“Republicans Need To Suffer”: Drake Professor Triggers Free Speech Debate With Hateful Tweets Against Men and Conservatives

There is a free speech debate at Drake University over hateful and vulgar tweets from Associate English Professor Beth Younger, who called for Republicans “to suffer.” We have seen increasing vulgar attacks from academics, including such high-profile figures as Laurence Tribe in the last few years. Notably, Twitter did not suspend Younger’s account for calling for harm to all Republicans. I do not believe that she should be barred from social media or fired from Drake as a matter of free speech. Even with professors who have justified the murder of conservatives or killing police are protected in such hateful expressions.  The solution to such hate speech is more (and better) speech.  I would rather we denounce such speech than censor it.

Beth Younger tweeted on October 26th that  “I was just pondering how much hatred I feel towards all the Republican a**holes. They need to suffer.”

Younger also declared that all “men are trash.” and sent a message to U.S. Senator Josh Hawley on Jan. 7 that stated “f**k of you piece of shit.” She also attacked Melania Trump and called Secretary Mike Pompeo a “f**king moron and a traitor.”

Such sentiments are obviously concerning given many Republican students and presumably faculty on campus. It also have an impact on male students taking her class with her stated hatred for their gender.  In a compelling and well-considered email, President Marty Martin  correctly condemned Younger’s comments as “unacceptable.” Martin however stressed freedom of speech in her email this week:

The Drake University Statement of Principles declares that freedom of thought and freedom of expression are central to our educational mission. We therefore carefully refrain from restricting the exchange of ideas or regulating the content of speech. We recognize that the frank and open discussion of social, cultural, artistic, religious, moral, scientific, and political issues may be disturbing and even hurtful for some individuals, but the principle of free exchange and inquiry takes precedence because of its fundamental role in our educational enterprise. We seek to create through this robust exchange of ideas a community in which shared purpose transcends difference and respect for human dignity transcends conflict.

Younger’s tweets raise serious questions over sexist and political intolerance.  However, there is no allegation that she has engaged in discriminatory or hateful conduct in classes.  The question is whether universities would maintain such a position in favor of free speech if the statements targeted other groups like a male professor saying the same thing about women. It is not clear if there is a coherent line or policy on such cases. Free speech demands bright lines but the record among universities has been conflicted. I often hear from conservative and libertarian faculty about what they view as a double standard.  They do not believe that the universities would show equal tolerance for criticism, let alone hateful attacks, of other groups. Certainly many liberal faculty and students have not shown the same tolerance.

As many on this blog are aware, I tend to be predictable on free speech issues.  My natural default is to protect speech, particularly when exercised off campus or on social media. These are difficult cases when statements reflect prejudice and sexism as in the case of Professor Younger.  However, there is a fear of a slippery slope once universities begin to punish those with unacceptable views expressed in their private capacity.  We have been discussing efforts to fire professors who voice dissenting views of the basis or demands of recent protests including an effort to oust a leading economist from the University of Chicago as well as a leading linguistics professor at Harvard and a literature professor at Penn. The silence of many faculty in the face of crackdowns on free speech has been chilling in the last few years.

There is a palpable sense of fear among many conservative and libertarian faculty and students that they cannot express themselves on campus or in classes without be ostracized or even subjected to retaliatory measures, including attacks by the student government. While faculty member like Professor Younger might not show the same tolerance for opposing views, we have a greater responsibility to regain the trust of our communities in the tolerance for opposing views and expression on our campuses. She is the cost of free speech.

135 thoughts on ““Republicans Need To Suffer”: Drake Professor Triggers Free Speech Debate With Hateful Tweets Against Men and Conservatives”

    1. And…not surprisingIy, a quick googIe image search confirms she Iooks exactIy Iike one wouId expect whenever these nutcases spout off. It’s aImost comicaI. AII these women seem to be fat, unattractive, and angry Iooking. No wonder they are so fiIIed with hate for anything beautifuI.

  1. Who are the most disgusting in all these Collage Profs abusing their positions.

    The Alumni

    If the Alumni are fine with this, it will continue apace. If they stop with their annual donations, moral will improve. I know several Drake alum. I plan on pressing them to denounce, with penalty, such juvenile behaviour, and then mocking them unmercifully.

    1. He’s talking about tax policy. Has he done anything by executive order on tax policy? If not, then it’s not an example of hypocrisy.

      1. He was asked about tax policy. He responded that he needed to get the votes. He then transitioned into his philosophy on how our President should execute changes in public policy.

