One of the figures originally cited in this article has reached out to PJ Media to request his removal from the post. He sent a document from the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office testifying that he was not part of the demonstration or riot but rather a bystander at the time. PJ Media has honored his request.
In the wake of the death of George Floyd in police custody, looting, arson, and rioting have erupted in cities across America, mostly perpetrated by far-left activists with antifa and Black Lives Matter. The riots have destroyed black lives, black livelihoods, and black monuments. At least 22 Americans have died in the riots, most of them black. Yet academics appear to have sided with the rioters in various ways.
Three recent news stories draw this disturbing trend into harsh relief.
Joining the riots
An assistant professor at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), had reportedly joined a violent antifa riot last month. Police arrested him at around 3 a.m. on the morning of August 23, for trespassing.
While earlier reports claimed this professor joined the rioters, the professor merely intended to watch the protest and did not know he was trespassing at a police building.
The rioters geared up to attack the Penumbra Kelly building in a residential neighborhood. Rioters set a mattress on fire, and Portland police reported that rioters threw rocks and bottles, fired paintball guns, and shined lasers at officers in an attempt to blind them.
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) August 23, 2020
Criticize Black Lives Matter and you’re out
Last month, the Daily Caller published instructor Chloe Clark’s English 250 syllabus at Iowa State University. That syllabus included a “giant warning” advising certain students that criticizing the official Black Lives Matter movement (led by self-proclaimed Marxists) or attacking abortion would be “grounds for dismissal.”
“Any instances of othering that you participate in intentionally (racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, sorophobia, transphobia, classism, mocking of mental health issues, body shaming, etc.) in class are grounds for dismissal from the classroom,” Clark wrote in the syllabus, which Young America’s Foundation (YAF) provided to the Daily Caller.
The same goes for any papers/projects,” Clark’s statement continued, “you cannot choose any topic that takes at its base that one side doesn’t deserve the same basic human rights as you do (i.e. no arguments against gay marriage, abortion, Black Lives Matter, etc.).”
Thankfully, Iowa State University told the Daily Caller that Clark’s syllabus statement was “inconsistent with the university’s standards and its commitment to the First Amendment rights of students.”
“After reviewing this issue with the faculty member, the syllabus has been corrected to ensure it is consistent with university policy,” the university insisted. “Moreover, the faculty member is being provided additional information regarding the First Amendment policies of the University.”
“Iowa State is firmly committed to protecting the First Amendment rights of its students, faculty, and staff,” the university added. “With respect to student expression in the classroom, including the completion of assignments, the university does not take disciplinary action against students based on the content or viewpoints expressed in their speech.”
Overthrow the State!
As the riots continued, Washington and Lee University (removal of Lee pending) released a course list complete with Writing Seminar 100-18, “How to Overthrow the State.”
“This course places each student at the head of a popular revolutionary movement aiming to overthrow a sitting government and forge a better society,” a course description explains. “How will you attain power? How will you communicate with the masses? How do you plan on improving the lives of the people? How will you deal with the past?”
“From Frantz Fanon to Che Guevara to Mohandas Ghandi and others, we explore examples of revolutionary thought and action from across the Global South,” the description adds. “Students engage these texts by participating in a variety of writing exercises, such as producing a Manifesto, drafting a white paper that critically analyzes a particular issue, and writing a persuasive essay on rewriting history and confronting memory.”
While there is nothing wrong with studying Marxist revolutionaries like Che Guevara, it does seem a bit unnerving that a university class would encourage students to emulate them and to “overthrow the state” — especially amid violent riots and looting in cities across America.
Although each of these three stories may seem like isolated incidents, Turning Point USA Founder Charlie Kirk warned against dismissing them.
“We must stop brushing aside these egregious examples of campus craziness as isolated incidents,” he told Breitbart News. “The lessons of the past few months prove that these ideas don’t stay on campus, they spill out onto the streets. This is a prime example of the intellectual rot that has infected the academy in America. The Trump administration should investigate and determine if this is the type of scholarship federal funds should be used to subsidize.”
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.