Omaha’s NAACP Chapter Issues Statement Supporting UNL’s Diversity Plan

OMAHA–(Dec. 1)–The Omaha chapter of the NAACP issued a response to the controversy between Gov. Pete Ricketts and UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green statements on curriculum strategy.

It was Ricketts on Nov. 22 that made the statement, “I was misled by Ronnie Green. I have lost all faith in Ronnie Green — I don’t believe anything he says anymore,” in reference to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s anti-racism and racial equity plan.  Ricketts and Green talked on the phone the week before over a plan that would increase “more participation from minorities”, which the governor thought was a good idea.

Green’s plan doesn’t explicitly mention Critical Race Theory, it does talk about offering anti-racist and inclusive teaching.  Ricketts says he opposes Critical Race Theory.

NAACP leaders in Omaha said Wednesday that they fully support UNL’s plan.

“We applaud the decision at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln on their action steps for anti-racism and racial equity,” Williams said at a news conference Wednesday morning. “This plan is a major commitment to action and is centered around, as Chancellor Ronnie Green puts it, ‘concrete steps built within five themes’ as follows: advancing diversity and inclusion across the institution; positioning excellence and learning through diversity; promoting community, sense of belonging, and mattering; building and sustaining anti-racist infrastructure and accountability; and acknowledging the impact of COVID-19 on communities who are under-resourced or racially minoritized.”

“We think these themes are on target and call on the university to move full steam ahead on their implementation,” he said.

The governor took issue with Green’s inclusion of Ibram Kendi and the New York Times’ 1619 Project in the curriculum, “while excluding the scholarly work of conservative Black intellectuals like Glenn Loury, Shelby Steele, and Robert Woodson who strongly disagree with CRT.”

According to the governor, “UNL’s plan is also based on the flawed assumption that differences in outcomes among racial groups are the result of systemic racism and how people are treated based on skin color. The data, however, doesn’t support this conclusion.”

The governor also doubled down on calling the university’s plans Marxist and Communist, calling it a “misguided focus on achieving equity of outcomes, rather than equality of opportunities.” He also restated his opinion that Green’s plan also betrayed the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “who dedicated his life to the dream of Americans judging one another according to the content of their character and not skin color.”