“Let Them. F**king Die:” Trinity College Professor Flees State After Backlash To Facebook Postings

 

hc-trinity-campus-closed-threats-20170621-003There is a new controversy involving an investigation of a professor for statements made on social media.  Trinity College Professor Johnny Williams has fled Connecticut after receiving death threats over his postings, including an inflammatory reference to people considered bigots and how we should “Let Them. F**king Die.”  Williams teaches classes on race and racism and clearly wanted to get others to read this hateful screed.

As we have previously discussed (including the recent controversies involving an Oregon professor and a Drexel professor), there remains an uncertain line in what language is protected for teachers in their private lives. The incident also raises what some faculty have complained is a double or at least uncertain standard. We have previously discussed controversies at the University of California and Boston University, where there have been criticism of a double standard, even in the face of criminal conduct. There were also such incident at the University of London involving Bahar Mustafa as well as one involving a University of Pennsylvania professor.

As is well known on this blog, I tend to favor free speech rights in all of these cases. In my view, this view does seem to be satire — bad satire but satire all the same. However, the standard remains entirely uncertain for academics as to whether their conduct or comments outside of school will be the basis for discipline. As a private institution, Drexel falls under a different standard than schools like the University of Oregon. Yet, free speech demands a bright line to avoid a chilling effect on those who want to challenge the status quo or popular views. Academics often write to challenge students and the public in exploring the edges of norms and beliefs.

As you might expect, I view this latest controversy through the same free speech lens.  The reaction to the social media posting in my view was overblown, including closing the entire campus by President Joanne Berger-Sweeney.

300px-Trinity_College_Connecticut_Seal.svgWilliams shared a Medium article by an author who goes by the name of “Son of Baldwin.”  The article attacks House Majority Whip Steve Scalise — who was shot during a congressional baseball practice and makes reference to his being saved by Capitol Police officers who are black.  The article, which is remarkably shallow and hateful asked “What does it mean, in general, when victims of bigotry save the lives of bigots?” It adds “Saving the life of those that would kill you is the opposite of virtuous,” it added. “Let. Them. F—ing. Die.”

Williams appears to find such racist and hateful writings worth sharing, which he did on Facebook and Twitter.  He used the hashtag #LetThemFuckingDie. Trinity then went into lockdown to deal with a potential “immediate threat.”

Williams insisted in an interview with the Hartford Courant that his posts were meant to reference a fatal police shooting in Seattle and not the attack on Scalise.  He insisted “I’m calling for the death of a system, white supremacy, not the death of white people.”

Williams will have to forgive me for not being particularly interested in his explanation. He posted a hateful and frankly juvenile writing that used racial discrimination as an excuse to engage in racist and hateful writings.  The fact that Williams views this type of low-grade discourse to be intellectually stimulating is disappointing.  I am not familiar with his own writings but his taste in the writings of others is hardly inspiring.   I view the writing as reprehensible and the posting as reprehensible but that is not relevant.  Williams has free speech and academic freedom protections.  This article was clearly posted as a provocative writing that Williams found important to share.

Now the school is going to investigate him and the posting.  Berger-Sweeney wrote that “The Dean of the Faculty will review this matter and advise me on whether college procedures or policies were broken.”  She added “I told Professor Williams that in my opinion his use of the hashtag was reprehensible and, at the very least, in poor judgment. No matter its intent, it goes against our fundamental values as an institution, and I believe its effect is to close minds rather than open them.”

Williams has apologized.

The issue does raise the question of when it is appropriate to punish people for expressing controversial or reprehensible thoughts.  Recently, the Nebraska Democratic party fired one of its top officials after he said that he was glad that Scalise was shot.  The comments embarrassed the party, which has an interest in controlling its message for the public.  This is different. Williams is a professor who was clearly speaking for himself on a matter of both political and academic interest.

Once again, I do not believe that Williams should be disciplined for engaging in free speech outside of his class, particularly when the writing falls within scope of his academic writings.  My greatest concern however is the double standard and whether a professor who posted such statements about minorities or women would receive the same treatment.  Free speech and academic freedom requires bright line rules and protections.  The solution to bad speech — like that of Williams — is more speech.  As to whether his writings justify a teaching position at a leading academic institution — that decision should not rest with public opinion but the opinion of his colleagues.

