Campus Reform | WATCH: Why one professor refused to remove his flag

WATCH: Why one professor refused to remove his flag

Dr. James Moore, an engineering professor at the University of Southern California, was recently the subject of heavy scrutiny on campus for hanging a pro-police flag on his office door.


Dr. James Moore, an engineering professor at the University of Southern California, was recently the subject of heavy scrutiny on campus for hanging a pro-police flag on his office door. 

Students demanded the removal of the flag, with one reportedly calling it an “an inappropriate and unnecessary symbol”, and another insisting that the school “do something about Professor Moore because this is not the first controversial thing he’s done.”

Campus Reform sat down with Dr. Moore to hear his side of the story. In the interview, Dr. Moore explained that he first heard of the discontent over his flag when he was contacted by the school’s student newspaper for a comment on why he chose to display it on his door. 

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Later on, Moore said a dean from the engineering school called him and requested that he move the flag to inside his office. Moore later gathered that the dean’s request was sent down through the official administration.

After the conversation with the dean, Moore said he politely declined to move the flag and said he wanted to leave it for a number of reasons, including to show solidarity with conservative students on campus.

“I wanted to communicate to conservative students on campus that their point of view was recognized, because you wouldn’t know it from the messaging they receive in this organization,” Moore said. “From the president, the provost's… every public statement about any current event or social context is predicated on a progressive point of view.”

Moore also said that he wanted to push back against the narrative that police are disparaging communities of color, citing that such claims are statistically baseless. 

“The story that black lives are at risk from the police is not borne out in the data,” Moore explained.

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He went on to state that narratives such as racial discrimination from police stem from campus “monocultures” that have developed over the years, where one point of view dominates, and others, as a result, fall to the wayside.

“When I got [to USC] in 1988, we had a fairly broad range of views present on the faculty,” but over time the university leadership “began to message a very progressive point of view because they knew that there was a majority of faculty and a growing majority of faculty on campus that would respond to that point of view and support them,” Moore said. 

Moore said that “as a result,” students are subject to a “uniform” point of view on campus.

Insofar as reversing this trend, Dr. Moore says he is “hopeful.” 

Watch the full interview above to find out why.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @_addisonsmith1