Bridgewater State University professor Garrett Avila-Nichols wrote the Facebook screed above shortly after the November 8 defeat of Hillary Clinton by President Anti-Christ. Somehow the post didn’t become known to students—at least the ones he hate—and apparently even the university’s administration until this week.
1 We are seeing one example after another of college professors making tweets and other social media posts denigrating conservatives, Republicans, whites, men and Trump voters in emotional, vicious and frequently obscene rhetoric. Can anyone recall any similar conduct from professors directed against liberals, conservatives, minorities, women, or Obama, Clinton or Carter voters? I know that there was no social media to abuse for much of those periods, but still: when did professors get the idea that attacking large segments of the population and the student body was tolerable? Why do they think it is acceptable conduct now?
2. Is it because they see, hear and read so much similar hate and fury in the mainstream media, social media, and mouth-foaming anti-Trump fanatics like Maxine Waters, Keith Olberman, and Stephen Colbert, and see them get away with it relatively unscathed?
3. Professor Turley is almost an absolutist on the matter of professors being able to exercise their First Amendment rights on social media. Would he defend this? Really? How can someone teach students when he has declared in print and online that some of them aren’t welcome? How could such students trust such a professor to grade them objectively and fairly? Teachers are supposed to be mentors and allies: how can someone who hates you perform those roles? How can a school trust a professor who writes something like that?
4. Does it matter that this is an old post? I don’t think so. Emotions that intense and judgement that terrible are signature significance. Rational, reasonable, trustworthy professionals don’t make public outbursts like that. Ever.
5. An apology should not matter in such a case. “I’m sorry I hate you”? “I’m sorry I behaved in public like a spoiled 8-year old when students pay a fortune to have me teach them”? “I’m sorry I let people know how I really think”? Avila-Nichols’s best chance would be the Pazuzu Excuse: “This wasn’t me, I don’t believe that, it isn’t who I am.” Of course, that fake apology is a lie.
6. I am beginning to think that the victims of this hyper-partisan virulent Trump-hate should be able to claim temporary insanity, but that would seem to require a public consensus that a lot of public figures, elected officials, journalists, pundits and my friends are clinically ill. Charles Blow and Hillary would definitely have to be institutionalized. I don’t think it will fly, unfortunately.
7. This professor has to be fired.