Campus Reform | Prof blames ‘white Christian nationalism’ for death of George Floyd

Prof blames ‘white Christian nationalism’ for death of George Floyd

A University of Vermont religion professor blames “white Christian nationalism” for current racial tensions in the United States.

The professor has shared a substantial amount of controversial content on social media in recent days, dealing with protests and riots responding to the killing of George Floyd.

A professor at the University of Vermont has attracted attention with controversial tweets, in which she suggested that white Christians are broadly culpable in the recent death of George Floyd, a black man killed in police custody.

In response to the recent killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, Ilyse R. Morgenstein Fuerst, who is an Associate Professor of Religion at the University of Vermont, tweeted that “white Christian nationalism is the thing we’re all watching,” adding that nationalism and white Christianity are “inextricable from the anti-Blackness murdering” victims of police brutality.

“White Christian nationalism is the thing we’re all watching—it’s inextricable from the anti-Blackness murdering folks, it is baked into the state,” wrote Fuerst. “Resources from all over, of course, but if you’re ignore [sic] religion STILL—I can’t fathom why, at all."

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This hasn’t been the only charged statement Fuerst has posted to social media in recent days regarding current protests and riots.  

On June 1, she retweeted a photo of President Donald Trump holding a bible in front of the desecrated Saint John’s Church in Washington, D.C., adding her own profane commentary. Fuerst also shared tweets from other users comparing law enforcement’s handling of recent riots with the Communist Chinese government’s 1989 assault on peaceful protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

[RELATED: Students haven't heard of Tiananmen Square, won't say China is a threat]

Fuerst, whose research and teaching focuses on Islam, has commented on current events in the past, both on social media and in traditional publications.  In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, she wrote an article in Religion & Politics arguing that the president’s rhetoric on the campaign trail was tied to crimes against American Muslims.

Fuerst has taught at UVM for eight years. In addition to being a professor, she serves as Associate Director of the institution’s Humanities Center.  She did not respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment in time for publication. 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Leo_Thuman