Fairfield University Associate Professor Kris Sealey spoke at a campus racial conference that ran from June 13th-16th where she urged students to devote time to solving the “problem that is whiteness,” reports The College Fix.
The event was titled “Where Do We Go From Here: Creating An Intersectional Vision for Radical Social Change” during which Sealey claimed whiteness to be a problem.
“So more and more, the courses that I teach on race have become courses in which I expect my students to engage in the hegemonic power of whiteness,” she said.
Sealey is an African American philosophy professor who has been vocal on campus about racial issues. One of her courses is listed as “BL 101: Black Lives Matter.”
She talked about her fondness for a book titled “Black Bodies, White Gazes: The Continuing Significance Of Race,” by Emory University professor George Yancy. She cited the book several times to frame her arguments and stated the book’s thesis was to “acknowledge that any critical investigation of race should devote some time to the problem that is whiteness.”
According to College Fix, she listed some “objectively founded claims” that she uses in the classroom stating:
Whiteness means a specific power apparatus that exists at the expense of the disempowerment of black people.
To be white in the U.S. is to be a perpetuator of the power apparatus unless one actively and consistently resists.
It is possible, perhaps necessary, to acknowledge one’s personal implications in the white power apparatus.
Fairfield University has preached a doctrine of inclusion so strongly that one of their dorms is referred to by students as “the social justice dorm.” Social equality forms a chunk of the curriculum, and many surrogates and speakers at the university preach tolerance above all other values.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out for comment to ask if Fairfield University’s administration was comfortable with Sealey’s comments and whether or not they reflected the university’s mission statement. Jennifer Anderson, vice-president of marketing and communications for the university released this brief statement:
As a Jesuit and Catholic university, Fairfield is committed to a culture that actively encourages critical dialogue and embraces and celebrates diversity.Fairfield’s commitment to build a welcoming community from a diversity of social, economic, racial, cultural and religious backgrounds, and foster the development of global citizens, reflects the 450 year-old tradition and spirit of Jesuit education. The historically global reach of the Society of Jesus continues to inform inquiry and education at Fairfield so that all peoples, culture, ideas and traditions are valued.
The DCNF spoke to several Fairfield graduates who were students of Sealey and took her intro to philosophy class. They agreed to be interviewed under condition of anonymity, but they each had a general feeling of respect, admiration, and fondness for Sealey, despite some being mildly troubled by her comments. On the whole, they believed her to be a genuine person and competent educator.
The school did not take a stance for or against Sealey’s comments and has not released any further details. TheDCNF reached out to Sealy for comment but received none in time for publishing.
*Editor’s Note: Nick Givas attended Fairfield University while Sealey was a teacher and graduated in 2015
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