Professor Loses Job After Faking Racism Research Data 

Fotoluminate LLC /
Fotoluminate LLC /

It’s a game that liberals play repeatedly. If the facts don’t fit the narrative, change them until they do. For Florida State University criminology professor Eric Stewart, making up facts was a perfect way to push a narrative, at least until he was caught.  

Stewart is a supporter of the systemic racism view, publishing many studies to back up his claims that racism is a constant factor in American institutions. For two decades, Stewart released facts, studies, and findings to support outrageous claims, including that historic lynchings of Blacks made whites view all Blacks as criminals and that conservatives were more likely to perceive blacks as criminals. 

Another research study “found” that whites wanted longer prison sentences for Latinos and Blacks. 

His research findings were inflammatory, divisive, and explosive.  

And, as it turns out, false. 

Six of Stewart’s articles, published between 2003 and 2019, had to be retracted from academic journals such as Criminology and Law and Society Review. The articles have been found to be flawed and falsified to the point they should have been discounted, not published in respected journals. 

The investigation into Stewart’s supposed “research” findings started in 2020 after a graduate student, Justin Pickett, came forward with concerns that Stewart manipulated results while the two worked together in 2011 on a paper that alleged that the public demanded longer sentences for Black and Hispanic criminals. The findings published in the piece appeared to support the idea, but Pickett said Stewart “fiddled with the sample size” to achieve his desired outcome. 

During the investigation, Stewart responded predictably by claiming that he was the victim and that the former graduate student “essentially lynched” his academic career.  

The investigation finally ended in July, and Stewart was officially removed from his position after serving as a law professor for sixteen years.  

Provost James Clark of Florida State University blasted Stewart in a termination letter, writing, “I do not see how you can teach our students to be ethical researchers or how the results of future research projects conducted by you could be deemed as trustworthy.” 

One retracted research article, released in 2019, alleged that historical lynchings increased the perception among white people that Black people are threats. Stewart suggested that socially disadvantaged and politically conservative whites were more prone to the belief.  

Another of Stewart’s now-debunked articles, released in 2015, supported an idea that Americans wanted longer prison sentences for Latinos because their community was becoming economically successful. 

An alleged study in 2018 suggested that white Americans would initiate “state-sponsored control” to thwart the perceived threat of Latinos and Blacks.   

The retraction of some of Stewart’s key “research” calls other studies released by the now-disgraced law professor into question, including findings on divorce and incarceration, the role of street gardens in fighting crime, and the impact of race on school discipline. In all, Florida State University found at least 16 studies by Stewart to be flawed. 

Stewart was a highly respected academic whose false findings were cited by more than 8500 other researchers. In 2017, he was honored as one of four distinguished criminologists at the American Society of Criminology. The phony professor received more than $3.5 million in grant monies and taxpayer-funded organizations to continue his “research.” These organizations included The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, the National Institute of Justice, and the National Science Foundation. 

At Florida State University, Stewart received a salary of $190k per year and served on the school’s diversity, promotion, and tenure committees. This gave him the authority to recommend which staff members received promotions and tenure. 

Stewart was, ironically, a member of FSU’s Academic Honor Policy Hearing Committee, where he delivered punitive measures against students accused of academic dishonesty and cheating. 

It’s unclear how much affect Stewart’s flawed and false research affected academia and the public perception of race relations. His “findings” were engineered to support a false narrative and keep the racial tension and divisiveness alive. 

Eric Stewart’s cautionary tale of widely believed falsehoods, delivered under the guise of academic authority, should serve as a warning for college students. Don’t believe everything you read, believe even less of what you hear and believe, almost nothing taught at a liberal university by a blatantly and unapologetically liberal professor.