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Cornell Law Professor William Jacobson On Allie Beth Stuckey Podcast Talking Critical Race Training

Cornell Law Professor William Jacobson On Allie Beth Stuckey Podcast Talking Critical Race Training

Critical Race Training “really creates a fissure on campus, because you are either with them or you are against them. And if you’re against them, by definition, you are racist…. And so you set up this conflict on campus of the anti-racist versus the racists, but it’s completely constructed by them. It’s not reality. Most people on campus are non-racist.”

I appeared last week on Allie Beth Stucky’s Relatable Podcast (video and transcript below), to talk about the new website developed by the Legal Insurrection Foundation,

You can read the background at Legal Insurrection launches ‘Critical Race Training In Higher Education’ website and can view my appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight here.

The benefit of the podcast format it that it provides time to discuss issues in depth, and that is what we did.

The video is immediately below, and the transcript (auto generated) below that.



ABS: Professor Jacobson, Thank you so much for joining me. You started this website, Can you tell us what it is and why you started it?

WAJ: Well, the, what it is, it’s a website devoted to documenting critical race training on campuses around the United States. And what it is is we have a map of the United States. We have, various school entries, and you can hover over the map and click on your state and click on your school and see what activities they have going on.

Now, some of the activities you may like, some of the activities you may not like, it’s actually a very neutral database. While we have our own views of critical race training, and we don’t think it’s helpful to education, nonetheless, this is a resource that really anybody can use. And that’s what it is. Most of what we have on there are things the schools tell themselves, the schools tell their students. Everything is sourced and everything is linked, no rumors or anything like that. And so there’s a link for everything and you can see what’s going on.

Now, his is not a list of schools to avoid. We don’t take a view on any particular school. It’s really a resource for parents and students, so they know what they’re getting themselves into if the student attends this college.

Now, the reason I created it was I’ve been watching a lot of these developments over the years, and I follow them. I have a website called Legal Insurrection and we have followed these things, but it really crystallized last spring in June when the president of Cornell University assigned as suggested reading to the entire campus, the book, How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram Kendi, And in fact, that book was going to be the basis for summer discussions at Cornell University. And they made it available to everybody free of charge online, electronically.

So I went and I read it and I was actually pretty shocked because the philosophy there is quite discriminatory. It’s actually the opposite of what Cornell’s non-discrimination policy is. He explicitly advocates, current discrimination in order to remedy past discrimination. So it’s an advocacy for discrimination.

It also sets up a very coercive paradigm, which is you are either “anti-racist,” and that’s the word, or you are racist. There’s no in-between. So the traditional American civil rights notion of treating people fairly without regard to skin color, et cetera, has no place in that universe. You’re either with them or you’re against them. And if you’re not with them, you are racist. He refuses to recognize any concept of being non-racist. A non-racist is somebody who simply goes around, treating everybody equally, is in fact racist unless they become an activist. So this was very alarming to me.

That was furthered when in July of that year, the President of the university announced that she was starting an initiative to push anti-racism, teaching and training into every aspect of the university. Now she left the details to be worked out by the faculty Senate and others, but the topics, included curriculum possible, mandatory course requirements for students, possible mandatory training for faculty. And so this was extremely alarming to me, and so we started to look into critical race training, anti-racism training and gather the data.

But what really pushed us over the edge to starting this website is feeding off of what the university had announced, several hundred faculty, students and staff signed an open set of demands in September fulfilling or calling for the university to fulfill this anti-racist initiative. And some of the things they called for included explicit discrimination in hiring and promotion, they called for racial discrimination and promotion in hiring. That certain people of certain races should be hired and promoted above others, which is completely shocking because that’s actually illegal. What’s even more shocking is that numerous law school faculty signed onto this.

And now it’s over at the Faculty Senate. So it would actually, and I’ve gone back over my timeline here, actually was after the September set of demands that we made the decision to construct a separate website because we don’t feel that parents and students know what’s going on. The way I was feeling is somebody applying to Cornell has no clue what is really going on on this campus. I’m not saying they shouldn’t apply. All I’m saying is people need to know, and that’s what our website does.

ABS: And tell me what you think the practical implications of this kind of anti-racist theory would be, obviously a discrimination, at least when it comes to admissions or when it comes to choosing faculty. What other consequences do you think this has for students versus society in general, if we are saying the only way to rectify past wrongs is to now commit wrongs against other groups today,

WAJ: Right. And now that you mention it, I haven’t thought of it this way. This whole philosophy is essentially two wrongs make a right, which we’ve all been taught or most of us have been taught as children is not actually a good thing.