        He’s actually taken Obama’s view on the efficacy of the separation of powers to a new low. Obama at least professed to believe Congress needs to act and when they don’t, he would. Biden’s first 10 days of EO’s proves his philosophy is more of a unitary power. While Congress is busy impeaching ghosts and defining any opposition as domestic terrorists, Biden is impersonating a road grader to federal law and our national security.

  2. Turley may be one of the most morally confused people on earth. Half the country is Republican. She hates half the country and says so publicly. Why on earth should she be ever given a teaching spot at a leading university? Prima facie – she’s hostile and I have no reason to believe it doesn’t come out in the classroom.

    Imagine she’d used the “N word” Jonathan. There you go, now you’d have the right level of outrage. I know, she’s only dissing right wingers, and after all, we are morally defective so we kinda deserve it, right Jonathan?

    1. Drake would appear to be dealing with it.

      She has stopped tweeting, AFAICT, and her account is no longer accessible — or it wasn’t when I checked several hours ago.

    2. Why on earth should she be ever given a teaching spot at a leading university? Prima facie – she’s hostile and I have no reason to believe it doesn’t come out in the classroom.

      It’s a private college, not a ‘leading university’. And her attitude is not unacceptable on faculties. She said the quiet part out loud.

  3. “However, there is no allegation that she has engaged in discriminatory or hateful conduct in classes.”

    Are students staying quiet in order to pass her classes?

    1. She specializes in pulp fiction and ‘women’s studies’. It’s a reasonable wager her classes are not filled with Drake’s best.

    2. Curious about the grades of any past male students or conservative students who have questioned her. Curious after being publicized if there will be students doing some kind of end round so as not to have her for a professor. If a conservative professor makes a statement, he/she is ostracized, and students publicly boycott the classes.

  4. “Any individual who uses vicious speech betrays the ideal of mutual respect and goodwill toward all members of our university community.”

    Excellent letter, President Martin! Very well said!

    1. As in, she’s not from Iowa and is now learning her behavior isn’t the ‘Iowa way’. Gets a little heated between Cyclones and Hawkeyes sometimes, though. 😉

      1. There are plenty of jerks in Iowa, as there are in all states.

        Hey, what’s Steve King up to these days?

        1. No idea–he lost re-election. In general, people are pretty centrist and polite. “Iowa nice” is a fairly accurate generalization.

          On a similar note about Iowans trying to bring things back into balance. It’s a bit dated but still representative:

          “We took appropriate action because there is nothing more important in journalism than having readers’ trust….The Des Moines Register staff has heard from hundreds of people in the past few days upset over our handling of a story on Carson King, the 24-year-old whose Busch Light sign on ESPN’s “College GameDay” show launched more than a million dollars in donations to an Iowa children’s hospital.

          We’ve listened with an open mind to everyone, but especially Iowans, the people who are our neighbors, who care as much as we do about our state and everyone who lives here.

          And we hear you: You’re angry, you’re disappointed and you want us to understand that.

          I want to be as transparent as possible about what we did and why, answer the questions you’ve raised and tell you what we’ve learned so far and what we’ll try to do better. For one, we’re revising our policies and practices, including those that did not uncover our own reporter’s past inappropriate social media postings. That reporter is no longer with the Register.”


              1. Anonymously:
                I read her “defense.” Pathetic. She, a self-admitted public liar, is so reflective of the complete lack of self-awareness prevalent among the young media. Who raised this whiny cretin? Wolves? She just doesn’t get it, but like my uncle said when he used to utter this line, “she will.” Maybe she did.

                1. Aaron Calvin does have an androgynous look to him, but he’s male. I’m not seeing where he admits to public lying.

                  What I think he does not appreciate is the frame of reference people bring to judging the media. Between about 1980 and 1995, Stanley Rothman and Robert Lichter did a series of comparative studies of different occupational groups. One was journalists. One thing they discovered was that journalists tend to be power-motivated (in contrast to business executives, who tend to be achievement-motivated). It’s congruent with the assessment of Tom Wolfe, who offered many years ago that journalists tend to be people who got knocked around on the schoolyard and want revenge. (Karl Zinsmeister’s comment on journalists embedded with military units in Iraq: the reporters are people who, some years back, were being stuffed into lockers by guys like the soldiers they’re covering). The public thinks of reporters as malicious. And anyone whose been covered by the media knows they’re not that good at reporting.

                  Another thing is that neither Carson King nor Aaron Calvin shows any awareness of how fad-driven and superficial are the judgments of people running institutions these days. Whether Carson King once said something disrespectful to blacks or Aaron Calvin said something disrespectful to women or queers is inconsequential and should hardly be noticed. And if they’d stuck a stiletto into anyone not on the media-culture’s list of mascot groups, no one would have noticed.

