When right-leaning news outlets bring light to the racist ravings of Leftist academics, they are apparently engaging in “a technique of repression,” according to Cornell University history professor Russell Rickford.
Rickford, who “specializes in the black radical tradition” at Cornell and has charged police with “genocide” because of white-on-black shootings involving police, wrote a piece entitled “Neo-McCarthyism and the Radical Professor” for the website Black Perspectives last month. In it, he explains why “attack journalism” creates a “mob mentality” against the controversial academics merely for “exposing unjust power,” or something.
“A host of progressive and leftist thinkers have been engulfed by controversy after doing precisely what they believe they have been called to do: exposing unjust power,” writes Rickford. “Such scenarios often appear to involve genuine, widespread outrage against inflammatory speech. In reality, the hullabaloo is often generated by a collection of right-wing sites and organizations that have mastered a cynical style of attack journalism well suited for the mob mentality of the social media age.”
The four professors Rickford draws as examples are among the most radical in existence.
Drexel politics professor George Ciccariello-Maher, he of “all I want for Christmas is White Genocide” fame, is a self avowed “radical political theorist” and an “actual communist,” at least according to his Twitter feed.
Sorry, I'm not "alt-left," just an actual communist.
— George Ciccariello (@ciccmaher) December 11, 2016
Ciccariello-Maher drew plenty of bad publicity for his “white genocide” comments as well as praising the extermination of whites in Haiti as a necessary step toward “universal emancipation,” yet he remains employed by Drexel.
Princeton’s Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is the second professor highlighted by Rickford. The African-American studies professor called President Trump a “racist and sexist megalomaniac” during a 2017 commencement speech at Hampshire College. She also said the Trump campaign was inundated with “racism, corporatism and militarism.”
After her words were reported by right-leaning news outlets, Taylor cancelled future appearances because she claimed she received threats.
Trinity College sociology professor Johnny Eric Williams was also highlighted. All he did was call white people “inhuman assholes” on a Facebook post, writing, “It is past time for the racially oppressed to do what people who believe themselves to be ‘white’ will not do. Put [an] end to the vectors of their destructive mythology of whiteness and their white supremacy system #LetThemFuckingDie.”
But no worries there, because Williams has been cleared of any wrongdoing by Trinity administrators, and his supporters are asking for an apology.
Steven Salaita is Rickford’s last example, famous for losing a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign job offer over an anti-Israel Tweet-storm.
By eagerly conflating Jewishness and Israel, Zionists are partly responsible when people say antisemitic shit in response to Israeli terror.
— Steven Salaita (@stevesalaita) July 18, 2014
Other than Salaita, all the other professors Rickford writes about are still professors at their chosen colleges, yet Rickford still laments the “myth of college campuses as sites of left-wing indoctrination” where professors “who actively support social justice struggles risk being isolated or chided by colleagues who lament inequality yet remain comfortably distant from the realities of oppression.”
The Cornell professor sees “the hypocrisies of liberalism and the mechanisms of conservative attack” as ways to “suppress radical expression.”
“Elites and their proxies will always try to suppress radical expression,” Rickford concludes. “They understand that even within corporatized, neoliberal universities, the potential for democratic resistance remains. No doubt a small cadre of insurgent professors will continue striving to transcend the ivory tower, using their expertise and energy to bolster the self-activity of the exploited. These scholars need and deserve the solidarity of those who value anti-racist and anti-capitalist pedagogy. We who see knowledge as more than bourgeois property must always defend our comrades against the hypocrisies of liberalism and the mechanisms of conservative attack.”
Rickford is entitled to his opinion, but his stance here begs the question of whether or not the good professor would give similar leeway to what he would consider extreme right-wing political expression.
Finally, Rickford has quite the history of far-left activism. Check out this speech at a BLM rally last year:
Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.
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