Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Marquette Leftist Faculty Continue to Protest Removal of Cop Killer Mural

To normal people in the real world, it might seem obvious that Marquette should not honor a cop killer who is on the FBI list of the Ten Most Wanted Terrorists. So a large mural of Assata Shakir on the wall of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center seemed clearly out of place.

And indeed, when we outed Marquette for having the mural on campus, the University moved quickly to have the mural painted over, and also fired Suzanna Bartlow, the Director of the Center, who had given permission for the mural to be painted.

But academics are not normal people in the real world, so there has been some push-back by campus leftists.

First, there was a petition, signed by over 60 faculty and staff, protesting the removal of the mural.

At about the same time, leftist faculty were meeting with Arts & Science Dean Richard Holz to complain. We have the minutes of that meeting:
Gender Resource Center Faculty Meeting with Dr. Richard Holz
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
1:00-2:30 p.m.

Attendees: Drs. E. Afinoguenova, A. Blair, C. Burrows, K. Coffey-Guenther, M. Cover, A. Crampton, E. de St. Aubin, A. Efford, K. Foster, S. Foster, S. Gendron, O. Goldin, N. Gordon, J. Grych, H. Hathaway, S. Hartman-Keiser, C. Hay, J. Holstein, R. Holz, G. Krenz, S. Luft, C. Maranto, R. Masson, M. Mattox, D. McDaniel, S. Mulla, D. Nowacek, R. Nowacek, A. Pasero, J. Peterson, A. Sheikh, M. Siderits, A. Sorby, J. South, J. Su, R. Stuart, M. Williams, A. Zurcher. Ms. Kim Patterson

Dr. Holz welcomed and thanked everyone present for meeting with him. He will share concerns with President Lovell, Interim Provost Callahan, and incoming Provost Myers. Dr. Holz was contacted by OMC and notified of the mural on Sunday, May 17 (graduation).

Concerns/Discussion:
  • The Gender Resource Center Chair was told of the decision by the Interim Provost. The Chair was not consulted nor made part of the conversation regarding the outcome of this situation. In addition, members of the Diversity Advisory Committee, the President’s Task Force on Equity and Inclusion and the University Academic Senate-Committee on Diversity and Equity were also not consulted or involved in a discussion or the process.
  • The director position should be held by a tenured faculty member.
  • The Gender Resource Center should be located in a more prominent spot on campus. The media statement issued indicated the mural was located in a “remote” area of campus. What message does this portray about the Center and to those who are actively involved with it?
  • The incoming WGST faculty director resigned as a result of this issue.
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority students completed the necessary university paperwork required for this project with no indication that their project would be problematic.
  • This is an issue about black women, a specific voice on campus, who wanted to be heard and were shutdown.
  • No outreach effort on the part of university leadership to the students involved with the project.
  • Students who are not part of the “mainstream” feel that the university sides with a certain population on campus who is/was hurt by this display. These students don’t see a tolerance or respect for inclusion and diversity on campus but rather a tenor that continues to favor the traditional/white student. They are on campus and in class with their peers and are seeing repercussions.
  • A university is a place of discussion and ideas, even a Catholic university. It is not a place where the conversation is shutdown no matter how uncomfortable. It is problematic that we are not able to discuss/talk about ideas/issues that we are uncomfortable with. This could have been a teaching/learning opportunity for the entire university community. A dialogue to learn why students chose this person, why some members of campus feel it is/it is not a good selection and a discussion to determine how to best collectively move forward, would have been prudent.
  • Marquette is a Catholic-Jesuit University; part of a 100 year tradition. A tradition that encourages discussion. We must articulate the difference between a parish and a university.
  • The Marquette Parents social media outlets are in need of a university leader/facilitator who is well-versed in Jesuit traditions and pedagogy. This issue was a recent topic of discussion on one of the parent social media formats and clearly there was no one providing a perspective/interpretation on behalf of the university. It was clear that no one was tasked with responding on behalf of the university and/or that as a university we are a place for discussion of all types of issues and concerns.
  • Discussions about sex-race-gender continue to be taboo on campus.
  • A number of junior faculty members are asking themselves if Marquette is the right place for them. We need to be concerned both with the retention and recruitment of junior faculty.
  • Dr. McAdams influence and reach appears to be in full force even though he has been suspended. This has a chilling effect on the campus community. Some faculty members are now more than ever concerned with what they are saying/doing in the classroom because it seems that legitimate discussions of controversial topics can be used against them.
  • The university finds itself in the media spotlight and is immediately reactive. Rather than talking about the concern/issue in an intellectual manner, the university satisfies the Catholic, conservative base of alumni and donors.
  • How do faculty members respond to peers and collaborators at other institutions who are asking and wondering what is happening at Marquette? Recommendations:
  • A tenured faculty member serve as Director of the Gender Resource Center.
  • The Gender Resource Center be placed in a more prominent space on campus.
  • The Center falls under the umbrella of the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • A request of President Lovell to hold a forum/discussion with faculty, students and staff about this issue.
  • Academic Senate to make a statement about the lack of inclusion in the decision to erase the mural and remove the director.
Dr. Holz thanked everyone for sharing their thoughts and feedback.
Let’s deconstruct some of this blather.
In addition, members of the Diversity Advisory Committee, the President’s Task Force on Equity and Inclusion and the University Academic Senate-Committee on Diversity and Equity were also not consulted or involved in a discussion or the process.
Translation: all of these bodies were approved and established by the University as sops to the politically correct “diversity” faction on campus, but when an issue arose of actual vital importance to the University, the institution saw no need to consult the race-gender-sexual orientation hustlers. Good call on Marquette’s part.
The director position should be held by a tenured faculty member.
Tenure would protect the faculty position of a Director who wanted to honor a cop killer, but not the administrative position. A lot of administrators have tenure in an academic department. If they screw up and are fired from their administrative position, they have the option to go to their academic department and be just like any other faculty member.

