Should he stay or should he go?
Correction: Due to a reporting error, The Campus Press incorrectly stated that David Irving voiced a “staunch denial” of the Holocaust in a 2004 speech on campus. The topic of Irving’s speech was the war in Iraq.
Many students have shown outrage and CU has voiced its disapproval. But there is nothing that can be done about English instructor Josh McNair’s controversial views of white supremacy expressed in an essay entitled, “Organization, Cooperation and Action.”
The essay won a prize in 2004 from the white supremacist group Stormfront. McNair’s writing has caused some student groups on campus to voice concern.
“I don’t feel so great about him teaching at my school. I respect the University’s decision to keep him as a teacher, but I was shocked to find out that he was part of our faculty,” said Kara Zucker, co-chairwoman of Holocaust Awareness Week.
Zucker is worried that McNair is going to cause trouble during next week’s keynote speech for Holocaust Awareness Week. Debra Lipstadt is set to speak on Wednesday in the Glenn Miller Ballroom. Lipstadt is a long time critic of David Irving, a noted Holocaust denier.
McNair formed a student group, Student Advocates for Free Expression, that sponsored a speech by Irving in September of 2004.
“I’m really concerned that there will be a problem during Debra’s presentation. If Josh offends her, it would be disrespectful to her and my organization,” Zucker said.
Emem Ekiko, president of the Black Student Association feels much the same way.
“Having a narrow-minded professor is counteracting the University’s actions taken towards diversity. The University is hypocritical and simply paying a lot of lip service to diversity,” Ekiko said.
Max Karson, author of The Yeti, sheds a different light among the strong opponents of McNair. Although he disagrees with McNair’s beliefs he accepts the idea that McNair should still be allowed to teach at the University.
“As long as he’s not discriminating against students, then he should totally be allowed to teach. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion,” Karson said.
The university is not supporting McNair’s offensive beliefs by allowing him to continue teaching, and there is nothing CU can do without any evidence that McNair’s views are interfering with his teaching.
“We can’t just launch an investigation without having a probable cause, there must be some evidence that he has violated a code of conduct,” said CU Spokesman Bronson Hilliard.
“Do you want to attend an institution that seeks out people with the same political ideology as our own? Do you want that to be a test for admission to the University and other programs?” Hilliard asked.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Tate Delloye at email@example.com.