Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

The Pleasures of Bullying

Posted by M. C. on May 10, 2018

“snowflakes.”  They are dangerous thought police, who in this case have targeted a thoroughly decent teacher.
By Paul Gottfried

Feigned outrage against Marshall DeRosa, a professor of political science at Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton, has now taken predictable forms.  Nietzsche observed that a successful war can be used to justify any cause.  At Florida Atlantic, even going after an implausible victim can provide sadistic satisfaction to bullying students and faculty.

Professor DeRosa’s picture has been plastered on the walls of college buildings by supposedly concerned students with demeaning messages that he’s a “white supremacist” and that his presence on campus is an outrage “demanding action.”  In my opinion, it’s ridiculous to describe those engaged in these defamatory actions, as some commentators do, as “snowflakes.”  They are dangerous thought police, who in this case have targeted a thoroughly decent teacher.

Leading to these attacks was, among other factors, Marshall’s acceptance of a Koch grant to teach prison inmates in a nearby correctional institute.  We know that academic recipients of Koch funds have been targeted by the left elsewhere – for example, at the Eudaimonia Institute at Wake Forest University.  Those who are “outed” as beneficiaries of Republican foundations can now expect to see all hell break loose on their heads, once academic agitators and their groupies organize against them.

As someone on the right who never received such a grant, I too was verbally abused as a speaker at an elite academic institution.  Not taking money from a Republican foundation is no guarantee that the P.C. police won’t go after you if you’re a teacher or university speaker.  But accepting Koch money may cause the P.C. crowd, led by gender studies students and activists at Florida Atlantic, to swing into action.  And since no one is likely to push back, why not kick around and degrade one’s target?…
Two, DeRosa must be a racist because decades ago he published The Confederate Constitution of 1861: An Inquiry into American Constitutionalism with University of Missouri Press.  Since then, he has had the audacity to note in scholarly commentaries that blacks sold other blacks into slavery and that “although slavery is a reprehensible institution,” Southerners were justified in claiming that it was protected as property under American law.  Just about everything DeRosa seems to have said on the subject of slavery that his detractors are now pulling out of context was said by historians of slavery, including Marxist ones, until the day before yesterday.  In 2014, President Barack Obama awarded a National Humanities Medal to Yale historian David Brion Davis, whose scholarship maintains the very points on slavery for which DeRosa is being pilloried…

Ironically, the target of these attacks at Florida Atlantic is someone who has been an outspoken advocate of prison reform in his state.  DeRosa has given speeches and published articles calling for the release of prisoners for nonviolent offenses.  He has also conspicuously protested long prison sentences.  An essay that DeRosa published in the Journal of the James Madison Institute includes this line that might have been drawn from the collected speeches of a very liberal Democrat.  DeRosa praises “every bit of progress this country has made toward expanding access to that dream [of freedom] to millions of people who were previously denied it.”…

As Marshall DeRosa in his lecture at Auburn described hapless youth incarcerated in Florida jails, a fellow listener turned to me and remarked with a broad smile: “No good deed goes unpunished.”  What was intended as humor has turned out to be prophetic.

Be seeing you

prison bars





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