The University of Pittsburgh sent an email to all faculty and students after the murder conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in George Floyd’s death. It says the United States must have an “honest reckoning with the systemic racism that divides our country” in order to “to work toward a future where equity” is the “expectation.”
“Nearly a year ago, the world was shocked by the brutal killing of George Floyd. The scene catalyzed a national discourse on inequity, injustice and the police and brought new attention to society’s deep racial divides. The need for change—for an honest reckoning with the systemic racism that divides our country—seemed to grow more urgent than ever before,” the letter states.
“In the days ahead, our community will continue to lean into our values and our shared mission of creating and leveraging knowledge for the greater good,” the letter continues. “We will continue to be accountable to others and kind to ourselves. And we will continue to work toward a future where equity, justice and safety for all are the expectation—not the exception.”
The letter was signed by senior administration, including a “chief diversity director.” A spokesman for the university did not immediately respond to a request for comment by The Federalist.
“The College Republicans appreciate the university’s stance of continuing to fight racism,” spokesman Corey Barsky, a senior involved with the Pitt College Republicans, said. “However, we do not believe categorizing any incident as simply an ‘ism’ — in this case, ‘systemic racism,’ is factual or productive on their part.”
The school’s charge of systemic racism mirrors its critical race theory-inspired course offerings. One course in the School of Education is titled “Critical Race Theory in Education” and “focuses on foundational scholarship, theories and germinal texts that inform critical race theory.” Another course available to first-year students is titled “Anti-Black Racism: Ideology, and Resistance.” The course description states:
In the wake of the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and many others in recent months, activists and scholars in the United States have taken to the streets, the workplace, and classrooms to decry anti-Black racism and call attention to the ongoing devaluation of Black lives in the U.S. and globally. The wave of uprisings that have swept the nation and globe represent part of a long struggle of anti-racist organizing—one that can be traced back hundreds of years. This multidisciplinary course seeks to provide a broad overview of this rich and dynamic history.
“It is our hope that the university adheres to their policy of free and open discussion and lets students decide what their role in this fight is — rather than them sanctioning more expensive and mandatory critical race theory classes,” Barsky added.
Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.