Since the news of Dr Angela McCaskill’s suspension by Gallaudet University broke there has been a sense of outrage by those who value freedom from the mob mentality of Progressives. Yet this is hardly the first instance of Progressives blacklisting those who hold traditional views. American academia is not short of other victims of Progressive intolerance.
In 2008 Crystal Dixon, an associate vice president of Human Resources at the University of Toledo, was fired after writing a letter to the Toledo Free Press. The letter was written in a private capacity and did not identify her as an employee of the university. The letter respectfully opposed the notion of gay rights and explained God’s plan for human beings. Progressive activists later tried to keep another city from hiring her.
In New Jersey, a special education teacher, Viki Knox, wrote a message on her personal Facebook page criticizing the school’s promotion of a “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month.” Homosexual groups and other Progressive fronts demanded her dismissal, and planned protests targeting her. The lawyer who began the attack on Knox said: “Hateful public comments from a teacher cannot be tolerated. She has a right to say it. But she does not have a right to keep her job after saying it.” The Union Township School Board gave in to pressure and sacked Viki Knox at the beginning of this month.
In 2009 Eastern Michigan University dismissed a graduate student from its counselling programme. In an incident reminiscent to British readers of the sacking of Gary McFarlane, Julea Ward asked permission to refer a client to another counsellor as she did not wish to affirm the client’s homosexuality. Ms Ward has never refused to counsel a homosexual, merely refused to affirm their lifestyle.
Even the textbooks used by EMU affirm that it is sound counselling practice to allow values-based referrals. One said, “If the client selects goals that severely conflict with the helper’s values … the helper may decide to refer the client.”
Ward was ordered to undergo “remediation” to “see the error of her ways” and change her “belief system” or be dismissed. Although she had a high grade-point average and was only a few courses short of graduation Julea Ward was kicked out of the Masters degree counselling programme. Ms Ward continues to fight against her dismissal.
Intolerance is not confined to academia. Hollywood is self-referential, that is the nature of the beast, and it delights in presenting itself as a beacon of fearlessness against the practice of blacklisting or preventing the employment of people because of their political or social views.
Woody Allen, George Clooney and others have made films about actors and screenwriters being denied employment because in the fifties they were, or were suspected, of being communists. Those who were silent at the time are condemned as moral cowards. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Woody, George or any of the others to make films about Angela, Crystal or Viki.
In Hollywood’s home state of California four years ago voters approved Proposition 8 which defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
Scott Eckern, artistic director of the California Musical Theatre in Sacramento, the state’s largest non-profit performing arts company donated $1,000 to the ‘Yes on 8’ campaign. He was forced to resign after pressure from show business personalities.
Richard Raddon, director of the Los Angeles Film festival, donated $1,500 to ‘Yes on 8.’ He was forced to resign.Elsewhere in California Marjorie Christoffersen, manager and daughter of the owner of El Coyote a well known Los Angeles restaurant contributed $100 to the campaign against gay marriage. After a month of boycotts and demonstrations Christofferson, whose restaurant employs homosexuals and who had personally paid for the mother of a gay employee who had died of AIDS to fly to his funeral, was forced to resign.
After a meeting in which she tried to explain her position to representatives of the press and the homosexual community Ms Christoffersen had to be escorted out of the rear of the premises.
Progressives are not the courageous fighters for freedom they imagine. They are like Violet Elizabeth Bott in Richmal Crompton’s Just William children’s stories beloved of British adults. William is an eleven year old boy who gets into constant scrapes. His nemesis is the lisping Violet Elizabeth who, in order to get her own way, threatens, “I’ll thcream and thcream until I’m thick. I can!” Violet usually gets her own way.
Unfortunately in real life Progressives, like self-centred children, threaten to stamp their feet and “Thcream and thcream,” until they get what they want. Unfortunately too many adults give in to their childish tantrums. This is not a homosexual thing, it is a common Progressive thing.
Progressives make the claim that they are open minded and favour honest debate. When it comes to their shibbothels intimidation and blacklisting would appear to be the preferred option. Some activists are only a step away from denying any who disagree with them the right to employment.
Progressive activists should learn that intolerance is ugly.