by Corey Walker
Bettina L. Love may not have the same public profile of Ibram X. Kendi or Robin DiAngelo, but she is still an active and influential voice among Critical Race Theory and anti-racism scholars.
A professor at the University of Georgia and founder of the Abolitionist Teaching Network, Love promotes Critical Race Theory across the country in children’s schools.
In a January article for EdWeek, Love laid out her agenda. She engages in what she calls “equity work”. She claims the goal of this work is to “help white people become less racist.”
She claims that her work attempts to “undo and heal generations of violence, trauma, and racial and economic inequities.”
Love also argues that much of anti-racism work is often a performance. She believes mostly-white and wealthy institutions hire minorities to chair diversity committees that have no actual power and serve as a method for the organization to signal their commitment to progressive values.
Much like Ibram X. Kendi and Robin DiAngelo, Love’s profile grew in the aftermath of last summer’s protests following the killing of George Floyd. Corporations and schools scrambled to figure out how to fix the racial tensions that persisted within them.
In June, Love suggested that in order for White people to fight against racism, they must give up the idea of being an “ally” and become a “co-conspirator” instead. She claims co-conspirators, “understand how Whiteness and privilege work in our society and leverage their power, privilege, and resources in solidarity with justice movements to dismantle White supremacy.”
This month, Abolitionist Teaching Network released a booklet titled, “Guide For Racial Justice & Abolitionist Social and Emotional Learning.” In the booklet, Love stated that teachers should, “Remove all punitive or disciplinary practices that spirit murder Black, Brown, and Indigenous children.” Love defines “spirit murder” as, “a death that is built on racism and intended to reduce, humiliate, and destroy people of color.”
Love administered a training to the San Diego school district on “spirit murder” of Black children in January. In a 2019 article on the same subject, Love asked, “How does a Black or Brown child live, learn, and grow when her spirit is under attack at school, and her body is in danger inside the classroom?
Love’s work has become a guide for how many universities are choosing to approach the topic of race. The prestigious Tufts University even endorses Love as one of their “Anti-Racist Teaching Resources.”
The Biden Administration endorsed Love’s group, adding a link to her booklet in their school reopening handbook. The Biden Administration promptly denied endorsing Love, claiming that her inclusion was the result of an error. They did not elaborate on how this error came to be.
At the University of Georgia, Love teaches, “hip hop-based education, black girlhood, diversity and social justice, hip hop feminism, and critical media literacy.”
Campus Reform contacted the University of Georgia.
Greg Trevor, vice president for marketing & communications, stated, “Like any citizen, professors at public institutions have the First Amendment right to express personal opinions outside of work. Even in the classroom, faculty have academic freedom to discuss controversial issues related to their teaching or research. However, views expressed by faculty, whether inside or outside the classroom, do not necessarily reflect the position of the Mary Frances Early College of Education or this institution.”
Bettina L. Love did not respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment.
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