The title “Transformational Leadership for Church and Society” sounds like it should describe a program promoting tolerance and open-mindedness, along with sophisticated leadership values. However, the workshop-based initiative by the Yale Divinity School (YDS) is doing the exact opposite with its hiring of “#BlackLivesMatter” protest leader DeRay McKesson.
McKesson, who has two years’ experience teaching sixth grade-level math and some human resource management under his belt, along with a reputation for formulating false accusations and premature conclusions concerning racial topics, has been hired by the prestigious Ivy League school to lead the “Transformational Leadership in the Black Lives Matter Movement” workshop. It’s rather ironic, really, considering YDS’s mission and objectives.
According to the the Divinity School’s mission statement, “Yale Divinity School has an enduring commitment to foster the knowledge and love of God through scholarly engagement with Christian traditions in a global, multifaith context.” Furthermore, in the words of YDS Dean Greg Sterling, “We envision this new [leadership workshop] program as a means to bring students into contact with proven leaders who will challenge them not only to think about leading in new and creative ways but inspire them to reach beyond their current aspirations.” McKesson is about to derail both the written and stated objectives of YDS.
The activist’s affiliations and agenda are quite far from anything Christian. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is a racially divisive and radical initiative operating under the same basic principles that the Black Panthers did several decades ago. Both organizations value the dominance of a single racial group (in this case, blacks) over others through “social action”, which involves rowdy protests, defiance towards and misunderstanding of the efforts of the police, purposeful theft and destruction of property, and use of racially divisive rhetoric.
Though BLM and its leaders may make claims against and denounce these actions, the unfortunate reality is that the masses of supporters through which BLM exercises its power aren’t as nuanced, and tend to resort to the above-mentioned unruly acts, especially when “mob mentality” sets in during protests and gatherings. As a result, the entire BLM movement becomes entwined with said acts, and though it started out simply as a Twitter “hashtag” supporting the value of black lives (a legitimate cause), it has often turned into a violent, and at times anti-police and anti-white movement.
One need not look further than the instance when BLM activists called for police violence by shouting “pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon” at the Minnesota State Fair.
With Mr. McKesson being so caught up in BLM’s agenda, it seems virtually inevitable that his radicalized views and racially-motivated ideas will be a significant part of his workshop and lectures. How can Yale “foster the knowledge and love of God through scholarly engagement with Christian traditions” when McKesson’s “scholarly engagement” involves prejudiced, violence-encouraging ideals and leadership tactics? How will the “proven leaders” (which McKesson is, not; he’s a Twitter star) “challenge [students]…to think about leading in new and creative ways?” McKesson may encourage “new and creative” leadership tactics, but those tactics will probably involve sitting behind a computer screen staring mindlessly at a Twitter feed and occasionally traveling to protests to encourage deviant and perhaps destructive behavior. Not exactly something that follows YDS’s objectives, and definitely not something worth paying Yale’s tuition for.
As Yale sophomore Aryssa Damron observed in a Fox News interview, “Yale is creating leaders who are going to divide instead of leaders who are going to unite.”
Social unity is obviously one of YDS’s goals. McKesson goes against this very goal with his past acts of divisiveness; instead of encouraging a society where all races coexist, McKesson and the entire Black Lives Matter movement encourage widening the racial divide between whites and minorities in this country, rather than pouring their efforts in the constructive goal of closing it. In this way, YDS is going against is very mission and objectives by hiring McKesson.
It is shocking and rather discouraging to see a Twitter hashtag activist immersed in a movement like Black Lives Matter among the intellectual faculty that, as Yale claims, “is drawn from the major Christian traditions as well as other world religions.” Apparently, violent protest and encouraging racial divide are major Christian traditions, and even more apparent is Yale’s complacency with encouraging hatred, prejudice, and racial divide as admirable qualities of leadership.