The link below shows just how far politics on both sides has invaded what was once considered a sanctuary for learning – our academic institutions of higher learning. At the University of Michigan, a professor made a startling and disturbing statement in an article she was writing about why nobody gets along. While the story has come out that in fact it was her editors of These Times (Jan. 2015 edition) who insisted — without her knowledge or approval — on changing the title of her article called “We Can’t All Just Get Along” to “It’s Okay to Hate Republicans,” the fact remains she begins her article with “I hate Republicans.” The professor goes on to state that she deliberately spoke in such terms to emphasize that even she has gotten locked into stating her positions in such way rather than stating what she hates about the views of that given group. She used to work for a Republican she “adored,” but since has come to believe that the brand of that party as she knew it is no longer. While her purpose may have been to bemoan the locked positions politics have now found us in, she nonetheless takes rhetorical license to stir the pot of what is already a hotbed in an arena where no student in particular should feel “hated” — higher education.
Regardless of her own political sympathies, students everywhere should feel safe to believe what they believe so long as they are harming no one else.
We as educators of all kinds have a duty to the students that we serve, both as individuals and as institutions, to protect our students from outright or subliminal attacks on any group of them, and to insure that their dignity is respected. Professors can and should challenge and probe, but preaching hatred even under the guise of provoking a dialogue is unacceptable. These young people deserve our best, each and every one of them.