Indoctrination at Marquette: Professor Louise Cainkar
I am a Junior at Marquette University . . . To receive my minor, I have to take a sociology course so I choose to take the Arab and Muslim Americans class.In another e-mail to McKenna, the student provided more details:
At first I had high hopes for the class but it steadily became worse. During her time teaching she has provided us with reading material that calls for abolishing the state of Israel, has openly criticized our governor, and repeatedly given us material that criticizes Republicans, “state tea party movements,” and “the right.” Here is an example of an article that she is making us read. It is from the Democratic Center for American Progress and she wanted us to read pages 1-12. Obviously this is not the only article like this she has made us read and I can provide you with more if you would like. When you read it, I would like you note how it refers to “state tea party movements,” “The religious right,” and “Fox News.”
Her name is Louise Cainkar, I’ll attach the link to her Marquette page for you. I thought you might be interest. The professor is very frustrating. Two Wednesdays ago we went on a field trip and the guide was explaining how great it was that the state is proving school vouchers because now the school that we were in would be able accept more students. Prof. Cainkar interrupted her and argued trying to get the guide to agree with her that Scott Walker and the Republicans were awful, it was completely unnecessary and unrelated to the your guide’s point. Frankly, it’s shameful what she is able to say and call “teaching.”It would be too much to expect that any professor should be so good at concealing their political biases that students could not figure out whether the professor leans left or right.
A lot of our students, for example, figure out that we lean to the right, although some others feel the need to ask. In general, when we lecture on something that makes the left look bad, we discuss an analogous case that makes the right look bad. Yesterday, when we talked about arrogant bureaucrats who overstep their authority, we picked on OSHA and the EEOC, and then discussed J. Edgar Hoover’s campaign to discredit Martin Luther King. When we discuss media bias, we tell students that there is no unbiased media, and that they should look at outlets on both sides of the ideological spectrum.
Further, there is a difference between letting some ideological bias show and creating a hostile learning environment for students who disagree with the professor. The latter is an abuse.
A related issue is whether the professor feels free to offer all sorts of political opinions unrelated to the subject matter. The classic canons of academic freedom protect the right of a professor to say what he or she wants in the classroom only when discussing the course material, and expressing scholarly opinions. Stray irrelevant political observations are not protected.
Of course, this distinction is largely unenforceable, but it’s still the case that spewing stray political opinions is an abuse. It’s difficult to see how attacking the tea party and Gov. Walker is relevant in a course in Arab-American politics.
But this is the Sociology Department (technically, Social and Cultural Sciences), and it, along with humanities departments is a center of political correctness at Marquette.