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Diversity coordinator rips U. Louisville: ‘incapable of being treasonous to white supremacy’

The program coordinator of the University of Louisville’s Health Sciences Center Office of Diversity and Inclusion recently blasted the school, saying it is “incapable of being treasonous to white supremacy.”

In his departure letter, Xian Brooks asserts UL engages in “performative social justice,” “constantly gaslights” and has an “overwhelming lack of transparency.”

The Courier Journal reports that Brooks, who identifies as “black, queer [and] trans,” is exiting UL after just two years at the school — like, as he says in his letter, “many people [his] age, race, sexual orientation and or gender identity.”

The diversity official said he believes people of color at the the university are “‘tokenized scapegoat(s)’ who apologize for the university when a mistake is made but have ‘no real power.'”

Brooks (left) also has an issue with UL’s ties to U.S. Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, especially his comment that the year 1619 isn’t of much significance to U.S. history. (Ironically, UL criticized McConnell for the remark.)

Further, Brooks is miffed at UL’s relationship to the Louisville Metro Police, and at the school’s marching band for playing “My Old Kentucky Home” at this year’s Kentucky Derby.

(Regarding the latter, it seems the main objection critics have to the song, written in 1853, is that it was used in minstrel shows. Smithsonian Magazine notes the song actually is a “condemnation of Kentucky’s slaveholders” ; even Frederick Douglass once wrote it “awakens sympathies for the slave, in which antislavery principles take root, grow, and flourish.”)

From Brooks’ resignation letter:

In response, U. Louisville spokesman John Karman told the Courier Journal that UL’s anti-racism work “is far from performative.”

“Concrete steps are being taken across all units and departments to meet the goal of becoming a premier antiracist metropolitan research university,” Karman said. He pointed to construction of the “long-anticipated” Cultural and Equity Center, “new and revamped” diversity positions, and programs to assist students with “race-based trauma.”

Read the article and Brooks’ full resignation letter.

MORE: U. Louisville president: Anti-racism is ‘where the world is going’

MORE: U. Louisville dedicates $2.4 million to hiring professors of color

IMAGES: Feng Yu / Shutterstock.com; UL Health Sciences Center screencap; Twitter screencap

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 18 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.