CANCEL CULTURE: Profs targeted for standing up to the Left
Campus Reform has reported multiple instances where professors have faced discipline for speaking out against popular viewpoints.
Campus Reform identified the most egregious examples of professors who have fallen victim to "cancel culture."
As we’ve reported extensively at Campus Reform, professors across America are facing mounting pressure to fall in line with the Left’s “Social Justice” movement. While it sounds nice, oftentimes, supporting “social justice” means supporting socialist, Marxist policies and organizations.
Increasingly, those within academia who fail to wholeheartedly support such movements are labeled “racists” and “white supremacists” and fired or suspended by their institutions.
Here’s a list breaking down some of the most egregious examples of professors being discriminated against because of their unwillingness to support the far-left social justice movement.
The Dean of Nursing at UMass-Lowell was fired by the school after saying “everyone’s life matters” in an email to students and faculty, following the protests and riots after the death of George Floyd.
In her email, Dean Leslie Neal-Boylan said, “I am writing to express my concern and condemnation of the recent (and past) acts of violence against people of color… I despair for our future as a nation if we do not stand up against violence against anyone. BLACK LIVES MATTER, but also, EVERYONE’S LIFE MATTERS.”
That email was deemed “racist” by students and community members, and days later, Neal-Boylan said she was fired “without trial.”
A professor at the University of North Texas was fired after making a joke about microaggressions. Nathaniel Hiers, an adjunct professor in the school’s math department, found a flyer in his classroom that warned students against using phrases like “America is a melting pot” and “America is the land of opportunity,” because they were microaggressions.
In response, Hiers placed the flyer on the chalkboard, where he wrote “Please don’t leave garbage lying around.”
The following week, Hiers was “fired without notice.”
A more recent incident at the University of North Texas involves two College of Music professors who came under fire after defending against claims that music theory is rooted in white supremacy. The two professors oversee the Journal of Schenkerian Studies. UNT's College of Music is investigating the journal after it ran articles critiquing a 2019 speech delivered by music theorist Philip Ewell, titled “music theory’s white racial frame.
Gordon Klein, a lecturer at UCLA, was suspended after refusing to lower the grading standards for his Black students. When students demanded special grading privileges for Black students in the wake of the George Floyd protests, Klein told them in an email that it would be wrong to give “preferential treatment” to students based on the color of their skin.
This resulted in outrage, with more than 20,000 people signing a petition for his firing, citing his supposed “blatant lack of empathy.”
At West Virginia University, W.P. Chedester, the Chief of Police on campus, was forced to issue an apology after a “Blue Lives Matter” flag was visible in his office during a Zoom call.
Students and faculty were outraged by the presence of a pro-law enforcement symbol and demanded he be fired. One professor at the school accused Chedester of sharing “white supremacist” images, while others demanded his termination or resignation.
Chedester was allowed to keep his job after issuing a letter of apology and removing the flag.
Professor Patricia Simon was accused of falling asleep during a campus “anti-racist” Zoom meeting, which resulted in a petition that garnered nearly 2,000 signatures calling for her firing, claiming she must be a racist if she wasn’t taking the call seriously.
Simon disputes the claims made against her, saying “I was not asleep as is implied at any point during the meeting. The photo used was taken without permission when I was looking down or briefly resting my Zoom weary eyes with my head tilted back which I must do in order to see my computer screen through my trifocal progressive lenses. I listened with my ears and heard the entire meeting.”
Professor William Jacobson, an outspoken conservative professor, says there is “an effort from inside the Cornell community to get me fired.”
Citing his conservative views and unwillingness to support the Black Lives Matter movement as the main motivation behind efforts to oust him, Jacobson said people are “trying to shut down debate through false accusations of racism.”
Mark Herring, a retiring Dean at Winthrop University, was censored by the school after publishing an op-ed referring to COVID-19 as the “Wuhan Virus” in an op-ed detailing China’s culpability in the current pandemic.
After complaints of racism and xenophobia, Herring’s op-ed was removed and he was condemned by the school in a university-wide email. In response, Herring told Campus Reform, “If everything is racist, we end up with nothing being racist. And particularly at this time and the horrific murder of George Floyd, I think we really need to be careful about how we label things.
Javier Tapia, an associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, has been banned from campus after being accused of racial profiling, despite the fact that an investigation found no signs of racism or discrimination on his part.
The controversy began when Tapia allegedly called campus security on his fellow faculty member, Assistant Professor of Art Caitlin Cherry, when he found her in an area restricted to faculty only. A letter from the school says that the two professors “did not know one another” at the time. Cherry believed that Tapia called security on her because she is black, but Tapia claimed that he mistook her for a student, due to her “youthful appearance.”
An investigation concluded that Tapia had not “initiated the security check based on Professor [Cherry]’s race and/or color.” Despite that fact, he later received a letter from the school informing him he’d been placed on leave, and was banned from appearing on campus or contacting any of his colleagues.
South Carolina professor Jeffrey Poelvoorde says his job is in jeopardy after he refused to take a mandated diversity and anti-bias training. Faculty members were initially given until 5 p.m. on August 3 to complete the one-hour training. After Poelvoorde did not meet that deadline, he was given an additional two days.
It's unclear what actions the college could take against the professor for not completing the training, but he said that "whatever comes, I believe that I have done the proper and correct thing..."
A University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine professor was reportedly demoted after he publicly opposed affirmative action policies in the medical field. The school released a statement affirming its commitment to "racial justice in medical training" after several professors and academics called on the university to take action over an article written by one of its now-former fellowship directors, Norman Wang.
The article was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, which has launched a review of the article.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Cabot_Phillips