LSU prof wanted to threaten students who speak out against BLM agenda
In the past, one club liberals wielded to bash Republicans who resisted progressivism was the allegation of being a “McCarthyite” or engaging in “McCarthyism.”
The reference was to GOP Sen. Joe McCarthy who strutted across the political stage in the 1950s claiming to reveal the names of communists infiltrating our government. One consequence of McCarthy’s crusade was the creation of a blacklist containing names of entertainers and artists who were ostracized for allegedly sympathizing with communists.
Today we see the blacklist in reverse, as careers are lost for supporting President Donald Trump or saying such innocuous things as “all lives matter.”
Down in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a professor at LSU wants to revive the blacklist to punish students.
With continuing protests over the death of George Floyd, the black Minneapolis man who died in police custody last month, the university tweeted to students a statement about free speech.
“To be clear we at LSU condemn hate and bigotry in any form, including racially incendiary remarks. As a state university, however, we are subject to constitutional limitation on our ability to take action in response to free speech,” the tweet said.
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Alyssa Johnson was not pleased with the idea of allowing people to speak their minds, on a college campus of all places.
“If @LSU won’t take action, we as professors can,” Johnson tweeted. “Keeping a list of names and if I see them enrolled in my course, I will drop them. It’s not just free speech, it’s hate speech, and it’s a threat to student safety. #safespaces #BlackLivesMatter”
Some called for Johnson’s resignation, citing that such a threat was inappropriate for a state employee to make. But the ruckus had the desired effect — for BLM supporters.
In a subsequent tweet on June 8, LSU stated, “We are sorry our earlier tweet did not effectively communicate our core message and consequently alienated our students and friends.”
Continuing, the school said, “Today, we met with Black student leaders to pledge again that LSU will investigate and take action against all acts of racism, hostility, harassment and intimidation by students under our code of conduct. We will hold violators accountable.”
LSU’s epic fail here not only undercuts the mission of a university, it also signals students that dissenting from the woke progressive agenda won’t be tolerated.
Doubt that? Ask Grant Napear, who was fired in early June as the Sacramento Kings television play-by-play announcer after tweeting “All Lives Matter,” or New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who had said he would “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag” by kneeling. After the blowback, Brees and his wife apologized so much that the conservative satire website The Babylon Bee mocked Brees with an article declaring the NFL legend had “set a new record over the weekend for apologies by an NFL quarterback, saying he was sorry 742 times in the space of 48 hours.”
The problem with LSU’s approach, which is spreading across campuses nationwide, is that hate speech is never really defined, but rather, like pronography, only known when the aggrieved see it.
In the current context, you can be labeled a hater for showing support for cops, Trump, the flag, or for criticizing BLM, as a prof at the University of Chicago has learned.
President of Speech First Nicole Neily told Campus Reform, “LSU is a public university, which means that they — and their employees — must uphold the First Amendment. They cannot discriminate against students based on the content of their speech.”
“Imagine the reaction,” she added, “if a conservative professor promised to do the same thing to students who made remarks perceived as hateful toward the police.”
We don’t have to imagine. We can see example after example.
Johnson deleted her tweet, but ultimately she prevailed, and LSU is less free today than it was yesterday.
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