A California professor is under fire for previous comments promoting the murder of police after a local officer was murdered.
UC Davis English professor Joshua Clover was targeted by a student newspaper after a rookie officer was struck down in the line od duty.
And the professor, who has advocated for just such a thing happening, showed no remorse for the slain officer.
“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,” Clover tweeted in 2014.
“People think that cops need to be reformed. They need to be killed.” He said in an interview in 2015.
CBS News asked Clover for a comment on the death of the officer and his response was as cold as you would expect.
“On the day that police have as much to fear from literature professors as Black kids do from police, I will definitely have a statement,” he said.
“The UC Davis administration condemns the statement of Professor Clover,” a statement to The Sacramento Bee from UC Davis spokeswoman Dana Topousis read.
“It does not reflect our institutional values and we find it unconscionable that anyone would condone much less appear to advocate murder,” it said.
“Public statements like those made by Professor Clover are accorded a high level of protection under the First Amendment,” she said.
But the UC Police Department was not as kind in it’s response to the professors abhorrent comments.
“Our officers are dedicated professionals who have and will continue to rise above calls for violence against them,” Chief Joe Farrow told the Sacramento Bee.
“Nonetheless, it’s regrettable they have to endure such vile hatred. I always try to remain positive, and we are keenly aware of what’s going on in the nation with the perception of law enforcement,” he said.
“We try to understand the criticism and build upon that. It’s a reminder to myself that there’s a lot of work to be done,” he said, The Bee reported.
Corona’s story – of a 22-year-old beloved rookie cop who was senselessly gunned down after mere weeks on the job – became national news. Her emotional memorial was held on the UC Davis campus.
The author of a column critical of Clover in the California Aggie – Nick Irvin – reminded UCD officials that only weeks ago they praised the bravery of officers like Corona. And yet, now, they defend Clover’s right to be heartless and irresponsible. Irvin called this “hypocritical.”
When Clover was asked for comment by The Bee in response to his comments in light of Corona’s murder, his email reply was a peach of moral obfuscation. “On the day that police have as much to fear from literature professors as Black kids do from police, I will definitely have a statement.”
OK, a few relevant points before returning to why Clover deserves to be called out.
UCD’s decision to defend Clover’s First Amendment rights was correct. Clover deserves his academic freedom and his freedom of speech.
But the rest of us enjoy freedom of expression as well.
To begin with, Clover’s email response to Bee reporter Sawsan Morrar was nothing short of cowardly. When police have as much to fear from college professors as African Americans do from cops, you’ll have something to say?
If that isn’t an egregious misuse of white man’s privilege, then who knows what is?