My Letter to the President of Princeton about “Systemic Racism”

In the wake of the alleged police killing of George Floyd, Princeton University president Christopher L. Eisgruber posted an open letter to the Princeton community on his official university website. Unwittingly or otherwise, his letter advances the election-year talking point that America is a rotten-ass place hopelessly infected with a terminal case of “systemic racism.” Dripping with progressive virtue-signaling, the open letter is titled “President Eisgruber calls on University leadership to confront realities and legacy of racism at our institution.”

As indicated by his own words, Princeton’s leader has apparently gone all-in on the narrative that racism is so deeply and irrevocably entrenched in America’s DNA that the only way to make things right is to scrap its economic and governing systems in favor of a new system that is “fair to all.”

Lenin observed that a lie repeated often enough becomes the truth. And so it is with the relentlessly repeated lie referred to as “systemic racism,” an invented concept being used in a full bore attempt to administer a final coup de gras to U.S. capitalism and our two-party constitutional form of government.

As one who believes that progressive propaganda parroted by tax-payer-funded colleges and universities must not go unchallenged, I responded to President Eisgruber’s posting in a letter to him, which was copied to the other seven Ivy League presidents, all of whom are as lily-white as Eisgruber.

Office of the President
Princeton University

Dear President Eisgruber:

Your June 22 letter to the Princeton community alleges that systemic racism infects not only society at large, but also the university you have led for seven years. Please allow me to respectfully disagree, but I refuse to believe that black people at Princeton suffer discrimination at the hands of the school’s white faculty, staff and employees. Seven years is a long time, and if systemic racism does exist at Princeton, I believe you should accept full responsibility and consider resigning.

I also reject the premise that the America of today is a systemically racist nation. There was a time in our country’s past when systemic racism was more than a political talking point. Having grown up in the Old South during the 50s and 60s, I witnessed real, unambiguous systemic racism with my own eyes. In that unenlightened era, black citizens were denied public accommodations, excluded from ‘white-only’ jobs, prevented from attending public schools, and generally treated like dirt. I remember the time when Democrat governors like George Wallace and Democrat police chiefs like Bull Connor looked the other way as the KKK inflicted unspeakable violence on black men, women and children.

Horrible things were done to black people during slavery and Jim Crow, but those evil institutions were rightfully sent to the grave many decades ago. It is beyond dispute that no country in history has ever done more to right the wrongs once committed against an oppressed minority of its own citizens than has this great country. Yes, it took longer than it should have, and no, things aren’t perfect. But racial matters are infinitely better than when black people were made to sit in the back of the bus. Things will always need improving at the margins, but it’s undeniable that a black child born in America today has the EXACT same legal right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as a white child.

Because the Civil Rights Movement awakened the country to the need for substantive change, millions of intelligent, educated and hard working black citizens have been able to earn their way into the American middle class, and well beyond. We now have black millionaires and black billionaires, black entrepreneurs and black CEOs, black elected officials, black scientists and black engineers, black astronauts, black generals and black admirals, black Navy SEALs and black fighter pilots, as well as the world’s most highly-compensated black entertainers and black athletes. We’ve even had a black president, which leads me to this observation: A systemically racist society would not elect a black president once, much less twice, both times by electoral vote wipeouts. I ask you, President Eisgruber, where else on earth do black people have more freedom and unlimited opportunity than right here in America?

Although your letter didn’t mention Black Lives Matter by name, I assume you count yourself among its ardent supporters. I unequivocally agree that the lives of black people matter, but do not support BLM, a violent communist organization hiding behind the noble cause of racial justice while actively participating in the destruction of $2 billion of public and private property in nearly 200 U.S. cities, injuring some 700 law enforcement officers in the process, including some who were murdered by rioters.

I do not support an organization that engages in hate speech: “F*** the Police!” and “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!”

I do not support an organization that goes nuclear over occasional instances when an unarmed black person is killed by a white cop, but says nothing as thousands of black people are murdered each year by other black people, with most victims meeting their maker in cities that have been under continuous control of the same political party for the last half-century. Maybe it’s not occurred to you, but the greatest danger black people face in contemporary America is living in a Democrat-run city.

I do not support an organization that has indoctrinated millions of black citizens to believe, incorrectly, that the number of police killings of unarmed black people is skyrocketing. In fact, according to FBI crime data, such killings are rare, so much so that the chance of an unarmed black suspect being killed by the police is less than the chance of a U.S. citizen being killed by lightning.

Nearly all police-caused deaths of unarmed black people occur during encounters with combative suspects. That’s what happened with Michael Brown (Ferguson), Eric Garner (NYC), Freddie Gray (Baltimore), George Floyd (Minneapolis) and Rayshard Brooks (Atlanta). And just last month, Jason Blake (Kenosha) was shot while resisting arrest.

If Black Lives Matter wanted to reduce the number of unarmed black people killed by police, instead of burning cities down it would saturate the African American community with a simple message that applies to people of all races: when stopped by the police, do not resist. But BLM’s overriding goal is not reducing police killings of unarmed black people. That’s merely a distracting sideshow to obscure it its foremost objective: upending America’s two-party capitalist system.

Finally, President Eisgruber, and I do not say this to be mean, but your letter to the Princeton community comes across to me as one of the most over the top instances of progressive virtue signaling I’ve ever seen. If you sincerely believe that systemic racism is real, you have a chance to do something dramatic that would quickly remedy a glaring instance of actual racial inequity. As you know, the president of every Ivy League school is white. If you really believe systemic racism is holding black people down, you can set an example for all of academia by resigning as Princeton’s leader and demanding (1) that your lofty position be given to a black person, and (2) that the presidents of every other Ivy League school do the same. Of course, you won’t do that, and neither will the others. As Stokely Carmichael observed, “What the white liberal really wants is to bring about change that will not in any way endanger his own position.”


John Eidson
Atlanta, GA

Your letter characterizes alleged police killings of George Floyd (Minneapolis), Breonna Taylor (Louisville), and Rayshard Brooks (Atlanta) as “unjust.” Given that those cases have yet to be adjudicated, and given the political left’s propensity for inciting racial violence at the drop of a hat, publishing such rushes-to-judgment on Princeton’s website is, I believe, grossly irresponsible.

©John Edison. All rights reserved.

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