A Las Vegas professor warned students “people will die” because of President Donald Trump the week of the Mandalay shooting, according to a video released Friday.
Tessa Winkelmann, a University of Nevada, Las Vegas history professor, made this remark in one of her classes Thursday, reported Las Vegas Review-Journal. The professor suggested that all Trump has done with his speech “is to encourage violence.”
“Right when he got elected, I told my classes, three semesters ago, that some of us won’t be affected by this presidency,” said Winkelmann to the class. “But others are going to die. Other people will die because of this.”
She shied away from directly attributing the Las Vegas massacre to Trump, but linked the two anyway.
“Words, especially if they’re coming from someone who is the president, have consequences,” said the professor.
“I don’t know that these events would have inevitably happened whether or not he got elected,” she said. “But he has rhetorical powers every president has to encourage or to discourage [violence]. So far, all he’s done is to encourage violence.”
“It is sad she is teaching students such divisive, inaccurate, and irresponsible rhetoric,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said to Las Vegas Review-Journal. “She should be ashamed of herself, and the university should look into it. What a terrible example to set for students.”
“Professors are in a position of trust, and they’re abusing it to promote their political ideology or agenda,” said one anonymous student to Campus Reform. “We just experienced one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history….We don’t know what happened, we don’t know why it happened, and we’re pushing political agendas, and that’s what this is about, taking advantage of the situation for political belief, when we should be uniting, healing as a community.”
“While we respect academic freedom in the classroom and the right to free speech, we believe the comments were insensitive,” said Tony Allen, a spokesman for the school, in a statement to Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Especially given the series of events this week and the healing process that has begun in the community.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Winkelmann and UNLV for further comment, but received none in time for press.
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