The University of Virginia perpetuated the damaging stereotype of African- American society as an intellectual monoculture today with the release of speakers in its upcoming Racial Equity Speaker series. The three speakers represent a narrow range of black views on the issue of racism in America.
The biggest name on the list is Ibram X. Kendi, author of “How to Be an Antiracist,” and leading proponent of critical race theory. He’s so well known that he needs no introduction.
Ijeoma Oluo, author of “So You Wanted to Talk about Race,” has written widely about “anti-racism.” “Being anti-racist doesn’t mean that you are never racist, it means that you recognize and battle racism in yourself as hard as you battle it in others,” reads her Wikipedia biography. Expanding on the theme of “honest dialogue about uncomfortable truths: in her 2018 book, writing, “This does not mean that you have to flog yourself for all eternity.”
Laura Morgan Roberts, a professor at UVa’s Darden School, specializes in race in the workplace. In her book, “Race, Work and Leadership,” she wrote, “It is time to turn up the heat on race and racism if we want to cool it down. We agree with the response James Baldwin gave to a question about what black folks should do to cool the 1968 riots after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. “It is not for us [black people] to cool it.”
It might come as a surprise to the ideologues in UVa’s Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, but African Americans do not all think alike, or even within the narrow range of leftist views tolerated in academia. Public opinion surveys show that African Americans and Hispanics as a whole are less “woke” than white liberals and progressives. Moreover, some of the most brilliant scholars, commentators and activists in the conservative movement are (or have been) African American, starting with the recently deceased economist Walter Williams, but also including:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
That’s just off the top of my head. If UVa’s Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion wants truly to be “inclusive,” it might try “including” some “diverse” viewpoints within the black community.
I’ve gotten some suggestions for other black speakers who might add some intellectual diversity: