Black Intellectuals Blast Critical Race Training in Open Letter to Smith College After Hate Hoax


A group of 44 black intellectuals, led by civil rights leader Bob Woodson, has published an open letter to Smith College, blasting the school’s use of anti-white critical race training where employees were forced to publicly “cleanse” themselves after a hate hoax. When the hoax was exposed, administrators at the elite all-female school doubled down and refused to apologize to the humiliated employees. 

The signatories, many of whom were active in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, penned the open letter to Smith College President Kathleen McCartney under the group name of 1776 Unites. It came after reports surfaced that service-sector employees of the school were forced to go through several rounds of critical race theory-inspired “anti-bias” training following a now-debunked accusation of racial profiling from a student. 

Founded by Bob Woodson, 1776 Unites describes itself as a “nonpartisan and intellectually diverse alliance” focused on solving some of America’s greatest challenges while also helping to “liberate tens of millions” by teaching the nation’s founding principles. Included among the signatories of the open letter to Smith College are Pastor Calvin Johnson of the Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church and Dr. William B. Allen, emeritus dean at Michigan State University. 

“Dear President McCartney, we, the undersigned, are writing as Black Americans to express our outrage at the treatment of the service workers of Smith College in light of the incident of alleged racial profiling that occurred in the summer of 2018,” the open letter begins with saying, before laying into the school’s treatment of the very employees who keep the lights running day-to-day.

“Before investigating the facts, Smith College assumed that every one of the people who prepare its food and clean its facilities was guilty of the vile sin of racism and forced them to publicly ‘cleanse’ themselves through a series of humiliating exercises in order to keep their jobs,” the group’s open letter to Smith College continues, reminding school leadership that even after the profiling incident was exposed as a hoax, employees received no apology.

The open letter’s signatories then blasted the Smith College leadership for kowtowing to a “social media mob,” reminding them that “many of us participated in the Civil Rights Movement, fighting for equal treatment under the law…We certainly didn’t march so that privileged blacks could abuse working-class whites.”

“Imagine an institution that responded to an allegation of theft by a black employee by searching the pockets of all its black employees,” posed the open letter. “…Such treatment would rightly be condemned as racist. Yet that is exactly what Smith College has done to its service workers.”