If the political climate this year wasn’t weird enough for many Americans, a move by a professor at Loyola University Chicago to bring up the Donald Trump campaign during a course on slavery may strike some as one of the more bizarre.
The course titled “Slavery and Abolition, Then and Now” is anything but a course on modern politics or political discourse. A copy of the course’s syllabus from 2012 states the class seeks to “introduce students to the long durée of global slavery as a means to convey slavery’s ubiquity across time and space,” the College Fix reports.
The instructor for the course, Professor John Donoghue appears to have decided that slavery, both in the United States’ pre-Civil War history but in other locations throughout the world even today, just isn’t enough to discuss. Instead, he appears to seek to bring the Donald Trump campaign into the discussion.
A correspondence from Donoghue that appeared on Loyola University Chicago’s Black Cultural Center’s Facebook page stated he wanted to do something a little different with the course this year.
“For this spring, I am revising the last third of the course to cover recent, systematic efforts to suppress the black vote, the increasing public exposure of the long-standing problem of racist police brutality, the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, continuing structural racism -particularly in the prison industrial complex, and the racist rhetoric and conspiracy theories that the Trump campaign has revived in our political culture,” Donoghue wrote.
He added, “Without the perspective, experience, and knowledge of black students, the course cannot realize its most important objective, to gather a diverse body of students to cultivate historical wisdom to inform and inspire a new generation of civil rights activists.”
The College Fix quoted Loyola student and Donald Trump supporter Randy Dahdouh as saying, “I am appalled that Loyola would make the connection of Trump and racism.”
Dahdouh, whose parents are Jordanian and Egyptian, added, “Mr. Trump has never spoke about African Americans in a disparaging way and to discuss him in a class where it talks about slavery is extremely poisonous to the minds of students.”
Donoghue’s personal leanings became clear in an op-ed he wrote for the Loyola Phoenix regarding the tea party movement in 2012.
In that op-ed, he wrote, “While we do not find all sympathizers or active participants in the Tea Party movement to be racists, the racism infusing the movement is unmistakable and taps into a strain of conservatism that for the last half century has relied upon bigotry to further its political agenda.”
He continued by claiming a popular image of the time, President Barack Obama depicted as the Joker from the popular Batman films starting Christian Bale, as a racist image. “They speak on lecterns emblazoned with an image of the President as The Joker, grotesquely painted in white face, an inversion of the black face minstrel show stereotype, which carries the message that Barack Obama is doing what no black man should presume to, that is, lead white people.”
Professor Donoghue “respectfully decline[d] to answer” questions from The Daily Caller.