Everybody Was In On It
The Collapse of the "Antiracist" Fraud
No sooner did I send out my most recent news roundup than I started digging into a story that touches on all the same threads: dogmas about race in academia, race as a political dividing line, and the collapse of an obvious fraud.
Behold the collapse of Ibram X. Kendi’s Center for Antiracist Research. The center, at Boston University, was showered with more than $43 million from donors and corporations at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020. Now, three years later, it is laying off more than half its staff amid accusations of mismanagement.
The plans were ambitious. Dr. Kendi would head up a new Center for Antiracist Research. The university would develop undergraduate and graduate degrees in antiracism. Within months, millions had poured in for a center whose mission, Dr. Kendi said, would be to “solve seemingly intractable problems of racial inequity and injustice.”
Now, a mere three years later, the center is being downsized. More than half of its 36 employees were abruptly told last week they were being laid off. The center’s budget is also being trimmed in half. The planned degree programs have not come to fruition. And the center’s news site called “The Emancipator” is no longer a partnership with The Boston Globe….
[S]everal former staff and faculty members, expressing anger and bitterness, said the cause of the center’s problems were unrealistic expectations fueled by the rapid infusion of money, initial excitement, and pressure to produce too much, too fast, even as there were hiring delays due to the pandemic. Others blamed Dr. Kendi, himself, for what they described as an imperious leadership style. And they questioned both the center’s stewardship of grants and its productivity.
“Commensurate to the amount of cash and donations taken in, the outputs were minuscule,” said Saida U. Grundy, a Boston University sociology professor and feminist scholar who was once affiliated with the center.
On the one hand, it’s outrageous that they raised tens of millions of dollars to accomplish what looks to be practically nothing. On the other hand—would you prefer that they had actually accomplished their goals? Taking millions of dollars in money for leftist causes and flushing it down the toilet seem like the best outcome under the circumstances.
This is not any kind of surprise. I don’t know whether it was in this newsletter or on Twitter that I predicted back in the summer of 2020 that millions would be pledged for leftist racial ideology, that we would brace for the impact of all that money, and then most of it would disappear into a swamp and have no result whatsoever.
I’ve seen this before.