After being “disinvited” from speaking at the University of Montana because of his conservative views, UNC-Wilmington Criminology Professor Mike Adams penned an open letter to the UM president that not only defends his own track record but also succinctly highlights several key conservative stances in the face of the increasingly fascistic campus left.
Adams, who writes columns for Town Hall, where he published his open letter, is one of the very limited number of professors who actually holds mainstream conservative views and who has the guts to openly voice and promote those views. For that, he has been the target of much antipathy among his peers and the administration, but he’s also become somewhat of a celebrity among conservatives who appreciate his willingness to push back against the overwhelmingly left-wing forces in academia.
As Adams explains in his letter, after being invited earlier in the summer to speak at UM’s journalism lecture series, which he notes is funded by an outside source, he was “banned from speaking” on the campus. The decision was made by the Dean of Journalism Larry Abramson, who took the position after a career with NPR. Abramson sent a letter to the funder of the event explaining why Adams was barred:
If you jump in at 3:30 on the link at the bottom, you can hear (Dr. Adams) talking about his opposition to tolerance of transgender accommodations. He appears to be siding with Christians in the “culture war.” In this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oX9ya3EW04 he talks about his efforts to make sure that abortion providers give time to Christian speakers, in the interest of freedom of speech. He also talks about the prevalence of “cultural Marxism,” and exclusively speaks on right wing sites. In this one, https://townhall.com/columnists/mikeadams/2017/04/07/why-im-banning-illegal-aliens-from-my-classes-n2310029 he talks about why he will no longer allow “illegal aliens” into his classes. I think we can find a speaker who will talk about free speech issues, without running the risk of offending students. We can still have a conversation with him if you want, but he is pretty extreme in his views.
In response, Adams provides a list of eight problems with the dean’s claims, including what constitutes “extreme” views on transgenderism, the “unbridled religious bigotry” of Abramson’s perspective on Christianity, academia’s attempts to use public funds for abortions, the relevance of cultural Marxism, and the absurd fear of offending students. Here’s all eight:
- Transgender litmus test. In the speech to which the Dean links, I express my support for the controversial HB2 bill. At the time I expressed that view the majority of the people who live in my state agreed with me. Thus, it is not an extreme view. It is a mainstream view, which the Dean rejects. It is hardly a view that would warrant my exclusion from a campus in Montana where the majority of the people surely agree with me on this issue.
- Siding with Christians. This is simply unbridled religious bigotry. For the Dean to suggest that speakers must not side with Christians on cultural issues lest they be banned from campus raises serious questions concerning his competence. Is he suggesting that only those who side against Christians are welcomed?
- Abortion providers. In my speech, I talk about campus Women’s Resource Centers using mandatory student fees to fund speeches in favor of abortion but not those in opposition to abortion. That violates Supreme Court precedent. Somehow, the Dean confuses these centers with abortion providers. Obviously, we don’t perform abortions here on campus in our Women’s Centers.
- Cultural Marxism. The Dean mocks the concept of cultural Marxism by putting it in scare quotes. If he believes it is not a legitimate concept then he needs to explain why it is not. I explain the concept in my speech and provide examples. He should rebut my argument rather than simply using it as a justification for banning me.
- Right wing sites. The Dean claims that I “speak” exclusively on right wing sites. That is false. I have been on MSNBC, Air America, and numerous other left wing stations and sites. I have also appeared on NPR where Abramson worked for nearly thirty years. Most importantly, I have spoken at 93 different universities, the overwhelming majority of which have been dominated by left-wing academics such as Dean Abramson. In short, I have stepped out of my comfort zone and demonstrated the kind of intellectual courage the Dean lacks.
- Banning illegal aliens. In the satirical column, to which the Dean links, I criticize a professor who holds open border views and yet insists that juniors be prevented from “jumping in line” to sign up for senior classes. We know it is satire because I am not actually in possession of the immigration status information of students who seek enrollment in my classes. Everyone seems to understand my journalistic satire except for your Dean of Journalism.
- Demanding open borders. What if I actually was trying to ban illegal aliens from my classes? Is it the business of the Dean to demand that people turn a blind eye to illegal immigration lest they be banned from campus? The hint that this is yet another litmus test comes with his use of scare quotes around the phrase.
- Not offending students. Finally, the Dean of Journalism states that he cannot allow for the mere risk that his students will be offended. Thus, the Dean is engaging in prior restraint of all speech that could potentially offend someone. Let that sink in as you continue to ponder this man’s competence to serve as Dean of Anything much less the Dean of Journalism.
Citing a quote from Abramson about supposedly defending “tolerance” in his school, Adams smacks him for the inherent illogic of his argument. “Try to make sense of the logic of this Dean telling me I am not going to be tolerated or welcomed at the J-school because I am not as tolerant and welcoming as they are at the J-school,” he writes.
Adams concludes by offering a suggestion to the president about a possible replacement for Abramson. “If you were smart, you would lift the ban on me speaking at UM,” he writes. “Then, you could hire me as your new Dean of Journalism.”