As reported by The College Fix a few days ago, the chair of the communications department at the University of Michigan wrote an article about why “it’s okay to hate Republicans.”
Now the school has stepped up to defend Susan Douglas, saying her column “was protected under the university’s ‘faculty freedom of expression’ core value, but added that UM is “working ‘vigilantly’ to ensure Michigan students can express differing views ‘without fear of reprisal.’”
On Thursday, Michigan university spokesman Rick Fitzgerald responded to Douglas’ article, saying that the anti-Republican views expressed in the hostile piece “are those of the individual faculty member and not those of the University of Michigan,” but that it was absolutely protected under the university’s freedom of expression guidelines:
The views expressed are those of the individual faculty member and not those of the University of Michigan.
Faculty freedom of expression, including in the public sphere, is one of the core values of our institution.
At the same time, the university must and will work vigilantly to ensure students can express diverse ideas and perspectives in a respectful environment and without fear of reprisal.
The university values viewpoint diversity and encourages a wide range of opinions.
Douglas has subsequently claimed that the article’s title “wasn’t her idea,” and that her intention was actually to criticize “the rise of political animus in our country.”
Uh huh. Right. Except that that increase in said animus is mostly the GOP’s fault, she can’t even imagine marrying a Republican, and “history and psychological research” somehow “bear[s her] out.”
But even more laughable is Michigan’s response. It’s a laudable one, to be sure, but does anyone — anyone — actually believe the university would issue such a reaction had Douglas been a conservative Republican … and some of the labels and terms in the article were switched around?
Indeed, you can bet we’d be lectured about “inclusiveness,” “sensitivity,” “hostile environment,” etc. ad nauseam, and students would be protesting to university officials about the campus atmosphere of “hate.” (Hey, the word was actually used in Douglas’s article, after all.)
The students’ demands would be the usual: mandatory diversity and “sensitivity” training, “tolerance” workshops, more “grief” counselors, and given recent events, requests for exam delays.