Roger L. Simon

Ill Wind from the Windy City

John Ruberry of Marathon Pundit disrupted my Saturday night…. I was just heading for the DVD collection… when he emailed me a link to the cover story in the Chicago Jewish News. Thomas Klocek, a teacher at DePaul University, got into a dispute with some Palestinian students that may be costing the teacher his job of fifteen years as well as his health insurance. (Klocek, who is 58, has a serious kidney condition. He is also Catholic, not Jewish, although he defended Israel against accusations of – what else? – Nazism by the students.)

If even half of what the CNJ article says is true, we have another case of la vie à l’envers in the American academy. The Depaul dean, a woman named Dumbleton, seems a particularly terrified and pathetic character, another victim of now-reactionary political correctness run amuck.

Of course, I have only read what is essentially Klocek’s viewpoint in the CNJ story and on Ruberry’s blog, so there could be more here than meets the eye, but I am skeptical. We have heard too many similar tales in this “Ward Churchill” academic world. I suspect too there is something else at play besides PC and that is the university’s economic fear. DePaul is not exactly Princeton on the academic pecking order, although I would imagine it still charges tuition fees rivaling more renowned institutions. Places like DePaul always must cater to students who can take their business elsewere. That of course includes a growing number of militant Muslim students who insist that only their views be expressed. Where do we go from here? It’s becoming like the Middle Ages when, as I recall, the students bought their professors.

In any case, Klocek’s lawyer says he will be suing DePaul. This blog will be watching for further developments.