            1. I read them both. I do not see the connection between people being generally polite and fair-minded and some of the problems he notes with the consolidation of corporate farms, immigration, soil and water concerns, etc. Those problems are definitely worthy of discussion–a civil discussion.

              “there are always people who live their lives with a commitment to kindness.”
              Yes, take heed.

              Mr. Calvin noted the “conflict-averse mentality of “Iowa Nice”. It may be some people think they are nicer than those in other states, but, there is also, often, a humility that wouldn’t want to consider that either. There is a difference, too, between “conflict-adverse” and civility. And, I’m not necessarily opposed to people being conflict-adverse. Conflict, just to rock the boat, isn’t helpful and can tear communities apart. Trying to decrease conflict is admirable when it is done in an effort to build a community, make people feel welcome and to help ease social interactions so that there is greater societal harmony. Are there elements of trying to ignore problems? Maybe, but generally, at least that I have observed, that Iowans are generally geared towards solving problems, even if it such things are solved incrementally.

              “encourage a more clear-eyed examination of Iowans”
              I agree that people (across the nation, not just in Iowa) need to take a clear-eyed, hard look at themselves, their ideals and values, and how that lines up with their behavior.

              What I also read was that he does not see why people were put out with him digging into King’s past–his juvenile past. When someone commits a crime as a juvenile in Iowa, at 18, they can appeal to a judge to have their record expunged (unless they were incarcerated as a juvenile for a violent crime, I think the age the record is essentially automatically expunged is 21). King was held to a higher standard than juvenile delinquents. It also came across as a double standard since the writer himself had made some poor tweeting choices. (A cautionary tale for everyone.) While he didn’t intend for it to be a ‘gotcha’ moment, it really was anyway since the intent was “DURING THE SEVEN MONTHS I worked as a trending-news reporter for the Des Moines Register, it was my job to write about viral news in Iowa and to frame my stories in ways that would increase their viral potential.” Including an embarrassing tidbit from someone’s youth runs along those lines.

              The Des Moines Register also made some poor decisions regarding their journalistic standards, as can be seen above: to frame stories to increase viral potential. Framing stories means there is an agenda, and far too often it is one to tick people off or to put people in a bad light–to increase dissension. My sense of journalists is that far too many of them seem to like finding what is ugly and negative and terrible in the world or at least framing it that way, not just because it sells but because they like tearing things down. No idea if that is indeed what kind of person Aaron Calvin is, but that’s been my observation of how journalists tend to come across far too often.

              I agree that this is a terrible problem in media: “The day I was fired, the Department of Justice approved a massive merger between Gannett and Gatehouse, forming the largest media corporation in the nation.” Media should not be standardized by corporate behemoths to the degree that it is. Too much like President Business controlling information. Local control is good, not just for schools, but for the news, too.

              In some sense, Mr. Calvin was made the scapegoat for people’s anger towards the problems and nastiness in journalism and the media, generally. Yes, there are horrible people in Iowa, as there are everywhere. That said, though (and maybe the Iowa I grew up in, like the Hobbits’ Shire, has gotten eroded a bit) the various places I lived were generally quiet, peaceful, and people aimed to treat others according to the content of their character. Anything otherwise was an outlier that was considered not okay. I’m sorry he was so badly mobbed. People were upset with the inappropriate responses to him, too–as that sort of behavior is also considered ‘not the Iowa way’.

              I do not mind the idea of “Iowa nice”–I’m glad Iowans aims to have high standards for courtesy and politeness. People may not always succeed, but it’s far better than to not have a high standard to aim for. Maybe “Iowa kind’ is better than ‘nice’.

                1. People need an ideal to aim for. You appear to be aiming to tear others down. Go sort yourself out before you criticize the world.

                  1. PR says, “People need an ideal to aim for.”

                    Ah, so now it’s “an ideal to aim for.” Which is fine.


                    It’s not about me, PR. And I’m certainly not “aiming to tear others down.” Not at all.

                    It’s about reality.

                    1. Anonymous,
                      I have lived enough different places to see that there is a fair bit of truth to the generalization of ‘Iowa nice’ and the fair-mindedness, politeness, and tendency to be conflict-adverse, as well as somewhat stoic, that goes along with that characterization (though, it could be considered a rather Midwestern trait than just localized to Iowa). There are cultural differences in different states/regions. I guess I don’t see the idea of “Iowa nice” as just an ideal; quite a few people in Iowa actually embody these traits.

                      Why do you see it as a ‘myth’?

                  2. Prairie Rose: “Go sort yourself out before you criticize the world.”

                    What a nice, kind, and polite thing to say.


