A Texas professor who got into a Facebook argument with conservatives called the employers of at least two people who disagreed with her, one of them a current student.
Elizabeth Bishop, a history professor at Texas State University who is rumored to become the next dean of the College of Liberal Arts, reached out to employers and a university department in order to report “hate speech” and exact retribution against those who would dare to disagree with her on Facebook.
“Thankfully, my employer laughed the ordeal off after seeing that the allegations of hate speech were false,” Alexander Morrissette, one of the conservatives whose employer (the Texas Public Policy Foundation) received an unwelcomed call from Bishop, told Campus Reform. “The employers on college campuses, especially campuses that are so rife with politically correct culture, may not be so judicious in their evaluation of these kinds of claims.”
Why did Bishop contact Morrissette’s employer? He engaged with her in a debate about communism on Facebook.
The status in question was initially posted by Colton Duncan, the student body vice president-elect, who called guest speaker Angela Davis an “American terrorist.”
Davis, a civil rights activist and member of the Communist Party, was placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list after she was charged with aggravated kidnapping and first-degree murder for alleged connections in the 1970 death of a California judge. She had corresponded with one of the people who murdered the judge, and she owned the weapons used in the crime, but she was later acquitted of those charges after a very public campaign involving John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
The Facebook post was later removed for violating “Facebook Community Standards.” Duncan was responding to an email sent to students, faculty, and staff at Texas State announcing a March 31 event in which Davis was set to speak. The university’s Black Lives Matter movement announced the event in January, declaring, “Phenomenal Experience for all to be apart [sic] of.”
— BLMSM✊ (@BLMSMTX) January 10, 2017
“For anyone that is interested, Texas State University (with our tuition dollars) is sponsoring communist Angela Davis, 1970s American terrorist and the third woman to be placed on the FBI’s ten most wanted list,” Duncan declared in the Facebook post.
To be fair, Duncan should have done his homework. Davis was exonerated — by an all-white jury, no less — and the college’s paper, The University Star, reported that the dean of students declared that Davis’ visit is being paid for by donations, so that “no tuition is being used.” The lack of tuition funding was reportedly confirmed at a meeting of the Texas State faculty senate on Wednesday. Duncan reportedly added a correction to the Facebook post, acknowledging this, before Facebook removed it.
Duncan did not necessarily object to Davis’ speaking at the university, however. He merely decried Texas State’s apparent double standard in allowing a radical communist (Angela Davis) to speak on campus, but not allowing the College Republicans to hold a Women’s Empowerment Summit.
“It’s a shame we live in an era when university students can’t tell the difference between Stalin and Hitler,” Bishop commented. “Like, they fought World War II. As enemies.”
To this, Morrissette keenly responded, “Enemies can have similar goals, interests, and dreams of autocratic control.” Perhaps nothing leads to conflict more than two dictators bent on dominating the same people group — and Hitler’s long-term strategy always involved conquering and subjugating Russia in the search for “living space.”
But Bishop disagreed. “Those two enemies had different goals. Long story short, that’s why one is called ‘national socialism’ and the other ‘communism,'” the professor wrote. To this, Morrissette responded at length (and his response is cut short on the screenshots of the Facebook debate). Likely, he discussed the shared ideology of socialism which spawned both movements.
Frustrated by the debate, Bishop allegedly resorted to calling Morrissette’s employer, the Texas Public Policy Foundation. In the call, Bishop alleged that Morrissette had made a disparaging Facebook post about her, but refused to provide details on what the post said. The employee who answered the call said she would talk to Morrissette about his Facebook habits.
The professor then allegedly turned her sights to an anonymous Texas State student whose only crime was to “like” several of Morrissette’s comments. Bishop called the university department where this student works and requested they investigate her and her “associates” for “hate speech.” She further demanded that the student be removed from her leadership positions on campus.
Duncan, the author of the original Facebook status, told Campus Reform he was shocked to hear of Bishop’s calls to employers and said he would be “deeply disappointed” if the rumors about Bishop becoming dean turn out to be true.
“Someone like that, with little to no regard for the First Amendment, has no business educating the next generation of leaders,” Duncan declared. “The political science department has pumped out a good number of leaders, whether they’re activists, public servants, or leaders in the private sector. I shudder at the thought of this woman wielding any authority over this process.”
Controversy over Duncan’s Facebook post even prompted the now vice president to hold an “unofficial press conference,” where he clarified that he was not “speaking in my capacity as student vice president.” He clarified that “it is something that I posted personally on my own personal Facebook, and it gained traction.”
“Gained traction” seems an understatement. The question is whether the anonymous girl who “liked” Morrissette’s comments will lose her job and her campus leadership positions over a mere Facebook interaction.