Turning Point USA recently unveiled ProfessorWatchlist.org which was meant to shine a light on professors who “discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom”. You can read more about the watchlist on Hypeline here and how the media has reacted to it here.
But how did actual professors – both on and off the list – respond to the list? Possibly in the most confusing way ever.
The media has called Turning Point’s Professor Watchlist project “a threat to academic freedom” using McCarthyist tactics to shame and target professors — which could not be further from the truth. Before we delve into what liberal propaganda-pushing professors have to say, here’s Turning Point’s own words from the National Director of the field program, Crystal Clanton, on Fox News.
That doesn’t sound like they want to silence, target, or shame any professors; just give conservative students a chance to succeed without being hindered by baby boomer leftist professors that disparage or discriminate against students based on race, religion, or ideology.
But, as we all know, the academic Left remains in a constant state of outrage, and this watchlist made it’s way into their own rants between “all white people need to check their privilege” and “capitalism is literally Nazi Germany”.
So what did they do after calling it McCarthyism, claiming it was an infringement of their first amendment rights, and a massive attack on academic freedom? They demanded to be added to the list. What?
In response to Turning Point’s Professor Watchlist, a website titled “FreeAcademics.net” was started, which has over 2,000 college professors asking to be on the list. The claim they are tired of their work, teaching, and thoughts “being policed”… so you have to put them on a list of professors who have been proven to be intolerant, rude, sexist, and racist. Because equality or something.
Their manifesto on the ABOUT US page makes them out to be the victims in this whole scenario. Oh, no, we were just teaching truth and critical thinking, now we’re blacklisted because we don’t teach conservative ideals. Poor us.
Here is the issue:
These “professors” claim the watchlist is a type of governmental policing in which they are being silenced for their beliefs. That could not be further from the truth. First off, Turning Point is probably the organization least likely to get tied up in government affairs – they made tons of media with their “BIG GOV SUCKS” signs – I promise you, they’re not an arm of the establishment.
Second of all, I find it ironic that these professors are worried about their beliefs being silenced in their classrooms. Yeah, I bet that feeling isn’t so great huh? Now you understand how 1/3rd of your class feels when you silence their opinions. Congrats, you’re learning.
There is also the irony of these academics comparing themselves to Heinrich Otto Wieland, a German scientist who risked his life to save Jewish students (that race of people which some professors have openly opposed) from the Holocaust. An event that some professors on the list don’t even think happened.
They claim the watchlist is a direct attack on academic freedom, because they “challenge… students, to promote truth and critical thinking” – but academic relativism and giving permission for the mutability of history is not truth. Teaching the Holocaust as if didn’t happen or that the Founding Fathers of the United States were terrorists or that America did not free Europe in World War II – that is not “promoting truth.”
Also, demanding that students follow your own line of thinking without questioning a word of it or they fail – that’s not reinforcing critical thinking. That’s forcing your own students into an Orwellian environment of silencing dissenting opinions and doublethink.
These same people accuse the watchlist of infringing on their first amendment rights – how? No where on ProfessorWatchlist.org will you see anything calling for the termination, assassination, or even retaliation against these professors. Publishing what these professors have said is not an act of terrorism, it’s an act of transparency.