Michigan Professor Suspended for Saying It’s ‘More Admirable To Kill a Racist’ Speaker Than Protest

Photo:  Facebook/NY Post
Photo: Facebook/NY Post

A Michigan University professor was suspended after sharing a post to Facebook in which he suggested that killing “right-wing” speakers who recite racist, homophobic or anti-transgender rhetoric would be an apt punishment for them.

Steven Shaviro, who is based in Detroit and teaches English and film studies at Wayne State University, went on the social media app earlier this week to share that protesting hateful, right-wing speakers who visit college campuses doesn’t work because it gives them “publicity and validation.”

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He wrote:

“I think it is far more admirable to kill a racist, homophobic, or transphobic speaker than it is to shout them down. When right-wing groups invite such speakers to campus, it is precisely because they want to provoke an incident that discredits the left, and gives more publicity and validation to these reprehensible views than they could otherwise attain.The protesters get blamed instead of the bigoted speaker; the university administration finds a perfect excuse to side publicly with the racists or phobes; the national and international press has a field day saying that bigots are the ones being oppressed, rather than the people those bigots actually hate being the victims of oppression.”

Wayne State president Dr. M. Roy Wilson sent an email to students Monday saying that Shaviro’s words were troubling and that law enforcement officials have gotten involved. Wilson explained:

“We have on many occasions defended the right of free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but we feel this post far exceeds the bounds of reasonable or protected speech. It is, at best, morally reprehensible and, at worst, criminal. We have referred this to law enforcement agencies for further review and investigation. Pending their review, we have suspended the professor with pay, effective immediately.”

Shaviro’s Facebook post has since been deleted.

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