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Charles H.F. Davis III

University of Michigan

Charles H.F. Davis is an Assistant Professor at the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan. He previously taught at the University of Southern California. According to his university biography, Davis’s research and teaching focuses on, “race and racism, systems of oppression, and structures of domination in U.S. higher education and its social contexts.”

Davis previously rose to notoriety in 2017 for a series of racially inflammatory tweets. As reported by The College Fix, he tweeted that “whiteness” must be destroyed and alluded to the necessity of violence in confronting it.

“White supremacist capitalist patriarchy must be destroyed” Davis tweeted on May 5, 2017.

The background photo of his twitter account at the time featured a black woman pointing a gun at a pig that clearly represents a caricature of a police officer.

When contacted over his remarks, Davis responded, “To be clear, I am decidedly against whiteness as a social and political ideology, which systematically marginalize and disenfranchise people of color from opportunities for societal advancement. In addition, I am against the institution of policing, which has historically and continuously enacted racial terror, sexual violence, and economic exploitation against racial minorities, women and LGBTQ communities, and economically disadvantaged working-class people.”

When asked if any of these tweets might make students uncomfortable, Davis responded that any discomfort experienced by his white students is a result of their “white fragility.” 

Davis had previously advocated for the right of students to disrupt conservative speakers on campus. In the wake of protesters heckling Ben Shapiro’s lecture at the University of Wisconsin Madison, school regents approved a policy to suspend or expel students that purposefully disrupt events. Davis’s subsequent op-ed at Inside Higher Ed argued that this only reinforced white supremacy: “To be clear, it is a decision that reinforces institutionalized white supremacy — and other oppressive forms of systemic power.”

Despite being Jewish, Davis argues that conservative speakers like Shapiro have hijacked the First Amendment to push “white supremacist agendas.”  

Davis’s website, which is listed by the University of Michigan on his biography, advertises that he has taught the issues of “ race, racism, and systemic oppression in education and society” to over “7,000 students, educators and institutional leaders.” The home page of the site also features links to organizations that advocate for the Black Lives Matter movement, abolishing the police, and boycotting the nation of Israel.

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