So what I think it does, it really creates a fissure on campus, because you are either with them or you are against them. And if you’re against them, by definition, you are racist.

Forget about what your views are, forget about how you conduct your life. And so you set up this conflict on campus of the anti-racist versus the racists, but it’s completely constructed by them. It’s not reality. Most people on campus are non-racist. They go about their life. They don’t get involved in politics. They don’t get involved in activism. They treat everybody fairly. They don’t discriminate. That whole cohort of people, who is almost certainly a majority of students on campus, are now branded racist.

And that is a coercive tool that is used for political purposes on campuses. We see it all the time, but particularly this year, it’s us versus them. And I think that’s entirely a negative for a campus. It’s also very coercive. You don’t learn things by being coerced. The school might be able to force you as a freshmen or sophomore to take a course where they teach this stuff. And we all know the vast, vast majority of students are just going to sit there and shake their head and go along to get along, because they don’t want to be called names. But it doesn’t change any minds. It doesn’t convince anybody. It perpetuates what’s been going on that they claim is negative.

So I think what’s the downside. It brands, people who are not racist as racist, because that’s the way they’ve constructed it. It demonizes large sections of the campus. It coerces large sections of the campus and it doesn’t change any minds. I don’t know how it could get any worse than that.

ABS: Right. And we kind of skipped skipped by in academia or just in society in general, in politics, in the social and cultural sphere. Uh, the debate of the premise of critical race theory, which is that America, even in 2021 is systemically and pervasively racist. And therefore everyone in particular who is white is at least complicit, if not actively a part of all of these racist systems. And you could see how, if you believe that, and that is your premise, how people who don’t fight to dismantle that kind of systemic racism, in the same way that you would say someone who sees bullying happen and just walks right by it, well, that’s not enough, you need to fight against that bully. You could see how Ibram X. Kendi goes to his, gets to his conclusion, if you believe in the premise that America is systemically racist in 2021. But I would say that is debatable at best. And we’re not even allowed to push back against that premise to say, is America in 2021 systemically racist to where we actually do need to discriminate against other other groups in order to make other groups feel better or to lift them up, right?

WAJ: That’s right. They set the parameters of the conversation, and the parameter of the conversation is that we need to upend our society because it’s systemically racist. Now I don’t accept that that’s true. There may be inequalities. There are inequalities in many aspects of life, but systemically we’re actually anti-racist. We have laws, we have enforcement, we have bureaucracies. The law does not sanction racism. That is what a systemically racist society would be, where the law actually upholds racism and it doesn’t here. So it’s not a systemically racist.

That’s not to say there aren’t things that can be improved, but they have created this construct where everything needs to be torn down. And if you’re standing in the way of that, you must be complicit in the system. And if you are supporting the system, they call you a white supremacist. Now I’m old enough that when people, when I grew up in people were called white supremacist, it was people who had explicitly racist views. It was not people who simply support the existing system we have. Maybe want to improve it, maybe want to, you know, do other things. And so they, they demonize people and they try to set people back on their heels by applying phrases to them and characterizations to them, which are not actually accurate.

And I think the one thing you’ve pointed out, the systemic racism is a very pernicious view of things. Because if that is the truth, then everything needs to be torn down. And we know that’s not true. We are a system which tries to enforce non-discrimination. We have non-discrimination laws. Campuses more than anything have enormous bureaucracies devoted to non-discrimination. It’s the priority on virtually every campus on this country. So I think that this notion that we need to tear everything down and we need to brand everyone who doesn’t agree with us as a racist is so pernicious. And it’s really, I think, tearing a lot of campuses apart.

ABS: Yeah. And, you know, I think some people would argue that there actually is discrimination on college campuses, but it’s not against, um, it’s against groups like Asian Americans, perhaps, or white Americans in the admissions process. There have been people that argued that that is actually a form of institutionalized discrimination and racism against groups that are typically not seen as the victims of that. And so that would meet Ibram X. Kendi’s definition of what it means to be anti-racist to actually discriminate to try to make up for past discrimination. My last question for you is what parents and what a potential university students need to be on the lookout for when they’re trying to figure out if the college that they are applying to, if it teaches things like this, because a lot of times it’s covered in euphemisms like diversity and inclusion training, what do they need to be looking for?

