California Professor Who Thinks Police Should be Killed, and UC Davis’ Lame Response

 In Politics

California professor Joshua Clover thinks police should be killed, abolished, or commit suicide. A professor who teaches English and comparative Literature at UC Davis, Clover’s attitude has been “without remorse.” His Twitter account is now set to “private” after an article appeared in Fox News. He focuses on “critical and political theory, political economy, poetry, poetics and Marxism.”

Whether or not someone is well known, advocating violence is just plain evil, and the influence he is having on some of the students is egregious.

This is just a sample of some of his hateful tweets:

I am thankful that every living cop will one day be dead, some by their own hand, some by others, too many of old age #letsnotmakemore” — tweeted on Nov. 27, 2014.

“I mean, it’s easier to shoot cops when their backs are turned, no?” — tweeted on Dec. 27, 2014.

“People think that cops need to be reformed. They need to be killed.” — published in an interview on Jan. 31, 2016.

The school issued a lame statement that did not say what they would do about his tweets.

“The UC Davis administration condemns the statement of Professor Clover to which you refer. It does not reflect our institutional values, and we find it unconscionable that anyone would condone much less appear to advocate murder.  …  We support law enforcement, and the UC Davis Police Department and Chief Joe Farrow have been and remain critical partners to our community.”

When Nick Irvin, a reporter for the California Aggie, the campus newspaper, attempted to contact Clover, the reception was less than helpful either from Clover himself or the school. As he investigated further, he realized that the professor was probably not going to be punished for his violent remarks. The Davis community had just witnessed the violent death of Natalie Corona, an up and coming police officer who loved her community. Nick told of the outpouring of people after her death who were renouncing violence against police.

Clover’s remarks didn’t appear to fit with the community sentiment.

Irvin wrote in The California Aggie :

Clover’s public comments about killing cops renounce these principles of “decency toward all” and a “commitment to non-violent exchange.” If the university wants to hold standards befitting an intellectually-stimulating institution, it would be wise to more forcefully deny speech that harkens to barbarism and bloodshed, instead of allowing it to thrive under the auspices of unfettered freedom.

Clover’s refusal to apologize simply adds fuel to the university’s folly. If the university is “truly grateful for the dedication of those in our community who protect us at any cost,” its defense of Clover doesn’t show it. His blend of violent rhetoric was never fully rebuffed, despite my attempts. He was never truly confronted about his advocacy for murder.

There have been similar comments made by professors at other public universities, but the conversations between the administrations and the offenders have run an altogether different course. Michael Isaacson, a professor at John Jay College in New York, was dismissed from teaching after tweeting that it was a “privilege to teach future dead cops.” (John Jay College places an emphasis on law enforcement and criminal justice.) 

People like Joshua Clover feed the violence against police officers. It makes their job a hundred times more dangerous. His “free speech” is real live hate speech. Yet social media bans Conservatives for “hate speech” that nowhere reaches this level of violence. There is something very wrong with that picture.

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