Wilkins had nine years of seniority, two black professors in the department had less seniority, and HSSU’s employment policy required that termination is based on seniority.
When Wilkins challenged this decision to fire her over less senior faculty members, HSSU executives refused to explain. Wilkins wrote a racial discrimination complaint letter to HSSU. HSSU failed to investigate the claim despite their policy that they must investigate all race discrimination claims.
During the summer session, Wilkins students asked about her situation. The next week HSSU executives called Wilkins into a meeting, and sacked her immediately for “inappropriate activities.” When Wilkins asked for an explanation, HSSU refused. HSSU then added their determination to her file.
Afterward, HSSU hired a full-time and part-time employee to do Wilkins’s job. The net cost of both hires was twenty-three thousand dollars more per year than Wilkins earned. Despite the justification for Wilkins’s firing being budget cuts.
Wilkins sued for violation of the MHRA. During the trial, the court ordered HSSU to preserve Dr. Smith’s emails. HSSU then deleted them. As sanctions, the court admitted that Dr. Smith had said in emails that she wanted to make the department “blacker” and that she recommended terminating Wilkins. Trial court returned a verdict of one million, three hundred fifty thousand dollars in economic damages, and three and a half million dollars in punitive damages. HSSU appealed.
The appeals court upheld the verdict, stating “The Board unlawfully terminated Wilkins, not due to her competency or ability, but because of the color of her skin.” They also held that the humiliation, the open, repeated and systematic stomping on Wilkins’s rights, the “manifest and open evidence of racial discrimination,” the retaliation for claims of racial discrimination, the purposeful damaging of Wilkins’s reputation, and the destruction of evidence more than justified the punitive damages.
One of the founding principles of this nation is that all are equal under the law. It is reprehensible that it took almost eighty years after the U.S. Constitution was signed to eradicate the blight of slavery, and that it took another hundred years before blacks received the full benefit of equal protection under the law. It is also reprehensible that some police still treat blacks differently. There is still work to do.
But fifty-three years after the Civil Rights Act, despite the claims of the left, racial discrimination doesn’t just affect blacks. Every time that a state funded university issues ‘diversity points’ in determining who to admit, every time that a Corporation hires based on race, and every government contract with a certified “minority owned business” sends a clear signal that racial discrimination is okay, so long as it is against whites. What happened to Dr. King’s dream that this nation will judge his children by the content of their character, rather than the color of their skin?
The left killed that idea. Somewhere along the way, the left discarded the laudable goal of integration of minorities into American society. Now, only whites can be racist. Only whites can have privilege. The left now pushes an agenda which demonizes every aspect of traditional American culture. The family, heterosexuality, being cis-gendered (accepting your biological gender), traditional marriage, Christianity, even rationalism are now vilified as inherently racist or sexist or bigoted because they are attributes of traditional America. The cultural values that lifted billions out of poverty and provided the means for people of all cultures, religions, and colors to thrive, are now evil and must be extinguished. Anyone who disagrees must be racist.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans died to save people from slavery. Hundreds of thousands more died to save the world from fascism. It is ironic that those who died to protect liberty for the planet have empowered those who live life through a classist, racist and collectivist lens to threaten their grandchildren’s way of life. Thank God that the Missouri Court of Appeals understands that for equality to work, it must work both ways. Because if it doesn’t, there will never be any peace or justice.