But they virtually never want to do that.
The media statement issued indicated the mural was located in a “remote” area of campus. What message does this portray about the Center and to those who are actively involved with it?
It says, folks, that it was just a sop to the campus gay lobby in the wake of Marquette’s failure to hire aggressively lesbian Dean candidate Jodi O’Brien.
Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority students completed the necessary university paperwork required for this project with no indication that their project would be problematic.
Which was a major dereliction of duty by the person (presumably, Suzanna Bartlow) who approved the project.
This is an issue about black women, a specific voice on campus, who wanted to be heard and were shutdown.
The national Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority claimed “Unfortunately Ms. Shakur’s entire history and background was not fully researched. If that process had occurred, she would not have been featured in the mural.” Is this a lie? Did the women of the sorority mean to honor a cop killer and terrorist? If so, they deserve to be condemned, “specific voice” or not. The faculty who are complaining about this would quickly want to silence a “specific voice” with which they disagreed. Indeed, later in the letter they complain about not being able to silence this blogger!
Students who are not part of the “mainstream” feel that the university sides with a certain population on campus who is/was hurt by this display. These students don’t see a tolerance or respect for inclusion and diversity on campus but rather a tenor that continues to favor the traditional/white student.
So tolerance and respect require honoring a cop killer? Is the implication that there are lots of minority students on campus who support killing cops? If it is, this is a terrible slur against minority students.
A university is a place of discussion and ideas, even a Catholic university. It is not a place where the conversation is shutdown no matter how uncomfortable.
But discussion has not been shut down. These folks can “discuss” all they want. All that has happened is that a mural honoring a cop killer and terrorist has been painted over. The mural involved no discussion. Just the glorification of Shakur.
It is problematic that we are not able to discuss/talk about ideas/issues that we are uncomfortable with.
Irony alert!

These are the kind of faculty who believe that discussion of gay marriage should be forbidden because any arguments against it would be “offensive” to gay students and “homophobic.” These are people like Nancy Snow, who tried to shut up a student in one of her classes who wanted to present a cops’ perspective on “racial profiling.” It seems these folks are very selective about when they want to “discuss/talk about ideas/issues.”
Discussions about sex-race-gender continue to be taboo on campus.
No, people blather about those issues endlessly. But then when somebody disagrees with them, they start whining about how an issue is “taboo.” What they would really like is to make it taboo to voice opinions which they dislike.
A number of junior faculty members are asking themselves if Marquette is the right place for them.
What kind of junior faculty? Yahoos who think honoring a cop killer is acceptable? If there is any substantial number of such people, that speaks very badly of Marquette, and if such people should leave, that would be good.
Dr. McAdams influence and reach appears to be in full force even though he has been suspended.
It’s amazing how much “influence and reach” one can have by simply reporting things that certain people would like to be secret.

Did they think they had silenced us when they got Marquette to suspend us? If so, they now know better.
Rather than talking about the concern/issue in an intellectual manner, the university satisfies the Catholic, conservative base of alumni and donors.
It seems that these people are “stakeholders” when Marquette wants to hit them up for money, but they should not count if they object to bizarre things happening at the institution.
A request of President Lovell to hold a forum/discussion with faculty, students and staff about this issue.
Of course, as Marquette has pointed out, the time for such a discussion was before the mural was put up. A discussion would be a good idea, but these folks would not want a balanced discussion with a representative group of faculty, students and alumni. They want a discussion stacked to favor people such as themselves.

