'Intellectual violence': Professor's 'Critiques of BLM' reading group draws global backlash

Academics from around the world have condemned the group as an act of “intellectual violence.”

Portland State University Professor Bruce Gilley is under fire for hosting a “Critiques of BLM” Reading Group.

In the midst of Portland’s violent political turmoil, Bruce Gilley, a professor of political science at Portland State University, is organizing a “Critiques of BLM” reading group. 

The professor said that at first, the group had garnered “major positive reception from around the world.” In fact, there are currently 100 enrollees from across the nation. However, it was not long until Gilley began to face backlash.


The reading group has garnered opposition from members of international academia. Lisa Ann Richey, professor of globalization at the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark, responded: “’Critiques of BLM Reading Group’? What kind of human would propagate intellectual violence like this? And now. Of all times.”


Sarah Katz-Lavigne, chair of sociology of Africa at the University of Bayreuth in Germany, questioned whether Gilley should even remain employed. In response to Richey’s tweet, she asked, “why does this racist professor Bruce Gilley still have a job when there are so many amazing scholars out there struggling to find opportunities?”


Dan Brockington of the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom is the co-chair of the Sheffield Institute for International Development. He encouraged people to join the group in an apparent effort to disrupt the group’s intended purpose: “This is not good news. However, anyone with a university email anywhere can sign up to this. So if the right sort of people took part, then the result might not match his intent...”


Portland State University’s Jennifer Ruth, who serves as the school’s American Association of University Professor’s vice president of grievances and academic freedom, encouraged this idea: “I am a faculty member at Portland State and simply tolerating him as he builds a base is unacceptable. I strongly encourage people to sign up. Join but stay quiet if anything else looks like it will backfire. Learn from one another.”


Gilley told Campus Reform that the reading group is supposed to point out issues within the movement

“Backlash is coming from Far Left academics who think the purpose of education is to force their fanatical ideas on students,” Gilley said. 

“The group was my idea as a response to the barrage of BLM and ‘racial justice’ mandates and propaganda coming down the pike on university campuses across America this fall. The idea is to provide a place for students and their parents to understand what is wrong with BLM so they can argue back and maintain their intellectual integrity.”

Katz-Lavigne declined to comment. Richey, Brockington, and Ruth did not reply to Campus Reform in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @loganwashburn76