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April 11, 2022 12 mins

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
We've talked about the case before on a number of
occasions of Jay Angelo Corlette or is it correlates, but
probably correlate, who is a professor of philosophy and as
the ethics at San Diego State University, and he tells
his own story here, so I will let him. I
will quote a piece he wrote for the San Diego
Union Tribune, just because we are staunchly in favor of

(00:24):
his point of view in this stuff, and I would
love to be able to echo his thoughts. Um. I
would point out that he and I probably disagree on
a lot um a lot politically speaking. Philosophically, he teaches
philosophy by the way um and uh. And I know

(00:45):
in fact he brings up reparations, for instance, which I
consider not only a terrible idea but almost laughable. But
I'm sure he can make an intelligent case for why
he thinks otherwise. And this all this stuff about do
we have the free exchange of ideas or don't we,
especially in schools, is so important. I don't care if
the guy believes that, you know, donkeys fly and or

(01:08):
or or anything. Really, I don't even if he was
first packing the Supreme Court for instance, which I think
is a horrible idea. The fact that he's fighting for
freedom of expression is reason enough to join join with
him anyway, He writes, I've been employed for twenty five
years at San Diego State University, where I am a
tenured professor of philosophy. It's been my privilege and my

(01:29):
passion to teach students of all racial, ethnic, religious, and
economic backgrounds. Although I am no provocateur, I have always
intended for my lessons in class discussions to be intellectually provocative.
Until recently, I believe that this is what my colleagues,
the university administration, and most importantly, my students wanted. I
take seriously the San Diego State Senate policy that states,

(01:49):
and I quote, freedom of expression defends the expression we
have or as well as the expression we support. It's
a very definition of free expression. However, that belief has
been shaken in recent weeks. Well, I'm departing from his
text obviously here it should be shaken because they don't
defend any expression they disagree with in the slightest. In fact,

(02:11):
they want it shouted down in silence. Here's the story.
On the evening of March one, a San Diego State Dean,
who's one of the real villains in this story. And
this story, you know I meant to say this in advance.
This story is about the viciousness, rigidity, and borderline psychotic

(02:35):
behavior of the woke little students and the utter cowardice
of the administration in the four in the face of
those young Red would be Red Guard members. At the
moment they could risk it all to do the right thing,
they have chosen to do the opposite. They are either cowards,

(02:57):
or they are ideological brethren of the Little Maoists, or both.
I suppose maybe half and half anyway. On the evening
of March one of San Diego State Dean summarily removed
me from two courses I have taught for years, philosophy
Racism and Justice and critical thinking and composition. The reasons

(03:19):
she gave me for the removal were quote numerous student
complaints close quote, and her unfounded belief that I am
quote no longer effective in the course end quote. Both
of those one, the first being an expression of the
Little Maoists, the numerous complaints, and the belief I'm no

(03:41):
longer effective in the course. That is, the cowardly cowardly
rationale of somebody who's afraid of the students. Soon thereafter,
I learned that the quote complaints concerned my lesson earlier
that day of the use. Dash mentioned distinction in philosophy.
It's a foundational concept in determining what language counts as racism.

(04:05):
It distinguishes between racist language use you're using a racial
slur with racist intent, and then racial language they're mere
mentioning of a racial slur without racist intent. For instance,
in a college class. To discuss it, it used to
be that distinction didn't even need to be made because

(04:26):
it's so obvious. Did I call Michael Michael or technical
director and idiot or was I talking to him about
you know, Michael, some people are idiots or some people
use the term idiot and it it hurts other people's feelings. Now,
if I were to say to Michael, for instance, you know,

(04:47):
the boss called somebody an idiot, and I think that
terms kind of hurtful in the workplace. For Michael to
run around screaming he said idiot, he said idiot, and
I heard it would make him a crazy person. Yes
it would. Yes, it's not the use of a racial
slur it's a discussion of it, And the professor says,

(05:09):
during the lecture and class discussion, I mentioned the N
word as an example. Now, the idea, the very idea
that we we can no longer even discuss discussing a
racial term without people ignoring the use um use mentioned
distinction is scary, folks. I mean, we're into pre enlightenment.

