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Divisive' and 'Alienating': University of Minnesota-Duluth Forced to Sever Ties With 'Un-Fair Campaign

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"The campaign's recent public service announcement and its focus on white privilege are divisive."

The University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) has "indefinitely suspended its membership" in the controversial "Un-fair campaign" pending a change in the group's "emphasis and creative approach," the school announced in a press release this week.

Much of the credit belongs to Campus Reform, the first outlet to break the story concerning the university's partnership with the Un-fair campaign in June. As a result, the campaign saw higher levels of scrutiny and national news outlets picked up the story shortly after.

(Related: 'Not Fair to Be White': See the Unbelievable New Campaign Sponsored by the University of Minnesota-Duluth)

The Blaze previously reported on the ironically racist anti-racism campaign that put together a public service announcement, posters and billboards, all aimed at raising awareness of "white privilege."

The university's decision to sever ties with the organization signifies a dramatic change of heart as officials said just weeks ago the school plans to continue "fully supporting the foundations and principles" of the campaign.

However, the latest statement from UMD now asserts: "The campaign’s recent public service announcement (PSA) and its focus on white privilege are divisive and have alienated some UMD alumni, supporters and others in the broader community."

The news release also reveals the controversial PSA has been removed from the Unfair Campaign's website. The video is still up on YouTube and has nearly 236,000 views. It can be seen below:

More from the UMD press release:

At UMD Chancellor Lendley C. Black’s request, the controversial public service announcement was pulled from the campaign’s website on June 28 (it had not been aired publicly). Representatives from the 18 partners of the Un-Fair Campaign met on Monday, July 2. While they reaffirmed the group’s fundamental goals to promote racial equality and create a constructive dialogue about eliminating racism, they also recognize the messaging and creative emphasis has been divisive. A subcommittee has been formed to reassess the messaging. The partners will reconvene on July 17 to discuss whether to change the creative direction.

UMD continues to advance its strategic goal of creating a positive and inclusive campus climate for all by advancing equity, diversity and social justice (http://www.d.umn.edu/chancellor/planning/). UMD also remains committed to collaborating with area educational, civic and social service agency colleagues on productive approaches to these challenging issues.

Though the PSA has been scrubbed from the Un-Fair campaign website, all of the posters of white people with writing all over their faces admitting their "white privilege" still remain as does the image of the "It's hard to see racism when you're white" billboard.

There have been no apparent apologies issued by the Un-Fair campaign or any of its sponsors. The University of Minnesota-Duluth did not respond to Campus Reform's request for comment.

The campaign's website still lists the following organizations as "partners":

  • Central Labor Body
  • City of Duluth
  • Clayton, Jackson, McGhie Memorial Inc.
  • Community Action Duluth
  • Domestic Abuse Intervention Project
  • Lake Superior College
  • League of Women Voters
  • Life House
  • Lutheran Social Service – Duluth Services
  • Men as Peacemakers
  • NAACP
  • Peace Church UCC
  • St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services
  • University of Wisconsin Superior
  • YWCS

(H/T: Campus Reform)

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