A law professor is speaking out after witnessing the gradual racialization of higher education institutions that accelerated in the last two years, leading to the suppression of diverse viewpoints and spreading of bias on campuses.
“In many ways, I've been an eyewitness to what we now call the critical race phenomenon or the racialization of education, capture of institutions, going back to my days at Harvard Law School in the early 1980s,” said William Jacobson, a law professor at Cornell University.
Silencing people is not achieved through throwing them in prison but through the false accusation of being a racist, which is extremely damaging because it can cost people their jobs, their education, and their personal relationships, Mr. Jacobson explained.
“Since I started the website, for almost a decade, there was a constant stream of attempts to get me fired, mostly from off the campus," said Mr. Jacobson, who is the only openly conservative member of Cornell’s 1,700-member faculty.
At that time, 21 of his Cornell colleagues signed a letter denouncing unnamed “commentators … attached to Ivy League Institutions,” who were critical of Black Lives Matter, and demanding "accountability."
Dean Eduardo Peñalver also denounced Mr. Jacobson in a statement, saying that his blog posts cast "broad and categorical aspersions on the goals of those protesting for justice for Black Americans" and that they "do not reflect the values of Cornell Law School.” The dean also said that Mr. Jacobson’s posts were “both offensive and poorly reasoned” without providing any details.
Mr. Jacobson said that these attempts to silence him taught people the lesson of not speaking out.
Only a few professors have been fired for expressing their views in the last year, “but for each one who gets fired, it tells the whole campus not to speak out, and it spreads even further,” Mr. Jacobson said.
Racialization of Education“The racialization of education, medicine, other fields now, essentially, is pitting people against each other based on race,” Mr. Jacobson said.
It is teaching students to view fellow students and teachers based on the color of their skin, he pointed out. “It's setting up racial conflict.”
The theoretical basis of racialization is critical race theory, which evolved from critical legal studies or critical legal theory studied in the early 1980s, Mr. Jacobson said, adding that Harvard Law School, his alma mater, was an epicenter of that.
During its formative years, critical race theory adopted a classic Marxist approach to everything, including the Marxist principle of class struggle, but substituted race for class, Mr. Jacobson explained.
“If you look at all our billionaires, very few of them were born wealthy—they've created things."
Critical race theory is based on never-ending racial struggle and claims that society is systemically racist and that racism is not necessarily conscious in people, Mr. Jacobson explained.
“Therefore, the dead white male authors are inherently racist, that they grew out of a racist system.”
“It was in many ways a revolt against the country consistent with [the goals] of critical race theory and critical legal theory, which is tearing down society,” also called “wholesale deconstruction of society,” Mr. Jacobson said.
Critical race theory has developed over time and become embedded in the systems, but only after the death of George Floyd did it start being pushed on society, Mr. Jacobson said.
“It's almost like there were plans on the shelf to take over everything. And that was the excuse they needed to do it.”
Universities declared themselves anti-racist campuses, but by being anti-racist, they meant to “discriminate currently, in order to cure past discrimination,” Mr. Jacobson said. “It actually means being racist.”
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
There are a lot of universities that require the submission of a DEI statement as a condition for hiring, Mr. Jacobson said.
DEI, standing for diversity, equity, and inclusion, is really an agenda of critical race theory, which means that people are not treated as individuals but as group members, or proxies for group members, Mr. Jacobson said.
“These DEI statements not only require you to recite that you agree with this. They also want you to show how you have tailored your career to advance it," Mr. Jacobson said. “It's very insidious."
Mr. Jacobson discussed the challenges he would face if he were applying for faculty positions now.
“I could never be hired at Cornell for many reasons, one of which is political, but also, I would refuse to sign a DEI statement," he said.
Forced to Lie and PretendMr. Jacobson admitted that pushing the DEI ideology on campuses forces people to lie and to pretend they are something they are not. “They have to keep their own thoughts to themselves.”
He recollected his experience of studying Russian in the Soviet Union in college, which made him “aware of what it's like to live in a society where you have to pretend to be something you're not.”
“You can express your private thoughts, but you have to be very careful who you express them to, who is really trustworthy, and who was going to turn you in.”
“It's a terrible society to live, and that's what academia is becoming, in many ways.”
A lot of students confide in him that they feel compelled to comply with the ideology while in class and that's it's becoming too difficult to continue.
Their professors didn't threatem, but the students worried that if they disagreed on some of these ”racial or hot topic issues,” it may affect their grades, people may smear them on the internet, or it might be hard for them to find a job, Mr. Jacobson explained.
The same concerns and fears exist among professors, but the faculty is less diverse in terms of viewpoint than the students, due to filtering through the hiring process, Mr. Jacobson said.
“The faculty is close to a monoculture and same with the administrators.”
Bias Response Teams
The person who gets reported has to prove their innocence and is deprived of due process rights in campus judicial tribunals, Mr. Jacobson explained. In particular, the accused person does not get the right to cross-examine witnesses, he added.
Moreover, “the denial of the accusation is used as proof of the accusation,” Mr. Jacobson said, “because, in the critical race theory paradigm, you don't have to be conscious of your racism. You're just part of it.”
“You have to submit, and you have to essentially work your life to beg for forgiveness for things you've never done.”
This situation can only be remedied under the pressure coming from outside, Mr. Jacobson believes.
“They can't reform themselves because they're monocultures.”
“You cannot expect faculty, at least not faculty who want to keep their jobs, or get hired, or get promoted, to fight this battle. I wish there were more who fought the battle. There are some who do, but they're relatively few.”
The pressure that could exert a change may come from parents, students choosing not to apply to that school, state legislatures where the funding comes from the state, churches, or public opinion, Mr. Jacobson pointed out.
“Schools are very concerned about bad publicity," he said.