A white Fairfield, Connecticut, professor recently made remarks that if a person notes that former President Barack Obama was born in Kenya — and not in Hawaii — or uses the former president's middle name — Hussein — it's considered "racism."
Fairfield University communications professor Audra Nuru made the comments while speaking about racial diversity and equality during a session at the annual Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities’ conference.
“I’m not saying by any means that Barack Obama incited racism," Nuru said. "I’m saying that him being in office, people who were already racist got a platform to address this publicly and reify it.”
Nuru noted that the birther movement, as well as the focus on Obama's middle name was racist.
As a result of the birther movement, and the public knowledge that Obama's middle name is Hussein, Nuru claimed that since 2010, "explicitly racist messages have steadily increased."
Nuru also made mention of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh's use of the term "halfrican-American" when speaking about the former president, and noted that his sentiments were also fuel to the racism fire.
Fairfield University formally welcomed Nuru to the staff in September 2014.
Nuru's educational focus is centered on minority social groups.
According to Fairfield University's welcoming of Nuru:
"Her work examines how individuals from minority social groups communicate to make sense of themselves, their relationships, and their relational roles. Her research on multiethnic-racial identity has been recognized by non-profit organizations in the southeast for linking research with praxis. Further, she has worked with family therapists and guidance counselors to design workshops, seminars and outreach programs to facilitate the development of healthy self-concepts among multiethnic/racial and LBGTQ communities."