Fix Features

Robert Jensen

John Hawkins at Townhall.com has put together a list of 20 of the most obnoxious quotes ever from college professors, and it’s a troubling, cringe-worthy look at campus bias. Here’s the first few – if you can stand what you read (and trust us, it’s difficult) head on over to Townhall.com for the rest …

20) We need to think very, very clearly about who the enemy is. The enemy is the United States of America and everyone who supports it. — Haunani-Kay Trask, University of Hawaii at Manoa

19) Simply put: Thanksgiving is the day when the dominant white culture (and, sadly, most of the rest of the non-white but non-indigenous population) celebrates the beginning of a genocide that was, in fact, blessed by the men we hold up as our heroic founding fathers. …How does a country deal with the fact that some of its most revered historical figures had certain moral values and political views virtually identical to Nazis? — Robert Jensen, University of Texas at Austin

18) I think it is shameful that it is perceived as legitimate to solicit in an academic institution for support for men and women who have gone overseas to kill other human beings. I understand that there is a residual sympathy for service members, perhaps engendered by support for troops in World War II, or perhaps from when there was a draft and people with few resources to resist were involuntarily sent to battle. That sympathy is not particularly rational in today’s world, however. — Michael Avery, Suffolk University Law School

17) I know they say (Stalin) killed 20, 30, 40 million people. It’s bullsh*t. (I have yet to find) one crime that Stalin committed. — Grover Furr, Montclair State University.

16) The people of the Third World need our sympathetic understanding and, much more than that, they need our help. We can provide them with a margin of survival by internal disruption in the United States. Whether they can succeed against the kind of brutality we impose on them depends in large part on what happens here. — Noam Chomsky, MIT

15) [I] want Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick. — Erik Loomis, University of Rhode Island

14) On September 11, 2001, nineteen Arab hijackers too demonstrated their willingness to die – and to kill – for their dream. They died so that their people might live, free and in dignity. — Shahid Alam, Northeastern University

13) If you go to the Republican convention in Florida, you see all of the old Republicans with the dead skin cells washing off them. They’re cheap. They don’t want to pay taxes because they have already raped this country and gotten everything out of it they possibly could. — William S. Penn, Michigan State University

The rest of the list includes all the usual suspects: Ward Churchill, Peter Singer, Bill Ayers, the whole gang’s there.

By the way, this is only the stuff that we know of. Scary thought.

Read more.

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For nearly 100 years, members of the men’s social group The Tejas Club at the University of Texas have called each other “braves” as a show of kinship and to pay homage to East Texas Indians, but one professor recently told club members they’re racist because of the practice.

Professor Robert Jensen, who caused controversy last November when he called Thanksgiving a “white supremacist” observance and likened the Founding Fathers to Nazi Germany, told members of the men’s student club at one of their weekly coffee klatches that calling each other “braves” in effect celebrates what Jensen called the genocide of Native Americans.

“(It’s) inappropriate, and in fact is racist,” Jensen said Monday in an interview with The College Fix. “The United States as a nation exists as a result of one of the most, if not thee most, extensive genocidal campaigns in recorded human history. The European conquest of what is now the continental United States resulted in the extermination of virtually all indigenous people in the United States.”

Jensen said he believes the tradition should change, that the club’s members are acting racist, whether they think they are or not.

“A lot of us who are white are unconsciously racist throughout our lives in all sorts of ways,” he said. “We are not always aware of what we are doing.”

Jensen, 54, is a journalism professor who has taught at the university for 21 years.

Jensen’s comments to Tejas Club members were made on March 21 as an invited guest speaker for one of the group’s weekly coffee meetings, which aim to facilitate conversations and intelligent debate among students on a variety of topics. Often, high-profile guests are invited to speak.

Each year, The Tejas Club co-hosts a “Week of Women” coffee with the Orange Jackets, a women’s service organization at the University of Texas, and it was at that annual event that Jensen made his controversial remarks.

He was asked to speak primarily on pornography’s connection to sexism and racism, which he did. But toward the end of the talk a female student in the audience asked Jensen what he thought about The Tejas Club’s practice of calling each other “braves.”

The way a Tejas Club member describes it, it was then that Jensen went “on a ten-minute tirade regarding the persecution of Native Americans,” states an email to The College Fix from the club’s president, Chris Fellows.

“He concluded with ‘your organization is racist’ and promptly ended his talk, rejecting all questions and opportunities for dialogue,” Fellows stated. “Members of Tejas approached Mr. Jensen to discuss his accusation, but he found all points to be ‘bullshit.’ After it became clear that rising tempers made civil discourse impossible, Mr. Jensen was politely asked to leave three times. The Tejas Club’s reaction wasn’t a response to Mr. Jensen’s views on sexism or racism, but on his combative and aggressive approach.”

“We’re disappointed that the outcome of this event wasn’t a conversation about women’s issues, as it should have been. And we certainly don’t think solutions to racism or sexism have been achieved, but we will continue to host coffees regarding these topics until they are.”

Jensen said he was just doing what he thought was right.

