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New College Board Member Chris Rufo Mocks Teacher’s Accusation About Racist Mascot

When a local newspaper article claimed New College of Florida’s mascot “resembled an angry, threatening, brown individual,” Rufo quipped back: “You might be the racist.”

SARASOTA, FLORIDA — It didn’t take long for a Left-wing activist to fire off an accusation of racism at New College of Florida’s new mascot – and it took even less time for lightning rod board member Chris Rufo to fire back.

New College announced earlier this month that the “Mighty Banyans” would replace the bizarre “Empty Set” as the school’s mascot.

On Sunday, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune published an op-ed by Robin Taub Williams – a local teacher and president of the Public Education Caucus of Manasota – that implied the “disturbing” choice was motivated by racism.

“To anyone with even a cursory knowledge of racial stereotypes, the new mascot should have set off alarms,” Williams wrote.

She then asserted that the mascot “depicts a tree that has been anthropomorphized to closely resemble an angry, threatening brown individual.”


Rufo – a journalist and conservative thought leader who frequently mocks Leftists on Twitter – pounced on the article by pointing out what he considered hypocrisy in Williams’ words.

“Local affluent white female liberal claims that the New College mascot, a banyan tree, ‘closely resemble[s] an angry, threatening brown individual,’” Rufo wrote in a tweet. “Advice for white libs: if you see a tree and immediately think ‘looks like a scary minority to me,’ you might be the racist.”

READ MORE: DEI Critic Chris Rufo Mocks Florida Democrats Over “Tiny” Turnout for Protests


Williams told The Florida Standard she was “amused” by Rufo’s comments because she does not believe most people would consider her wealthy.

“I’m liberal and I’m proud of it. And I am white. But in terms of wealth, I’m living on a Social Security check and a pension check every month,” the longtime teacher said. “I’m not racist. I’m 71 years old. I’ve been fighting for social justice my whole life.”

Williams believes that the school altered the student’s original design to send a subliminal anti-black message. She solicited feedback from some of her black friends before writing the article and said they agreed with her conclusion about the mascot.

“As a white person, I personally did not feel comfortable drawing that conclusion myself,” she said. “In Facebook groups I use people have said, ‘Yeah, that’s a dog whistle.’ People who’ve been involved in social justice things for many years felt similarly.”

Williams called Rufo the “architect of the culture war” and “author of all things awful.” She added that he and DeSantis want to “erase history that isn’t saying just white men doing great things.”