Under investigation: Boston University lent $600K to CRT prof for ‘problem’ mortgage

Boston University loaned $600,000 to an unnamed professor at its financially troubled Center for Antiracist Research (CAR), an ongoing investigation has revealed.

Subsequently, documents obtained…

Boston University loaned $600,000 to an unnamed professor at its financially troubled Center for Antiracist Research (CAR), an ongoing investigation has revealed.

Subsequently, documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon show the money was loaned to a trust controlled by the brother-in-law of CAR director and founder, Ibram X. Kendi.

That money was then used as a down payment on a $4.56 million luxury penthouse in Boston, according to public records obtained by the Free Beacon.

A former senior counsel to the Senate Finance Committee told the Beacon that the loan never would’ve been approved by a bank.

“The reality is, overwhelmingly, when we look at these loans, they are sweetheart deals and they would not have gotten them from a bank,” former Senate attorney Dean Zerbe said. “And that’s the problem with them.”

Kendi, 41, is a controversial author and professor, who many consider the father of modern critical race theory.

The man who controls the trust, to which the university loaned the money, is Kendi’s brother-in-law, Macharia Edmonds, a former Obama campaign official and attorney who now serves as a Global Content Policy Lead for YouTube in San Francisco, said the Free Beacon. 

The revelations about the unusual loans come after CAR announced mass staffing reductions despite raising over $50 million in donations and grants over the past three years, while producing little viable research, according to the Washington Times. 

Multiple staffers have made allegations of financial mismanagement by the leadership at CAR, which resulted in investigations by the Boston Globe and the university’s Daily Free Press

Former staffers told the Daily that “mismanagement of funds, high turnover rate and general disorganization have plagued the Center since its inception.”  

That’s a radically different result than the hopes expressed by Kendi when he founded the center. 

“My hope is that it becomes a premier research center for researchers and for practitioners to really solve these intractable racial problems of our time,” Kendi told BU Today in June 2020, as the center was launched. “Not only will the center seek to make that level of impact, but also work to transform how racial research is done.” 

But one university professor said that Kendi was just a “celebrity” hire that never really produced results. 

“What they did is they took all that energy and hired a celebrity and gave him all kinds of money and power,” Spencer Piston, a BU political science professor told the Boston Globe about the center’s failures. 

The Globe contends that much of the center’s research was simply outsourced, at a relatively spare figure of $50,000 per project. 

One former center staffer said that the outsourcing followed a pattern of raising money and doing little research. 

“The pattern of amassing grants without any commitment to producing the research obligated to them continues to be standard operating procedure at CAR,” Saida Grundy, an associate professor of sociology at BU and former CAR employee wrote to the university’s then-provost, Jean Morrison, in 2021, according to the Daily. “This is not a matter of slow launch. To the best of my knowledge, there is no good faith commitment to fulfilling funded research projects at CAR.” 

Even before the allegedly shady loans were revealed, Piston was calling on the university to fire Kendi over poor results at the center. 

“A more appropriate response would be to remove Dr. Kendi from the directorship and hand governance over to the fired staff, who have been working intensely with deep commitment to the cause of racial justice,” Piston said, according to the Daily.  

It’s unclear what recourse the university would have over the $600,000 loan in the event they terminated Kendi.  

Calls to a Boston University spokesman were not returned before publication.  

Emails to Kendi’s private email address, calls to his cell phone, as well as text messages by the Lion were not returned.