DC Trawler

Browncoats vs. Brownshirts at UW-Stout

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The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has a follow-up on that theater prof in Wisconsin who’s facing criminal charges for putting up a poster with a quote from the show Firefly:

The chancellor of University of Wisconsin-Stout (UWS) has declared that he will not defend faculty First Amendment rights from censorship. UWS censored theater professor James Miller’s poster featuring a line from actor Nathan Fillion’s character in Joss Whedon’s television series Firefly. Campus police threatened Miller with criminal disorderly conduct charges, and he was reported to the “threat assessment team…”

“Despite widespread mockery in the media of the administration’s wild overreaction to being criticized, and despite a barrage of emails from Firefly fans and others explaining that the quote from the show was the exact opposite of a threat, the chancellor has defied all reason by standing by UW-Stout’s censorship and threat of criminal charges for these two harmless posters,” FIRE Vice President of Programs Adam Kissel said. “Stout’s top administrators have essentially declared an unlimited right to unconstitutionally censor students and faculty members even if their rationale for censorship is shown to be absurd.”

And why is this happening?

On September 12, 2011, Professor Miller posted on his office door an image of Nathan Fillion in Joss Whedon’s sci-fi series Firefly and a line from an episode: “You don’t know me, son, so let me explain this to you once: If I ever kill you, you’ll be awake. You’ll be facing me. And you’ll be armed.”

So, assuming the professor intended this as a statement of purpose, he’s saying he’ll only kill students who are awake, facing him, and armed. And guns are banned on campus. So it wouldn’t seem to be a safety issue. No, he’s just being hassled by some petty fascists with a little bit of power and no sense of humor. Which is why they’re in academia.