Campus Reform | U Pitt's mandatory anti-racism class is filled with critical race theory, BLM talking points

U Pitt's mandatory anti-racism class is filled with critical race theory, BLM talking points

The University of Pittsburgh's mandatory anti-Black racism course for freshman is filled with critical race theory and Black Lives Matter talking points.

The university touted the content of the course, even as President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning such trainings, calling them "un-American propaganda."

The University of Pittsburgh's mandatory anti-black racism course, “Anti-Black Racism: History, Ideology, and Resistance” is now required for all freshmen, and the course content is filled with Critical Race Theory and Black Lives Matter talking points.

According to the course overview released by the university, the class introduces students to the “established tradition of scholarship focused on the Black experience and Black cultural expression,” as well as to “examine the development, spread, and articulations of anti-Black racism in the United States and around the world.”

The university released the course content, even as President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning Critical Race Theory training, calling it "un-American propaganda." Multiple schools have signaled they will effectively ignore the president's order, even though they risk losing federal funding. Others, meanwhile, have temporarily paused such trainings to determine whether they violate the executive order. 

The University of Pittsburgh, however, appears to be going full-steam ahead with its required critical race theory course, even as it receives more than $617 million in federal research dollars per year, according to a Campus Reform analysis published in 2019.

The first week of the course grounds students in “critical theories on race and anti-blackness in everyday life.” The objective of the first module is to teach “a sociological and cultural understanding of the meaning of race, ethnicity and anti-blackness,” equipping students to understand race as a “social fact.”

The first week also examines how “theories of race” are “related to economic, political, and cultural forces in the United States and how racial inequality remains hidden in everyday life.”

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Throughout the course, students are taught that Black Lives Matter is a “contemporary black liberation” movement.

The sixth week of the class features a conversation between Bree Newsome Bass and Darnell Moore, two activists in the Black Lives Matter movement. Students were assigned excerpts from Moore’s memoir, No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America, which teaches that “liberation is possible if we commit ourselves to fighting for it.”

Students also read an essay in The Feminist Wire entitled “A Herstory of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement,” written by Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza.

Likewise, in the ninth week of the class, students are asked “to consider how political movements for rights and equality in the United States — including the Civil Rights Movement and Black Lives Matter — have shaped and have been shaped by global developments.”

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The final week of the class leaves students with three options, two of which include studying the racism allegedly inherent in sporting traditions and technology.

The sporting traditions module, entitled “Heritage as Hate,” explores “ritual and tradition as forms of institutionalized racism framed within the context of heritage and school sports traditions.” The technology module argues that “any conversation about technology HAS to also be a conversation about race.”

“I’m glad to say I now have a Ph.D. in racism,” one freshman at the University of Pittsburgh told Campus Reform on the condition of anonymity. 

Campus Reform reached out to the University of Pittsburgh for comment; this article will be updated accordingly. 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft