Two former University of Michigan professors filed a lawsuit against the school last week, alleging that they were illegally discriminated against and lost their jobs in retaliation for challenging structural patterns of discrimination and exclusion that pervade the institution. The lawsuit also claims that the school's well-publicized "diversity" campaigns are designed to deflect attention away from entrenched racism and a learning environment that's hostile for people of color. For junior Vikrant Garg, an activist of color who was recently harangued in the right-wing media for organizing in response to acts of hate and racism on campus, the lawsuit brings a much-needed sense of validation.
"It really frames how pervasive the things we really want to change are," Garg told Truthout.
Last fall, racist and "alt-right" flyers appeared on campus, including a poster warning white women against dating Black men, citing a barrage of racist myths, including that "your kids probably wouldn't be smart." More recently, a hacker entered a professor's email account and sent students threatening messages that read: "Hi n*****s, I just wanted to say that I plan to kill all of you. White power! The KKK has returned!!! Heil Trump!!!!" The incidents followed a national wave of racially charged attacks and provocations from alt-right and white supremacist groupsemboldened by the rise of President Trump to the White House. Many of these incidents have occurred on college campuses across the country.