The University of Miami Law School is facing a controversy over how to handle racist comments directed against white students — with objections over a double standard at the university. It is increasingly common to read anti-white commentary in the media, including a column recently from Elie Mystal writer for Above the Law and The Nation’s justice correspondent who lashed out at “white society” and how he strived to maintain a “whiteness free” life in the pandemic. Miami Law School has been silent in the face of complaints filed against student Jordan Gary after she posted her comments publicly on Instagram. Continue reading “Law Student’s Instagram Posting Triggers Debate Over Anti-White Speech”
There are new calls for fundamental changes in academic disciplines this month to address systemic racism. At Oxford, music department staff is calling for the removal of sheet music from the school’s curriculum as a relic of the “colonial past.” In a leading anthropology journal, two professors have criticized forensic anthropology and the traditional study of skulls to determine ancestry as inherently racist. The calls are indicative of fundamental changes demanded in many of our academic disciplines. Such debates are good for academic institutions, but only if faculty and students feel comfortable in challenging such claims. On many of our campuses, there is a palpable fear about speaking out at the risk of being labelled racist or insensitive on such issues.
We have been discussing campaigns against Lincoln statues as well as the destruction of such statues. The latest example is in Boise, Idaho where former Boise State University adjunct professor Terry Wilson, 37, has been arrested for defacing a Lincoln statue. He has previously served as a spokesperson for Black Lives Matter in Boise. Both BLM and Antifa groups were reportedly involved in the defacing of the statue. Continue reading “Former BSU Professor Arrested For Defacing Lincoln Statue With Feces And Paint”
A Christian group at the University of Iowa scored a major win this week before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. In an opinion (below) with sweeping potential impact, the court reversed District Court Judge Stephanie Rose and ruled that University of Iowa officials can be held personally liable for targeting a Christian club and denying the rights of free speech and association. The University ultimately did not appeal findings that it violated the rights of this religious group and these students in its discriminatory application of university policies.
CUNY Law Dean Mary Lu Bilek is back in the news in what people are calling a case of “self-cancellation.” After referring to herself as a “slaveholder” in a faculty meeting, Bilek announced her early retirement in response to what she called as momentary but serious lapse of judgment last year. We previously discussed Bilek’s troubling view of free speech after conservative law professor Josh Blackman was stopped from speaking about “the importance of free speech.” Bilek insisted that disrupting the speech on free speech was free speech. She has now effectively ended her own speech, at least as the Dean of CUNY. She has also sent herself into counseling to overcome her “biases.”
University of San Diego Law Professor Thomas Smith has been put under investigation for the use of an offensive term in a column criticizing the Chinese government and its role in the pandemic. The column, written on the site The Right Coast discussed a Wall Street Journal article on China’s lack of real cooperation in the World Health Organization’s investigation into the origins of the coronavirus. In the column, Smith refers to accepting “a lot of Chinese c**k swaddle.” That led to a campaign to have Smith fired and a statement from Dean Robert Schapiro that not only announced a formal investigation but appeared to denounce Smith. The USD controversy is the latest attack on free speech and academic freedom. It shows the same combination of student cancelling campaigns and the enabling actions of school administrators. Continue reading “USD Law Professor Under Investigation For Column Criticizing Chinese Government”
We previously discussed the controversial position of Alison Collins, Vice President of the San Francisco school board, in her campaign against meritocracy and effort to shut down the gifted programs at Lowell High School. The Asian community was particularly opposed to Collins’ efforts since Asian students composed 29 percent of the students but 51 percent of the Lowell student body. Now Collins is under fire for prior tweets attacking Asians as promoting “the ‘model minority’ BS” and of using “white supremacist thinking to assimilate and ‘get ahead.’” Continue reading ““White Supremacist Thinking”: San Fran School Board Vice President Under Fire For Allegedly Anti-Asian Tweets”
We recently discussed the case of University of North Carolina law student Sagar Sharma, a student of color, who faced a recall election as the first-year class co-president. The recall was based on Sharma stating that he did not consider an argument between two fellow students to be racist. Sharma ultimately prevailed in the recall challenge 74-60. Now there has been an equally disturbing development. Sharma decided to run for 2L Class President but yesterday was disqualified on the basis that he “disparaged” another candidate and ran prematurely for the position under the election rules. The charges are connected to the prior controversy and raise serious free speech and retaliatory concerns at the law school. Continue reading “UNC Law Student Who Questioned Racial Incident Is Disqualified From Running For New Office”
Melissa Hargrove, who teaches Africana Studies and researches the hip-hop movement, is the latest academic to face a campaign for termination after she was accused of using the “n-word” in a class at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. For the last month, the university has been struggling with the controversy. In her class, Hargrove was using an acronym and discussing a song with the same word from rapper Tupac. The university ordered her into mandatory training but students want her fired. Continue reading ““Generational Trauma”: Students Demand The Firing Of Africana Studies Professor Who Used Racial Slur In Class On Hip-Hop”
In a Scientific American article entitled, “Physicists Need To Be More Careful How They Name Things,” two professors and a journalist call for the abandonment of the term “quantum supremacy” in physics because it is “uncomfortably reminiscent of ‘white supremacy.” Physics Professor Ian Durham (St. Anselm College), freelance journalist Daniel Garisto, and Math Professor Karoline Wiesner (University of Bristol) all agree that the term is not racist but still believe that it must be changed to avoid “adding insult to injury.” Continue reading “Quantum Lunacy: Physics Professor Calls For The Abandonment Of “Quantum Supremacy” As Anti-Racism Measure”
Syracuse University has been repeatedly criticized for a failure to guarantee due process and free speech rights for students. Now, a state judge has slammed the university over its treatment of a fraternity which the court found “did nothing wrong” in a racial slur incident on campus. The University continues however to defend a process that was replete with due process concerns. I have long been a critic of the lack of due process on our campuses. This became particularly acute when the Obama Administration pressured universities to reduce such protections — a policy that the Biden Administration now appears to moving to reinstate.
We have been discussing how universities are remaining silent as student governments limit rights of free speech and association, including the impeachment of conservative students. Now, students at Skidmore College have reportedly barred fellow students from starting a campus chapter of the conservative group Young Americans for Liberty (YAL). In Rochester Institute of Technology, the student government has impeached student Senator Jacob Custer for defending campus police officers wearing Thin Blue Line masks. In both controversies, there are appeals or reviews being pursued but students were subjected to weeks of abusive campaigns for the exercise of their free speech and associational rights.
If Georgia Gwinnett College wanted to foster greater unity in its use of “free speech zones,” it succeeded in prompting a near unanimous Supreme Court in ruling against it in favor of free speech this week. The Court voted 8-1 that two former students should be able to sue for nominal or symbolic damages to avoid mootness on their challenges. Only Chief Justice John Roberts stood against the ability of the two former students to sue over the loss of free speech rights. Continue reading “Near Unanimous Supreme Court Rules Against Georgia Gwinnett College In Free Speech Victory”