- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 18, 2014

University of Michigan communications professor and department chair Susan Douglas is facing calls for her resignation following an op-ed she wrote, titled “It’s Okay To Hate Republicans.”

“I hate Republicans,” Ms. Douglas wrote for the nonprofit magazine In These Times. “I can’t stand the thought of having to spend the next two years watching Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Ted Cruz, Darrell Issa or any of the legions of other blowhards denying climate change, thwarting immigration reform or championing fetal ‘personhood.’ “

She then accused conservatives of having “certain psychological characteristics,” such as “[d]ogmatism, rigidity and intolerance
 of ambiguity; a need to avoid uncertainty; support for authoritarianism; a heightened sense of threat from others; and a personal need for structure.”

“According to researchers, the two core dimensions of conservative thought are resistance to change and support for inequality,” Ms. Douglas continued. “These, in turn, are core elements of social intolerance. The need for certainty, the need to manage fear of social change, lead to black-and-white thinking and an embrace of stereotypes.”

By noontime Thursday, the article appeared to have been removed from the In These Times website without explanation. After further inspection, the article appeared to have been relocated under a new URL and with a different headline: “We Can’t All Just Get Along.”

The column sparked outrage among conservative and free-speech groups on campus.

Grant Strobl, the chairman of U-M’s chapter of Young Americans for Freedom and a member on the National Board of Governors of Young Americans for Freedom, issued a statement urging the school to “take action” against Ms. Douglas, MLive.com reported.

“This is blatant intolerance, and the university should take action on the behalf of intellectual diversity and all of the students who are intimidated into silence,” Mr. Strobl said.

Bobby Schostak, chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, said: “The piece by Professor Susan J. Douglas is ugly and full of hatred, and it should not be tolerated by the University of Michigan,” The Detroit News reported.

“The University of Michigan is a respected public institution, funded by taxpayers, and this type of bullying must be addressed by President Mark Schlissel,” Mr. Schostak continued. “I am calling on Lon Johnson, Gary Peters, Gretchen Whitmer, Tim Greimel and all Democratic officials to join in condemning this disgraceful dialogue by calling for Professor Susan J. Douglas’ resignation. By endorsing the hatred of an opposing political party, Douglas has made Republican students feel vulnerable and intimidated.”

In a statement Wednesday night, UM spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said: “The views expressed are those of the individual faculty member and not those of the University of Michigan. Faculty freedom of expression, including in the public sphere, is one of the core values of our institution.

“At the same time, the university must and will work vigilantly to ensure students can express diverse ideas and perspectives in a respectful environment and without fear of reprisal. The university values viewpoint diversity and encourages a wide range of opinions.”

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