“Whether it was a tirade or not is subjective, they are welcome to their interpretation,” he said. “I told them I thought it was important for white people to hold each other accountable for racist practices.”

The Tejas Club, however, works to promote a variety of causes that support diversity and equality. Founded in 1925, members today participate in pro-diversity events on campus, and host the weekly coffee meetings, open to the entire university community.

“In December, it hosts a holiday party for underprivileged children,” the group’s website states. “Throughout the year, the Braves participate in community service projects. … Recently, the club has partnered with the University’s Counseling and Mental Health Center to further suicide prevention and awareness with our fellow students.”

As for the history of the “braves” moniker, the club’s website states: “Friendship is the most important attribute of a Tejas Brave. In fact, Tejas is derived from the Native American word for ‘friend’ or ‘ally.’ … (Original members) began to call themselves the Tejas and referred to each other as braves, with the intention of emulating the friendliness of the East Texas Indians.”

While Fellows declined to comment to The College Fix specifically about Jensen’s racism accusations, Jensen said he recalls some of the young men on March 21 arguing that the “braves” nickname honors Native Americans. But Jensen said that explanation does not cut it.

“I do remember some of the men saying they feel they are honoring Indian people with this practice, and that is a standard response for people who use Indian nicknames and mascots,” he said. “I don’t think there is a strong argument there. … I think it’s important for the United States to come to terms with its history. … This is a culture that is in deep denial about its own barbarianism.”

Jennifer Kabbany is associate editor of The College Fix.

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IMAGE: Shown is Professor Robert Jensen/Credit – Jason Cato

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University of Texas journalism Professor Robert Jensen was brutally honest about the nature of social science and humanities courses his peers teach across the country in his latest opinion piece, and he wants fellow university-level educators to come clean, too.

Saying “good teaching is living your life honestly in front of students,” something he learned from his late mentor, Jensen said that means “a rejection of the illusory neutrality that some professors claim. From the framing of a course, to the choice of topics for inclusion on the syllabus, to the selection of readings, to the particular way we talk about ideas—teaching in the social sciences and humanities is political, through and through.”

Jensen went on to claim he’s not talking about partisan advocacy of a particular politician, party, or program, offering some academic doublespeak: “Political, in this sense, (means to) assess where real power lies, analyze how that power operates in any given society, and acknowledge the effect of that power on what counts as knowledge.”

Sure, whatever.

At any rate, Jensen goes on to call for academic honestly all around, saying students deserve it:

Every professor’s “politics” in this sense has considerable influence on his/her teaching, and I believe it is my obligation to make clear to students the political judgments behind my decisions. The objective is not to strong-arm students into agreement, but to explain those choices and defend them when challenged by students. At the end of a successful semester, students should be able to identify my assumptions, critique them, and be clearer about their own.

Jensen claims offering students some rabid rhetoric is what they want and expect, anyway:

The first course I taught in the university-wide program called First-Year Seminars, “The Ethics and Politics of Everyday Life,” was straight out of Koplin: I had students read five books that touched on the political, economic, and ecological implications of our choices in our daily lives. Every time I worried that I would be pushing students too far, Jim would tell me that the students were hungry for honest, jargon-free radical talk, and he was right.

Jim Koplin was a former professor, co-founder of the Center for Nonviolence, and a community organizer dedicated to social justice and ecological sustainability. Koplin died in mid-December at age 79, and Jensen wrote his piece on intellectual honesty in honor of Koplin and their friendship.

Jensen’s piece appeared on Koplin’s website as well as the New Left Project website, described as “dedicated to producing high quality comment and analysis on issues of concern to the political left.”

Whatever you think of Jensen (remember he’s the one who recently described Thanksgiving as a “white supremacist holiday”) it’s nice to see he’s willing to call a spade a spade.

Click here to read Jensen’s entire piece.

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You didn’t realize that every bite of turkey and stuffing was an expression of white supremacy, did you? That’s because you aren’t an elite, left-wing academic like Robert Jensen–professor of journalism at the University of Texas, who calls Thanksgiving a “white supremacist holiday.”

Jensen’s opinion piece “No Thanks for Thanksgiving,”appeared on the far-left, Soros-connected website Alternet on Thanksgiving eve. In it, he wrote how Native Americans suffered because of the “European invasion of the Americas.” He went on to compare the Founding Fathers to Nazi Germany. “How does a country deal with the fact that some of its most revered historical figures had certain moral values and political views virtually identical to Nazis?” he asked.According to Jensen, Thanksgiving is “at the heart of U.S. myth-building. “But in the United States, this reluctance to acknowledge our original sin — the genocide of indigenous people — is of special importance today,” he explained.

Jensen has a long career in both working journalism and academia, including work as a copy editor at The St. Paul Pioneer Press and the St. Petersburg Times, as well as “volunteer editing and writing for the Texas Triangle, Austin (weekly statewide lesbian/gay paper).”

It’s depressing to think that this guy is training up our next generation of “unbiased” journalists.

Read the full story at CNS news.

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