Imagine if, to be able to return to school, students had to sign an anti-racism pledge. Or perhaps, if they do not sign it, they face retaliation. Is this Constitutional? Is it legal? Some schools across the nation seem to think so and have already started this controversial action. According to Reason, a libertarian magazine, several universities are requiring students to sign a pledge, and approximately 150 law school deans have mentioned anti-racism in a letter to the American Bar Association (ABA). The letter reads, in part:
“Dear Members of the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar:
Preparing law students to be lawyers requires that they should be educated with respect to bias, cultural awareness, and anti-racism. Such skills are essential parts of professional competence, legal practice, and being a lawyer. We believe that every law school should develop such training and education for its students.”
Take the Pledge, or Else
The deans, via this letter, urged the council to have the Standards Review Subcommittee develop a requirement for all law schools that they “must provide training and education of its students with regard to bias, cultural awareness, and anti-racist practices.” How much control and responsibility should universities wield?
The University of Southern Maine (USM) has a “Black Lives Matter Statement and Antiracism Pledge,” which includes ways to become involved in the fight against racism. “This pledge is unconstitutional and a violation of academic freedom,” Reason suggests. “Universities cannot prescribe what shall be orthodox.”
Who will decide what qualifies as racism, and what does not? The basis for determining racism today is so badly skewed, who can make heads or tails out of it? “Black Lives Matter” is profound, but “All Lives Matter” is racist. Being pro-police is racist, while defunding and abolishing them is progressive, and the right thing to do. BLM protests are patriotic, while pro-life marches are illegal. Reparations for blacks is the least we can do while working hard is white privilege.
In its pledge, USM refers to the beliefs of Ibram Kendi in his book How To Be An Antiracist:
“The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to prevent discrimination is future discrimination.”
Fighting Hate With Hate?
So discrimination is the remedy for … discrimination? The only way to end racism is to be racist towards another group of people based on the color of their skin, white privilege, their beliefs, or whatever else? If students do not sign the pledge, will they then be discriminated against, perhaps even harassed and threatened?
Kendi is in favor of affirmative action, which via City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson Company nearly 30 years ago, determined that “past racial discrimination cannot justify rigid racial quotas.” President Donald Trump has spoken about the dangers of indoctrination in our schools and is working on a bill that would prevent funding to universities that are obviously using such tactics. The BLM movement seems to be furthering that goal; however, instead of being a progressive moving-forward act, it is one that will likely set us back a century.
Trying to erase history, taking over city blocks, rioting and looting, demanding segregation, and defunding the police are all things that are dangerously dividing our country. Releasing imprisoned criminals, insisting on reparations, and even telling white people to give their home to a black person – as happened recently in Seattle, WA – these acts are throwing us back to a time in history that, these same people claim, so offends them. If universities are given the power to teach and enforce anti-racism student involvement, this is just another chip out of the American mold as the left seeks to reshape and, essentially, destroy the American way of life.
Read more from Kelli Ballard.