Two political science professors at the University of California – Los Angeles have spent the last two days distraught over Donald Trump’s election in political science department-wide emails obtained by The Daily Caller.
TheDC previously reported on a meeting that was called for UCLA political science faculty and graduate students on Monday to discuss way to help students who are distraught over Trump’s victory.
Mark Sawyer, a political science professor, sent an email Tuesday regarding the meeting in which he said he was disappointed that the discussion was lacking “any real way to deal with the real threats that many of our students and us face from a Trump administration.” The professor described himself as “despondent” in the email.
“As political scientists we ought to be discussing Trumpism and what its features are. How does Trumpism democracy [sic], minorities, democratic norms, sexism, racism abelism and lgbtq rights? What is going on with the climate in the United States? Or the fact these kinds of white riot (backlash) politics often come after electing the first person of color to an executive office,” Sawyer wrote in the department-wide email. “Or as described before when blacks engage in civil unrest whites riot in response by cutting immigration, welfare, affirmative action etc. New York elected white nationalist Rudy Guiliani to follow David Dinkins in New York.”
Sawyer said, “You never discuss something as triggering and emotional as racism, Islamaphobia, sexism, abelism, sexual assault and xenophobia without an agenda a lesson plan and a clear set of goals.”
The professor continued to write, “With all do respect to Trump supporter students who may feel surrounded, the state is and has always been on their side.”
UCLA political science professor Michael Chwe wrote back to the whole department agreeing with Sawyer. “For our students, and indeed all of us, the department is our main institutional ‘home’ and it must be a place where everyone can go to feel understood, respected, and valued,” Chwe wrote.
He added, “In my social movements grad class next quarter I plan to spend most or all of the time on readings related to white nationalism, racial resentment, ethnocentrism, authoritarianism, etc.”
One professor, Leslie Jones, responded privately to Sawyer and wrote, “Jeff opened the meeting with a long statement that defined the parameters of the meeting; namely, that the meeting was not for people to express their personal views on the election.”
She added, “I’m sorry that you found the meeting distressing. But I think that you and some of the grad students came in expecting something different from what the stated agenda was.”
Sawyer wrote back to Jones Wednesday and included everyone in the political science department in his response. “Leslie what I wrote is what my students are worried about relative to the election. I guess those issues are not legitimate or proper subjects,” Sawyer said.
Later Wednesday, Sawyer sent three more department-wide emails, one was a guide about how to become an “ally to oppressed people.” The political science professor wrote, “Something productive to read.”
Another one was him relaying fears some of his student have about Trump, “In my course of 120. About a dozen students either fear deportation themselves or of a close family member. One has lost her job because of an anti-trump facebook post.”
Sawyer also forwarded a letter from the president of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists (NCOBPS). The letter said, “NCOBPS cannot and does not endorse any political candidate nor directly lobby for any policy; but we see Trump’s election as an ominous turn in the fight for full human equality and economic justice in the United States.”
A source within the UCLA political science department said to TheDC regarding Sawyer, “We have several subfields, and in most of them people are relatively sane. But having a Race, Ethnicity, Politics subfield ensures that we’ll always have a steady stream of crazies like this professor here.”
Sawyer is the director of UCLA’s center for the study of race, ethnicity, and politics. Chwe teaches within that field.
The UCLA political science department source also said: “Probably 40 percent of my students are Hispanic. I have not seen a single one come to me distraught or scared about the elections. But I have seen several administrators send out e-mails or talk to us about being there for students who must be suffering. I tend to think that this PC stuff is more a top-down phenomenon than the opposite.”