By: Haylee Fishburn

A Washington D.C. university is requiring students to read and discuss a book by a self-proclaimed “trained Marxist,” with a foreword written by a former terrorist, according to a tip received through Young America’s Foundation’s Campus Bias Tip Line.

American University’s “The American University Experience (AUx)” course requires that all first-year students read and discuss “When They Call You a Terrorist” by Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele.

AU’s “Raise Your Voice program” requires all students to “read and discuss a work written by a Black, Indigenous, or Other Person of Color (BIPOC) that speaks to the lived experiences of BIPOC individuals and communities.” The program encourages students to “raise their own voices as accomplices to dismantling systemic racism and white supremacy and working towards racial justice.”

Khan-Cullors is one of three co-founders for Black Lives Matter and served as the executive director of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation.

Khan-Cullors is also self-proclaimed “Marxist.” She revealed this in a 2015 interview, saying “Myself and Alicia, in particular, are trained organizers. We are trained Marxists.”

In a 2020 YouTube video, she told viewers, “I’m a lot of things. I do believe in Marxism. It’s a philosophy that I learned really early on in my organizing career”.

She also called the United States “the world’s greatest perpetrator of war and the most extensive purveyor of human rights atrocities…” in a 2019 article she penned for The Harvard Law Review.

She added that she and the other leaders of BLM drew influences from Angela Davis—who wrote the book’s foreword.

In 1970, three guns registered to Davis were used in the August 7 storming of the Marin County courthouse in California. The takeover resulted in four deaths including that of Judge Harold Haley.

Following the event, she resisted arrest and went into hiding. Davis was subsequently added to the FBI’s “most-wanted” list. She is also a long-time member of the Black Panthers and Che-Lumumba Club, an all-black branch of the Communist Party.

AU did not immediately respond to YAF’s request for comment.

Last summer, YAF reported on AU’s addition of a “black affinity” section to the AUx program. The section was created as a “safe space” for black students to avoid having to “divulge their trauma” to their non-black peers.

In November, YAF also reported on a “Diversity Summit” held by The George Washington University, at which Angela Davis was featured as a keynote speaker.

Terrorists have no place in education. Conservative speakers are routinely denied and restricted, whereas terrorists are deemed brave and bold and are even revered by educators. Someone who uses and advocates for violence to enforce their will is not someone to look up to. American University is doing a disservice to its students.