119 thoughts on ““Let Them. F**king Die:” Trinity College Professor Flees State After Backlash To Facebook Postings

  1. The great professor Turley is no grammarian, nor does he respect ethics in the Johnny Williams matter. Williams teaches courses on race and racism, and it matter not whether he reveals himself “in private” to be a racist. Only fools would deny his thinking did not spill over into his professorial side.
    Further, Williams claims he was speaking about a system (singular) of white racism, yet “Let. Them. F**king. Die” is clearly plural (THEM), and Turley defends his “apology”.
    So in effect Turley is supporting a black racist’s hate speech and racism.

    • Seems like a lot of people want a lot of people to die, whether whites, blacks, rich, poor, gay or straight. Aren’t we a compassionate society. I do wonder if Mr. Scalise is reconsidering his vote allowing mentally ill people to own guns,, though.

  2. Meanwhile, over in New Jersey:

    Essex County College in New Jersey has fired adjunct professor Lisa Durden after she made racially insensitive remarks during an interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News two weeks ago, according to the Associated Press. College officials said they received complaints about Durden’s interview, with some university constituents upset about statements that were disparaging to white people. During the interview, Durden, who is black, discussed a Memorial Day event held exclusively for black people hosted by a Black Lives Matter group.

    When Carlson asked Durden for her thoughts, she interrupted the host, saying: “Boo hoo hoo. You white people are angry because you couldn’t use your white privilege card” to attend the event. The show aired June 6, and the school suspended Durden with pay two days later. She addressed the matter during a public meeting Tuesday with school officials, but was soon fired, according to the AP.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-25/new-jersey-college-fires-black-professor-making-raciall-insensitive-remarks

    There’s more at the link, and a video!

    Oh well, back to Church’s Fried Chicken for her, where she can give people two thighs and a wing, instead of the TWO BREASTS AND A WING they actually ordered.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    • I went to Essex County College in NJ for a short time. When the sun sets, that’s when bullets start flying. Luckily I’m still alive. After 12 midnight I’ll rate it as 50/50 if you live to see the sun rise.

    • The incorrigible race card has been played by incorrigible race baiters for decades! Of course, such contentious rhetoric depends, in large part, on what partisan party you represent. Allegations of ghastly, racial attacks have often been predictable when made politically by progressives. In fact, racial gibberish by members of the radicalized, capitalized, LEFT are frequently implored to generate racial division. Our responsibility, as reasonable, open-minded people, is not to allow such chatter to distract us from the view of being one nation brought together by our common humanity!

      • Instead of ‘common humanity’, try “One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

  3. Professor Turley: While the First Amendment prohibits Congress from passing a LAW that would limit speech, I don’t see anything in it that protects individuals from the consequences of their speech.

  4. I agree with Mr. Turley’s position. Free speech is what matters, and it doesn’t appear to me that Prof. Johnny Williams was inciting violence by posting the article and its colorless content.

    While we’re on the subject of free speech, the National Security Archive at George Washington University provided this past week newly released cables showing how the US and various Islamic clergy conspired in 1953 to overthrow Mohammad Mosaddeq, Iran’s democratically-elected prime minister and government after the latter thumbed its nose at the US and nationalized the oil industry. This led to the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979, and US support of Saddam Hussein.

    http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB598-State-Department-releases-documents-on-US-backed-1953-coup-in-Iran/

    Jan Martinez Ahrens writes, “The past never has stopped persecuting Iran. Disfigured as much by the rhetoric of the Islamic regimen as by the miopic west, its history is a reflection of the tensions that erupted in the coup d’tat of 1953.”

    The US has selective respect for free speech and its corollary, democracy. We’ve seen its destructive effect everywhere, from Ukraine to the Middle East and North Africa, and all of Latin America, where Marco Rubio, keeping stride with the bully politic, is now himself threatening Central American and Caribbean countries who support Venezuela’s recent withdrawal from the OAS for refusing to join what Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez calls imperialist “lapdogs.”

    Our government and miopic people’s hypocrisy is why so many express hate for the US. Can a rational human being blame them?

    • Steve,….
      The grievance against the U.S./ U.K. role in the 1953 fuels much of the anti-American sentiment in Iran to this day.
      The Carter administration encouraged the Shah to step down, and had hopes for a moderate replacement of the Shah in the form of Ayatolla Khomeni.
      U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young described Khomeni as “saintly”.
      That was not a universal view within the Carter administration, but a fairly common one.
      The 444 day hostage crisis dashed any hope of an “Iran reset”.
      Just as every difficulty in Iran can be traced to the 1953 ascent of the Shah, every difficulty in in Iranian-U.S. relations since 1979 is the fault of the takeover of our embassy and hostages.
      The anti-American segment in Iran has been riding the wave of resentment over the 1953 coup for 66 years.
      I think in about 2045, we we can tie that 66 year mark , and check back to see if Iran and their apologists are still milking the 1953 coup grievance.
      Can “a rational human being blame” either side for the mutual hated?
      Just trying to expand on your “logic”.