(05:31):
You uttered a magic incantation. Stuff acting like a word
has devastating magical powers, like a spell in Harry Potter.
That must not be said. This is the stuff of
the Middle Ages. Okay, college kids believe it, youops, because

(05:52):
I think a lot of them are so deluded by
their professors. The kids actually do believe it. The professors
are either seretta called lunatics, or they understand the power
they can wield if they get the kids on their
side and turn them into the little cultists they dream of.
But anyway, so this professor professor was discussing about the
very concept of use versus mentioned. Within days, online rumors

(06:15):
abounded that I said the word more than sixty times
during class, which of course is absurd. Individuals who knew
nothing about me or the courses started a change dot
org petition to have me fired. Clearly, they didn't bother
to research my work, my commitment to well being a
black people, or my writings in favor of reparations and
racial justice. Again, I would probably disagree with them on

(06:37):
that stuff, but he gets to discuss it. I'm not
threatened by somebody who thinks reparations are a good idea.
I would gladly to join them in the form of
opinions and say, with all due respect, professor, I think
you're making a mistake for these reasons. It's because I'm
not a crazy person, so I think it is worth

(06:57):
as you're charting this out, maybe drawing yourself a little
picture or the way this works. It was the mob,
the online mob, that knew nothing about the professor or
the courses that supplied the weight the heat that turned
the college administrators into crumbling, cringing cowards. Probably worth mentioning

(07:20):
briefly now that my mom, my dearly departed mom, was
a college administrator at times in her life, and she
would not have bowed to this stuff for a single
effing second. By the way, some people actually have principles. Anyway,
the language was clearly relevant. The professor Wrights to the

(07:41):
subject matter of the lesson. At no time as the dean,
the complaining students, or anyone else disputed that I have
been teaching this material essentially the same way for over
two decades while receiving stellar student and department reviews. Despite
the dean's contention that my teaching is not effective, you coward.
I have received eleven teaching awards from the college in

(08:02):
the past twelve years, several specifically recognizing my mentorship of
students of color teaching the same material. Quote. I have
given much of my life to the university at San
Diego State did not provide me with any prior notice
of these so called complaints, did not inform me of
their substance, and did not give me any opportunity to
defend myself or respond to them before removing me from

(08:24):
my courses. Can you believe that the processes, Hey, a
bunch of students are complaining, you're out, man, you're out.
That's it. He doesn't even get to say whoa, whoa, whoa,
none of that happened, or yeah, I said it the
same way I have for twenty years, and people pretended

(08:45):
to freak. None of that is even a loud so
when Jack and I talk about the extremism on college
campuses and how terrified everybody is of these little maoists friends,
that example speaks for itself. It's insane. He says, this

(09:08):
was a clear violation of my due process rights, to
say nothing of common decency. As a professor at a
taxpayer supported public university, I enjoy the First Amendment right
to freedom of speech, the same right that we all
enjoy as private citizens. And in the classroom, this affords
me the academic freedom to teach my students as I
see fit, providing the materials Germaine to the subject matter

(09:30):
of the course. I do not lose that freedom simply
because one or more students or administrative functionaries might find
my language disagreeable or even offensive. As university faculty teaching
adult students, we have the responsibility to our students to
challenge them intellectually, even if that means they may feel uncomfortable.
If we abandon that responsibility, students will be short changed,

(09:52):
lessons won't be taught, Vital and vibrant classroom discussions will
never take place. I would argue, professor, that it's much
much more significant to that. You're right, I mean, you're
absolutely right as far as you went. But it will
fundamentally restructure the way our society functions and the relationship
between the educator and the student, uh, the universities and

(10:13):
the communities. I mean it just it will. It will
usher in dark ages in American intellectual you know, pursuits. Uh,
let's see. Finally, thankfully, he says. He says, I've received
an outpouring and strong support from the public, students and
scholars at the finance universities worldwide to understand what is
at stake when a professor's disciplined for merely doing his job.

(10:36):
This case is not just about me, clearly, It's about
free speech, do process, academic freedom, and what prevails in
a college classroom intellectual exploration or coerced silence. I would,
I would strongly suggest right now to college administrators who
might be listening or might hear the second hand or

(10:56):
grab the podcast or something like that. Um, there are
much much worse things than losing your gig. I realized
comfort and money is significant. Uh. And and and for
me to cavalierly tell you to give them up would

(11:16):
be you know, it would be the sort of blowhard
stuff that people don't like about talk radio. I understand
our relative positions in terms of your livelihood. Okay. I
would suggest to you that showing your spouse, your children,

(11:37):
your community, your colleagues that you have principles and you
believe in them, and you will stick to them, even
if it causes what is probably going to be a
temporary financial inconvenience or a little pain. Is as the
story of your life is written a thousand times more

(11:58):
important than next wants paycheck a thousand times. Which side
are you on in this battle? Why don't you decide
by the end of the day today, remind yourself of
your principles and stick with them. Are strong and
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