UW-River Falls, a publicly funded university, posted articles that carried the headlines, “Black Lives Matter & Why ‘All Cops are Bastards'” and “Why Riots Work,” and compared police to slave patrols.
The page with those links was first highlighted in a video by former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who is a presumptive candidate for governor. Kleefisch has previously called for a ban on critical race theory in schools. The content of the page has now been deleted, but it was preserved via screenshots and the Wayback Machine, which you can see below.
“Critical Race Theory and anti-police rhetoric have no place in taxpayer-funded classrooms. Check out what we found at one UW system school,” Kleefisch wrote on Facebook.
We received this response from UW-River Falls:
“UW-River Falls regrets the posting of a link on one of its webpages to an editable document from a third-party source which, after being posted, was edited at the source to include statements against law enforcement. The opinions and views reflected in the document do not reflect the values of the university. UWRF is appreciative of the work of law enforcement and is committed to promoting an inclusive campus environment. The webpage has been removed and the university has taken steps to develop a process for reviewing such content in the future.”
One of the articles, which was linked on the university’s website (which is funded by your tax dollars, in part), bears the headline, “good cops do not exist,” and says, “The claim that individual cops can be good is rooted in white supremacist mythology that suggests racism is an individual act committed by anybody. Policing is not a question of individualism…the institution of modern day policing evolved from the slave patrol system. To suggest that there are good cops is like saying there’s good slave patrols or good colonizers. It acts as if policing is an individual act that isn’t a product of racial capitalism.”
The article states that policing “is a violent, sexist, anti-Black institution.” Another article on the site suggests that Asians not call cops to show allyship to blacks. Other articles called for defunding and abolishing the police. An article, “Why Riots Work,” declared, “violent demonstrations can and have spurred change” and noted, “to turn the tide against injustice, we need movements that are relentless, escalating and with a broadening base of participation.”
Rebecca Kleefisch Video Exposing the Rhetoric
Kleefisch recorded this video exposing the website:
We wrote the UW-River Falls PR team and asked:
How is this an appropriate use of public resources?
Is this the stance of UW River Falls on police?
How will you ensure that students who are the children of police officers and studying to be police officers feel welcome on campus in light of rhetoric like this?
Who posted this?
Why was the web page removed?
This is a screenshot of the article in question.
The website also contained links to other articles with titles such as,
“The Case for Reparations”
“White Debt: Reckoning with what is owed – and what can never be repaid – for racial privilege.”
“Dear White People. This is What We Want You to Do.”
“20+ Allyship Actions for Asian to Show Up for the Black Community Right Now.”
“How Latinx People Can Fight Anti-Black Racism in Our Own Culture.”
The third article above includes this passage, “I want you to know that you are the byproduct of a successful racist regime that has capitalized off of Black oppression and suppression for centuries. I want you to realize that being racist is more American than apple pie.”
Here is another screenshot from the website:
The “Guide to Allyship” can still be viewed via the Wayback Machine, as can the website as it appeared before Kleefisch raised questions.
“I have been asked to speak a lot lately on First Amendment rights, critical race theory and cancel culture,” she said in the video.
She then read a definition of critical race theory.
“Critical race theory presses all views and systems through the lens of race and a lot more people are talking about racial tensions now since the death of George Floyd and the shooting here in Wisconsin of Jacob Blake,” Kleefisch said.
“Including the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Take a look at their website on education and resources for allies. If you click on allyship, it takes you to this guide which describes why all cops are bad. If you scroll down, you will see the explanation of the acronym acab (all cops are bastards). Good cops do not exist, it says. Policing is not a question of individualism. The institution of modern-day policing does not come from keeping us safe and what does it mean to be good at your job when your job is to enforce racist, sexist and unjust laws. It further asserts that police do not keep us safe.”
She added, “Remember this is a University of Wisconsin school website. The same University of Wisconsin that was created by our Constitution which reads all men are created equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights. Among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It’s time we start treating people as they are equally free and independent and live in a way that Dr. King asserted that we ought to judging people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. It’s 2021. It’s time we stop judging people by what they look like and calling it education.”