Things college professors called 'racist' in 2017

It seems like everything is racist these days, especially when it comes to American college campuses.

In the era of microaggressions, trigger warnings, and “safe spaces,” professors, in their efforts to purge the world of racism, have labeled just about everything under the sun – and moon – as such.

Here are a few of the more off-the-wall ones from 2017:

Gutierrez white privilege math prof

Professor Rochelle Gutierrez says the ability to solve algebra and geometry perpetuates white privilege.  (University of Illinois)


A math education professor at the University of Illinois argues that white privilege is bolstered by teaching mathematics.

“On many levels, mathematics itself operates as whiteness,” Rochelle Gutierrez wrote. “Who gets credit for doing and developing mathematics, who is capable in mathematics, and who is seen as part of the mathematical community is generally viewed as white.”


Farmers' markets are "white spaces" that perpetuate "environmental gentrification," according to two San Diego State University professors.  (Reuters)

Farmers’ markets

Did you know that “farmers’ markets are often white spaces where the food consumption habits of white people are normalized”?

According to two geology professors at San Diego State University, farmers’ markets are contributing to “environmental gentrification.” Read more here…

Playing with the best friends

A Cardozo professor questioned if his kids could be friends with white children because of President Trump.  (gpointstudio)


A black professor in a New York Times op-ed appeared to rule out friendship with white kids for his children because of President Trump.

“Much sooner than I thought I would, I will have to discuss with my boys whether they can truly be friends with white people,” Ekow N. Yankah, a professor of law at Cardozo wrote.

The diamond ring effect of the 2013 total solar eclipse is seen in this amazing photo by eclipse-chasing photographer Ben Cooper, who captured the image from an airplane at 43,000 feet on Nov. 3, 2013 during a rare hybrid annual/total solar ecl

A Brooklyn Law School professor argued in an op-ed that the path of the total solar eclipse was racist.  (Ben Cooper/

Total solar eclipse

In an essay for The Atlantic, a university professor argued that the total solar eclipse was racist because of its path.

“It has been dubbed the Great American Eclipse, and along most of its path, there live almost no black people,” wrote Alice Ristroph of Brooklyn Law School. “Presumably, this is not explained by the implicit bias of the solar system.” Read more here…

A historical bible on a white backround

A professor of science and religion argued the Bible is responsible for much of "contemporary racism."  (istock)

The Bible

A professor of science and religion at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts argued that “much contemporary racism is rooted in Christianity.”

“The single greatest humiliation of American Christianity is its long endorsement of slavery and even longer endorsement of racism — a dark cloud still clearly visible at eleven o’clock on Sunday mornings,” Karl Giberson wrote in a Huffington Post op-ed, updated in December.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 29:  Pollution floats in Guanabara Bay, site of sailing events for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, on July 29, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Rio government promised to clean 80 percent of pollution and waste from the bay in time for the games but admits that goal now is unlikely to be reached. August 5 marks the one-year mark to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

An environmental engineering professor argued that pollution affects people based on their race, not their income.  (2015 Getty Images)


An environmental engineering professor at the University of Washington argued that “race matters more than income” when it comes to being affected by pollution.

“It’s race that is driving this, not income,” Julian Marshall said of the study. “Urban planners tell us that cities are still really segregated ― people live close to people who look like them. We are seeing the outcome of that.”

Boston College quarterback Tyler Murphy (2) scrambles out of the pocket as he is chased by Clemson linebacker B.J. Goodson (44) during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

An Emory University professor said that college football is racist in a New York Times op-ed.  (The Associated Press)

College football

Erin C. Tarver, an assistant professor of philosophy at Oxford College of Emory University, argues that college football is racist in a New York Times op-ed.

“Given that the ritual of Saturday football now involves the spectacular display of majority- black teams playing a dangerous, violent game for the pleasure of a majority-white fan base — and with overwhelmingly white coaching staffs, administrative structures and media companies — the idea that racism has evaporated from it is dubious,” Tarver wrote.

jingle bell

A Boston University professor claims the Christmas carol has "racist origins" in her research paper.  (istock)

Singing “Jingle Bells”

A Boston University theater professor claims the Christmas carol has “racist origins.”

“For most of its singers and listeners, [“Jingle Bells”] may have eluded its racialized past and taken its place in the seemingly unproblematic romanticization of a normal ‘white’ Christmas, attention to the circumstances of its performance history enables reflection on its problematic role in the construction of blackness and whiteness in the United States,” Kyna Hamill wrote in her research paper. Read more here…

Portrait of a happy family holding paint rollers and painting wall in green.


A CUNY professor argued that the white nuclear family is actively supporting white supremacy in America.  (iStock)

White nuclear family

A sociology professor at the City University of New York argued in a thread on Twitter “that the white-nuclear family is one of the most powerful forces supporting white supremacy.”

Jessie Daniels, a self-described race expert, wrote, “I mean, if you’re a white person who says they’re engaged in dismantling white supremacy but…you’re forming a white family [and] reproducing white children that ‘you want the best for’ - how is that helping [and] not part of the problem?” Read more here…



Clemson University's diversity training materials for professors said that asking someone to get to a meeting on time is racist.  (iStock)

Expecting people to show up on time

Clemson University’s diversity training materials for professors indicated that asking someone to show up on time is racist.

Instead, the “inclusive” thing, according to the diversity materials, is to “recognize cultural differences that may impact the meeting and adjust accordingly.”


Supporters of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump cheer at the USA Thank You Tour event at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., December 8, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton - RTSVBN0

A Clemson University professor said, not just President Trump's supporters, but all Republicans are racist in a post online.  (Reuters)

Trump supporters

Perhaps the least surprising of all because several professors have labeled Trump racist, but a Clemson University assistant professor took it a step further.

“All Trump supporters, nay, all Republicans, are racist scum,” Bart Knijnenburg posted on his Facebook page. “I admire anyone who stands up to white supremacy. Violent or non-violent. This needs to stop, by any means necessary. #PunchNazis.” 


Caleb Parke is an associate editor for You can follow him on Twitter @calebparke