December 20, 2006
Racist WSU professor

Eugene Volokh has some thoughtful comments about WSU's investigation report on the case of Prof. John Streamas, who called a College Republican student a 'white shitbag'.

Interestingly enough, Streamas' website posts his syllabus for American Studies 590, "Racism and Technologies of Time and Space", which he taught last year. Under Policies:

While obviously we should avoid abusive and hateful speech, I also want to encourage you to exercise your academic freedoms in thoughtful, intellectually honest discourse. A racist idea is a racist idea, and we should be honest enough to say so.
So noted, professor.

Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at December 20, 2006 03:23 PM | Email This
1. this has been going on for years
"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others"

Posted by: JDH on December 20, 2006 03:41 PM
2. Are you sure this is WSU and not Evergreen we're talking about here?

Posted by: Libertarian on December 20, 2006 03:42 PM
3. I guess the professor's mistake was in not just calling the kid a "shitbag". That "white" stuff gets you every time.

Posted by: Steven Donegal on December 20, 2006 03:46 PM
4. Makes sense. Who better to teach about racism than a racist?

Posted by: brett on December 20, 2006 03:47 PM
5. This is not first time Streamas has run afoul of the WSU administration.

Full coverage can be found here.. Several of the WSU College Republcians are contributors at this blog.

Two interesting videos from the demonstration here and here.

Posted by: Tom Forbes on December 20, 2006 03:47 PM
6. Nonetheless, it is pretty sad that this incident happened, and it says some pretty bad things about Prof. Streamas and others like him.

... of which there are far, far too many on today's college campuses.

Posted by: jimg on December 20, 2006 03:58 PM
7. Upon examination of his course syllabus, it would appear that he isn't teaching anything of real intellectual value at all. I'd guess that the bag of shit is most likely between his own ears.

Posted by: H Moul on December 20, 2006 04:05 PM
8. Maybe it will elevate WSU to first rank status...gotta move past that Ag stuff if you want some peer respect...

Posted by: righton on December 20, 2006 04:32 PM
9. Pages 4 - 5 of the report of WAZZU's investigation includes:

"Respondent (Streamas) insists that he did not utter the phrase as an expression of racism, in part, because he argues a person of color cannot be racist.."

Sound familiar?

Posted by: Tyler Durden on December 20, 2006 05:14 PM
10. More double standards by a communist moonbat. Substitute any color but white in the same comment and there would have been immediate nationwide coverage. Jerk.

Posted by: Burdabee on December 20, 2006 05:46 PM
11. wannta hear some really strange stuff talk to the "womyns studies" types --

Posted by: Lew on December 20, 2006 05:58 PM
12. Much like the Pappy Boyington flap earlier this year at UW, once this incident involving professor misconduct got outside of the insular college campus, their actions attracted a flood of attention and disapproval from taxpayers and the public at large.

But it wasn't just "White-Shitbag" that got this professor in trouble. Que up the AP story:

Earlier, Streamas has acknowledged using the term, but said it wasn't directed at any individual. Last month he called the fence a provocative and racist symbol, and compared it to Nazis carrying a swastika through a Jewish neighborhood.

The report said it was unwise for Streamas to have made the comment, which it called "immature, intellectually unsophisticated and thoughtless." But a single such utterance during a robust debate did not, by itself, constitute harassment, discrimination or intimidation, the report said.

Streamas, who was born in Tokyo, did not immediately return Associated Press telephone calls and e-mails seeking comment Tuesday.

The report quoted what it said was an unsolicited voice mail message Streamas left for investigators: "This is a racist university. Many of our students say that WSU stands for White Supremacist University.

"I don't care about the hurt feelings of one white person. The feelings of one little hurt white boy who's got all his white-skinned privilege are nothing compared to the hundreds of people he offended with his racist fence," the voice mail said.

More on the WSU fence controversy and the earlier events at UW can be found here.

Posted by: Patrick on December 20, 2006 06:58 PM
13. Dr. John is accepting comments at:

Posted by: Tyler Durden on December 20, 2006 06:59 PM
14. In the "Politically Correct" Sciences that allow classes like "Racism and Technologies of Time and Space" the problem is obvious. That people like John Streamas and Ward Churchill are even awarded doctorate degrees shows the sham that is the university system. Churchill has proven that you can basically make up anything that appeals to the academic left and University Administrators will look the other way on your sham. Looks like Streamas is following the same script.

Time and Space are not technologies. Even the title of this guy's course does not make sense given a basic understanding of the English language.

What a sad state our universities have become.

Posted by: Jeff B. on December 20, 2006 07:20 PM
15. Has the new WSU prez weighed in on this matter from his Seattle digs?

Posted by: Organization Man on December 20, 2006 07:23 PM
16. Self-important academic.

Hiding out from the real & corporate (results-oriented) world that would devour him in a second like a taste of (soon to be banned) fois gras at a Gov's 'holiday' party.

