- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 8, 2022

The University of Chicago has delayed its course “The Problem of Whiteness” days after a student spoke out against it.

A university spokesperson told The Washington Times on Monday that the course’s instructor decided to move the course to the spring quarter beginning March 20. The class was originally slated to start Jan. 3. 

Sophomore Daniel Schmidt shared screenshots of the course last week on his Twitter account.

“This is how people who detest white people think and talk,” Mr. Schmidt tweeted on Nov. 1. “And they have taken over all universities under the guise of ‘academic freedom.’ No sane professor can oppose it without risking their career.”

“The Problem of Whiteness” is being offered under the college’s Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES) program.

The course description on the university’s CRES page says, “This seminar examines the problem of whiteness through an anthropological lens, drawing from classic and contemporary works of critical race theory” and approaches “whiteness as a ‘pigment of the imagination’ with worldmaking (and razing) effects.”

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Mr. Schmidt shared on Saturday that the class was no longer open for enrollment for the winter quarter.

The Foundation of Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) came out Monday in support of the university, which it ranks as best in the country when it comes to free speech.

“Those calling for the course to be canceled already declared it a victory,” FIRE tweeted. “UChicago must demonstrate that’s not the case so that its professors know the school has its back and critics aren’t emboldened to target other controversial classes.”

In its statement to the Times, the university stood by its decision to offer the course, saying it’s “deeply committed to upholding the values of academic freedom, the free expression of ideas and the ability of faculty and students to express a wide range of views and to contest the ideas that they oppose.”

• Matt Delaney can be reached at mdelaney@washingtontimes.com.

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