Journalist who claimed Ukraine war coverage is 'racialized' slated to speak at Rutgers

Howard University professor and 1619 Project creator Nikole Hannah-Jones will be speaking at Rutgers University in April.

The event is titled 'To Turn the Light of Truth Upon Them: Black Women, Justice, and the Power of the Pen.'

Rutgers University will host a “racial justice” themed event featuring Pulitzer-winning New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones. Late last month, Hannah-Jones recently made national headlines after characterizing the war in Ukraine as a “dog whistle,” and coverage of the event as “racialized.”

The event, titled “To Turn the Light of Truth Upon Them: Black Women, Justice, and the Power of the Pen”, will be hosted in April by the Rutgers Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice and feature the Howard University professor as the main speaker.

The event name is an ode to Ida B. Wells, who also serves as the namesake for the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting. Co-founded by Hannah-Jones, the organization is “a training and mentorship organization dedicated to increasing the ranks of investigative reporters of color.”

Hannah-Jones is also a reporter for New York Timeand creator of the “1619 Project.”

Campus Reform reported on Hannah-Jones’ comments about the 1619 Project that were made during Mount Holyoke College’s Common Read Keynote event. 

Discussing how the 1619 Project “reframes” history, Hannah-Jones said, “I don’t think we’re an exceptional nation. I think that’s ludicrous for any nation to make that claim, and we certainly cannot make that claim. We’re a nation founded on genocide, and chattel slavery, and classism, and gender discrimination. We’re not. We had exceptional ideas but we’re not an exceptional nation.” 

[RELATED: 1619 Project writer Nikole Hannah-Jones says American flag outside childhood home ‘embarrassed’ her]

In February, Hannah-Jones publicized her feelings towards the conflict when she retweeted a clip of an Al Jazeera report describing the Ukrainians who were fleeing the war-torn country on trains as the “prosperous middle class” with the caption, “supremacy around the media coverage of this isn’t even subtle.”

She then came under fire for another tweet that stated that Europe is “not a continent by definition.” 

Her tweet, which gained national attention, reads, “What if I told you Europe is not a continent by defintion, [sic] but a geopolitical fiction to separate it from Asia and so the alarm about a European, or civilized, or First World nation being invaded is a dog whistle to tell us we should care because they are like us.”

“To be clear: We should care about Ukraine. But not because it is European, or the people appear white, or they are ‘civilized’ and not ‘impoverished.’ All people deserve to be free and to be welcomed when their countries are at war,” she continued in a subsequent tweet

In another tweet, Hannah-Jones urged journalists to “look internally” and “acknowledge our biases” in order to avoid the “racialized analysis and language” that the reporter claims is taking place currently regarding the war. 

“And honestly, these admissions of shock that this is happening in a European country are ahistorical and also serve to justify the lack of sympathy for other invasions, other occupations and other refugee crisis involving peoples not considered white,” she wrote in the following tweet.

Campus Reform reported on Hannah-Jones’s comments by coining it an “exercise in contemptible narcissism.” 

“Ukraine coverage is wall-to-wall because the threat of destabilizing nuclear, global conflict is real,” Campus Reform Managing Editor Zachary Marschall countered in an opinion piece. 

[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: New York Times’ 1619 Project author says Founding Fathers ‘did not believe in democracy,’ America is ‘not an exceptional nation’]

“Events occurring halfway around the world cannot always be about some Americans’ pet culture-war projects at home. The world does not revolve around us, but we are affected when a Great Power invades one of our allies in an unstable geopolitical region,” he resolved.

Campus Reform reached out to Howard University about Hannah-Jones’ comments. 

“The opinions of our faculty do not formally represent the opinions of the University,” Public Relations Manager Misha Cornelius told Campus Reform

“That said, Howard University is firmly rooted in a mission of social justice, freedom, and liberty. It is from this foundation that we condemn the violent actions being perpetrated against the people of Ukraine,” she continued.

Campus Reform reached out to Rutgers University and Hannah-Jones for comment but did not receive responses in time for publication.