        • tnash, it’s the OAS majority who are the victims. Venezuela’s ridiculing them and Canada for being part of the US conspiracy.

          As for Iran, the “miopic” majority here refuses to focus on the core issue – resources, both natural and strategic – for which the United States and Britain have inflicted untold suffering abroad.

          I ask you again: can a rational human being blame those who hate the US? And, to go one further, can the US claim that a quality of life unforeseen in the overwhelming majority of the rest of the world justify our actions across the globe?

          Make your opposing arguments, but you and I both know resources are the end game, no matter the suffering of others, so long as our people acquiesce. And on that, I judge you.

          • Steve Groen – were it not for the Marshall Plan, Europe would not have a quality of life worth living. Same for Japan.

              • The US has been a significant factor in the development of the rest of the world and has helped raise the standard of living throughout. Hate America all you want, but tell us what oil rich Venezuela did for the world. Tell us what Iran has done for the world since the removal of the Shah. They have supported terrorism in the middle east and are seeking to export it to the Americas.. If Cuba is among your favorites tell us what Cuba has done under Castro for the rest of the world and tell us what Castro did for his people and how he became so rich.

                • “The US has been a significant factor in the development of the rest of the world and has helped raise the standard of living throughout,” and since the Iron Curtain came down whether the rest of the world wants the US’s help or not. Imagine the wonderful help we’ve provided Ukraine, the Middle East, North Africa, and Latin America. We’re the benefactors of genuine sympathy while we pat our backs and turn the channel back to golf.

                  • I don’t pretend that the US hasn’t made some mistakes, but for the most part it has done good. So far I am waiting for you to explain the good your friends have done in Venezuela, post Shah of Iran and Cuba. We are or should not be the worlds policeman, but we do need to protect ourselves from existential threats.

                    Let’s take the active one today. Iran, building a nuclear bomb and the largest supporter of terrorism. That is what it seems you call a friend. You certainly aren’t a friend of free nations and free people.

            • Paul Schulte,..
              The standard “mea culpa, mea culpa” Steve Groen view of American foreign policy has been on display here again and again and again.
              I’m not even going to bother to respond to his latest sackcloth and ashes version about the Marshall Plan as a means for for the U.S. to “terrorize the world for 70 years.
              Anyone interested in something beyond the predictable Groen propaganda might be interested in reading “Six Myths about the Coup against Iran’s Mossadegh”, by Morgan Carlton.
              On some future State Department, maybe they’ll be a policy and a place for Groen to to a global “Great Satan” tour, distorting, demonizing, and apologizing for every aspect of U.S. foreign policy.

                • Steve G.,…Sorry I missed your earlier comment about “watching Sunday pundits” in myv”oversized chair.
                  I don’t actually own an oversized chair; is your pulpit oversized, or standard sized?

                  • tnash – I have no over-sized sized chair, nor do I watch pundits. Seems I am missing all the fun. BTW, am I the only one who has noticed that those great Hitler bunker videos have stopped being made? Or, if they still are, we need to keep the tradition going.

                    • tnash – they are based on a very good German movie called Downfall. Hundreds of these have been done, changing the subtitles.

          • I ask you again: can a rational human being blame those who hate the US?

            Of course, Steve. Your interlocutors are rational people. You’re not. And you don’t know what you’re talking about.

          • Steve G:

            I ask you again: can a rational human being blame those who hate the US?

            Hell, “rational human beings” elected one of them to be president. Twice.

      • The grievance against the U.S./ U.K. role in the 1953 fuels much of the anti-American sentiment in Iran to this day.

        There are reasons and there are excuses.

