A Kansas journalism professor blamed the NRA for the Navy Yard shooting and wished for the death of NRA member’s families in a tweet posted on Sept 13.
The tweet by, David Guth, reads:
Professor Guth is an associate professor at the Wiliam Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas.
The website Campus Reform reported today that when they contacted Professor Guth he stood by his statements. The article quotes him as saying: “I don't wish what happened today on anyone,” he wrote. “But if it does happen again — and it likely will — may it happen to those misguided miscreants who suggest that today's death toll at the Navy Yard would have been lower if the employees there were allowed to pack heat.”
A university spokesperson cited the professor’s right to make those statements when contacted by Campus Reform. (Read the whole article for more by Professor Guth and the complete response by the university).
While Professor Guth does have the 1st Amendment right of free speech, wishing death on the families of anyone, NRA members or not, is abhorrent. Whether the university recognizes it or not, this is hate speech of the type not normally tolerated by a university representative in a campus environment.
Since the best way to speak out against hate speech is through more speech, I urge everyone who reads this article to contact the University of Kansas and William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications officials listed below.
Ask them if Professor Guth’s wish for the death of innocent people is consistent with the values and standards of the University of Kansas. If not, what, if anything, will the University of Kansas do about those statements when they are made by someone who represents the university in words and deeds, even if he is not an "official spokesperson."
Professor Guth does have the right to free speech. Free speech does, however, have consequences. In some cases those consequences include action by the person’s employer when the speech directly impacts the reputation of that employer.
Let's hope the University of Kansas recognizes how much these types of statements made by a professor damage the university and that they take appropriate action.
The relevant University of Kansas contacts are:
Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little
University of Kansas
230 Strong Hall
Lawrence, KS 66045-7518
Jeffrey S. Vitter
Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
Dean, School of Journalism
Stauffer-Flint Hall, room 200A
The Kansas Board of Regents, which governs the University of Kansas, can be contacted with the web form at the link below.
Note to readers: Please help me get the word out by sharing links to this article with your friends on social media, web forums, and e-mail. Thank you.