• University of Pennsylvania
    University of Pennsylvania
  • Anti-American
    Racial prejudice
    Racial prejudice
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Prof. Anthea Butler has been the source of controversy for comments she has made regarding race in America. Following the riots in Ferguson, MO, Butler wrote an article in which she argued that “America’s racist god required black people’s blood to atone for the sins committed by its followers,” and that such “blood [is] shed in sacrifice to this god of white supremacy.”[1]

Butler was also widely condemned for posting on Twitter, referencing the MTV Video Music Awards in which singer Ariana Grande won an award, “first they shootin us in the streets, and then they taking all the video awards for sorry songs y’all.”[2]

In 2015, responding to another Twitter post, Butler wrote, “if only there was a ‘coon of the year’ award” with respect to presidential candidate Ben Carson.[3] Following Butler’s widely panned comments in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin shooting in 2013 that the American “white racist god,” is “carrying a gun and stalking young black men,”[4] she followed up by saying “I have tenure. I can’t get fired.”[5]


[1] Butler, A. (Nov. 25, 2014). America’s Racist God Meets Miss Celie: Darren Wilson Not Indicted. Religion dispatches. Retrieved from http://religiondispatches.org/americas-racist-god-meets-miss-celie-darren-wilson-not-indicted/

[2] Darcy, O. (Aug. 24, 2014). After Reading Her Tweet, You’ll Understand Why an Ivy League Professor Deleted This Racial Comment on the VMAs. The Blaze. Retrieved from http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/08/24/after-reading-her-tweet-youll-understand-why-an-ivy-league-professor-deleted-this-racial-comment-on-the-vmas/

[3] Spencer, C. (Oct. 6, 2015). Ivy League prof. calls Ben Carson a ‘coon’. Campus Reform. Retrieved from http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=6864

[4] Dionisopoulos, T. (July 15, 2013). UPenn prof on Zimmerman verdict: God is a “white racist’ who carries gun and stalks ‘young black men’. Campus Reform. Retrieved from http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=4850

[5] (July 23, 2013). VIDEO: Prof Who Called God a White Racist: ‘I Have Tenure, I Can’t Get Fired’. The College Fix. Retrieved from http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/14066/n

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Jamal J. Elias, Chair of the Religious Studies department

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