Every now and then, the Rude Pundit has to take out his professorin' card and play it, usually when some right-wing scumfucker forces a college instructor to toe the conservative line. Today is one of those days.
Brent Terry is a part-time adjunct professor in the English Department of Eastern Connecticut State University. In case you don't know, "adjunct instructor" is the lowest rung possible in the hierarchy of academia. Everyone from the maintenance staff to the Associate Provost's ball washer has more job security. Part-time adjuncts are treated as disposable at best, as indentured servants at worst. They are professors who are trying to cobble together a living from benefit-free teaching gigs, often at more than one college in the area. They are paid shitty wages, and, generally, they teach most of the classes at many colleges since they cover the basic ones every student must take. Except in rare cases where they have some union representation, they have no power and must hope that there are classes available on a semester-by-semester basis. Surely, there are crack whores in an alley, blowing their tenth scabby cock of the night, thinking, "Well, this is better than being an adjunct."
But, apparently, Prof. Terry was good at his job. His comments and ratings at Rate My Professor were pretty damn positive prior to this week. "Before his class I hated poetry and I now have a respect for it," wrote one student. "Terry is a little out there but overall he's a really nice guy, who really loves his poetry!" said another. It's that "little out there" that ended up pissing off one brave Republican student.
In an Introduction to Creative Writing course, Terry went on a calm, reasonable, and absolutely biased tangent on how "racist, misogynists, money-grubbing people have so much power over the rest of us. And want things to go back not to 1955 but to 1855. There are a lot of people out there that do not want black people to vote, do not want Latinos to vote, do not want old people to vote or young people to vote. Because generally people like you are liberals."
This was recorded by conservative student Jayson Veley, who obviously turned it over to Campus Reform, the clearing house for pathetic whiners who can't stand to have any ideas but their own informing the opinions of the precious, delicate angels who are in college. This led to a Fox "news" hategasm, of course, of course.
First, the editor-in-chief of Campus Reform, Jebediah Fuckagoat or something like that, got to go on Greta Van Susterenenenen's show and say things like, "[T]his is creating an atmosphere for conservatives in the classroom where they are feeling -- this is why the student that released this video, this audio, is remaining anonymous. How is he going to be treated to come out as a conservative in an atmosphere where he is called a racist?"
So what intrepid reporter found out that the anonymous recorder was the aforementioned Mr. Veley? Oh, wait. It was Jason Veley himself, who was so afraid of being known that he went on Megyn Kelly's Parade of Shit What I'll Sneer At. Obviously, Veley was there to reveal what a madman Prof. Terry was, just abusing students in a completely inappropriate rant. Except the second that Veley said, "He was talking about this poem that was themed and centered around the ideas of racial inequality," whatever little point Veley and Fuckagoat and Fox wanted to make was over because what Terry said had to do with what they read in class. That's it. Issue done. Academic freedom ain't pretty.
Veley said that he confronted Terry and that the professor refused to back down or apologize. "Really, he just argued with me," he told Kelly. So because he couldn't get his teacher to bow down to his ideology, Veley felt he had no choice but to "go to the media."
And then the minority leader of the Connecticut House, Republican Larry Cafero, took to the floor of statehouse to demand an apology from Terry. "I would hope upon reflection that Professor Terry would have the decency to apologize to his class and apologize to the state university that employs him and frankly, apologize to all citizens of the state of Connecticut for his inappropriate comment," Cafero said in his three-and-a-half minute speech that was totally not grandstanding for the media. The head of the state GOP piled on, calling what Terry said "indoctrination" and that the governor should investigate the "clear abuse of a taxpayer-funded position." Because, clearly, Cafero was not abusing his taxpayer-funded position.
The Rude Pundit's said it before and he'll say it again, dear, dumb college students who believe you should go through life only hearing what Fox "news" tells you: unless your professor gives you a shitty grade because of your political beliefs, your complaints are meaningless. In fact, they are antithetical to the idea of a university education. Argue with your professor. Get others into it. You'll probably just come to a draw. But there's a chance that you might, oh, fuck, what do call it, learn something.
Oh, and the recording of Terry that Veley made contains this from the professor: "That's where creative writing meets up with the real world." Yeah, Terry explains explicitly why he's saying what he's saying, that it's the job of creative writers and good readers to see what's the thought behind what people and characters and authors express. "Even if you never write another story and another poem after this class," he tells them, "that's what you've learned." The Rude Pundit's been at this a long-ass time. He's observed teachers, critiqued teachers, and hired teachers. That's good teaching.
So Terry ended up apologizing because he's an adjunct and what the fuck else was he gonna do? If he'd had tenure, he could have told everyone to kiss his happy ass.
But the dogs of the right are out there, sniffing blood on the street. Now on Terry's Rate My Professor page, people who have never taken a class with him are saying shit like "Some University Professors need to be Banished from the US for their crimes Terrorism Being taught here in American Schools" [sic]. (That's probably been deleted by the site by now.) We'll go through the usual round of the nutzoids bemoaning the "liberal bias" in the liberal arts (while no one seems to complain about the conservatives and Friedmanites running around the Business departments).
And it will all just go to making students more closed-minded, more myopic, and more likely to vote Republican.
(Note: The "scumfucker" mentioned at the top is not Veley. The Rude Pundit just feels sorry for him because he's gonna feel like an even bigger idiot in a few years when he realizes how wrong he was. The scumfuckers are the Campus Reform bastards and the Connecticut GOP. Oh, and Megyn Kelly.)
Update: As rude reader RJD points out, Veley can safely go fuck some scum. Yeah, it seems that this innocent, young student who was ear-raped by his commie professor is an aspiring right-wing talk radio host, a Hannity wannabe, who had appeared on Glenn Beck's hate vomit show in 2010. He calls his online show "The Junior Factor." Extra points: He wrote a column calling liberals "racists." So he was trying to destroy Terry in order to advance his career. And, thus, he can go fuck himself with his microphone.