McNeilly: Dems need to condemn professor for 'hate'

Greg McNeilly

There's an epidemic of intolerance at Michigan's public universities.

The University of Michigan made all the wrong national headlines last week after Professor Susan Douglas, chair of the Department of Communication Studies, published an exhaustive column titled "It's Okay to Hate Republicans."

Douglas, arguably the school's most important communicator, spent her published space lambasting Republicans—many of them by name—for their political ideology. She not only gave her students permission to hate others on campus, she encouraged them to do so.

One has to wonder if a few students at the university obtained an advance copy of her manifesto after several were caught on camera vandalizing the dorm room door of a conservative, Muslim student named Omar Mahmood, who had recently had a work of satire published in the university's conservative school newspaper.

His classmates left crude, expletive-laden and demeaning notes posted to his door, egged his property and left hot dogs around the door's entrance.

Police are investigating the incident and have classified it as intimidation and stalking.

Given the tone of Professor Douglas's discourse, they could reasonably investigate the intimidation charges as acts of hate as well.

Of course, it was only last year that William Penn, a tenured professor at Michigan State University was caught on camera berating Republican students, accusing them of being racists and "raping" the country, simply because of their party identification.

Michigan State University removed Penn from the classroom under public pressure but the University of Michigan has yet to respond to the encouragement to hate and acts of hate on its campus.

Republicans have been quick to speak out against hate speech and intolerance, but sadly, they've been the only ones.

To date, only the Republican members of UM's Board of Regents have condemned Douglas's hate and demanded an end to the bullying and intimidation of Republicans on campus.

Democrats have been silent. Democrats, who make up the vast majority on the Board of Regents, haven't spoken a word.

It's time for that to change.

Democrats who represent students at UM, MSU, and public universities across the state—men and women like Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Sen.-elect Gary Peters, and the Democratic leaders in the Legislature, Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer and House Minority Leader Tim Greimel, should speak out immediately and forcefully.

Greg McNeilly is president of the Michigan Freedom Fund.