Anti-racism courses are gaining momentum across the U.S.
On August 17, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1460 into law. By making this bill law, an ethnic studies class is now a requirement for students in the California State University system according to a report by Campus Reform.
The report highlighted that a “three-unit class in either Native American, African American, Asian American, or Latina/Latino studies will be required for students to graduate beginning the 2024-25 school year.”
The leadership of CSU, which includes Chancellor Timothy White and the Academic Senate, is against AB 1460, according to the Sundial, CSU-Northridge’s student newspaper. The leadership warns that laws that dictate what curriculum should look like could lead to a slippery slope in terms of government reach in academic affairs.
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In addition, Sundial reported that Hazel Kelly, CSU public affairs manager for the Chancellor’s Office, said AB 1460 would have a price tag of $16 million in terms of its implementation costs.
After Campus Reform contacted CSU about the new requirement, CSU spokesman Michael Uhlenkamp told them that “the university will begin work to implement the requirements of the new legislation.”
The anti-racism craze has also spread to the University of Pittsburgh, which announced on August 17 that an online course about systemic anti-Black racism and anti-racism will be a requirement for all freshman students. Starting this fall, the course will be offered.
The Vice President of Pitt College Republicans Corey Barsky told Campus Reform that he is opposed to the mandatory nature of this course.
“I think you get into slippery slopes when you require things of people that are paying,” Barsky stated. “Requirements anger a lot more people and turn people off, but when you encourage, you catch more flies.”
Furthermore, the University of Pittsburgh is unveiling an Anti-racism, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Action Plan. Its Division of Student Affairs will begin to impose bias incident report training for staff and student workers. Similarly, Human Resources will tack on a mandatory anti-racism training module to its anti-sexual harassment training, which is already a mandatory practice at the university.
“We must take a closer look at every area within our university—including how we approach teaching, research, financial decisions, policing, recruiting, hiring and contracting,” Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh Patrick Gallagher declared in a university news release on August 17.
Emory University in Georgia recently revealed that it will establish a novel “race and ethnicity” course requirement that will go into effect next fall.
The Campus Reform report concluded:
The announcement came at least five years after the Black Student Union demanded such a requirement. Courses fulfilling the requirement must meet three of four established criteria, one which is to “develop a critical awareness of how racial and ethnic antagonisms and inequality develop historically through individual, institutional, and cultural forces,” as Campus Reform previously reported.
The recent Black Lives Matter outrage sparked by the death of George Floyd is leading to a radical cultural transformation of the U.S. As they have usually done in the past, universities are leading the way in radicalizing younger generations, but this time they are focusing on divisive racialist politics, which will undoubtedly increase social tensions in the country.