Allen, a retired professor, has emerged as the most vocal defender of the new standards and its approach to slavery. (After Florida's new Black history curriculum was published, Michigan State appears to have removed Allen's bio from its website.) In a statement co-authored by Rice, Allen writes, “We proudly stand behind these African American History Standards.”
But a closer look into Allen’s background raises questions about his credibility and qualifications. Allen has a history of making incendiary remarks and a track record of promoting right-wing ideology. In 1989, when he served as chairman of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, Allen gave a talk at an anti-gay conference titled “Blacks? Animals? Homosexuals? What is a Minority?” He branded “special classes of protection for homosexuals and other minorities as a ‘fatal’ mistake” that heightens “tensions and antagonism” within society. According to his prepared text, creating legal protections for minority groups “is the beginning of the evil of reducing American blacks to an equality with animals and then seducing other groups to seek the same charitable treatment.''