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ASU professor sues school over ‘racist’ CRT training

via Owen Anderson

A professor at Arizona State University, Dr. Owen Anderson, is suing the school over a mandatory diversity, equity and inclusion training course he claims violates a state law banning trainings that blame or judge people based on characteristics like race or sex.

The professor argues the training promotes concepts like white privilege and critical race theory that are discriminatory.

“I looked at the material, and it was very objectionable,” Anderson said. “What I mean by that is, it’s not just multiculturalism. I think it makes a lot of sense for a workplace like ASU to have an employee training about how to work with other people who disagree with you or people from different backgrounds. That makes a lot of sense because it’s a big place, and we need to know how to work together.”

“But, this was specifically about dividing people into races and then placing blame on them depending on their skin color and that’s a direct violation of an Arizona law, and I think it’s also the essence of racism,” he added.

It requires faculty to pass a quiz affirming views like DEI impacting all university areas.

The quizzes “require you to put down an answer that implies you agree with the content,” Anderson said. One question read, “Which area of the university should DEI influence?” The answer was “All areas of the university.”

“So to pass that quiz, you have to agree that DEI should impact all areas of university and I don’t agree with that, so that also counts as compelled speech,” Anderson said. “Employers can’t make their employees say things they don’t agree with, so those are the reasons I said this is beyond the kinds of leftism that I’ve seen in the past, this is now getting into breaking state law.”

“I agree with Martin Luther King, Jr. that we should not judge people based on their skin color or their race and so, when I’m required to take a test that is blaming people for their race, that violates my conscience,” he said. “I had to say, ‘I’m not going to be able to take that class and that’s not something that should be offered with state money.'”

“People are starting to see it [DEI] for what it is,” he added. “Because, I think an important thing for readers to understand is that this is not multiculturalism. This is not teaching people how to get along with each other at work. All that is great. This is blaming people for their race, specifically for their skin color, and that’s racism.”

While ASU says the training promotes respect, the professor says it goes beyond multiculturalism by blaming people for their race.

“The lawsuit filed by the Goldwater Institute regarding diversity at Arizona State University is false and without merit,” an ASU spokesperson said.

“ASU trains all faculty on its charter commitment to inclusiveness and the success of students from all walks of life,” the spokesperson said. “The Goldwater Institute suit misleads the court and misrepresents both the content and requirements of this training to make an argument that represents a political perspective but is not based on the law. ASU’s commitment to providing a supportive and welcoming educational environment for students of all backgrounds will continue and the university will respond appropriately to the Institute’s tactic.”

“It’s very important to make sure the state university stays neutral ideologically and politically, and that’s another important issue going on here, is that if a state university is pushing one political idea, then they’re not really serving their whole community,” Anderson said.

A judge will decide if the training violates the state law.

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