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Professor rants about YAF club, gets removed from course

Michigan Tech official apologizes for professor’s behavior

Students in at least one of Professor Carl Blair’s course will get a new instructor for the rest of the semester after the scholar went on a rant against the campus Young Americans for Freedom group.

Michigan Technological University Provost Andrew Storer emailed students in at least one of Blair’s courses to apologize for the professor’s behavior and inform them of the change. The history and anthropology professor teaches at least four undergraduate courses according to the university catalog and it is not clear if he has been removed from all of them.

Young America’s Foundation posted audio of Blair ranting during a recent class about a YAF mock Berlin Wall display. “For those of you who weren’t aware of it [the wall], good. For those of you who were aware of it, it was childish, stupid, homophobic, dumb, racist twits. That’s the polite version,” Blair said.

A leftist student also attacked the Michigan Tech display.

“We’re going to try to minimize, the vice president of student affairs and the dean of students have their own plans in part, we in the [faculty] senate are going to minimize our response, because there are, quite bluntly, certain faculty members who are hoping…the students will be censored for this,” he said, as previously reported by The College Fix.

Storer wrote to students:

As an institution with a strong research focus, Michigan Tech vigorously supports freedom of speech and academic freedom. We follow the Chicago Principles in this manner. With this, we expect an environment of respect and acceptance of diverse perspectives, perhaps most importantly within our classrooms. We regret this has not been your experience in class this week.

Provost Storer said class will be cancelled today and students will have a new instructor after Thanksgiving break.

Blair also called the display “tacky” but said it was not illegal.

“Stupid, uncollegial, really bad taste, and it shows what a bunch of ying yangs they are,” Blair said. “You know, it’s too bad you all have to deal with things like that. Wasted half my morning dealing with things like that. It’s annoying.”

“That’s not what college should be about. You know, it should be a place where you could learn, experience, do interesting things, have interesting opportunities – hint, hint, study away – uh, rather than wasting your time and having to address idiots,” Blair said. “They’re idiots out there. Sorry, that’s life.”

His comments about the event are in opposition to a prior statement he made about supporting “diverse perspectives” and “collegiality,” as previously reported by The Fix.

Blair, soon after the 2016 presidential election, signed onto a letter that stated the professors supported a “culture of collegiality, safety, support, and openness across diverse perspectives, traditions, and identities.”

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IMAGE: Young America’s Foundation


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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.