Posted on February 1, 2007

Racism 101

Thomas Ryan,, Jan. 31, 2007

The “United States is the leading terrorist agency in the world.” Such, at any rate, is the view of Julian Kunnie, a professor and a director of Africana Studies program at the University of Arizona. Not only that but, according to Kunnie, America’s “War on Terror” is “racist.”


According to Kunnie, a Marxist, “the entire global system of capitalism is predicated on slavery.”

A native of South Africa, Kunnie was instrumental in establishing the Africana Studies major at the university, which already had an African American Studies minor. Of the creation of the program in 2006, Kunnie said,

Most of our students are victims of a K-12 education system that operates almost like a prison system. They say we need these walls and bars. But there is also an idea that young people grouped together are dangerous, this relating mostly to people of color—Africana studies is attempting to redress those historica l deprivations—

In one of his classes, Kunnie requires students to read The West and the Rest of Us: White Predators, Black Slavers, and the African Elites by an African scholar named Chinweizu. Chinweizu calls European nations “imperial vampires,” exploiters and thieves. Of the book, Kunnie says, “The academy urges scholars to be objective, but Chinweizu has a point of view—he’s writing from the perspective of the black world of colonization.”


Kunnie’s tenure in Arizona has not been without challenges. In one instance, Kunnie himself comes off looking like the oppressor. In 1999, a female professor, Tolagbe Ogunleye, filed a lawsuit against the Arizona Board of Regents, the dean of the university’s Humanities department, and Kunnie himself. In the complaint, Ogunleye alleged that had Kunnie harassed her. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigated the matter and concluded that Kunnie had indeed abused her because she was a woman and because she had supported the previous director of the program, Mikelle Omari, who “was terminated because of her sex and national origin, Black American female.”

No country in the world offers minorities more opportunities than the U.S. Yet Julian Kunnie seems perfectly at ease indicting whites in general as oppressors and America as an oppressor nation. While feeding off the enormous privileges that America provides to black immigrants like himself, Kunnie returns the favor by spewing hatred in the classrooms and blaming the very system that has provided him with an unparalleled opportunity to flourish.