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Idaho university backs Black Lives Matter effort with leftist ‘resources’

Idaho university backs Black Lives Matter effort with leftist ‘resources’

Wayne Hoffman
June 19, 2020

Public money should never be used to support a political agenda. Yet, that’s exactly what’s happening at the University of Idaho, which decided to explicitly provide backing for the most radical elements of the controversial Black Lives Matter program. 

A university vice provost emailed students this week to announce the school’s “series of Black Lives Matter events” “where discussions surrounding systems of oppression will occur.” That’s what tipped me off to the fact that the school also created a website containing “ways to get involved and support the Black Lives Matter movement.” 

The university’s “resources” page contains more than 100 books, movies, articles, and essays. Works by Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr. show up along with the 1619 project, the New York Times Magazine’s notoriously biased and historically dubious reimagination of the U.S. as a country built on racism. 

Communist writer-activists Angela Davis and W.E.B. Du Bois are cited often. Several listed authors argue for an end to capitalism, promote slave reparations, feminism, and transgenderism. Robin DiAngelo, a liberal activist professor who argues that all white people are inherently racist, is also featured. 

The university website contains a link to contact your state and local officials via the left-leaning group Common Cause (instead of the state’s impartial public engagement portal) and urges visitors to “volunteer your time” and to “donate to organizations that support the mission of Black Lives Matter.” 

I can safely report I have never seen a government website as this: so one-sided, so devoid of differing voices and thoughts. If diverse viewpoints were included, one might argue it was a true educational endeavor and a public service. The school’s website is painfully and obviously not intended for learning, but strictly for leftist activism.

Pro-free market authors and academics like Shelby Steele, Thomas Sowell, and Walter Williams get no quarter here. Civil rights leaders who have expressed concerns about current activists’ turn to violence and destruction are simply ignored. Writings like Booker T. Washington’s seminal “Up from Slavery” are also conspicuosly absent. 

The university website goes to great lengths to make a case for systemic minority oppression, but leaves out links to articles (although many have been written) about the way in which the welfare state has destroyed minority families. There are no efforts to present the historic racism built into policies like the minimum wage, or how marginalized people have suffered inordinately in failed government-run schools, including those in Idaho

The university’s resource page tries to highlight over-incarceration of minorities. But it makes no mention of both liberal and conservative politicians’ contribution to the problem by supporting the passage of laws for nonviolent offenses, invariably resulting in more encounters with police and the judicial system. Such laws include, notoriously, the crime of selling loose cigarettes, which led to Eric Garner losing his life, and police stops for traffic infractions, the genesis of Sandra Bland losing hers. 

We all grieve for those who have been hurt or killed at the hands of law enforcement. Still, Idaho’s higher education system should not be a vehicle to fulfill a political agenda. Student, taxpayer, and other public money shouldn’t be sunk into telling students what to think: Let them think for themselves. 

In March, the Idaho Legislature demanded the state’s colleges and universities cut their administrative bloat and get back to their core educational missions. Lawmakers cautioned the schools to stop pushing political agendas and focus on improving mediocre graduation rates. But some campus employees seemingly have not gotten the message. A few days ago, I noted that a Boise State University professor used her government email to proselytize for a private organization that preaches an end to capitalism and the defunding of police. The naked leftist activism in which the University of Idaho now engages is far worse, far more extreme, and deserving of pushback from Idahoans.

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