A notorious self-proclaimed Marxist who was discharged from the U.S. Army is now attending the University of Texas as a grad student within its history department.
Spenser Rapone is best known for celebrating his May 2016 West Point graduation by wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt under his uniform, and displaying the message “Communism will win!” inside his military headcover.
While Rapone was eventually discharged from the U.S. Army after an investigation into his online conduct found that he was an advocate for a socialist revolution and disparaged high-ranking military officers, the former cadet has found a new home in the world of academia.
According to Rapone’s biography on the University of Texas website, his interests include, “consciousness, political theology, decolonization, violence,” among other topics.
“[Rapone’s] research is primarily concerned with the question of the spirit and soul in modern thought,” the biography reads. “Specifically, he seeks to reconstruct and historically situate politico-theological ideologies such as Ba’thism and similar thought-forms in the Arab World and beyond.”
“Ba’thism” refers to an ideology that involves a fusion of socialism with Arab nationalism.
Rapone’s biography omits mention of his former military service, as well as the fact that he had received an “other-than-honorable discharge” from the Army less than a year after his pro-communism photos went viral on social media.
In a 2018 interview with the Associated Press, Rapone said he considers himself a “revolutionary socialist,” and urged members of the U.S. armed forces to “lay down their arms” and join him “in a revolutionary movement.”
“I consider myself a revolutionary socialist,” Rapone said. “I would encourage all soldiers who have a conscience to lay down their arms and join me and so many others who are willing to stop serving the agents of imperialism and join us in a revolutionary movement.”
Correction: This article as published indicated that Spenser Rapone has been hired by the University of Texas. In fact, he is attending the university as a graduate student. Additionally, the article indicated the New School for Social Research is affiliated with the University of Texas. It is actually part of the New School, a university in New York.
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