A diversity training that is mandatory for some students at Northern Illinois University teaches that the terms “All Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” are examples of “anti-blackness.”
That according to a screenshot of the training obtained by Young America’s Foundation, which reports that the seminar is required for student organization leaders at the school.
The lesson is reportedly part of a “Conversations on Diversity and Equity” or CODE educational workshop that aims to “create spaces … to explore complex aspects of the diversity and equity framework,” according to the university’s website.
The slide states other examples of “anti-blackness” include “assuming that violence is deserved,” “the belief that Black people are dangerous” and “anti-black institutions and policies.”
The university did not respond to the foundation’s repeated attempts for comment. However, the university appears to explain its position in its official Black Lives Matter statement:
One important aspect CODE training covers is how the phrase “Black lives matter” can instantly trigger a counter response of “all lives matter” or “blue lives matter.” In preparing people to address this reply, we’re not diminishing our respect or how we embrace any others in our larger community, including the police. What we are saying is that no one is born “blue.” Being a police officer is a noble calling that requires tremendous personal sacrifice, all for the good of protecting others; but the uniform can come off. People are born Black, and because of that one fact, their everyday lives are impacted to the point that they are being killed for simply living their lives. Advocating for Black people by saying “Black lives matter” so they are able to live their lives without being minimized, marginalized, harassed or killed is not anti-police – it’s pro human. We’re not talking about an organization or another racial group nor are we making a political statement. We’re simply saying we see and hear the pain Black people are experiencing, and we want to acknowledge it and to help end racism.
But Spencer Brown, spokesman for YAF, pointed out in the report on the training that the university stopped short of defending law enforcement.
“What YAF sought to ask Northern Illinois University—and what students and taxpayers deserve to know—is whether NIU believes that the lives of police officers matter,” he said.
Certainly the university has made its stance on BLM clear. It recently allowed the phrase “Black Lives Matter” to be pained in huge lettering on the sidewalk of the university’s entrance, the Daily Chronicle reports.
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