        Iran in 1953 was a multi-ethnic Muslim society graced / cursed with a natural resource bonanza. About 90% of it’s population was illiterate. That might not have precluded parliamentary government, but you add one impediment upon another, and the chances you have sustainable institutions which are anything but authoritarian in character fall close to zero. Over the period running from 1953 to 1979, the number of sovereign states in the Near East, North Africa, and Central Asia was variable but averaged ~ 22. The following had electoral institutions and some sort of public contestation (more often than not): Cyprus, Lebanon, Turkey, Israel, Kuwait, Pakistan. Four of these six states are of small dimension. Two of these are non-Muslim and a third was confessionally mixed. Pakistan had conciliar bodies, intermittently elected alternating with or present alongside ample electoral fraud, boss rule, and praetorianism. In Turkey, the parliamentary executive had just as much discretion as the military allowed. In Kuwait, you had July Monarchy suffrage and an executive monarch who prorogued the assembly whenever he cared to. Cyprus was awash in political violence prior to 1960, partially occupied by Turkey after 1973, and had a public life disfigured by intractable ethnic conflict. Lebanon eventually fell into anarchy (after 3 decades of political life which consisted of haggling among bosses derived from the various confessions.

        The one fairly sterling manifestation of parliamentary government was Israel, which the Iranian government and Steve Groen have spent several decades loathing.

    • n 1953 to overthrow Mohammad Mosaddeq, Iran’s democratically-elected prime minister a

      Prime Ministers are not elected. They are appointed by the head of state and then submit their cabinet list and stated program for parliamentary approval. Mohammed Mossadeq had prorogued parliament. His continuation in office was at the discretion of the head of state, who had every right and reason to dismiss him. The notion that Mossadeq was a scrupulous practitioner or consistent advocate of parliamentary forms is ludicrous.

      • Attempting technical pivots get nowhere. If Mossadeq hadn’t been re-elected to the Majlis in 1947, he could not have been nominated by the Majlis nor appointed Prime Minister by Mohammed Pahlavi in 1951.

        From Wikipedia: “At the age of 24, he was elected from Isfahan to the newly inaugurated Persian Parliament, the Majlis of Iran. During this period he also served as deputy leader of the Humanitarian Society, Jameeyate Ensaniat, under Mostowfi ol-Mamalek.[22] In protest at the Anglo-Persian Treaty of 1919, he relocated to Switzerland, from where he returned the following year after being invited by the new Iranian prime minister, Hassan Pirnia (Moshir-ed-Dowleh), to become his minister of justice. While en route to Tehran, he was asked by the people of Shiraz to become the governor of the Fars Province. He was later appointed finance minister, in the government of Ahmad Qavam (Qavam os-Saltaneh) in 1921, and then foreign minister in the government of Moshir-ed-Dowleh in June 1923. He then became governor of the Azerbaijan Province. In 1923, he was re-elected to the Majlis.. . . In 1941, Reza Shah Pahlavi was forced by the British to abdicate in favor of his son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. In 1944, Mosaddegh was once again elected to parliament. This time he took the lead of Jebhe Melli (National Front of Iran), an organization he had founded with nineteen others such as Hossein Fatemi, Ahmad Zirakzadeh, Ali Shayegan and Karim Sanjabi, aiming to establish democracy and end the foreign presence in Iranian politics, especially by nationalizing the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company’s (AIOC) operations in Iran. In 1947 Mossadegh once again announced retirement, after an electoral-reform bill he had proposed failed to pass through Majlis.[26] . . . On 28 April 1951, the Shah appointed Mossadegh as Prime Minister after the Majlis (Parliament of Iran) nominated Mosaddegh by a vote of 79–12. The Shah was aware of Mosaddegh’s rising popularity and political power, after a period of assassinations and political unrest by the National Front (Iran). Demonstrations erupted in Tehran after Mosaddegh’s appointment, with crowds further invigorated by the speeches of members from the National Front. There was a special focus on the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and the heavy involvement of foreign actors and influences in Iranian affairs. Despite the fact that Iran was never a colony or a protectorate, it was still heavily controlled by foreign powers beginning with concessions provided by the Qajar Shahs, and leading up to the oil agreement signed by Reza Shah in 1933.[27]”

        • Bad sourcing, and perfectly irrelevant.

          Mossadeq was at the time he was removed was ruling by decree and one of his objects was dis-establishing the monarchy. You want to play for keeps, sometimes you lose.

          There is not one example in the post-war Near East of a constitutional administration being instituted, enhanced, or maintained by the sort of gamesmanship in which Mossadeq was engaged. There is not one example of such a regime arising from a witless and truculent particularist movement.

          Free government in that part of the world was derived from power sharing and negotiation between traditional authorities and miscellaneous grandees, none of whom had demonstrably grandiose ambitions or was given to recriminating against Western powers.

