OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Welcome to the twilight zone everybody! Where a competent and capable professional can be suspended for… *checks notes*… being fair.
According to The Daily Wire:
After the death of George Floyd in May 2020 by a cop who has since been convicted of murder, students across the country began seeking out professors who didn’t share their specific views and trying to get them fired or punished, part of what’s known as “cancel culture.”
In June 2020, not long after Floyd’s death, a group of students sent an email to UCLA accounting professor Gordon Klein, asking him to institute a “‘no-harm’ final exam that could only benefit students’ grades, and for shortened exams and extended deadlines for final assignments and projects,” Inside Higher Ed reported.
As The Daily Wire reported, the students requested all of these accommodations due to recent “traumas, we have been placed in a position where we much choose between actively supporting our black classmates or focusing on finishing up our spring quarter.”
The students insisted they did not make the request as “a joint effort to get finals canceled for non-black students,” but rather to “ask that you exercise compassion and leniency with black students in our major.”
The students were using the May 25 death of Floyd and the resulting riots across the country to get leniency in class. Professor Klein did not accept their arguments and responded in an email that gained him the ire of students.
“Do you know the names of the classmates that are black?” he asked them. “How can I identify them since we’ve been having online classes only?”
Klein went on to ask about students who “may be of mixed parentage, such as half black-half Asian?”
“What do you suggest I do with respect to them? A full concession or just half?” he asked.
Klein ended his email with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. about not evaluating people based on the color of their skin.
Klein was eventually suspended and denounced by UCLA. It later reinstated him, but as Jacobson noted, “not before his reputation and career were severely damaged.”
Klein is now suing, alleging he was punished for treating students equally, as required by California law. He also alleges that UCLA’s Anderson School of Management disregarded a broader UCLA directive not to punish him over student complains. Klein also alleged that the incident caused him to lose clients where he was paid to be an expert witness.
It’s situations like this that never fail to drive me insane. What happened to George Floyd was terrible, and I think everyone can agree with that. I’m not a racist, so I won’t feel guilty for something I haven’t done (or will ever do). I care about people. I don’t care what you look like, where you come from, or what religion you practice. We should only ever judge people based on their treatment of others.
The way that this professor was treated because he didn’t buy into the games of a group of lazy and manipulative college students is abhorrent. These kids don’t care about “social justice.” Not if this was the way that they were trying to achieve it. Equality doesn’t mean that we give certain people a pass to make situations easier. It means that we are collectively held to the same standards. How this fact gets lost on people so quickly is beyond me.
Sorry… am I making too much sense? Ah, that’s right… real equality doesn’t win elections. Free college and faux social justice does.
So here we have another career that someone worked hard for that’s been ruined by the woke mob. It seems like people tend to forget that there are professors out there that really care for the well-being of their students. They want them to succeed, to learn to form their own opinions, and to learn the value of hard work.
Perhaps you haven’t forgotten that there are a few academics left that are just as dumbfounded over the collegiate situation as you are. I haven’t. There are still good ones out there. Sometimes it can feel like they’re few and far between, but they’re out there.