12/17/2004

Academia Nuts

via Political Correctness Watch...

Sociology lecturer John McTighe's contract has been temporarily withdrawn by the University Louisville. According to a statement issued by the University, McTighe made comments to his class that "could be interpreted" as advocating violence. The statement in question? It was this, as he was explaining the re-election of President Bush to his sociology class:

"It was the religious zealots who say they are voting on morals. I think we should all buy AK-47s and shoot them all! That's what I would suggest, if it were allowed."
Mr. McTighe has deployed the standard defense that his comments were taken "out of context". I suspect that the "context" that Mister McTighe believes he was speaking in was a liberal echo chamber where no one would bat an eye at the suggestion that conservatives be shot.

It is difficult to argue that American academia is not a bastion of leftist thought and, to some extent, indoctrination. Open conservatives are an isolated and harassed minority on today’s college campuses, where they enjoy little respect and almost no support from institutional powers. When instructors cross the line from simply maligning conservative thought to advocating their murder, it creates what I choose to call a "hostile learning environment."

I feel that if there is a right to a workplace that is not "hostile", then it logically follows that there is a right to a learning environment that is equally free of such hostility. Mister McTighe's comment clearly rises to any reasonable description of "hostile", and the University was right to remove him from the classroom. I hope that they follow up appropriately and make his removal permanent.

(My apologies to the members of Quartz BBS for stealing "Academia Nuts". It was just too good to pass up.)