A white professor at Penn State University, Zack De Piero, has filed a lawsuit against the institution and some of its staff members, alleging that he was subjected to “ridicule and humiliation solely based on his race.”
According to De Piero, he was forced to promote the false and absurd notion that “all students see that white supremacy manifests itself in language and in writing pedagogy” while teaching English at the Abington campus. He further alleges that when he voiced concerns about racial insults directed at white faculty in the writing department, the director of the Affirmative Action Office responded by saying, “There is a problem with the White race,” and suggested that De Piero attend “antiracist” workshops, and even implied that he might have mental health issues.
As a result of his questioning the critical race theory (CRT) ideology, De Piero claims he was forced out of his position as professor. The lawsuit, filed by the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism, suggests that the campus environment does not allow for diversity of thought despite advocating for tolerance and multiculturalism in America.
According to De Piero, he revealed to the Washington Examiner that school administrators bluntly told him, “You need to move equity forwards in your classroom, or else you’re perpetuating racist teaching practices.”
The lawsuit argues that certain learning materials, such as “White Rage,” “White people, enough: A look at power and control,” and “Me and White Supremacy,” contributed to the dissemination of racist behavior toward white faculty and students all under the guise of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
De Piero voiced his objection, stating, “This is wrong. This is discrimination. It’s humiliating to me. It’s likely humiliating to others. They’re just too afraid to tell you.”
“They wanted you to acknowledge your white privilege, to embrace white guilt, to spread the gospel of Ibram X. Kendi and Robin DiAngelo,” De Piero continued.
“There were sort of high priests of anti-racism across academia,” he added. “This wasn’t some interesting idea up for debate; this was the deal. This was the road.”
The lawsuit further argues that minority students are held to different standards compared to white students, often graduating despite being grossly unqualified in many cases.
“They do not expect black or Hispanic students to achieve the same mastery of academic subject matters as other students and therefore insist that deficient performance must be excused,” the lawsuit argues. “Accurate assessment of abilities, if it happens to show disparate performance among different racial groups, is therefore condemned as ‘racist.’”
Leigh Ann O’Neill, managing director of legal advocacy for FAIR, praised De Piero’s courageous stand against the harmful ideologies infiltrating academic institutions. She stated, “The unlawful discrimination he faced is a symptom of those ideologies, and they are eating away at the foundational principles of equality and open inquiry.”
News Nation interview De Piero.
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