A conservative website called out four professors at the University of Texas at Austin on a watchlist that seeks to “expose and document college professors who discriminate against conservative students, promote anti-American values, and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.”
Breitbart News reported nearly 2oo college professors from around the country landed on Professor Watchlist, a website where visitors are invited to “help us identify, and expose more professors who have demonstrated liberal bias in the classroom.”
Robert Jensen, who Campus Reform described as “a controversial tenured professor of journalism at UT,” landed on the list over a short-lived essay he wrote last year for social justice website Waging Nonviolence. Professor Watchlist noted Jensen argues that rape culture is part of the larger violent, patriarchy. He also writes about white privilege, institutional racism, and makes the case for radical feminism for men.
In 2005, Jensen dubbed Thanksgiving a “white-supremacist holiday” that celebrates “genocide” committed by America’s founders in the article No Thanks to Thanksgiving. He shamed Americans for “self-indulgent family feasting” and asked, “How does a country deal with the fact some of its most revered historical figures had certain moral values and political views virtually identical to Nazis?,” Breitbart News reported.
In response to the watchlist, Jensen defended himself on Waging Nonviolence. “I learned that I’m a threat to my students for contending that we won’t end men’s violence against women ‘if we do not addressed the toxic notions about masculinity in patriarchy…rooted in control, conquest, aggression’.” He also argued this accusation stemmed from activities outside the classroom, in this case, his published works, and was not an evaluation of his teaching.
The Daily Texan spoke with graduate student Shelby Knowles. She said Jensen has never pushed an agenda onto his students. “His personal opinions are rarely about the curriculum and are expressed in other comments or sidebars,” she commented.
Jensen told KVUE: “The people who put out this watchlist are not in the government. They don’t have the power to hire and fire faculty. They do create a climate of fear.” He also voiced he never never imposes his views on his students and welcomes critiques of his teaching.
History Professor Joan Neuberger also appears to have made the list for her activities outside the classroom. Last year, she organized Gun-Free UT to oppose all guns on campus in response to the state’s campus carry law that went into effect on August 1, 2016. In an email to the university’s newspaper The Daily Texan, the rattled Neuberger called her Professor Watchlist entry “erroneous and says nothing about what I do in the classroom.” In a statement, she told KVUE: “As a professor, it’s important to me that students understand conservative as well as radical ideas and histories and that they base their ideas on demonstrable facts, not on prejudices and fake news sites. Sites like this Watchlist seem intended only to intimidate professors.”
John Traphagan, a religious studies professor, appears on the Watchlist for an opinion piece he wrote for the Dallas Morning News last year calling for stricter gun control laws. He asserted that despite the many law-abiding American gun owners, “as a whole, Americans do not seem to be able to handle gun ownership.”
Lastly, Jennifer Adair, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, is a professor of Early Childhood Education at the flagship UT campus. She made the list for a 2014 co-authored Washington Post editorial loaded with empathy-ed speak and proposed teaching young children racial tolerance to “avoid another Ferguson.” The article recommends radical resources like the Zinn Education Project, created in 2008 to support middle and high school teachers using leftwing historian Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, and Rethinking Schools, also associated with the late Zinn.
While the watchlist asserted Adair has pushed her opinion on classroom projects and assignments, student Maria Lopez told the campus newspaper: “She gives us a different perspective to consider, but doesn’t force us to adopt that perspective.” Lopez said Adair “teaches about the importance of play in early childhood, which she has done research on for years. It would be silly for her not to give her personal opinions in this class.”
Professor Watchlist is a project of Turning Point USA (TPUSA), a non-profit organization founded by 21-year-old Charlie Kirk. According to the website, it has a presence on over 1,000 college campuses and high schools nationwide” and is the “fastest growing youth organization in America.”
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