Campus Threats: Not Funny Anymore

Over at the AAUP listserv, Galya Diment has a funny post about  a math professor at California State University, Northridge caught on video urinating on a colleague’s door.

While I assume that the post was an effort to relieve tension, I am not at all relieved by the lack of focus on our REAL issues as academics in an armed society.  The events in Arizona, not just the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Giffords, but the proposal to arm the faculty at University of Arizona, and the UW’s tolerance of students ambushing each other with faux guns, should be enough to frighten every faculty member.

The six dead in Tucson, are not alone.  Glenn Beck’s open antisemitism frightens me personally.  Hate rhetoric from the radical right-to-lifers has led to assassinations of obstetricians .  Climate deniers and creationists are treated with respect by a public that has lost trust in science.   Armed political meetings are no longer surprising.

It  may get worse on campus.  Despite all the focus on the role of Tea Party and Fox political rhetoric, I have seen very little or no concern about the vicious attacks by these modern day Goebbels on academics.  We have had a good example here when Fox attacked Professor Hagopian. I do not know whether she has received threats, but Frances Fox Piven, the 78 year old Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the City University of New York, certainly has.  Beck described  Piven’s works as “taking you to a place to be slaughtered.” Professor Piven, after being excoriated by Beck, has received public and private death threats to the point that many are now worried for her life.

Read more about what Dr. Piven and her husband actually wrote here:

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