The University of Wisconsin Madison is being called on by two state lawmakers to cancel a course planned for next semester titled “The Problem of Whiteness.”
State Rep. Dave Murphy (R-Greenville) and Sen. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) both released statements this week condemning the course, adding that the matter could affect the university’s state funding that lawmakers will approve in the next budget. Nass has made similar threats in the past.
“I am extremely concerned that UW-Madison finds it appropriate to teach a course called, ‘The Problem of Whiteness,’ with the premise that white people are racist,” Murphy said in a statement
Murphy also raised concerns about Professor Damon Sajnani, who is teaching the course, and pointed to several Twitter posts, in which he is critical of police and supporters of President-elect Donald Trump. “The course is taught by a self-described ‘international radical’ professor whose views are a slap in the face to the taxpayers who are expected to pay for this garbage.”
The UW-Madison is defending the course, saying it’s not mandatory and it would help students get a deeper understanding of racial issues by examining white and non-white identities throughout the world. On Tuesday, the campus provost reacted to Murphy’s call for the instructor’s firing by saying the UW supports free speech rights.
Affiliate WIBA contributed to this report.