- The Washington Times - Monday, June 1, 2015

A Lehigh University assistant professor is coming under fire for issuing a series of mock rules for white people involved in the Black Lives Matter movement called “The Ten Cracka Commandments.”

The list, posted by Lehigh visiting religious studies Assistant Professor Christopher Driscoll on his blog Shades of White (https://shadesofwhite.org), includes, “Always remember that white privilege is real” and “Never quote black leaders like Dr. King to criticize protesters and activists.”

Topping the list at No. 1 is, “#AllLivesMatter won’t matter until #BlackLivesMatter. This commandment is a litmus test and the greatest commandment.”

Mr. Driscoll, author of “White Lies: Race and Uncertainty in the Twilight of American Religion,” wrote in his May 22 post that he and two hip-hop artists, Asheru and Kashi Johnson, drew up the list during the university’s Interplay Hip Hop Symposium in early May.

“I gave a lecture about white appropriation of rap. My lecture led to a discussion about how white people fit into the #BlackLivesMatter movement,” Mr. Driscoll said. “Together, we came up with these, the ten cracka commandments for 2015.”

Caleb Bonham, editor of Campus Reform, the conservative website that first highlighted the blog post in a story Friday, said he was stunned by the list, in part because Mr. Driscoll uses the word “cracka,” slang for “cracker,” to describe whites.

The term “is like a racial slur for white people. How that’s acceptable is beyond me,” Mr. Bonham said Saturday on Fox News.

Most of the comments on Mr. Driscoll’s blog were also critical of the list, while the website RightSightings described it as “Race-Baiting 101.”

James Peterson, Lehigh director of Africana Studies and an associate English professor, said on Twitter that Mr. Driscoll’s article was “food 4 thought even if folks hate the title: The Ten Cracka Commandments.”

Mr. Driscoll said Saturday on his Twitter account that the news reports “resulted in hate mail and fake Twitter accounts claiming to be me and spewing hatred. More #whiteshame.”

Lehigh spokesman Jordan Reese defended the professor in an email, saying that the Pennsylvania university is “committed to the highest standards of academic scholarship and scientific inquiry and integrity, while strongly supporting faculty academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas, theories and philosophies on campus.”

Lehigh believes diversity of thought fuels a healthy exchange of ideas, discussion and debate, contributing to a vibrant intellectual environment in which our students can grow and learn,” Mr. Reese said.

The title “The Ten Cracka Commandments” is an apparent play on the name of a 1997 hit song by the late rapper The Notorious B.I.G., “Ten Crack Commandments.”

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