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George Washington University Promotes Book Saying Conservatism Is Racism, Forced To Backtrack

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After promoting a book correlating racism with conservatives, George Washington University has apologized and removed the book from its resource guide of anti-racism material.

With a paperback price of $30.56, “Conservatism and Racism and Why in America They Are the Same” by San Francisco State University political science professor Robert C. Smith was published in September 2010.

Its description on Amazon states that it “systematically illustrates the inescapable racism of American conservatism.”

According to a July 15 article from The Washington Free Beacon, a section from Smith’s book states, “Repeatedly I was asked, ‘Are you saying that conservatism is racism, that all conservatives are racist?’ Aren’t there black conservatives? Are they racist?’… My answer to most of these questions was a qualified yes.”

Yet it was still included in a syllabus released July 9 by the university’s Office of Diversity “that links to outside resources on the black experience, white allyship, decolonization, and gender and sexuality,” The Free Beacon reported.

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GWU’s recommendation to read Smith’s book was unsettling to campus conservatives because their political view was incorrectly being referred to as racist.

After an uproar, the university agreed to remove the title from syllabus and offered an apology.

“The Office for Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement apologizes for the harm that members of the GW community experienced as a result of us listing a book about an author’s opinion on conservative people as a resource,” a statement on the university’s website says.

“We removed the book and continue to engage with community members impacted. Our team remains open to receiving feedback from the GW community as we continue working toward a more diverse and inclusive GW community.”

Was the university right to retract Smith's book?

One of the leading groups trying to get the book removed from the syllabus was the university’s chapter of the Young America’s Foundation, The Free Beacon reported.

“It’s no surprise that GW is mainly a left-leaning school, but we would never expect GW’s administration to blatantly come out and label a group of students as racist,” YAF chapter president Gillian Hand told The Free Beacon, adding that it was great to see GW come out to acknowledge that it was at fault.

Smith’s book rating on Amazon currently displays an unfavorable landslide, with 66 percent of readers leaving a one-star rating and only 20 percent rating it with five stars.

A supportive reviewer wrote to “highly recommend” reading it if you ever “wondered why it is that so many conservatives seem to be intolerant of others. When they tried to label themselves as ‘compassionate conservatives’ years ago, one has to wonder…why they would need to tell us that, unless they knew that they had a problem in that area with minorities.”

On the other hand, a collection of claims calls the book a “waste of time,” “biased,” “Marxist rubbish” and “pure propaganda.”

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“The author pulls together a disjointed series of events, laws and political movements to make the claim that political conservatism and racism are one in the same,” a one-star reviewer wrote.

“To a person who sees racism in every incident, and prejudice in every law, this might be true. But San Francisco State University is one of the epicenters of the ‘woke’ worlds and Robert Smith, who has himself experienced being harassed and heckled SFSU’s own ‘woke’ students in the past seems to have written this book as a way to appease the campus thought police.”

While GWU attempted to encourage students to learn more about racism by recommending Smith’s book before its removal, an overwhelming majority of reviewers on Amazon clearly don’t think the book is worth the students’ time.

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