MLK celebration essays won by…white students. Only white students.

Inside Higher Ed reports an essay competition to recognize MLK turned into something no one anticipated.

The University of Montana was in the early stages of addressing complaints about the lack of racial diversity on campus when it decided to hold an essay contest marking Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The contest was seen as an opportunity to engage students of various backgrounds and spur dialogue across the campus about the life and work of the late civil rights leader. But the plans backfired when the university announced, and proudly promoted, the four winning essays — all penned by white students.

The backlash on social media was swift and searing and, perhaps most interestingly, multiracial.

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