Christopher Eisgruber, the president of Princeton, got his university in trouble when he said that “systemic racism” persists at Princeton and that it damages people of color there. The Department of Education took Eisgruber at his word and launched an investigation of Princeton.
Now, the interim dean of Northwestern’s law school has gone one better. James Speta described himself as a “racist.” He did so during an online “town hall” event.
The only decent thing for Speta to do is to resign — not just as interim dean, but as a professor at the law school. Avowed racists shouldn’t be running a law school or teaching students.
If Speta doesn’t step down, Northwestern should fire him. If not for being a racist, then for being an idiot.
Speta wasn’t the only official at the law school to admit to racism during the online town hall. Emily Mullin, executive director of major gifts at the law school, confessed, “I am a racist and a gatekeeper of white supremacy.” Apparently, others joined in the festival of self-criticism.
The event sounds more than vaguely Maoist to me. Instead of confessing to be a “running dog of capitalist imperialism,” members of the Northwestern law school ruling class confessed to being racist gatekeepers of white supremacy.
The Department of Education should launch an investigation of Northwestern’s law school, which, because it participates in Title IV federal financial-aid programs, is barred from discriminating on the basis of race. In fact, four members of the eight-member U.S. Civil Rights Commission have sent a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos urging her to investigate Northwestern law school’s “potentially discriminatory practices.”
If anything an investigation of Northwestern is more urgently required than the investigation of Princeton is. At least Eisgruber had enough sense not to proclaim himself a racist. Speta has left Northwestern with even less wiggle room than Princeton has.