Yale is getting a new guest lecturer and it’s non other than Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson. You might not be familiar with that name from the academic community, but that’s okay. It doesn’t really seem to be that sort of a job. The Yale Divinity School will be offering a short, one credit course dealing in… okay. I’m not actually sure what this course is about. (Fox News)
One of the newest teachers at the vaunted Yale University burnished his Ivy League resume in the Black Lives Matter movement.
DeRay McKesson will be teaching a one-credit course this fall as a guest lecturer at Yale Divinity School, according to higher education blog Campus Reform. The outspoken activist will be joining U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., and the Rev. Nancy Taylor, whose Old South Church in Boston is located near the site of the 2013 marathon bombing, to teach a special three-section course as part of a new leadership program. The young activist will teach the first section of the course, entitled “Transformational Leadership in the #BlackLivesMatter Movement.”
McKesson’s previous professorial experience is listed as including a stint in the Minneapolis public school system in the human resources department. Prior to that his credentials list a couple of years working as a middle school math teacher. The reading list for his course includes an article from Huffington Post and “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. That’s a name that’s been bubbling up a lot recently in SJW circles, sweeping the world of racial activism by storm. If you think I’m exaggerating, check out only one of the many tributes to Coates penned by Carlos Lozada at the Washington Post. Right out of the gate he pens a gushing paean normally reserved for inner circle fan boys on par with the Leave Britney Alone guy. The title of the piece – and I am not making this part up – is “The radical chic of Ta-Nehisi Coates.”
In an America consumed by debates over racism, police violence and domestic terror, it is Coates to whom so many of us turn to affirm, challenge or, more often, to mold our views from the clay. “Among public intellectuals in the U.S.,” writes media critic Jay Rosen, “he’s the man now.” When the Confederate battle flag on the statehouse grounds in Columbia, S.C., seemed the only thing the news media could discuss, my Washington Post colleague Ishaan Tharoor put it simply: “Just shut up and read @tanehisicoates.” These days, you hear many variations on that advice.
Just by way of full disclosure, I’ve yet to stir myself to purchase one of Coates’ books and read it cover to cover. Thus far I’ve only been treated to selected excerpts from his fans. The portions I’ve seen are very well crafted and the author seems to be a very talented wordsmith. The subject matter, on the other hand, has been rather dismal. It speaks to a vision of America all too common these days, abandoning any and all pretense of continuing to work toward a truly colorblind society where everyone rises to the heights they can achieve by merit of their skills and ambition. Instead, the nation must be divided along lines of race, gender, religion, or any other measuring stick one can bring to bear, with everyone having their own set of grievances and a need for particular treatment. (Well.. almost everyone, anyway.) Perhaps the rest of his material covers something different. I really should check it out some time.
But in any event, this serves as at least a good starting summary. Yale will open their legendary halls to DeRay McKesson as a lecturer. I’m sure there’s some deeper message to this announcement which I’m simply missing but I’ll leave that up to all of you.
Just as a side note for parents, the total cost for tuition and related expenses at Yale this year is $63,250. Hey… maybe your kid can take DeRay’s class!
Let’s finish this up with a brief sample of some of McKesson’s previous work.