Bolsheviks in Our Classrooms!

Two activist UT professors branded 'dangerous' in Horowitz book

David Horowitz – former Sixties activist turned far-right enthusiast and self-proclaimed "defender of the rights of blacks, gays, women, Jews, Muslims, Christians, and white males" – is concerned. He believes that academia's ivory tower is collapsing under the pressure of extreme left ideology. Deciding to save young minds from what he perceives is an erosion of free speech on college campuses, Horowitz published a list and supporting book titled The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America. Two of these pernicious professors are entrenched within UT's lecture halls.

Robert Jensen and Dana Cloud both operate within the same square block along Dean Keeton, in the College of Communication, and they are concerned with the consequences Horowitz's publication might have.

Jensen's apprehensions aren't for the academics on Horowitz's list but for the grad students and untenured professors with similar ideology. He believes that if they "pursue certain lines of thought, there is potential punishment" waiting from like-minded demagogues.

On the other hand, Cloud worries about implications for her professional and personal conduct. "There's this tendency to be apologetic," she asserts, "Like, 'Of course we don't indoctrinate students, of course we are responsible teachers, of course we are for free inquiry.' And, of course, we are. But I think that gives in to the argument that to be political as teachers and as scholars is to not be for those things." Cloud believes she adequately separates her political and professorial lives, but that, should she challenge a student's firmly held world views, this is a type of danger a student could only benefit from experiencing. "We need to assert our right to free pedagogy in the classroom."

As for being labeled dangerous? Cloud doesn't believe the brand is appropriate. "How dangerous could I be?" she asks. "I drive a Mazda."

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