This whole document is a window into the insular, politically correct bubble that is the political climate in substantial parts of academia. Yes, in that bubble, it’s not only arguable that killing cops is justified, it is thought reasonable that Marquette might honor a cop killer.

Update

An e-mail correspondent sends the following comment:
I read your Tuesday blog post. Just because some faculty showed up to the meeting doesn’t mean that they are politically motivated in attending, though your blog suggests that this is a special meeting with outraged leftist faculty. A number of us were silent, listening. The invitation to the meeting went out to all Arts and Sciences faculty interested in hearing what the dean had to say about the matter. Turns out that he had no information, only offering himself as a conduit to the higher administration, but we didn’t know that when we showed up.
This is a fair point to raise. Our readers should not assume that just because a particular faculty member is on the list of people who attended he or she approved of the mural or was protesting its removal.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Walter-marie Miller said...

Twice now in recent days it seems that Marquette’s leftist faculty have distorted the position of the Alpha Kappa Alpha to serve their own politically correct narrative.-The "made whole" line, now this.

To my knowledge the sorority’s position couldn’t be simpler. They didn’t know about Shakur’s criminal history, they would not have proceeded with the mural if they had known.

The left is famous for its acceptance of “their brand of racism.” For example, racist thought permeates those minutes, but it’s their “acceptable racism.”

More sinister beneath the surface is the paternalistic ventriloquizing of the Alpha Kappa Alpha narrative by these leftists here.

In modern parlance the left has disclaimed Alpha Kappa Alpha’s “agency.” They are speaking for the sorority, although the sorority has also spoken for itself, and the two parties are not saying the same things.

What the left is doing here is more akin to straight-up KKK racism.

It’s condescending and it sends a terrible message for black students: in any racially-charged matter they’re to be shoehorned into the proper place by the left.

Another thing - “The difference between a parish and a university.” - Don’t be fooled by this: secular leftists don’t have any business entrenching themselves at a Catholic university. They’re piggybacking off of the demand for Catholic education, but what they have to offer, well, it’s not in demand, they can’t go and make a university of their own at which to peddle their wares, if they could, they would, and then they wouldn’t be at Marquette. But they can’t. Thus, they end up at Marquette. Make no mistake they have absolutely no right to be there.

Any Catholic parent has every right in the world to think, “Go get your own school,” of these entrenched secularists.

And, yes, they are unquestionably taken by the vanities of this world.

And remember, what you get from these people is “Hollywood leftism.” Just simply stray political biases. Surface level. Disgust for Scott Walker, etc. It is a political inclination tied up in self-image (ehem, a cosmopolitan sophisticate) without any thought given to aptitude or expertise. These people like politics the same way that they like wine and cheese.

Also wanted to comment on Theology leftists. Any Marquette parents: do not ever let your child go to a Theology leftist for guidance in his faith life. Ever.

Every Marquette parent should ask that student I.D. numbers be used on blue book essay exams, also, rather than student names, because leftists will, without question, punish dissent, but also profile based on the name they see on the exam’s cover. (I’m not sure if this is standard practice or not, it wasn’t when I was there.)

You cannot protect your child from these people outright, because of required courses, but you can know when they are at great risk of encountering a politically correct leftist professor or one of their disciples.-In English and Philosophy. In Theology it’s best to try to have your child take a priest wherever possible.

For any junior leftist faculty members out there questioning whether Marquette is the right place for you, let me answer that question: Marquette is not the right place for you: go get a job at Secular U.

Thank goodness Dr. McAdams is still in full force. I hope there's national press, cameras rolling, as McAdams walks into his first class back after he's cleared.

9:46 PM  
Blogger G. B. Miller said...

Sad to say, this is what colleges/universities are producing for future movers and shakers of the world. I'm sure these people are going to be in for a very rude awakening.

Which is probably why a good percentage will stay in academia in some small way. Better to be big fish in a miniscule pond that to be a tiny fish living/dealing with the type of real world problems that don't care if you're easily offended by what they do.

Good luck to your eventual successful return to the university.

5:42 AM  
OpenID salamandertime said...

"But academics are not normal people in the real world..."

Are you saying this as a supposedly normal person who has resigned himself to no longer being an academic after being fired, or do you say this as a supposedly normal person who is still going to try to get his job back where, assuming you ever get it back, you would cease being normal by your own definition, or do you say this as an admittedly abnormal man?

If you're saying it someone who is admittedly abnormal or seeks to be abnormal by becoming an academic again, doesn't your attempt to undermine the trustworthiness of academics kind of undo itself? If you're saying it as a supposedly normal person who thinks academics aren't normal people in the real world, why are you trying to get your job back?

3:06 AM  

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