You really can’t make this up.

The University of Montana asked students, staff and community members to participate in an essay contest on the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Participants were asked to respond to this question: “How are you implementing Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy here at the University of Montana?”

Tobin Miller Shearer, Montana’s African-American Studies program director, said that this was a purposeful question, designed to get the whole campus to think about fighting racism, instead of just black students.

But when the winners were announced, chaos ensued. 

All of the four winners were white. 

As the Wall Street Journal pointed out, “Turns out some would rather the school had honored King by judging entrants on the color of their skin rather than the content of their submissions.”

Not one black student participated at all, which means that black students’ were not even rejected in the judging process.  And the winners’ photos had to be taken down from the website since they were getting violent threats…  from African American MLK Jr. fans? 

Of course, none of this makes sense.  Here’s more:

Critics blasted “shameful” university officials for holding a contest at all. A lecturer on the college race circuit admonished the university for thinking that “there is a universality around writing an essay,” when in reality blacks express themselves “completely different.” One black student sniffed that participating would have been a “sellout/compromise.” “Having grown up in all white spaces,” he posted on Facebook, “I often avoided events such as this because I knew the purpose was a performative gesture from the administration.” How the student determines when events are not “performative gestures” was left unspecified. 

The African-American studies program was denounced for not canceling the competition when the organizers realized the skin color of the six entrants. “I cannot understand how anyone would think remembering the legacy of MLK Jr. is achieved by giving four white girls a shout out,” wrote a critic. “Do not center Whiteness on the day we are supposed to remember MLK Jr.’s legacy.”

But the contest rules had no racial prerequisites.

This sounds like an article from the Onion, but – sadly —  it is just an article from 2020.  When black activists get upset that white people care about racism.


Hat Tip: Wall Street Journal

About The Author

Mark Meckler

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.