          All this babble of yours about ‘democratically-elected’ is utter humbug on your part. You wouldn’t give a rip if we were talking about Fidel Castro.

  5. There is another professor in trouble. Adjunct professor at University of Delaware. Kathy Dettwyler, a professor in the anthropology dept. Concerning the death of Otto Warmbier who returned from North Korea brain dead. Kathy posted to her facebook:

    saying Otto Warmbier got ‘what he deserved’ in North Korea.
    The 22-year-old was “typical of a mindset of a lot of the young, white, rich, clueless males who come into my classes.”

    The University of Delaware released the following statement in response to the outcry over Dettwyler’s comments:

    “The comments of Katherine Dettwyler do not reflect the values or position of the University of Delaware. We condemn any and all messages that endorse hatred and convey insensitivity toward a tragic event such as the one that Otto Warmbier and his family suffered.

    • I tend to kind of agree with her. Trouble just finds some people, but some people go out and find trouble all on their own. What kind of clueless, frigging idiot would voluntarily go to North Korea, and then steal something? That’s like going to Singapore with a kilo of coke. Or to Iran with a crate full of Bibles. Or have a White Sorority Bikini Car Wash in the hood, at midnight, in South Chicago. Play stupid games, and win stupid prizes. Sooo, I have little sympathy for someone so stupid as to fall off into North Korea on a lark. Talk about a dumba$$!

      Plus, I think the place where you usually find anything resembling White Privilege floating around nowadays is among the Liberal Left Bernie and Elizabeth Warren sorts, who presume that places like Cuba and Socialist Venezuela are actually wonderful places because Socialism. Because they are sooo mired in their own personal experiences in the good life, that they have zero understanding what real life consists of among the less fortunate, and have to make up fantasies about why life sucks for some people. They can’t even conceive of eating your own pet, or having to eat poop and pasta to survive.

      I don’t know what the Warmbier’s political affiliations are, but there is a counterpart to the Liberal White Privilege folks on the conservative side among those more fortunate white folks, who just don’t have a clue how the less fortunate live. It is not as destructive as the Left’s because they don’t usually go around making excuses for stupid behavior by the poor, and thus encourage more of it, as much as they do just continue the oligarchial practices of society in an oblivious fashion..

      I would be curious what the Warmbier’s politics are.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

      • The notion that he stole something was a contention of the North Korean government which you’re stupid enough to believe. Some of us think 15 years hard labor and death are a draconian penalty for petit larceny.

        Every once in a while you remind all of us that you’re a psychopath.

        • It doesn’t matter whether he stole anything or not. It’s NORTH KOREA. They don’t have fair trials there. Why are you even falling off into the legalities of things??? That is a meaningless concept in North Korea. The North Koreans just do whatever the heck they like, period. Which, is why I have little sympathy for Poor Otto. How stupid does one have to be to go there voluntarily??? DUH!!!

          Squeeky Fromm
          Girl Psychopath

      • “What kind of clueless, frigging idiot would voluntarily go to North Korea, and then steal something? ”

        A little harsh, wouldn’t you say? Firstly how do you know he stole something? Secondly, I am not sure, but it is my understanding that the North Koreans advertise inexpensive and interesting trips to North Korea for young Americans travelling in China (please correct me if that is wrong). You don’t have children, but I have a good number of offspring and young people sometimes are naive, so as good as they are, they sometimes make foolish mistakes.

        Calling the young man a ” frigging idiot” isn’t something I would be proud of.

        • No. I think it’s dead on accurate. Otto was a frigging idiot. And it cost him his life. To make it even worse, it looks like the tour may have been advertised as a drinking party tour!

          Beer-soaked “booze cruises” down North Korea’s Taedong River. Scuba diving trips off the country’s eastern coast. Saint Patrick’s Day pub crawls in Pyongyang featuring drinking games with cheery locals.

          Since 2008, the Young Pioneer Tours agency built up a business attracting young travelers with a competitively priced catalog of exotic-sounding, hard-partying adventures in one of the world’s most isolated countries.

          But the death on Monday of 22-year-old American student Otto Warmbier, who was arrested during a Young Pioneer tour to North Korea in late 2015 and fell into a coma while in detention, has renewed questions about whether the company was adequately prepared for its trips into the hard-line communist state.

