Students attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison will have the chance to attend a ‘Problem of Whiteness‘ course and it’s not sitting too well with a republican legislator.
Wisconsin Rep. Dave Murphy, who is also the chairman of the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities, has asked the university to cancel the course, saying it prompts racial division.
“I am extremely concerned that UW-Madison finds it appropriate to teach a course called, ‘The Problem of Whiteness,’ with the premise that white people are racist,” Murphy said in a statement this week. He even threatened to pull funding for the state university.
The course, taught by Professor Damon Sajnani, is part of the African Cultural Studies program at the university’s College of Letters and Science.
“Have you ever wondered what it really means to be white? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably ‘no.’ But here is your chance!” reads the course description.
“In this class, we will ask what an ethical white identity entails, what it means to be #woke, and consider the journal Race Traitor’s motto, ‘treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity.'”
The course description says it includes readings from W.E.B. Du Bois, Ta-Nehisi Coates and the professor’s own article analyzing Rachel Dolezal.
Murphy said the university must discontinue the class.
“If UW-Madison stands with this professor, I don’t know how the university can expect the taxpayers to stand with UW-Madison,” he wrote.
The university defended its curriculum and said it takes pride in offering a variety of courses.
“We believe this course, which is one of thousands offered at our university, will benefit students who are interested in developing a deeper understanding of race issues. The course is a challenge and response to racism of all kinds,” reads the university statement.
Murphy was joined in his criticism by Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who wrote on Twitter, “This is racism against white people. ALL racism is wrong.”
This is racism against white people. ALL racism is wrong. This garbage is being taught at a state funded school. https://t.co/f4Jo02xROP
— David A. Clarke, Jr. (@SheriffClarke) December 21, 2016