The tiny-fisted, tinier-minded troglodyte isn’t even inaugurated yet, and already there is a noticeable increase in the legitimate danger groups like Professor Watchlist can pose. See Brexit for an example of increases in hate crimes if you don’t believe me. I clicked on the link from the Higher Ed article and the first thing I saw, which should come as a surprise to no one, was that the first people listed on the homepage are women or people of color. There is another man who is a self-professed socialist (the horror!). See a pattern? The full list of professors who have thus far been reported include crimes such as: telling students they will be dropped from class if they fail to attend or turn in assignments (who needs academic rigor? They paid for those classes! They ought to get an A for that, right?); teaching students about microaggressions in a Human Resources Training class (I am sure HR departments across the nation would love it if we would all just start allowing men to grab us by the pussy – the PEOTUS says it’s ok, and no one has to be confused about whether something is a microaggression that way! It’s all just blatant!); teaching about climate change using scientifically-supported facts (because actual scientists tend to know more than the kinds of people creating dumbass report-your-professors-for-doing-their-jobs websites); and one I think was just for being not a white conservative male? I mean, literally. Even wading deep through the haze of paranoia and Terror of the Other fogging the rationale behind some of the reports, I couldn’t figure out why some of these people were listed except they weren’t white and/or male. Mostly it seemed like some students decided to make some allegations up and report them because they didn’t like the professor’s politics. Hello, McCarthyism 2016.
Yes, there have always been whiny little pissants who cause problems because they don’t want professors telling their kids that vaccines don’t actually cause autism, or not everyone believes in God the same way you do, or space doesn’t actually end at the sky. People can be crashingly myopic in their worldviews at times. I get it. It can be difficult and scary to put yourself into someone else’s position and see things from an entirely new perspective. But to turn around and prevent a college professor from teaching their subject is simply not acceptable. To turn them in for holding you to high academic standards is petulant and lazy. To proclaim that your professors are promoting discrimination and anti-American values is delusional. It is the definition of McCarthyism, which should have been left behind in the fucking 1950s. What the hell is “anti-American” in open debate or teaching multiple viewpoints, anyway? And especially in questioning one’s elected officials? American History 101: In the beginning, some people decided to question some things and made America in the process. America is based on a proud tradition of questioning and public discourse and civil disobedience. This article should serve as another means of discourse. Instead, it feels like a preview of what we should expect under the New American Republic of Gilead. Who knew that Atwood actually was writing a documentary?
Before we kiss our First Amendment right of free speech goodbye entirely, you might want to check out some of these books and remember what people before us have gone through to get to where we had been as of November 7, 2016. Because on November 8, we hit the rewind button in a big way. It looks an awful lot like 1950 to me. This very mixed book list below might help us retain some critical thinking ability, curiosity, empathy, and our spirit of civil disobedience.
The United States Constitution – Thomas Jefferson
Talking Back: Thinking Feminism – bell hooks
The Age of American Unreason – Susan Jacoby
Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate – Greg Lukianoff
The Color Purple – Alice Walker
Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Federalist Papers – Alexander Hamilton and James Madison
Bad Feminist – Roxane Gay
Men Explain Things to Me – Rebecca Solnit
The Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg – Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik
Bitch Planet – Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
It Can’t Happen Here – Sinclair Lewis
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury