The seemingly perpetually embattled professor Steven Salaita has announced he will no longer be seeking a position in academia, citing Zionists who “have worked overtime to incriminate” him.
The travails of the anti-Israel tweeting prof are some three years old. The most controversial situation occurred at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign where Salaita had a job offer rescinded due to the vile nature of his Twitter comments.
At this point, if Netanyahu appeared on TV with a necklace made from the teeth of Palestinian children, would anybody be surprised? #Gaza
— Steven Salaita (@stevesalaita) July 20, 2014
Zionists, take responsibility: if your dream of an ethnocratic Israel is worth the murder of children, just fucking own it already.#Gaza
— Steven Salaita (@stevesalaita) July 19, 2014
He’s now through with that gig, it seems. In a Facebook post, the professor says he’s heading to the Washington DC area … but without teaching employment.
“I was unable to find an academic job,” he writes, “so I no longer count myself among the professoriate. A number of colleagues have attempted to recruit me, but their efforts always get shut down by management.”
A number of colleagues have attempted to recruit me, but their efforts always get shut down by management. In turn, I often feel like I’m reliving the UIUC fiasco, which isn’t conducive to the kind of mood I prefer to inhabit. I’m easygoing, but I refuse to tolerate the indignities of a blacklist.
My immediate plan is to write and give talks. I’m still young and energetic. I don’t intend to slosh around in self-pity. Whatever I end up doing, I will maintain the spirit of noncompliance that defined my time in academe. If you take any lesson from my ouster, please don’t let it be fear or caution. Docility is a gift to those who profit from injustice. Academe can no longer afford this luxury.
Despite every node of my disposition screaming at me not to say what I’m about to say, I again surrender to my lesser judgment: I leave academe feeling that, no matter my copious shortcomings, I managed to remain a decent human being. Zionists have worked overtime to incriminate me, but they’ve never found anything incriminating—not from a lack of diligence, but because there’s nothing to find but plainspoken disdain for settler colonization. I haven’t always been a good professor—I’m disorganized and forgetful and reclusive and unresponsive and an easy grader—but I’ve never compromised my ethics or sold out colleagues and students in order to ingratiate myself to power.
Ah yes, that “spirit of noncompliance.”
Spare us. Salaita, like many other “me, me, me” progressive educationists, believes people should just sit there and stomach his outrageous lack of decorum and self-control.