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As Secession Calls Grow, Professors Say Petitioners ‘Idiots,’ Possibly Racist

Several professors across the nation have dismissed efforts by more than 500,000 Americans to secede from the U.S., labeling petitioners as emotional, even “idiots,” and likening the movement to a fairy tale. One professor even implied the effort is racist.

Dr. Brian Ellison, chairman of Appalachian State University’s Department of Government and Justice Studies, told The College Fix in an email that “these people are idiots. Mostly they have no understanding of how government works and they’re caught up in a make believe world created by Fox News.”

He is not alone. Several other professors who have opined about the effort disregarded the petitions as simply emotional reactions to President Barack Obama’s re-election, according to various news reports.

One scholar has even gone so far as to imply those who signed the petitions to secede from America as a result of last week’s presidential election are racist, in that they’re unhappy with a black President.

Dr. Art English, science professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, told reporter Dustin Barnes (of Fox affiliate KLRT) that “it’s hard to tell if it’s strictly Obama’s policies or his race that led to this bold petition.”

Another college educator claimed the petitions run afoul of constitutional law.

“It’s not really legal,” Ken Collier, a political science professor at Stephen F. Austen State University, told ABC news affiliate KTRE. “We joined the Union under the terms everybody else did.”

Collier said he believes people are just upset over the election, and they’ll simmer down.

“I think you’ll see this die down pretty quickly,” the Texas professor was quoted as saying. “People want to secede, people want to move to Canada, or whatever, but in the end they step back, reflect and understand how much they love their country and how much they would give away if they moved away.”

McMurray University history professor Don Frazier cited similar reasoning for the petitions, focusing instead on what would happen if secession were granted in an interview published by the Abilene Reporter-News.

“Do you want the tyranny of Washington or the tyranny of Austin? If you secede, the new capital isn’t going to be Brenham or Amarillo or Abilene,” he said. “It’s going to be Austin and Austin is populated by government bureaucrats who see things through a government lens.”

Frazier referred to the idea of an easy secession for Texas as an “old-wives tale.”

It remains to be seen if the effort will die down as people continue to access the White House’s site We the People, which hosts the petitions.

A petition calling for the secession of Texas has garnered nearly 100,000 signatures in just over a week. In total, more than 40 states have filed petitions to secede from the United States, many requesting that the Obama Administration peacefully grant a state the right to withdraw from the United States and create a new government. The petitions declare:

“As the founding fathers of the United States of America made clear in the Declaration of Independence in 1776:

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

“…Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and institute new Government…”

It is unclear how many of the signatures represent registered voters, as the White House site only requires that participants be 13-years-old or older, and register using their name and email address. Also, there is no polling data to determine how many Americans would support state secession.

However, there are petitions on the White House page that also call for a peaceful secession (1, 232 signatures); for the U.S. to “allow the States that have asked to secede to do so peacefully” (1, 826 signatures); and even one to “deport everyone that signed a petition to withdraw their state from the United States of America” (13,399).

To date, states that either have not filed or have not met the White House’s threshold to be listed on “We the People” include Washington, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Hawaii.

Petitions with more than 25,000 signatures can expect to receive a response, as the White House is committed under its terms of participation to do so. Petitions from states that have crossed that threshold so far are Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and North Carolina.

The petitions from Oregon, Alaska and Virginia (each with less than 13,000 signatures) request that these states be allowed to vote as a state whether or not to secede. There are also several states with more than one petition for secession:

South Carolina: (2 petitions) 32,000+ signatures

Missouri: (2 petitions) 26,000+ signatures

Georgia: (3 petitions) 42,000+ signatures

Oklahoma: (2 petitions) nearly 22,000 signatures

Ohio: (2 petitions) almost 15,000 signatures

Although Texas has nearly 100,000 petitioners , Texas Governor Rick Perry’s spokewoman, Catherine Frazier, told reporters that while Perry “shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government” he “believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it.”

Meanwhile, a petition filed with the White House for the city of Austin to withdraw from Texas and remain a part of the United States is gaining momentum, as 3,500 signatures have been collected so far.

Fix contributor Jessica Kubusch is a student at University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

IMAGE: Luna715/Flickr

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Add to the Discussion

  • RenatiusBarton

    I’m not surprised that professors are so emotional about these petitions. Cut off from the federal government, their funding would soon dry up — e. g., no more multi-million dollar studies of “diversity.”

  • AppAlachian State, FYI. Glad to see my old department chair being so politically correct.

  • These Professors would not last a moment in the private sector, if the public money ceases, they will have no where else to go

  • bob alou

    Wow, examining these Professors impressive credentials you have certainly produced a stellar line-up of ho-hum.

  • unomike

    We the people are not Idiots or racists.We just do not embrace Socialism or the people who support it. Race has absolutely nothing to do with the Secession movement. The economy, politics and government policies are. We do not see a future for our children and grandchildren to grow up in a free country as we have if we stay on this course. All we see is a handful of intellects(?) and politicians who ‘think’ they know what is best for the American population. The great Russian experiment called Communism is a complete failure. For over 230 plus years, the U.S. Constitution has been our guiding principle that has made us the most powerful, inventive and richest country in the world. And along the way we have experienced “growing pains” within our society but rest assured, we the people as a whole, do grow along with it. The natural enemy (or opposite) is Socialism which is a less provocative and safe term for Communism. No matter what it is called, it still bares the stripes, the mentality and smell of Communism. Fortunately there are those of us who see through the veil and are not afraid to stand up for our beliefs. The dividers still use the racist card to try and put conservatism in a bad light. Fortunately we do not allow this tactic to derail our beliefs and cause because we know that the accusation is hollow and a lie. So playing the racist card is moot. You just cannot camouflage the truth.

    There is another professor not in this article who is predicting a race war… Whites against Latinos. I highly doubt this will happen. If war does come, it will be a Civil War of we the people against a tyrannical government. And yes I do believe the govt is fast becoming one. President Obama once said he would like to create a “National Police force. One that is just as well equipped and trained as our military”. I’m sorry but that just smells like Secret Police or Gestapo to me and others. Our Constitution forbids our military from operating against it’s own people and I do believe this “National Police Force will be a way to side-step the Constitution in an effort to control the population. And if this organization is created then we will surely have a tyrannical government.

    • rls976

      I largely agree with your analysis. Excellent writeup, and my thanks for it. But race is integrally a part of all of this. The tens of millions of nonwhite imported into the US as a result of the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 should never have come here. The Democrat party did this immigration act for the following reasons/purposes:

      1). To import Democrat voters. The only race that votes majority GOP is the white race. All others (except for the Cuban ethnicity) vote majority Democrat, and by wide margins. So purpose number 1 is successful.

      2). To drive the white race into minority status, for the purpose of displacing, dispossessing and ultimately replacing the white race. Leftists are egalitarians. They hate for some individuals to be more successful than others. They despise not only greater success for individuals, but also for a race. Historically the white race has created the great lion’s share of science and technology in this world, and they have for centuries lived at a far higher standard of living than the nonwhite races. For this the left – white and nonwhite – hates our race, and is working successfully in all white countries at importing nonwhites to inundate the whites.

  • David Patton

    Sounds like the same rhetoric from the self absorbed and government dependent.
    “You must be an idiot to try to live without a tyrannical oppressive government telling you how to tie your shoes.”
    Wouldn’t it be awesome to transport these Marxists back to 18th century America??