Thursday, June 18, 2015

More from Leftist Marquette Faculty on Cop Killer Mural: Whine, Moan, Bitch

Very few people have been willing to defend the mural, in Marquette’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, honoring convicted cop killer and fugitive from justice in Castro’s Cuba Assata Shakur. But predictably, a few dozen leftist Marquette faculty have done so.

There were two petitions urging Marquette not to fire Susannah Bartlow, the Director of the Center who approved the mural.

Then there was a petition, signed by “about 60” faculty and staff protesting the removal of the mural.

Then there was a meeting of aggrieved Arts and Sciences faculty (and some who were merely interested) with Dean Rick Holz, where objections to the removal of the mural were aired.

And now we have yet another statement, with further objections to the removal of the mural. It is as bad as all the others, but it offers further insight into the mentality of the hard core politically correct faculty at Marquette.

Just to deal with a few excerpts:
This most recent incident is another in a pattern (see the firing of Jodi O’Brien and the FemSex controversy) of non-consultative decision-making that has caused the university public notoriety and significantly deteriorated both student and faculty morale.
And what is the evidence that student and faculty morale has deteriorated? Apparently just that the leftist faculty (and a few of their student sycophants) are unhappy. Only a few dozen of several hundred Marquette faculty and staff have signed these petitions. And the only body with any claim to represent students (Marquette University Student Government) has supported the university’s decision to remove the mural.

But apparently for these leftist professors, they are “the faculty” and their student acolytes are “the students.”

Student Opinion

First and foremost, the decision not to engage the leadership and members of the sponsoring sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, sends the very clear message to students that their opinions and concerns are irrelevant to the administration.
Just how should the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha have been engaged?

They should have been confronted and asked “what were you thinking?” But that’s not what these leftist faculty have in mind.

And the message that “students” in Student Government apparently got was that Marquette had acted responsibly. Since student government tends to be dominated by more liberal and politically activist students, the message from the entire student body would have been an even more emphatic “what kind of idiots thought this was a good idea?”


Second, we find it deeply troubling that in a university—a societal institution explicitly designated to exchanging ideas and advancing knowledge—no efforts were made to consult faculty or staff with expertise in the area in order to understand the context and content of the mural itself from intellectual, cultural and historical perspectives. Instead, the reactionary rhetoric of a single faculty member who is currently suspended by the University took precedence over the knowledge of faculty in Africana Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, History, Sociology, Criminology and Psychology, to cite only a few relevant academic disciplines, who possess years of training and valuable insights into the complexities surrounding race and gender studies generally, and the case of Assata Shakur specifically.
Translation: we leftist faculty were pretty much ignored.

And they should have been ignored.

Here is the dirty secret of academia: disciplines and subdisciplines are not merely repositories of expertise. They are little cottage industries where people tend to think alike. Sometimes there is genuine expertise: astrophysicists can tell you a lot about the universe. But often they are dominated by narrow ideological biases, the result of both self-selection (only feminists go into Women’s and Gender studies) and group think. And if you think independently, you’ll have trouble getting tenure.

So this statement is asserting that Marquette should have gone to the most narrow and biased centers of politically correct thinking to ask for advice about the mural. Given that this statement comes from those places, this is not a surprise.
Instead, the reactionary rhetoric of a single faculty member who is currently suspended by the University took precedence. . .
These, of course, are the same leftist faculty that have been demanding that Marquette fire us, and it must gall them terribly that they have not succeeded in shutting us up. Nasty authoritarians often have been successful in cowing and bullying into silence people whose views they dislike, but it didn’t work this time.
academic freedom; or the cold climate surrounding race, gender and sexuality in which we must work and live at Marquette.
Irony alert!

People who wanted us fired are talking about academic freedom? When they use the term, they apparently think it only applies to ideas of which they approve.

As for “cold climate:” what has actually happened is when they push too hard on their anti-Catholic, secular agenda, they get pushback. Since they are absolutely convinced in the righteousness of their cause, they consider this unfair. But anybody who thinks Marquette should try to be at least a little bit Catholic will have doubts about an aggressively lesbian dean candidate (Jodi O’Brien) and a Femsex seminar where women color pictures of female genitalia, produce a piece of pornography, and participate in a “non-judgmental” discussion of abortion and prostitution.

Catholic Identity a Sham?

Apparently, these secular faculty leftists have gotten the idea that a “Catholic identity” at Marquette is just a sham marketing ploy. One can easily see why they might think that, given that it’s mostly true. But then when Marquette is forced into a corner and has to reject something radically at odds with any notion of a “Catholic identity,” they whine and moan.
We expect to contribute our expertise in this process and challenge you to invite that of Marquette’s most important constituency, the students themselves, as you chart a new, inclusive and collaborative path for the University.
Of course, these leftist faculty have no “expertise” that would allow them to say that honoring a cop killer is acceptable. They have only leftist ideology.

Including all faculty would be a dandy idea. Including all students would be too. As noted, they are doubtless less likely to condone a cop killer mural than is MUSG. And alumni should be included, something the faculty leftists don’t like, having already lamented “that the university satisfies the Catholic, conservative base of alumni and donors.” But these folks are real stakeholders, the value of whose degrees are dependent on the reputation of Marquette, and whose contributions heavily support Marquette.

A genuinely inclusive and collaborative process would find these few dozen leftist faculty outnumbered and marginalized. Which is why they don’t want any such process. They simply want Marquette to cater to them.

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