There has been a rumble among conservatives for some time now about the “left-wing bias” of professors at American colleges. Of course, what that mainly means is that those professors aren’t telling the story the right wants told. And we all know that the truth has a definite liberal slant.
The age of Trump brings with it a renewed anti-intellectualism, and college professors are once again in the cross-hairs. A new website, launched on November 21, aims to create a database of professors who have a “liberal bias” or who “discriminate against conservative students.”
The site, Professor Watchlist, is just the latest attempt by the right to bully professors into submission. It joins other right-wing sites aimed at college students such as Campus Reform, and The College Conservative. According to the site’s homepage, it will compile news stories about professors who have allegedly shown themselves to be hostile to conservatives and conservative ideals.
Currently, the site lists 145 professors who are supposedly biased. Most of their names won’t mean anything to the average American, but there are some, such as William Ayers and Mark Crispin Miller, whose names may be familiar to those who are up on current events.
Click on any name and you’ll find out where the “news” stories about the professors come from. Almost all of the links on the profiles connect to articles from Breitbart, Discover the Networks, Campus Reform, and other right-wing sites. And those articles largely document issues of little to no consequence, except in the right-wing world. Aren’t these the same people who tell liberals to “stop whining?”
Professor Watchlist is the brainchild of Turning Point USA, a conservative activist network founded by Charlie Kirk and Bill Montgomery. Kirk is a 22-year-old conservative who was discovered by retired restaurant owner Montgomery when the former spoke to a conference at Benedictine University in 2012.
Instead of attending college himself, Kirk took Montgomery’s advice and began to fundraise for his conservative activist network. Now he is branching out to encourage conservative students to go after professors who say things they don’t like. Isn’t it conservatives who mock liberals over things like “safe spaces?” Now the right wants to create its own “safe spaces” on campus by attempting to inhibit the academic freedom of professors whose politics they don’t care for.
The entire Professor Watchlist project appears to be nothing more than an opportunity for right-wing students and their backers such as Kirk to whine “It’s not fair!” just like their hero Donald Trump does.
Kirk promoted the site with the following tweet:
Crazy radical professor at your school?
CHECK OUT “Professor WatchList”https://t.co/ONVzq70vUJ
Submit your professors on the site! pic.twitter.com/H2O8WnfUvW
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) November 21, 2016
The response so far has been largely from professors and their allies, with comments like these:
Thank you @charliekirk11 for putting together this great resource to help students find excellent professors. I hope to be on it someday.
— Michael Oman-Reagan (@OmanReagan) November 22, 2016
— Sam Cohen (@cohenss) November 22, 2016
And then there’s this, that sums up Kirk’s effort:
@charliekirk11 sounds like somebody wants a safe space
— shiftycat (@shitcat5dollars) November 21, 2016
Since Charlie Kirk hasn’t yet attended college, maybe he should take a break from attempting to intimidate professors and actually spend some time in their classes. If nothing else he might learn that college is a place where ideas and beliefs are regularly challenged on all sides. There are liberal professors and conservatives. You will come out of some classes with your beliefs confirmed, and out of others with questions about them.
Charlie Kirk doesn’t want open minds. He’s yet another example of Trump’s “poorly educated.” Now, there’s nothing wrong with being poorly educated, as long as you know that you are. But when you’re poorly educated and think you know everything, you are a truly dangerous person.
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