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More students demand firing of a teacher for saying things they didn’t like

The coming dark age: Graduate students at Kansas University are demanding the firing of a professor for trying to talk to them reasonably about race issues and saying things they didn’t agree with.

The article describes in detail the circumstances that caused the students, which in a sane world would have been considered actions of a decent and thoughtful professor trying to inspire a thoughtful discussion about issues of our time. The students, which the article’s names and correctly dubs “little fascists”, instead turn around and smear the professor to order to get her fired.

However, the worst aspect of this story is something noted by another professor in an email to the author of the article:

As a fellow communication professor on the tenure track, what’s happening at KU [Kansas University] chills me about the future of my profession. As an evangelical with “crunchy con” political leanings, I’ve always had to be mindful of what supervisors or colleagues might do should I make me views too strongly known (though thankfully not at my current institution, in which I feel very welcomed!). But my concern increasingly is not with the higher-ups, but with the possibility of unintentionally saying (or failing to display proper outrage at) something that the wrong student deems triggering, insensitive, discriminatory, or “unsafe.”

What is particularly disheartening is that the students in this scenario are not just run-of-the-mill undergrads looking for a cause of the week. They are grad students in one of the top programs in my discipline. Some of them are going to be newly-minted professors within the next six years or less. I agree with Jonathan Haidt that something has shifted in the last two or three years in terms of the grievance culture among today’s students, and we are only just beginning to see the consequences in places like Mizzou, Yale, and now, KU. Currently, much of the ire is being directed by students against their professors, but what happens when these students *become* the professors?

A new dark age will certainly come if we allow these thugs to gain power over others. Every student who is named here should themselves be expelled from the university. Not only do they not have the slightest idea what a university education is supposed to teach them, allowing them to gain a degree with allow them to impose their ignorance and fascist beliefs onto others.

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  • wodun

    It isn’t just students though, there are already a large number of professors and administrators that take part in stuff like this. When I was in college not so long ago, this was a problem even in disciplines that do not have a stereotype of being leftist. It wasn’t uncommon to get a lower grade for not having the same political views as the teacher.

  • Cotour

    I see your Students demand firing and raise you one Yoga class that apparently offends someone for some other inane reason..

  • Edward

    Robert wrote: “Not only do they not have the slightest idea what a university education is supposed to teach them, …”

    It isn’t just that it is supposed to teach the students, it is supposed to provide a “safe space” for differing viewpoints — diversity, if you will. This concept of a safe space is the reason for professors being tenured; they cannot be fired for disagreeing with the administration on even the important topics (much less the unimportant “need” for some modern “snowflake” students to never be offended — heaven forbid that someone doesn’t agree with them on every single little issue).

    Social Justice is neither justice nor is it sociable. It is intended as a hammer to promote only one viewpoint and to silence all dissent (diverse views). It is not socially acceptable, and it is hardly just.

    The concept of the “safe space” for “physical” safety is not a problem of physical safety — how many reports of actual physical harm on campus are there, as opposed to reports of symbols written on walls in poop? — but it is a problem with emotional comfort. I am involved with a student housing organization, and they do occasional demographic surveys; for the past three decades or more, they have found that students of the same race or cultural background tend to congregate — self segregate — in their housing preferences. The university (where this organization is located) even has a hall where their international students can live or congregate, because they tend to feel like strangers in a strange land.

    The same is true of many US students, who likewise have come from different regions or different cultures. They just like to be with others who are more like home than like the university’s culture.

    Even when the culture they feel “safe” in is based upon political views.

    This desire for familiarity is as natural as Cotour’s baby example.

    Around the country, protesting students demand resignations of those they disagree with, but are there any demands that these same students leave school for having their own opinions or biases? No. They go back to their residence halls, where they have set up their rooms to remind them of their own cultures, interests, and opinions. They desire the comfort of familiarity, but they fear and avoid that which is different (sounds xenophobic, to me). Unfortunately, they miss one of the most important experiences that universities are intended to provide, and that the students have, ironically, been raised to insist upon: diversity. This is why universities go out of their way to bring in students from around the country and around the world. They are supposed to learn from, learn to live with, and learn to discuss diversity. Today’s students are rejecting this diversity.

    They may *think* that they are the tolerant ones, but they have yet to learn tolerance.

  • mpthompson

    It’s amazing how quickly the academic elites have manged to rip away the thin veneer of civilized social interactions, carefully cultivated over centuries, that protect us from the fascist tendencies inherent in the human condition.

  • hondo

    We have seen it before – the Cultural Revolution – the Red Guard in China during the 60s. The faculty/staff tend to be liberal/left – the students involved radical left. They will target the faculty/staff for not being leftist enough – and target the rest of the student body as racist or “enemies of the people”. It will
    eventually get violent.

  • Phill O

    I saw a documentary on Chairman Mou (spelling is not my strength). He set the youth against their teachers and people were killed. The current administration in Washington, I believe, is the driving force in a Chairman Mou type scenario. Obama’s past ties with Bill Ayers (and the Weather Underground) is not to be forgotten.

    Maybe Trump is the only candidate that has the nerve to reshape what the current admin. has started. There are other candidates I like better, but the consideration is who can get the job done (and is not lying to get elected). You guys need somebody strong to keep out Tudeau in check (and Putin)(not to be confused with poutine).

  • Phill,

    It takes all of 5 seconds to do a search with any web search engine (google, bing, etc) to find out how to spell Chairman Mao’s name,. as well as your new Prime Minister Trudeau. By not bothering to do that, you embarrass yourself and discredit all of your arguments. No one will take what you say seriously.

    If you are going to comment, do the simplest research as you do it. You are writing the comment in a browser. The search tool is right there. Open another tab and make sure what you write is right!

  • Edward


    At the very least, Obama hired a couple of communists on his White House team when he first took office. Van Jones actually and publicly called himself a communist, yet he was on Obama’s team as the new Special Adviser for Green Jobs.
    “There’s little question that Jones *was* an avowed communist.” [emphasis in original]

    Obama’s communications director publicly declared Chairman Mao as one of her favorite political philosophers: (2 minutes)

    There is some question about others in his administration. This includes Vallerie Jerrett, an important adviser to Obama, and the one who, for months, advised him against sending the Navy Seals against the house in which Bin Laden was finally found.

    Some or all of this may be “conspiracy theoryism,” but it is clear that Obama is not on the side of the USA — at least not the USA prior to fundamentally transforming it.

    Also, writing comments in Word (or some other editors) can benefit from its spell and grammar checkers.

    Finally, do I want to try poutine? It sounds a bit like Potatoes Au Gratin with a tomato sauce. I would say that cheese and tomato don’t seem like they would go together, but they taste so good on pizza! (Mmm. Pizza for American Thanksgiving. What a concept.)

  • Phill O

    The video of the communications director is very reveling with the underlying (unsaid) thread of overthrowing capitalism.

    Your next president will have an uphill battle!

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