By: V4 Agency
The professor says there were peaceful protesters amongst those who attended January’s Capitol Hill riots, who simply wanted to highlight certain flaws of the US electoral system. However, the university’s students have launched a petition to oust him.
Joshua Hochschild, a professor at Mount St. Mary’s University, is under fire for being present at, and writing an article for The American Mind about the motivation of demonstrators who took part in January’s Capitol Hill protest, albeit peacefully. The professor wrote that the people supporting Trump “know that, even if the rally does not actually help Trump politically, it promises to draw attention to problems with our electoral system, and to testify to the importance of peaceful democratic protests.”
Hochschild added that media outlets were “spinning lies directly about you. They are exploiting the awful travesty of some people’s inexcusable violence to delegitimize and shame every responsible citizen who took reasonable and lawful means to raise legitimate questions about election integrity.”
According to the professor, “out of a massive crowd, it seems that a fraction was stupid, shameful, lawless.”
Regardless, the students of the university have launched an attack against Hochschild for his opinion. They started a petition to oust him, already signed by some 1800 people. Reports say that Hochschild attended the protest, but did not take part in the riots.
The petition states that the professor’s article serves as a poor justification of his attendance at the protest. In addition to this, he minimizes the effects of racism, xenophobia and misogyny, according to Brea Purdie, who launched the petition.
Boyd Creasman, the provost of the university issued a statement, writing that one of the cornerstones of American higher education is academic freedom, which “gives both faculty and students the right to express their views respectfully without fear of sanction. While everyone is free to agree or disagree […] we all have a vested interest in protecting the right to speak as private citizens”. The university is striving for racial and social justice with mutual respect for one another, Mr Creasman added.
Joshua Hochschild is not the only university professor who has come under fire for his opinion. Last year, Harald Uhlig, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago, was attacked after he published a post on social media, stating that he strongly disagreed with defunding police, the ultimate goal of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Uhlig is also a senior editor for the peer-reviewed Journal of Political Economy published by the University of Chicago. Because of his opinion, a petition was launched to remove him from the editorial position, but the initiative failed.
At the University of Alberta, a professor of anthropology was dismissed because of her gender-critical and feminist remarks.Some students complained that Kathleen Lowrey had somehow made the learning environment “unsafe” for them with her speeches, so the institution finally asked the professor to resign “in everyone’s interest.”