Updated Sep 14, 2023, 10:32am PDT
As many as 15 to 20 staff members are being laid off at the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University, which is led by prominent activist and scholar Ibram X. Kendi, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Back in the Summer of George, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey gave Dr. Kendi $10 million to found his Center for Antiracist Research at Boston U. I snarked at the time:
Sure, public intellectual Ta-Nehisi Coates got a $625,000 MacArthur Genius Grant, but now Ibram X. Kendi, with his barely 3 digit IQ blows TNC’s mark away on the Bux/IQ metric with a $10 million payoff from Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter.
Back to Semafor:
The person said the money that has been used to employ the staff members will be redirected to provide funding to visiting scholars who are already employed.
The unanswered question: how much money is left of Dorsey’s $10 million and however much else Kendi raised.
The layoffs take effect later this year.
BU and Kendi founded the center in 2020 amid widespread protests over police brutality and a national reckoning over issues of race. The center grew to include multiple offices that spanned policy and data research, and an archived version of the center’s website from July listed 45 employees.
That’s a pretty big staff! If the average staffer costs $100k including health insurance, then $9 million would be gone in just two years.
It’s a little hard to see online what the 45 employees have been up to for the last two or three years. One project they emphasize is their “Racial Data Lab,” which talks about the “Covid Racial Data Tracker” project because it’s not like the New York Times and Associated Press ever worried about blacks dying more of COVID back in 2020.
Oh, wait, they did?
And the Center for Antiracist Hate or whatever it’s called has a page under that called “Racial Data Bytes” that features six posts about topics like “Documenting Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Is the First Step to Promoting Mental Health,” but I don’t see much evidence that Kendi’s group collected much new data on this well-worn topic, but instead just linked to examples in the news media and academia of the voluminous (and credulous) coverage about how the 2021 surge in black-on-Asian random violence was the fault of Donald Trump saying “Chinese virus” in early 2020.
Another Data Byte is “Students of Color are Disproportionately Bullied and Harassed at School,” which tries hard to give the impression that innocent black children are being massively disproportionately bullied by brutal white thugs in the classroom. But the data, such as it is, that it cites weren’t collected by Kendi’s group but by government agencies and the mainstream media.
But even if they lay off 20 staffers in the current round of cuts, that leaves 25 employees doing … what?
To be sympathetic to Kendi’s sprawling organization, the competition to collect evidence that whites are bad and should give their money to black people is overwhelming in this century. Huge numbers of people were already employed in this industry, so it was hard for Kendi, even with Dorsey’s $10 million, to find any new evidence for his massively popular thesis.