          The founder of Young Pioneer Tours left the company to form GN Tours, which at one point stood for Gross Negligence tours. That about says it all.
          — Dennis Schaal

          https://skift.com/2017/06/23/tour-operator-that-brought-american-to-north-korea-has-unprofessional-reputation/

          There is more at the link. I stick by my assessment.

          Squeeky Fromm
          Girl Reporter

            • The Turks have a saying, that a person who tells the truth makes a godawful jack-wagon of themselves in nine villages. Or something like that.

              So no, I stick by my opinion on this one. Otto was a complete, frigging idiot. Now, it’s up to 18 villages!

              Squeeky Fromm
              Girl Reporter

          • I guess you like to be in your face so that to you most college age kids are in your words “friggin idiot[‘s]” You are laden with hyperbole, but at least we know that a lot of your thinking put to paper is intentionally inflamatory.

            Death is a pretty harsh penalty for a child that, like most of his age, acted without wisdom and forethought.

            • No. It’s not hyperbole, or “in your face.” It is just an honest assessment of his behavior. Stupid and frigging idiotic. And no, he wasn’t a “child.” He was 23 years old when he went to North Korea. That’s a full grown adult, one who can vote, get married, smoke cigarettes, and buy booze legally. And he chose the most repressive country in the world to party or whatever??? Sorry, that wasn’t simply an “unwise choice.”

              I don’t see anything wrong with calling something exactly what it is, and not trying to soft pedal it.

              Squeeky Fromm
              Girl Reporter

              • That is your nature. You are unable to see the hyperbole of your responses.Otto was actually 22, but still a kid when you recognize that most American children stop being children at a much later age especially when they attend universities instead of going out into the real world. (Not a good thing in my opinion, but that is the way things are.)

                You can make any claims as to the assessment you made, but to the world outside of your head some of your assessments are fantassy based upon whatever distractions you have had in your life.

                There is nothing wrong in calling things what they are, but your attitude and choice of words place you into a very small and lonely group.

                I’ll say it again even though I don’t think it will penetrate.

                “Death is a pretty harsh penalty for a child that, like most of his age, acted without wisdom and forethought.”

                • Well, I think calling it, “act[ing] without wisdom and forethought” is a pretty poor substitute for “frigging idiot.”

                  And maybe not getting straight, no nonsense talk is why “most American children stop being children at a much later age especially when they attend universities instead of going out into the real world” as you stated.

                  I would remind you that these “children”, often younger than 22, grow up pretty fast when a DI gets in their faces and starts saying rude, no-nonsense things to them. And stop making excuses for them.

                  Squeeky Fromm
                  Girl Reporter

                  • “Well, I think calling it, “act[ing] without wisdom and forethought” is a pretty poor substitute for “frigging idiot.””

                    Of course you do. I know it as do many others. We recognize the hyperbole and the inability to perceive things as a bit gray instead of pure black and white.

                    • Sooo, let’s try this on. A multiple choice question. You have a 22 year old daughter who wants to go to North Korea for a party tour. What is your response:

                      A (Black) Hell no, you ain’t going if I have to duct tape your stupid a$$ to a chair! That’s frigging idiocy!

                      B (Gray) Well, you may not be acting with complete wisdom and foresight, but then again, you are only 22, and other people your age would probably consider doing it, too.

                      C (White) Hey, that sounds like great fun! Be sure to take your birth control pill every day!

                      Squeeky Fromm
                      Girl Reporter

                    • Of course you limit your scenario. As a parent my answer is no and I would do everything I could to prevent him from going. But, he was a young man, naive and lacking in wisdom, who paid the ultimate price for his lack of forthought.

                      Even your responses here are laden with hyperbole. Those would not be my choice of words, but in your case it doesn’t matter for your manner of communication is always on top volume which eventually dulls and becomes meaningless

                    • Again, what exactly does that have to do with Otto being a frigging idiot??? If you saying that the North Koreans are bad and terrible people, who will microwave people’s brains, or expose them to nerve gas—then doesn’t that back up my position that it is frigging idiocy to go there voluntary??? To voluntarily expose yourself to the legal jurisdiction of a bunch maniacal sadists???

                      Sooo, maybe I should be saying thank you for proving my point???

                      Squeeky Fromm
                      Girl Reporter

                    • The above response was for grave digger, and somehow it got posted twice.

                      My response to you was going to be, a “lack of wisdom” and a “lack of forethought” sound like things you say if someone forgot to take sunscreen to the beach, or forgot to put air in the spare tire. IMHO, voluntarily going to North Korea is better described as frigging idiocy.

