University of Chicago postpones course on the problem of whiteness

This first came to light about a week ago when a University of Chicago student tweeted about the upcoming class.


Naturally the professor is a white woman.

Schmidt predicted that no one else at his school would object because they would fear repercussions for speaking up.

After Schmidt tweeted about the class the website was updated to show that it had been canceled. But according to Inside Higher Ed, it hasn’t been canceled just postponed.

The University of Chicago is still offering a course called The Problem of Whiteness, which attracted negative attention online, but it will do so a term later than originally planned—in the spring instead of the upcoming winter quarter.

It’s unclear just what prompted the course delay. The instructor, Rebecca Journey, a teaching fellow in anthropology, did not respond to a request for comment.

In a public statement affirming its commitment to academic freedom, the university said Journey asked to push back the class.

“As articulated in the Chicago Principles, the University of Chicago is deeply committed to upholding the values of academic freedom, the free expression of ideas, and the ability of faculty and students to express a wide range of views and to contest the ideas that they oppose,” the university’s statement says. “We believe universities have an important role as places where novel ideas can be proposed, tested, and debated and where diverse perspectives, experiences, individuals, and ideas inform and stimulate intellectual exchange, challenge, and engagement.”


The professor said she delayed the course because of a wave of harassment.

Since the day after Schmidt’s Twitter thread—which included a screenshot of Journey’s bio and email—went public, Journey has received at least 80 harassing emails. “These harassing emails have included death threats, veiled threats, and threats of sexual assault, as well as all kinds of misogynistic, racist, and antisemitic languages.”

Due to concerns for the safety of her students and herself, Journey decided to reschedule the class so that the University administration has more time to implement appropriate safety measures. As of Tuesday, November 9, the University has taken steps to protect Journey’s digital identity and develop a personal safety plan.

Journey has no intention to cancel the class. She plans to offer the class in spring with the same title, description, and content.

“I want to just state unequivocally that the class is emphatically not about ‘anti-white hatred,’” Journey said in defense of the course. “This class is about interrogating whiteness as a social construction, not as a biological fact.”

I’m not a fan of the contents of this course, which is clearly going to be chock full of woke identity politics. I also think the line between criticizing whiteness as a construct and white people as a group is a bit finer than many on the left would like to admit. Still, the University of Chicago has a point about maintaining academic freedom for everyone. If this course is canceled it’ll set a precedent and make it that much harder to stand up to the next left wing mob that wants to cancel some other course for reasons x, y or z. The best policy is to always say no to the mob.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on HotAir Videos