He's entitled to his opinions. However, he forgets his employers & their kids. Poke 'em in the eye enough and what do you get? Besides, if this nation stinks, why not teach & reside in Paris, Ho Chi Minh City, Cairo, Riyadh or Addis Abbaba? Not as safe? Not as good standard of living? Not as free? What a wimpy hypocrite preached from a La-Z-Boy.

Like a loud flattus at a symphony, he surely gets our attention, but is unwanted nearby.

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on December 20, 2006 07:51 PM
17. sort of like the 2008 Democrat presidential candidates...

"white males need not apply."

Posted by: Andy on December 20, 2006 07:56 PM
18. The problem is academia tends to replicate itself. Two of the most brillant minds in academia, Dr. Thomas Sowell and Dr. Walter Williams probably would not be hired at a state university, not because of lack of credentials, but they are conservative Blacks. There is not much diversity of opinion in academia. Contrary to popular belief, tenure does not increase the diversity of discussion, but restricts it because people want tenure. There should be diversity of thought and academics of color should not not be penalized because they don't spout the party line.
The professor is acting the way fellow academics want some one in his position to behave. That has to change.

Posted by: WVH on December 20, 2006 09:42 PM
19. is where you may email your thoughts and comments to the professor about the way he addressed this student. I have already done so.
Your tax dollars at work. Heaven help us.

Posted by: Misty on December 20, 2006 10:07 PM
20. And while you're at it, email the Wazzu president at !!

Posted by: Misty on December 20, 2006 10:17 PM
21. I went back and read through John Streamas' Bio and the Syllabus for his course. Scary. To think that this is what passes for education in today's world. Streamas takes an immediate and aggressive position against all modern convention, and then uses that as a basis for regarding real physical boundaries as racist constructs. It takes an especially hateful and Marxist astigmatism to end up at such a philosophical extreme.

That we regard this time as late in the year 2006 by convention does nothing to impose upon us, and in no way changes the actual march of time. True that our calendar system is arbitrary, but then so is the assignation of the phonemes of our words. With Streamas' logic, all communication is gibberish and meaningless because of our predecessors who decided language a certain way. Sadly, I am sure Streamas would agree.

Streamas also tries to equate the distorted shapes of the continents on a mercator projection map as proof of some racist conspiracy. As if the accident of flattening a spherical map actually changes the shape of the real land masses it represents.

This man is a danger, and a particularly pernicious racist and hateful intellectual regressive masquerading as a worthwhile academic. He, like his ilk Ward Churchill, deserves our full and open scorn and vilification. It is only through rational ostracism that frauds like Streamas will be exposed and separated from their goal of imparting active harm to students under the pretense of serious education.

Write and/ or call WSU and respectfully ask for his immediate termination.

Posted by: Jeff B. on December 20, 2006 10:24 PM
22. First, I am not defending this guy. I wonder how many of you have an understanding of academia?

1. Everyone is told that they need a threshold degree to have a good life. So, millions of kids and parents go into hock to get the BA. A willing and captive audience willing to meet whatever the yearly price increase. A much better business plan than Starbucks because at some price point the caffeine junkies will make their own.

2. There is little oversight about the ideological slant of departments or professors. Academic freedom, you know. Except, try going against the prevailing ideoloy and there will be no chance for tenure. Tenure keeps a lot of aspirings on the ideological farm.

3. Yeh, you may write, you may call, but there are plenty more all over. What is really needed is academic diversity in terms of thought. For those fighting to improve k-12, that will be a cakewalk compared to getting academic diversity of thought in universities. Best wishes.

Posted by: WVH on December 20, 2006 11:13 PM
23. We need to put this piece up for a MLK Award this year.... LOL

Posted by: Ray Lindquist on December 21, 2006 12:29 AM
24. After slogging through that blog and reading some of what this so called prof has said, I have come up with a plan. We should hold a world wide summit of all nuclear capable nations. During this summit, those nations should each pick 3 cities in an enemy nation to destroy. On a random, undisclosed day, each of the designated cities should be made into glass parking lots by the biggest nukes available. Immediately following the obliteration of these cities, a message should be brodcast to every human in every part of the world (translated into all the relevent languages by the UN, since it doesn't serve any other real purpose). The full content of this message should be, "STOP WHINING!"


Why do I get the feeling that real men who fought real racism (like MLK) would bitch-slap this Streamas guy?

Posted by: Dustin on December 21, 2006 06:39 AM
25. Speaking as one who works in the hallowed groves of academe, let me assure all of you that:

1. Morons like Streamas are a dime a dozen. Name the campus, spot the racist. Ho fricken hum.

2. The few students who take fools like him seriously aren't worth a bucket of warm spit, and the vast majority of college kids know it. Think of the unreasonable -- perhaps borderline mentally ill -- teachers you've had in your life. You either laughed at them behind their backs or felt contempt for them in their mediocrity. Streamas and his ilk elicit the same response from any undergrad with a normal degree of intellectual honesty.

Posted by: Rey Smith on December 21, 2006 08:12 AM
26. Meanwhile at the University of Michigan your tax dollars are being spent to find out something that I would have never in a million years have guessed. Study: Teens use medicines to get high

I wonder how much this cost us?