                      Which Merriam defines idiocy as “something notably stupid or foolish” and dictionary.com defines idiocy as “utterly senseless or foolish behavior; a stupid or foolish act, statement, etc.” “Frigging” is defined by Collins, as, “Frigging is used by some people to emphasize what they are saying, especially when they are angry or annoyed about something.”

                      Squeeky Fromm
                      Girl Reporter

                    • OK. You like to make a lot of noise. Maybe you lack the right words and figure noise will suffice. That is OK too since we already know you don’t have the power of modulation.

              • The physical brain of Otto was missing according to doctors. This can be done by high penetration into the human skull by electrical shock or by microwaves.

                Hey squeeky, ya got that?

                • Which has exactly what to do with the frigging idiot going to North Korea in the first place??? Unless, you are saying that he had no physical brain BEFORE going to Korea, in case the Insanity Defense might apply. But I don’t think that is what you meant.

                  What, do you get reclassified from a “frigging idiot”, to a “poor child victim”, if the stupid and idiotic thing that you did, gets you killed??? Maybe at your funeral, where people will be polite enough not to call you a frigging idiot, but I don’t see much reason to extend the Frigging Idiot Free Zone outside of the funeral home, grave site, or obituary.

                  Squeeky Fromm
                  Girl Reporter

                  • Hey Squeek, remember the VX nerve agent treatment Kim’s brother got at the airport? Death don’t have no mercy.

                    • Again, what exactly does that have to do with Otto being a frigging idiot??? If you saying that the North Koreans are bad and terrible people, who will microwave people’s brains, or expose them to nerve gas—then doesn’t that back up my position that it is frigging idiocy to go there voluntary??? To voluntarily expose yourself to the legal jurisdiction of a bunch maniacal sadists???

                      Sooo, maybe I should be saying thank you for proving my point???

                      Squeeky Fromm
                      Girl Reporter

                  • Squeeky chill out….

                    Squeeky, If you are code named Comanche, will then you’re due for a chat but watch out. It starts out with being stark naked & staked to the ground. Honey & fire ants. So tell me? What’s next? Answer my questions….

        • The young man, tragically, lost his life over doing something as stupid and silly as taking down a poster in a wild, ruthless, barbaric and unrestrained country known–known–for being inhumane and highly dangerous. Seeing the film clip, as the kid’s lifeless body was carried out of that plane, made me nauseous and sick to my stomach; however, Squeeky makes a point, no matter how crudely she may state that point–this person, a US citizen, had no business, whatsoever, travelling to such a volatile and forbidding country, regardless of whether or not there are cheap and inexpensive trips available. If he, at 22, couldn’t or didn’t comprehend the grave danger into which he was entering, surely, his mother or father should have blocked this trip from ever occurring. Yes. Hindsight is 20/20, but I can envision my mother, standing in front of the plane, on the tarmac, preventing me from travelling to North Korea and blocking the plane to keep me from making such a foolhardy choice. While I hate to blame the parents–parents who must be in shock and grief stricken over the loss of their child, I wonder what they were thinking when they gave their most precious gift–their child–the green light to embark on this tragic odyssey?

          • Bam, before I deal with the important point let us be clear, no one knows what the young man did or didn’t do. What you are doing is taking the word of a ruthless killer who controls what you hear from North Korea.

            On the important issue I don’t think the parents were around at the time to oppose his flawed judgement. We are all in agreement that what the young man did was foolish. It is a matter of how tha foolishness is explained and the adjectives that go along with it. Death is a horrible way to pay for youthful indiscretions so in general the normal person doesn’t use the term “friggin idiot” in the fashion used by Squeeky. Such a lack of empathy and understanding is itself unfortunate.

            • If you wish to claim that we do not know, with any degree of certainty, just exactly what this young man actually did to incur the wrath of the North Korean government, I would also claim that you don’t know that the parents weren’t around to oppose the son’s flawed judgment in travelling to that foreboding country. Why claim that they weren’t around? I will make the very logical conclusion that they were well aware of their son’s decision to travel to North Korea, whether or not they were physically near him not. I have, in fact, seen the grainy footage of some person–allegedly this individual–in the hallway of what appears to be a hotel or sorts, ripping down a poster or mural. You just presume that the parents weren’t informed of their child’s critical decision to make this voyage, since most caring and concerned parents would’ve prevented such folly.

