Sarah Lawrence College activists demand resignation of conservative prof for being conservative
A conservative professor at Sarah Lawrence College is being targeted by radical activists who don't much like the fact that he's conservative.
Usually, when we've covered cases like this, the activists and liberal faculty will take something the professor said, exaggerate it all out of proportion, and accuse the prof of being racist, homophobic, misogynistic, etc.
But in this case, the offending professor, Samuel Abrams, penned an op-ed in the New York Times that simply advocated for political diversity on campus. Abrams said nothing remotely controversial, and he offered empirical evidence for massive liberal bias among college administrators.
The activists, calling themselves the "Diaspora Coalition," couldn't take it.
One of these demands concerns Samuel Abrams, a tenured professor of politics. Abrams is conservative-leaning, and has complained about the ideological bias of leftist administrators in a New York Times op-ed. Last November, his office door was vandalized by unknown persons who wanted him to apologize to marginalized students and quit the college.
Now the Diaspora Coalition is demanding that Sarah Lawrence review Abrams' tenure. The review should be conducted by a panel consisting of members of — you guessed it — the Diaspora Coalition, as well as faculty members of color.
"In addition, the College must issue a statement condemning the harm that Abrams has caused to the college community, specifically queer, Black, and female students," the demands continue. The college must also apologize "for its refusal to protect marginalized students wounded by his op-ed and the ignorant dialogue that followed. Abrams must issue a public apology to the broader SLC community and cease to target Black people, queer people, and women."
What monstrous, racist, anti-gay, anti-female ideas did the professor publish?
I soon learned that the Office of Student Affairs, which oversees a wide array of issues including student diversity and residence life, was organizing many overtly progressive events — programs with names like "Stay Healthy, Stay Woke," "Microaggressions" and "Understanding White Privilege" — without offering any programming that offered a meaningful ideological alternative. These events were conducted outside the classroom, in the students' social and recreational spaces.
The problem is not limited to my college. While considerable focus has been placed in recent decades on the impact of the ideological bent of college professors, when it comes to collegiate life — living in dorms, participating in extracurricular organizations — the ever growing ranks of administrators have the biggest influence on students and campus life across the country. ...
Intrigued by this phenomenon, I recently surveyed a nationally representative sample of roughly 900 "student-facing" administrators — those whose work concerns the quality and character of a student's experience on campus. I found that liberal staff members outnumber their conservative counterparts by the astonishing ratio of 12-to-one. Only 6 percent of campus administrators identified as conservative to some degree, while 71 percent classified themselves as liberal or very liberal. It's no wonder so much of the nonacademic programming on college campuses is politically one-sided.
Abrams carefully lays out a devastating case for ideological conformity at elite institutions — all to no avail. Apparently, Abrams is being targeted not for what he says, but for what he believes. And the people who are charged with defending his academic freedom are, themselves, hopelessly biased.
I've covered a lot of these free speech controversies, and it's rare where a professor did not say something at least mildly controversial to get himself in hot water with students and faculty. In this case, it's hard to imagine an academic being any less confrontational than Abrams. In other cases, the activists use what a professor says as an excuse to go after them because he is conservative. In this case, there was no attempt to hide their Stalinism. Activists want Abrams fired because he expressed a conservative viewpoint about college administrators backed by solid data, and they didn't like it.