                    1. Anonymous,
                      Why do you think that is not a nice, kind, or polite thing to say?

                      It came across that you were being unfairly critical of Iowans. Criticism is flippantly thrown around these days far too often to simply nihilistically tear others down. Taking some time to self-examine, for some introspection, asking oneself–why am I criticizing, for what purpose, what benefit–is prudent. If I misunderstood your intentions, I apologize. What was your intention in saying such things are a ‘myth’?

                      Do you ‘myth’ like this:

                      “Sacred myths are articulations of our most deeply held beliefs that are not subject to verification for truth or falsehood. While the truth of these myths is valid and sacred for those who hold them, it does not necessarily follow that other people’s myths are false or wrong. All people hold to sacred myths in one way or another–whether the sacred myth of the American nation, the individual’s life-story in psychotherapy, or Australian aboriginal dream-time. The sacred myths can be about the creation of the world, the ancestors and sacred history, virtuoso figures in history, human purpose, or the future….To call the most cherished beliefs of a culture “myths” does not mean that they are fairy tales. Every culture presents its understanding of the world in the language of its own sacred myths which might not make sense to outsiders” (p.4-5).

                      Ariel, David S. What Do Jews Believe? The Spiritual Foundations of Judaism. Schocken Books, New York; 1995.

                2. “Iowa kind” is a myth.

                  “Iowa nice” is a myth.

                  Funny the only time I hear the phrase is from Non-Iowans.

                  The morning talk guy on WHO radio, did an imbed with he Army. in the Iraq. He related a conversation he had with some of the men. When he asked how things were going. They told him OK, but about to get much better. Why? Because a rotation of Iowa National Gaurd were slated to come in on rotation. And when Iowa showed, things got done, done right, and on time. Plus the whole culture calmed down, and disagreements much fewer,,,those guys really are Iowa Nice.

  5. As a Drake alum, I am ashamed that my alma mater( and that of my mother) would hire such uneducated and undignified professors. As a Trump supporter, I presume that any professor who has the nerve to publicly acknowledge that he or she is a conservative would receive the same benefit from the University.

  6. The same Marty Martin who declared Drake University a sanctuary campus in 2016 without consulting the Board of Trustees. Then had his Development minions lie to concerned conservative donors by claiming Marty was misquoted. His declaration is still floating around the internet.

  7. Leftist law professors are evil. Democrat congress persons and senators are evil. They may be winning but they are evil. They and their brown shirt thugs in the media and Antifa that support them.

  8. Went in dumb. Come out dumb too.
    Hustling round Drake in alligator shoes.
    They are keeping the lame brains up.
    They’re rednecks. Rednecks.
    Don’t know their arse from a hike in the ground

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  10. https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/tyler-o-neil/2021/01/30/anti-trump-pac-demonizes-the-whole-gop-theyre-no-different-in-my-mind-than-isis-n1419521

    While we’re at it, this grossly amusing bit of business we have courtesy Ben Meiselas, Esq. He’s a partner in the firm founded by obtrusive Los Angeles attorney Mark Geragos (after earning degrees from George Washington and Georgetown Law).

    This is the Democratic Party. This is what they think, this is who they are. They ought to remember the Malcolm X dictum on political action: “I’m not going to kill you, but I’m not going to let you kill me”. There may come a time when this isn’t so amusing anymore.

    1. They’re no different, in my mind,

      Sadly, his mind is becoming more and more commonplace. There’s little conservatives can do to alter this trend. The joke used to be the inmates were running the asylum. It’s no joke. They’ve taken over the Democratic party. We’re headed for some very dark days and Conservatives better be prepared for every necessary action.

  11. I respecfully disagree wirh your suggested response being “better speech. Calling for the murder of conservatines and the police is nothing short of inflamatory hate speech and should b handled as such.!

    1. Once you start using emotional terms like hate speech, as a way to justify censorship, free speech checks into hospice. The solution to hateful talk like this professor is not to shut her up but to allow others to speak as well.
      I am not even criminalizing incitement or threats if they result in no action.
      If a rabble rouser yells “to the Bastille!” And no one goes, I see no reason to prosecute

      1. If you haven’t noticed, it’s already happening, and even the Webster’s dictionary is changing the definition of words to make them more WOKE. How many Conservatives have been fired or shamed for Hate Speech that wasn’t hate speech until the left declared it hate speech???

    2. hate speech is legal. flat out.

      this idiotic tramp did not break the law in her guttersnipe remarks

      she should get a smack in her dirty mouth. see, that’s a legal remark too.

      see Matal v. Tam (2017)

      sal sar

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