WAJ: I think you’re right. They use the euphemism of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and equity is the key word because equity does not mean equality. A lot of people mistake that they think equity equality, it’s the same thing. Equity is equal results. And that’s why sometimes in Kendi’s view and other views, you have to discriminate to get those equal results, because we know historically for reasons that have nothing to do with race, that different groups perform differently in different aspects of society. And that’s a natural occurrence. It’s not necessarily the result of racism,  it’s the result of a complicated set of factors.

On campuses now, and there’ve been lawsuits, there is a lawsuit against Harvard that I think is going to end up in the U S Supreme court challenging the affirmative action that Harvard has. And the people who were most discriminated against statistically, were Asian Americans or people of Asian descent who had to receive some enormous, multiple higher on sat scores and grades to be treated fairly, who had a one 10th chance with the same grades and sat scores of getting in.

And that’s really at the forefront. And that really shows the complexity of this issue. There are systems in place now meant to address historic discrimination, which themselves may be discriminating. And the courts will have to decide that, but that is, I think one of the conundrums here. We saw this out in California, where there was a proposition passed, I think it was 30 years ago, I might be off on the number of years,  to essentially do away with affirmative action in higher ed admissions as discriminatory. So it basically said you cannot discriminate on the basis of race and other factors in admission. And that essentially did away with affirmative action. And there was just a proposition this year in a year when Biden won, where they were going to undo that and they would now allow a discriminatory admissions practices and it lost significantly in California.

So I think, you know, we have to sometimes put aside the people who run the campuses and the student activists who run the campuses from the rest of the population. I don’t believe a lot of these practices are actually popular in the general population. I don’t believe they’re popular among non-whites even, because I think most people in the country recognize that discrimination is a bad thing, no matter who it is against. And I don’t think that a lot of other racial or ethnic minorities necessarily adopt these proposals because they statistically have been the victims over the last several years.

ABS: Yup. You’re absolutely right. I think most people agree that meritocracy is fair. Most people agree and true equality, not this convoluted definition of equity. Most people agree that we shouldn’t be discriminating against any group in pursuit of some kind of cosmic and tangible anti-racist, uh, justice, Ibram X. Kendi’s definition of justice. Anyway, thank you so much for what you do. Thank you for creating this website, sent anyone, uh, you know, anywhere that you want them to go to your websites or to any work that you’ve written, tell them how they can support you.

WAJ: The website that we just created is called My main website is That’s That’s a politics and law website, which deals with a lot of other issues, or you can just Google my name and you’ll find out plenty about me, some good, some not so good.

ABS: Well, thank you so much, professor. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Take care.


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Superb lede, Professor. Certainly on my campus and hospital most people indeed are non-racists. We have every race and ethnicity at our hospital in every job description, and I have not in 35 years detected racial animus in anyone. We’re all focused on doing our work (health care) and getting along. I’d certainly hate to see the CRT folks destroy that.

JusticeDelivered | February 16, 2021 at 10:24 pm

Bald faced black racism on all other races. There is still the issue of how George Zimmerman, Officer Wilson and many other cases has not been dealt with.

I firmly believe that MLK had it right, and that people should have opportunity with the understanding that outcome is up to them, that they must work their tails off just like the rest of do in order to succeed.

    I think the point is to create a slush fund for politicians that can easily be diverted to politicians’ friends and family about a condition that has no standards for progress. It has nothing to do with bettering anybody’s life.

Great stuff. Helps me clarify my thinking on this issue.

First – You don’t fight racism with MORE racism;
Second – Anyone who thinks you do – is a racist or is
terribly misled;
Third – Anyone promoting racism as a solution to racism is evil;
Fourth – Anyone misled into believing racism is good – as a
tool to fight racism – must STOP – examine the facts
and use your own reasoning ability to realize how wrong
and evil this course is. And they must reflect on how
they could have been so wickedly misled – so that it
never happens again.

He that can not reason is a fool;
He that refuses to, is a bigot;
He that dare not, is a slave. – Carnegie

Today, many are afraid to speak or to think differently than the mob. The thought police. Those people are modern slaves.

Others know the truth – but perpetuate the evil lie – because it benefits them, or their Party. There is big $$ to be made from race baiting. Those are bigots. People have to realize that there are many who want to perpetuate racism b/c their agenda benefits tem.