Posted by: JDH on December 21, 2006 08:58 AM
27. how many racist comments does a person have to make before one can comfortably conclude that person is a racist? also, it may not simply be a quantitative issue, but a qualitative one (i.e., the nature of a particular comment(s) may allow one to comfortably conclude that the speaker is a racist).

Posted by: dinesh on December 21, 2006 09:03 AM
28. The current "equality" movement:

Seeking to promulgate a colorblind public and personal moral code . . .

or seeking revenge?

Posted by: anon on December 21, 2006 09:14 AM
29. The following statement is so stupid, I really hate to make it. There are bright, talented, hardworking women and persons of color. When this idiot, Jackson, Sharpton and women ranters from NOW are paraded in front of the populace, then persons of color and women who are not idiots in the eyes of the population are their brothers keeper or at least placed in the same boat. There becomes a vicious cycle. Why is it this jerk was given a job and not a Sowell or Williams? My best guess is the hiring authority was looking for what they got. After all, isn't Jackson and Sharpton the role model for Blacks?

Having taught as a lecturer, many undergraduates may have high IQs and high raw test scores, they lack discernment. The collective weight of moonbat philosophy on campus is staggering. This idiot just happens to be a crude practitioner of the philosophy.

So, my particular interest is k-12, but I still recognize a danger when I see it.

Posted by: WVH on December 21, 2006 09:23 AM
30. WVH @18~
Not to ruin a perfectly good post with facts, but Sowell taught at UCLA for eight years before moving to Stanford, where he has been for the past 25. Walter Williams is a professor at George Mason, which is in fact a Virginia state university.

Posted by: Steven Donegal on December 21, 2006 09:53 AM
31. Steven:

Not to ruin your slam of me, but what I said was:
"Dr. Thomas Sowell and Dr. Walter Williams probably would not be hired at a state university, not because of lack of credentials, but they are conservative Blacks..." The question to you is would a Sowell or Williams be hired at UW or WSU? I guess I must be getting on some nerves?

Posted by: WVH on December 21, 2006 10:08 AM
32. Unfortunately our Land Grant universities have strayed from their mission, supported by administrations who compete to see who can be the most PC and spend money foolishly. Most will not honor dissenting faculty the right to be heard on the PC and related issues. Email the Presidents and tell them you will not contribute any money to "their" University until they put a stop to this madness. They just might understand.

Posted by: TJD on December 21, 2006 10:24 AM
33. ..and Streamas' corny excuse that "people of color can't be racist" is ridiculous. He didn't just call the student a s--tbag, he called him a WHITE s--tbag. Meaning, he must've thrown that white reference in to mean that there's something wrong with being white. I mean, has he ever said to a white liberal colleague who did something Streamas liked "You wonderful white professor, I really like what you did." Of course not, this guy was trying to imply that there was something wrong with being white. Period. Don't let him get away with feeble excuses, Wazzu administration!
I had a dark-skinned father and very fair-skinned mother. I don't see a problem with either of their skin colors, so I don't appreciate Streamas implying that my mother's skin color was somehow bad.

Posted by: Misty on December 21, 2006 10:49 AM
34. notice Ivory Tower Stremas will not touch the 3rd rail & rally with the same vigor against (or criticize) African culutres and tribal chiefs that, over the years to now, have supressed their own people & kept them in wars & poverty.
he will also not touch the whole caste system in India and its effects and 'opporunities' and freedoms. how about China's forced 1-kid rule via abortions? human sacrifices in Early Middle America?

other cultures get a p.c. pass from criticism.
it's twisted guilt. if he feels so bad, hand him the cat-o-nine tails for self-flagellation. we're doing fine, thank you. all cultures have some imperfections. so what? take the best from each. Professor Putz.

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on December 21, 2006 10:50 AM
35. I agree with TJD, not only for the state university system, but also for private universities as well. The original concept of tenure was to ensure academic freedom. Now, it is used as a tool to ensure a certain conformity in most institutions. Students of all colors benefit from being exposed to all viewpoints. It is particularly important to see academics of color who are able to articulate pragmatic points of view and give arguments that differ from the Jackson/Sharpton rants. I very much agree with TJD.

Posted by: WVH on December 21, 2006 10:51 AM
36. Dinesh - that is easy to answer.

If right of center 1.

If left of center, as many comments as the person said.

Posted by: Right said Fred on December 21, 2006 11:37 AM
37. if Stremas is a true academic, he will look at all sides of any culture and point out any/all faults and great things

why does he not criticize some middle eastern religions that are currently in the news? lack of academic curiosity? nothing to find? lack of intern researchers? fear of "cartoon backlash" or "VanGough Syndrome?"

no culture is perfect. but i can not point to many cultures who have cured diseases, split atoms, invented lightbulbs, invented computers, flew machines, landed on the moon, saved many from disasters and freed captive invaded civilizations, all in a relatively short span of human history--and yet is is still hated by the Learned Professor?! amazing!

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on December 22, 2006 08:23 PM
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