Authored By Kara Zupkus
January 14, 2021
A “distinguished” professor at Penn State University rebuffed a conservative student’s request to advise a Young Americans for Freedom chapter, falsely claiming Young America’s Foundation bears responsibility for the Capitol riot and noting that “under no condition” would he support a YAF chapter on campus.
Pete Hatemi, a political science professor, noted that he does not “take part in any campus political movements…in order to be an unbiased instructor,” but noted that he would never support the conservative organization, according to an email obtained exclusively by YAF.
“But in your case, under no condition, would I support any group that has an implied or explicit support for Trump, racism, sexism, or indifference to democratic values, including peace, liberty, freedom, and justice for all peoples,” Hatemi wrote. He also absurdly accused YAF of bearing the blame for the recent riot at the Capitol, noting “I question if your national organization has some responsibility for recent actions.”
Hatemi went on to say that the chapter’s timing “could be seen as offensive to many.”
Penn State did not respond to multiple requests for comment from YAF in time for publication.
“College is supposed to be a place where I am free to listen and learn,” PSU YAF chairman John Stafford told YAF. “Yet my experience has been filled with roadblocks and professors limiting me to the realms of their own ideologies. I am proud to be a member of YAF––I will not speak quietly or amend my beliefs.”
Stafford clapped back in a reply to the professor’s email, calling his claims “unsubstantiated” and “dishonorable.”
Pete Hatemi claims in his email to be a “distinguished” professor, yet obviously spent no time researching YAF before falsely maligning the organization. He spent the majority of his email attacking a conservative student who wants to make a serious change on campus, promoting freedom’s principles from the Sharon Statement. YAF has condemned the mob violence, and does not support extremism–which, the professor could have discovered on his own with a quick Google search.
It is Penn State YAF’s constitutional right to exist on campus–whether this professor likes it or not. To attack all conservative students and YAF by accusing them of supporting riots and violence with no evidence is disgraceful and unbecoming of a professor at an institution of higher education. Now is the time for healing in our nation, and this professor and many others are only further stoking the flames of division with baseless accusations and attempts to censor true conservative speech.