A large number of faculty and law professors at American University’s Washington College of Law are claiming that the phrase “All Lives Matter” is an “act of intolerance.”
The claim came after an unknown person placed a handwritten note on a faculty member’s door that said “All Lives Matter.” That’s an “act of intolerance” because it referred to “all lives” rather than only “black lives,” the academics claim.
“The ‘All Lives Matter’ sign might seem to be a benign message with no ill intent, but it has become a rallying cry for many who espouse ideas of white supremacy and overt racism,” said a letter from several Washington College of Law faculty and staff members.
In response to the note, Washington College of Law Dean Claudio Grossman wrote a letter to the law school community apologizing for the “very disturbing incident.”
“Although the phrase ‘All Lives Matter’ may sound benign, it sometimes has been used as a rallying cry by some groups who oppose the Black Lives Matter Movement and seek to silence it,” Grossman wrote, according to the Washington Post.
Then University of San Diego professor of law Gail Heriot and Peter Kirsanow, both members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, responded to dean Grossman.
“The response of American University faculty and staff was nothing short of Orwellian,” Heriot and Kirsanow wrote, not speaking on behalf of the Commission.
The two added:
This makes American University look foolish.
Even sillier, the letter calls this obviously true statement — that the lives of all members of the human species are valuable — “a rallying cry for many who espouse ideas of white supremacy.”
While we know that President Obama has stated that “all lives matter,” we are not personally aware of any cases in which white supremacists (a rare species these days) have made that statement.
Equating a student making a legitimate and utterly unobjectionable point with a white supremacist is nonsensical.
Members of the Black Law Students Association hosted an event last week called, “WCL Community Town Hall Meeting addressing ‘All Lives Matter.'”
In recent days, “There has been no other issue on this topic inside the law school,” said a spokeswoman for American University’s Washington College of Law.
Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter: @jeromeehudson.