Law professor to give critical race theory talk in Guilford despite ‘threatening’ email

Chatwan Mongkol, News Editor

Retired judge and law visiting professor Angela Robinson will be a guest speaker on the critical race theory (CRT) at a virtual event by the Guilford Human Rights Commission on Aug. 10, as the town’s Board of Selectmen approved on Aug. 2.

Prior to the upcoming talk, Robinson spoke on the same topic at the commission’s meeting on July 20. She later received an anonymous email opposing her ideas after that presentation.

Connor Lawless

“Guilford is a community of over 96% Whites, they should be taught to love their race as you expect blacks to do,” the email stated, according to a Human Rights Commission’s Facebook post. “You should be working to build up your own race, rather than tearing down the culture of other races, this is an anti-White agenda. I expect you will be met with great resistance when you are in Guilford.”

Human Rights Commission Chair Jo Keogh described the email as “threatening” and said it led to this event being held virtually because it made Robinson feel uncomfortable.

“(The email) essentially (said) that she would not be welcomed here, and at this point, she is not comfortable being in Guilford,” Keogh said.

While Robinson is concerned about the climate people of color are experiencing in Guilford, Keogh further explained that Robinson is “energized” to be able to talk about this with the community.

“Although I very much understand wanting to believe that no one in Guilford would send an email like that, some of the racist rhetoric that I’ve seen and heard here in town, I’ll say I would not be shocked if someone in Guilford has sent that email to her,” Keogh said.

Guilford First Selectman Matthew Hoey added that what happened was severely disappointing and that it did not represent the town.

The Chronicle reached out to Robinson for comments but has not received any response at publication.

Keogh also said in a Facebook post that the email was sent anonymously because “anonymity is the language of the fearful.” Keogh said it was encrypted and difficult to trace because the email was sent through ProtonMail, which doesn’t require any personal information to sign up.

She noted in the post that the Guilford Police Chief assured her that the police department can trace ProtonMail accounts. However, she said at the Board of Selectmen meeting that Robinson declined to file a complaint with the police.

“I want to be clear that Angela did not, at any time, tear down the culture of ANY race, nor was her agenda anti-White,” Keogh said in the Facebook post. “In fact, she stated – twice – that not everyone agrees with CRT, and that her sole agenda in teaching it is to allow people to make informed decisions about it for themselves.”

Keogh said CRT is a hot-button issue in Guilford so she wanted Robinson to bring her “unbiased” educational forum to the town’s residents.

“We’re not in any way trying to say that people should believe in critical race theory but hoping to simply provide people with an accurate overview of what it is,” Keogh said.