College English department commits to teaching from ‘non-white perspective’

The department wants to focus its poetry reading series "exclusively on Black writers."

Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. (Gustavus Adolphus College/Facebook)

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is a product of America’s “heritage of racialized violence,” according to the English Department at a Minnesota college.

“The English Department condemns the brutal murder of George Floyd by members of the Minneapolis Police Department. We condemn the U.S. heritage of racialized violence that continues in the wake of Mr. Floyd’s murder,” the Gustavus Adolphus College English Department states on its homepage.

Prospective students are warned that, “at times like these, protest is not optional but compulsory.” This is because the “criminal justice system in the U.S. is racist.” As evidence of this claim, the English Department notes that “modern police forces” are the offspring of “vigilante groups that hunted down escaped slaves” — a slander that has been condemned by some academics as “ahistorical.”

“We know that a transformative rethinking of the police is long overdue. Given our privileged positions at a liberal arts college, we must combat the systemic racism of all U.S. institutions, whether political, economical, governmental, cultural, and/or educational; otherwise, our very democracy is threatened, and education is hampered in its role of developing global citizens committed to racial and economic justice,” the declaration on the department’s homepage goes on to state.

To remedy these concerns, the department commits itself to an “anti-racist pedagogy” and vows to “decolonize the curriculum.”

The English Department also wants to create “a minor or concentration in Global Englishes, with an emphasis on anti-racism and Black Lives Matter.”

The department further intends to focus its “Bards in the Arb” poetry reading series “exclusively on Black writers for the next three years.”

It’s unclear how long the statement has been on the department’s website.

Earlier this year, the small liberal arts college in St. Peter, Minn., canceled a non-whites-only appreciation lunch following a federal civil rights complaint. The school also renamed its arboretum last year because of its namesake’s “scientific racism.”