The director of the African-American studies program at the University of Montana found a racially-charged message on the bulletin board of a campus building this week.
Professor Tobin Miller Shearer posted a flyer about a new class he was offering during the spring 2018 term called “White Supremacy History/Defeat,” he told The Missoulian. The following day he found a different flier made to look exactly like his that was placed on top of it but advertizing a class that doesn’t exist and changing the objectives of the course.
For example, Shearer read: “Implement and evaluate a project to dismantle white supremacy in the U.S.” The new flier read: “Implement and evaluate a project to dismantle black nationalism in the U.S.”
The fake flier also said that the class would offer group projects “aimed at dismantling race-baiting hypocrisy.”
Shearer said that the most disturbing was that it was obvious the person that did it put a great amount of time into making it look real and match his flier. One detail that stuck out was that his name was removed and replaced by a misspelled name of the previous director of the African-American studies program. That professor hasn’t been at the school for a decade.
“It’s at best someone who knows the history of the program. At worst, it’s another faculty member who knows the history,” Shearer said.
He explained that it isn’t the first time the program was targeted with racially charged messages. Shearer himself was put on a “Professor Watchlist” by a conservative group called Turning Point USA. The nationwide student group claims to be a “powerful conservative grassroots activist network on college campuses across the country.”
Students at the university have also come to him after experiencing hate speech or racist acts.
“I’m not surprised by this,” Shearer explained, noting he did contact the campus police. “I’m disturbed by this.”