A prominent black conservative spoke at two Colorado law school about why African-Americans should stop blaming white people—and was immediately protested by students.
Jason Riley, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, and a Fox News contributor, spoke at the University of Denver Law School and the University of Colorado-Bouler Law School, in events sponsored by the conservative-leaning Federalist Society.
His speeches, titled “False Black Power? The Persistence of Racial Disparities Despite Increased Black Political Clout,” were protested by the Black Law Students’ Association at both campuses.
In his speeches, Riley claimed that black people “can’t keep blaming white people for black problems,” and suggested that political representation wasn’t helping to advance the African-American community economically. He also used statistics to prove that “the idea of trigger happy cops gunning down young black men is a myth.”
In an email to supporters before the event, the Black Law Students’ Association wrote, “The Federalist Society is sponsoring an event called ‘False Black Power?’ This is highly problematic and BLSA has decided not to let this go unaddressed.”
As a result, BLSA activists showed up at both events, ready to protest.
At the University of Denver, a large group of protesters attended Riley’s speech—and walked out midway through. Some other protesters stuck around to participate in the Q&A session that followed Riley’s speech, to challenge him directly.
At CU-Boulder, many students wore all black, in what they called a “silent protest.”