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Defiance: Blacklisted Portland professor joins New College in Florida

Bruce Gilley of Portland State University, willing to fight
Bruce Gilley of Portland State University

Bring a gun to a knife fight: Bruce Gilley, the Portland State University political scientist professor who was vilified, blacklisted, and threatened with death after writing a paper arguing that western colonialism was not all evil, that it also brought benefits to third world nations, has now taken a job as a scholar in residence at New College in Florida.

Left-leaning scholars have shown active disdain for both Gilley and New College, the latter of which is in the process of being remade from a poorly ranked campus heavily focused on social justice and critical race theory into one that prioritizes a classical liberal education.

“What they are doing there is of global significance, because this is a public university, it’s where the clearest democratic fight is,” Gilley told The College Fix in a telephone interview Friday discussing his new post. In a piece for the American Conservative, Gilley explained further: “New College is the first Reconquista of a publicly-funded venue. …Taking back power from the academic mullahs who have turned higher education in the West into little more than a madrassa system of leftist thought depends on storming the public institutions, not fleeing from them.”

Gilley’s paper on colonialism had made this quite reasonable historical statement:

Research …often finds that at least some if not many or most episodes of Western colonialism were a net benefit…Such works have found evidence for significant social, economic and political gains under colonialism: expanded education, improved public health, the abolition of slavery, widened employment opportunities, improved administration, the creation of basic infrastructure, female rights, enfranchisement of untouchable or historically excluded communities, fair taxation, access to capital, the generation of historical and cultural knowledge, and national identify formation, to mention just a few dimensions.

Our so-called academic community then responded as you would expect. It put together an international campaign to slander Gilley and his work, and applied enough pressure to the journal that published it (including those death threats) to force the journal to withdraw Gilley’s paper. At the same time the communication manager for the university’s Division of Equity and Inclusion office blacklisted him because he had the nerve to tweet “all men are created equal” in an internal college X discussion group.

Gilley responded by suing both the university and that individual. The college immediately backed down, issuing an apologic letter, while at the same time that individual conveniently retired. The lawsuit is still pending, as Gilley has no intention of backing down.

Gilley’s willingness to fight is now illustrated by his move to New College, which is a publicly funded college and under pressure from Governor Ron DeSantis is being reshaped from a leftist indoctrination outlet to an old-fashioned academic institution.

…left-leaning professors have resigned en masse, the board abolished its gender studies department and is building back up its athletics department, and is also working to enroll more male students to balance out a gender population disparity, The College Fix has reported.

But the heart of the changes at New College are focused on academics, including refreshing its honors college with a Great Books curriculum announced in January. Several contrarian thinkers in addition to Gilley have also been tapped as presidential scholars in residence, including renowned literary theorist Stanley Fish.

Both Gilley and Florida are demonstrating how to fight this battle against the intolerant left. You don’t back down, you demand corrections, and then you show no fear when your actions cause leftists to explode in rage and anger. And then you quickly replace them, expressly because they have exhibited a childish and emotional intolerance.

The job of parents and high school students now is to go to colleges like New College, to reward them for demanding high standards. If the demand for such universities grows, it will encourage other colleges to do as New College has. We might then actually begin to see a rebalancing of academia away from the leftist monolith that now controls it.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • Jeff Wright

    Well, he does look like a Bond villain….

  • I live in an area chock full of a colonialized people who, while eventually ousting the invaders, took the benefits of Western Civilization and made them their own. They expect to put people into orbit next year.

  • “You don’t back down, . . .”

    And we are back to the schoolyard. It is said, and my direct experience confirms: bullies ain’t down with a jack move,

  • Edward

    Blair Ivey wrote: “people who, while eventually ousting the invaders, took the benefits of Western Civilization and made them their own. They expect to put people into orbit next year.

    Some people would call that “cultural appropriation.”

    Oh, wait. They only say that when the white people (Western Civilization) enjoy the benefits of non-white cultures, such as cuisine, and when white people do it, it is a bad thing. White people can never be good and can never do good, especially when honoring other cultures by naming sports teams after them or their good attributes (your team had better not be brave; that’s bad). Obama declared white people to be bad, so it must be true (although he failed to inform us at what shade someone stops being bad). They must always be bad, so bringing peoples out of the Stone Age and into the modern age of medicine, prosperity, and spaceflight are all bad. Saying otherwise, as Bruce Gilley discovered, only gets you cancelled, blackballed, and blacklisted.

  • markedup2

    at what shade someone stops being [white]

    It depends on circumstance:

  • Max

    Hall of Famer basketball player John Stockton was dismayed over how many of his Friends/former players and other athletes that have died from the shot, started a podcast a while back and was in hot water, the state of Washington is trying to shut them down.
    He has the money to fight back and has partnered with a lot of other doctors standing up for the truth. Many have been blackballed and cannot practice medicine.
    I recently listen to him for the first time having a doctor on and a mortician demonstrating the never seen before white blood clots which are worse than ever!

    People are starting to fight back.

  • Greg the Geologist

    Prof Gilley makes a strong point. It’s naive to think that historical events, such as western colonization, were either 100% good or, as the Left would have it, 100% evil. Human nature doesn’t work that way. I’m reminded of the scene in Monty Python’s Life of Brian, discussing “What have the Romans ever done for us?”. The list follows.

  • 370H55V I/me/mine

    In my corner of Florida, I see a lot of OR and WA license plates driving around. I’m guessing they didn’t come this far to be missionaries, but rather refugees from the oppressive wokeness of the Pacific NW.

    One such family built a house right around the corner from me. They display their GOP lawn signs as proudly as their Oregon Ducks flags.

  • wayne

    Tangentially Related:
    Comedian Dave Smith will be playing 5 shows in Tacoma, Washington, the first week in May.

    Mad World Parody

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