              • Bam, as I said in an earlier comment I wasn’t sure of all the facts, but what I had heard was that this young man was travelling in China without his parents and possibly decided, because of advertising in China, to go to North Korea. I assume the accuracy of that report has a basis that could be checked because such travel requires passports etc. though his rational for going or when the decision was made may never be known. I don’t know how you make “the very logical conclusion that they were well aware of their son’s decision to travel to North Korea, whether or not they were physically near him not. ” precisely because such conversations generally aren’t recorded.

                If the thought came to his mind while in China tell me what logical steps you can take to say your conclusion was logical.

                Anyway I don’t see the point of your reply. Are you trying to justify his death? … justify the contentions of the North Koreans killing this young man? …justify labelling him a “friggin idiot”? Just what is your point?

  6. > Once again, I do not believe that Williams should be disciplined for engaging in free speech outside of his class, particularly when the writing falls within scope of his academic writings. My greatest concern however is the double standard and whether a professor who posted such statements about minorities or women would receive the same treatment. Free speech and academic freedom requires bright line rules and protections. The solution to bad speech — like that of Williams — is more speech. As to whether his writings justify a teaching position at a leading academic institution — that decision should not rest with public opinion but the opinion of his colleagues.

    I can understand his speech as free speech, and I can understand his speech as within the purview of academic freedom,

    But I can also understand students, parents, alum, and other members of the faculty very reasonably asking if Williams can teach their students in a fair and impartial manner, and ask how the University will ensure that.

    That is, if a professors speech lead reasonable people to question his ability to teach everyone impartially, I don’t see it as an affront to free speech to monitor the professor’s grading, or even fire him, not for his views, but because he has shown himself unable to fulfill his most important mandate: teach all students who come before him.

  7. Where all of this spewing of hatred concerns me, is…..if it is being fed as a steady diet, to our children.?
    Is this man’s ” philosophy” being used in College classrooms, even in a “subtle” fashion.? Gradually, Colleges are being ruled…”out of bounds” by myself and others, due to the ” ill advised” rants of those in whose care we put our most prized possessions. In my case, my grandson. I am nor about to write a cheque for the kind of money these places demand, when their Professors are hell bent on being ” activists”.!!
    They need to keep their vitriol under wraps, or vacate their jobs. Colleges are going to suffer, because if their rants.

  8. Williams was not talking about killing a system, otherwise he would have used “it” instead of “them”.

    And if the “them” so referred were African Americans or Latinos, there would have been riots. There is an undeniable double standard.

    Private citizens have the right of free speech. If and when that free speech affects either their job or the reputation of their employer, then their employer has the right to take action. This is indeed a hard line to define. That’s why when someone employed has something controversial to say, it’s safer to do so anonymously.

    I do not understand why the Professor believes that the comment was satirical. Can we be sure that he does not, literally, wish that people would die? And if so, is he safe to interact with students? Can he perform his job in a non discriminatory manner? Should a university employ a blatant racist to teach students?

    I believe in the First Amendment, but I also believe there are consequences for actions you are legally allowed to take. If you proclaim to the world that you are racist, that can affect you socially and in the workplace.

    I understand and admire that Professor Turley vigorously defends the right to free speech on all fronts. But I do not know what his reaction would be if a professor at a university declared on his Facebook, which was shared millions of times, that he hated black people, which resulted in riots and protests that shut the school down. He has often wondered what a university’s reaction would be if defamatory speech were made in regards to minorities instead of caucasians, but he has never expressed what his reaction would be.

    I have often thought that if an employee’s speech or actions outside of the workplace became public, and it either created an unsafe working environment, or it negatively impacted their business, then the employer would have the right to fire them. They have the right to say what they want, but they don’t have the right to drive you out of business. But, again, such action could easily be misused to the point that Liberals could fire all conservatives over politics. So how do we draw that line? Because, in my example, I wouldn’t think that someone who hated black people would be safe to have around students, and would reflect poorly on the university.

    • I do not understand why the Professor believes that the comment was satirical.

      Prof. Turley’s a faculty member. It’s status lowering to believe otherwise in this case (or say you believe otherwise).

  9. If he was talking about the racism and not an individual (in reference to wishing death), he would have said “it” rather than “them.” He must think very little of his audience’s reading comprehension.

  10. Well I went out with a racist…
    That I hardly knew.
    How was I to know?
    She was with the Russians too?

    -Warren Buffet. No. Warren Zevon.

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