“It also sets up a very coercive paradigm, which is you are either “anti-racist,” and that’s the word, or you are racist. There’s no in-between. So the traditional American civil rights notion of treating people fairly without regard to skin color, et cetera, has no place in that universe. You’re either with them or you’re against them. And if you’re not with them, you are racist. He refuses to recognize any concept of being non-racist. A non-racist is somebody who simply goes around, treating everybody equally, is in fact racist unless they become an activist.”

Essentially, they demand that you become an (uncompensated) activist for issues that are not even your own issues.

In other words, they will not be satisfied until you are their slave.

How anybody can fail to recognize this shit as anti-American, I cannot imagine.

    Ben Kent in reply to henrybowman. | February 17, 2021 at 12:28 am

    They create a dynamic that unless you are an ACTUAL RACIST (believing that you fight racism with more racism) – they will label you a RACIST.

    It’s a type of Orwellian DoubleSpeak that is as cleverly coercive as it is evil.

    How does society fight against this? A generation of kids have been brainwashed already.

    artichoke in reply to henrybowman. | February 27, 2021 at 7:42 pm

    They certainly recognize it’s against the old idea of America. But they think they can get more, much more. And so they whine about how terrible and awful things were and how it’s urgent to intervene and etc. And they’re doing pretty well. Nobody has been able to impose a real penalty for this kind of antisocial behavior.

Well if most people are “racist,“ then that means that being “racist” is normal. Normal people need to stop being afraid of a word that means, in 2021’s usage, that they are normal.

This ‘anti-racist’ crap is a tool of oppression. That’s all it is.

Speaking of racism, does anyone know why there has no public news yet about a lawsuit by white-owned restaurants against Uber, for their program last year offering free delivery from black-owned restaurants?

    artichoke in reply to Milhouse. | February 27, 2021 at 7:37 pm

    I’d guess that they would have to show damages, and a significant number of people are willing to pay delivery rather than allowing such a scheme to succeed in tilting the playing field.

    By identifying the black-owned establishments, I wonder if it helped them or hurt them.

The problem is that they’re relying on people’s ingrained horror at being called racist. But the only reasonable response to this ploy is to say “If that’s your definition of “racism”, then there’s nothing wrong with it and I’m proud to be a “racist” by your definition. But we’d need another term for actual racists, whom we should still shun because they’re genuinely wrong.

    artichoke in reply to Milhouse. | February 27, 2021 at 7:38 pm

    We’re past that principled approach. People are paying real-life consequences for being accused of the non-crime of racism.


Today Google started a TV ad campaign urging people to buy products/services from businesses based on the skin color of the Owner.

It is clearly racist.

I wonder how many Dems or even Repubs will condemn it.
I’m not even sure it’s legal.
But everyone seems afraid of Cancel Culture – so they keep their mouth shut.

How do we stop this – an immoral slippery slope to hell.

    Sternverbs in reply to Ben Kent. | February 19, 2021 at 8:35 am

    But Ben, it’s BLACK HISTORY MONTH. Anything goes during BLACK HISTORY MONTH because it’s BLACK HISTORY MONTH (or, as I like to call it, “13.475% of the Population Month”).

JusticeDelivered | February 17, 2021 at 9:34 am

CRT and those promoting it, seem a lot like Muslims and Islam. Compare and contrast their beliefs.

I talk to many people these days who don’t have a racist bone in their bodies who are now avoiding so-called “people of color” because of the perception that you cannot be yourself around such people.

The message being pounded home 24/7 is that you have to walk on eggshells and watch every single word you say lest you trigger one of these angry hypersensitive people. Just one innocent word or phrase that unintentionally offends a “person of color” can have irreversible career and life consequences.

CRT is a divisive and morally destructive ideology that perpetuates the very thing it claims to be against.

    artichoke in reply to SField. | February 27, 2021 at 7:40 pm

    Sure, it’s quite risky. You can hope everyone is of good will, but you can’t assume it. Even if you thought you knew the people, in some instances.

Leave it to democrats to turn racism on it’s head. The only organizations prohibited by the constitution from being “racist” are government ones yet, we have racial student quotas and hiring practices throughout government. If a person is truly a “racist”, the hatred you hold in your heart will destroy you far quicker and harder than government or anyone else ever could. We all have personal preferences, aren’t we all supposed to be unique? Hvae freedom of assembly?