You may have seen the news of the professor who went off on a rant against Republicans recently at Michigan State University, calling Republicans “dying white people who raped this country.” (The video is posted below; note that he threatens a student who apparently expressed some dissatisfaction with the instruction he was receiving.) Ho hum, just another day at the university office, you might say.
But note that this instructor, the improbably named William Penn (that’s a suspiciously dead-white-guy-sounding name, isn’t it?), teaches creative writing, and not political science, history, sociology, or some other subject where political opinion might have a place. According to updates from the Detroit Free Press, “professor” Penn has been suspended (with pay) for the rest of the semester, and his class reassigned to a new instructor. Exactly why his political opinions were thought germane to a writing class is something I hope to have explained at some point.
It is worth pointing out two things: first, most of the time when you hear about these risible classroom outbursts, they occur in English, creative writing, or the subject areas that end in “studies,” and not in political science or history, which, while predominantly liberal in outlook, typically maintain some standards of rigor in the classroom. But second, why is it you seldom or never hear of a similar classroom rant from the right? When was the last time you saw a classroom videotape of a college professor going off on the Obama’s birth certificate and Muslim socialism? Maybe such a tape exists and someone will show it to me, but the ratio will obviously be way out of balance.
I think liberals in the tertiary subjects like creative writing are mostly frustrated mediocrities who just can’t help themselves. But really, if you actually want to indoctrinate students, are people like “professor” Penn likely to be very effective at it?
Hat tip to CampusReform.org for breaking this story.
P.S. “Professor” Penn won’t be making the Power Line 100.
UPDATE: Power Line reader Brad Stephens directs our attention to this scene from the classic high art film “Back to School.” Talk about art imitating life (at least life in creative writing class at Michigan State):