Be careful about criticizing social justice courses at the University of Wisconsin at Superior — you may get a punch in the face.
Student Jessica Murphy received threats of violence on Facebook when she cited the “Teaching for Social Justice” course at the university as a prime example of a “wasteful” use of a classroom, Campus Reform reports.
Murphy, who’s working as an intern at Wisconsin’s conservative-leaning MacIver Institute, listed four other courses that she had little patience for.
She decried the social justice class as just another pity party for people who hate America.
“One of the main goals of the course is for students to reflect on their privilege and marginalization. Students also review how meritocracy—and the American Dream—is a myth,” Murphy noted in her article, saying that the class is really just an excuse to “degrade capitalism, praise Marxism, and encourage a ‘social justice warrior’ ideology.”
Apparently taking the Marxist lead, professor Sarah LaChance Adams, who teaches the social justice course, sent the article to her fellow travelers with the greeting of “check it out comrades.” The comrades did, with several of the social justice supporters expressing their disagreement with free speech and with Murphy by threatening to “punch her in the face.”
Brandy Rose Farrow, an apparent student at UW-Superior, decided to offer her direct assistance: “I could punch her in the face for you. I can be an academic and respect my upbringing from the barrio.”
The hostility wasn’t limited to the students. Professor Chad Kautzer of Lehigh University pasted Murphy’s profile from LinkedIn on his response and noted, “She’s South African,” as if that meant Murphy was somehow related to or complicit in the old Apartheid policy of the country — even though she is only 20 years old.
“Keeping up old traditions?” Kautzer queried.
Murphy wasn’t bothered by the difference of opinion since she says she advocates “everyone’s right to free speech [and] to post what they want on social media.” But she did object threats because she “just found it inappropriate and unprofessional for a professor of the UW System to entertain suggestions of violence towards a UW student.”
Murphy told Campus Reform that her article “not intended as a personal attack towards any professors,” but, in keeping with the mandate of the organization that she works for, an effort “to keep taxpayers informed.”
She argues that the university “as a taxpayer-funded entity should be held accountable for questionable courses and the purpose of this piece was to further this discussion.” Murphy couldn’t help but note the irony that her opponents drew on racist and violent language to condemn her for criticizing courses that are supposed to induce greater diversity and tolerance.
“Rather than encouraging a critical discussion of the piece and its contents, the people on the professor’s post resorted to personal attacks. While I appreciate constructive feedback, I find it immature that they chose to attack a 20-year-old intern,” she said.
LaChance Adams was given the opportunity to explain the Facebook posts as a guest on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” but she turned it down.
“I am definitely not doing this. I don’t see any scenario in which this goes well for me,” she said.