The University of Michigan used taxpayer dollars to fund a $20,000 Zoom lecture promoting the core tenets of critical race theory, T0he Federalist reported Friday.
Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, a clinical psychologist, was a guest speaker for the Nancy Cantor Lecture on Intellectual Diversity, The Federalist reported. A spokeswoman for the university said the lecture was paid for by a “general fund” and a state grant. The fund is comprised of tuition money, state funding, and “indirect cost recovery on sponsored research.”
The University of Michigan has the ninth-largest public endowment in the United States.
The university previously shelled out $20,000 for a Zoom lecture with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, an “anti-racist scholar” and professor at Boston University. The two Zoom lectures cost more than a year’s tuition at the college, which averages approximately $32,000, according to the university’s tuition calculator.
Tatum began her lecture by complaining about Americans’ distaste for critical race theory-inspired lessons. Criticism of the pedagogy largely comes from parents who dislike race-based ideology being peddled among elementary schoolers. (RELATED: Michael Eric Dyson: White Parents Shouldn’t Have A Say In The Classroom Because White People Were ‘Participants’ In ‘Oppression’)
“When we even think about the pushback against critical race theory, it’s really a social ‘shh, don’t talk about it.’ Right? That there is so many cues in the environment to teach us at an early age this is a toxic subject,” Tatum said. “People don’t want to hear about it.”
Tatum also claimed that racism is “more than just individual attitudes or behaviors.” She insisted that America must become “anti-racist” — a term coined by Kendi — because America is “a whole system of policies and practices that reinforce a system of advantage based on racial categories.” The lecturer further promoted Kendi’s best-selling book “How to Be an Antiracist.”
Much of Tatum’s lecture was based on her previous writings, including her 1997 book “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” She has previously argued that America’s “system clearly operates to the advantage of Whites and the disadvantages of people of color.”
A university spokeswoman said that the event was open to the public and was not mandatory for students.
When asked whether $20,000 was a steep price for a Zoom lecture, a spokesperson for Tatum referred The Federalist to a Harvard Business Review article on speaking fees.