By: Elizabeth Guldimann
A professor at Michigan Tech University (MTU) is facing repercussions after voicing opposition to a faculty resolution that condemned “hate speech, racism and white supremacy.”
The resolution, titled “Embodying University Values: Condemning Hate Speech, White Supremacy, and Ethnically and Racially Motivated Intolerance,” demands that members of faculty and staff denounce various forms of discrimination and insists that members of the student body receive education on systemic racism before they are eligible to receive their undergraduate degree. It also calls for the university to divert significant resources towards combatting racism.
Dr. Jeffrey Burl’s letter requested an apology for the December resolution and stated that he has been discriminated against for the past 40 years because of his status as a white male.
“The Senate should be concerned with what is happening at Michigan Tech,” Burl wrote. “At Michigan Tech, I have seen no signs (in my 28 years here) of discrimination against women and people of color. Conversely, for this entire time, Michigan Tech has actively discriminated against white males.”
Dr. Burl cited a specific incident in which the university had set out to specifically hire a female candidate over a male candidate, noting that “at that time, overt discrimination was legal and called affirmative action. But, it was still discrimination.”
Burl acknowledged the backlash he would face for writing the letter but maintained the importance of it outweighed the consequences he would face, noting the fact that he has been afraid to speak out in the past is evidence enough of the prejudiced environment on campus.
Burl has faced attacks on Twitter and a petition to fire him has received over 1,500 signatures.
YAF reached out to Dr. Burl and MTU for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.
“The backlash Dr. Burl is facing from vocal students and alumni, inspires me as Vice Chair of the Young Americans for Freedom chapter at MTU to help create a campus culture where ideas can be heard and appreciated for their objective merit, not popularity,” Cora Jarman, vice chairman of the MTU Young Americans for Freedom chapter, said. “The student and alumni petition for Dr. Burl’s firing flies in the face of the university’s values of community, accountability, tenacity and leadership.”
The outcry against Burl’s response reflects a much more widespread issue of censorship and intolerance of differing ideas. Dr. Burl was brave for speaking out against these ideas embedded in critical race theory–students should not fall into the victimhood trap that the Left is setting for them.
Elizabeth Guldimann is a National Journalism Center intern at YAF’s New Guard.