Donors to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill criticized the university for perceived sympathy toward radical ideas of Marxism and Black Lives Matter during debate over whether to offer New York Times writer Nikole Hannah-Jones a tenured position, according to emails seen by Fox News.

The emails, sent to various UNC faculty, fault the university for its perceived affiliation with the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as its tolerance of “Marxism,” its diversity and equity policies, and its promotion of Hannah-Jones, Fox News reported.


“How has the board allowed Marxism to take root at UNC?” one donor asks in an email to Board of Trustees Chairman Richard Stevens. The donor also criticizes the university for its relationship with the “self-proclaimed Marxist organization” Black Lives Matter, Fox reported.

“Social, racial and economic equality outcomes, as informed by the Office [of Diversity and Inclusion], can only be achieved through totalitarian initiatives,” the donor argues. “And that is exactly how the Office of Diversity and Inclusion is structured; to exercise control over thought and actions, and to marginalize disfavored groups.”

Hannah-Jones is the lead writer of The New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project, a collection of stories, essays, and poems advancing a revisionist theory of American history centered around anti-black racism and asserting that America’s “true founding” was not 1776 but 1619, when slaves first arrived in the British colonies.

In June, UNC offered Hannah-Jones a tenured position as the Knight chair in race and investigative journalism at the Hussman School of Journalism and Media. This followed widespread backlash and criticism for a May decision in which the university offered the writer an untenured, five-year professorship instead. Hannah-Jones turned down the offer, instead taking a position at Howard University.

Another donor, in an email to the chancellor’s office, argues that the 1619 Project “is not considered objective and accurate by many experts,” while another describes UNC’s decision to promote the project as an example of “far-left ideology indicative of UNC’s lack of intellectual diversity,” Fox reported.

“Debate and discussion of controversial issues is fine. Large-scale promotion and endorsement of a debunked, revisionist ‘history’/opinion piece by a major university is not,” the donor writes.

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