This is connected with one of my earlier posts:
Russiagate was a hoax w/Matt Taibbi | The Chris Hedges Report (Chris Hedges: it’s kind of like Joe McCarthy’s empty briefcase Matt Taibbi: oh yeah)
If you speak truth to power you are silent and you are removed from your position as journalist or professor at university. This is the story of people like Michael Parenti or Noam Chomsky.
“My name is Will Miller from the philosophy department. I am standing in for Brian Perkins to do introductions this afternoon and I guess I’d like to perform some of my my work as a local historian I came here in 1969 as a new member of the faculty. Michael Parenti our speaker today arrived in 1970 after having been a visiting member of the political science department at the university of Illinois in “champaign-urbana”: in the spring of 1970 which to put it in historical context was the spring of the Kent state and Jackson state massacres at the height of the anti-war movement in the United States. Michael Parenti then on the faculty at the university of Illinois attempted to stop a garbage truck from being backed over a number of students who were engaged in a sit-in at the university at the time. For his efforts he was assaulted by a three members of the local police force in “champaign urbana”. All of whom were wearing riot gear face masks and helmets, and carring shields. One of them after laying Michael’s head open with a club accused him of assaulting him of having assaulted the police in a kind of Orwellian inversion of having been assaulted by the police He was then accused of assaulting them, He was then tried in a notorious kangaroo court and found guilty of assaulting an officer. He already had a contract to teach here so he came to the university of Vermont in the fall of 1970. Before he arrived the Burlington free press and the local media had picked up the stories from Urbana and had already begun to vilify him and condemn him and judge him on insufficient evidence for his activities in Urbana so even before he arrived on the campus he was already a celebrity though not by circumstances of his own choosing while he was a member of the campus for the two years from 1970 to 1972 he brought to the campus his insight into the imperial character of the war in Vietnam and a model of courage to do something about the character of that war he played a key role in campus-wide teach-ins in radical student organizing and he was a model for many of us who were deeply opposed to the war and had not yet moved effectively and in an organized way to counter it. He was at the time one of the best most published and best known scholars on the campus and he was superbly qualified for reappointment at the end of his two-year contract in 1972. The entire campus community in the review process strongly supported his reappointment, faculty students and the administration up to the office of the president. Traditionally the board of trustees had until that time accepted the recommendations of that review process and essentially rubber stamped them. The trustees played no active role in deciding reappointment and tenure decisions in Michael’s case however the president was broken. The trustees reached down and overturned the decision of the entire university and decided in a vote of fifteen to four – a vote taken in this very room ironically. In December of 1972 not to renew Michael Parenti’s contract. The reasons they gave since he was eminently qualified by all the standing requirement publications and teaching community service – the reasons they gave consistent inventing something new called professional conduct which no one had ever heard of before and which Michael had not met in the eyes of the trustees.
Let me give you an example of what they call professional conduct or unprofessional conduct. Michael was invited to be the guest speaker at the Burlington rotary club which opens its evening events with a pledge of allegiance to the flag. Michael didn’t pledge allegiance to the flag and gave a talk instead on how as long as the line with liberty and justice for all was not true he would work very hard to make it true and when it was true he would be the first to take the pledge until such time it would be hypocritical to do so. The trustees decided that not pledging allegiance was unprofessional conduct. Another reason given was carrying a national liberation front flag in a demonstration on Church Street in downtown Burlington. The national liberation front flag more commonly known in the presses the Vietcong flag was the flag that increasingly for many of us had become the flag of the side we should have been on in that war and not the side we should have been making war against. Michael was carrying a flag that represented the commitments and convictions of a great many of us on and off campus these and the other reasons they gave were all blatantly unconstitutional that is these are cases of politically protected speech and action which they had no basis for firing him for the trustees gave officially at the time justifications that Michael’s anti-business attitudes. Anyone with a critique of capitalism is guilty of an anti-business attitude and that Michael’s anti-business attitudes were unacceptable to the board of trustees. It was said that he was bad for the image of the university. I take it an image that entails being pro-business. Certainly not being critical the year that Michael was fired the university handbook was covered with its statement of academic freedom on the front and back covers as if by publishing that statement they could undo the effects of the firing the administration, the president and most of the members of the faculty who overwhelmingly agreed that it was a very sad day in the history of the university of Vermont and the trustees were able successfully to to remove Parenti’s analysis and point of view and voice from this campus. Therefore it gives me great pleasure since the intent of the board was to silence Michael and see that he would never speak here again it gives me great pleasure to thwart their intentions and welcome today’s speaker professor Michael Parenti”
This is also connected to another of my earlier post:
Prof. Noam Chomsky: Illegal but Legitimate: a Dubious Doctrine for the Times”Intellectuals have the task of covering it up… administrations are in his words “schizophrenic””
This is what Chomsky Means by “”Intellectuals have the task of covering it up”.
What they don’t want you to know and understand is:
“so ladies and gentlemen what I’m saying is here you have a racist president here you have a reactionary president an imperialist president who has to take sanctions against South Africa. That’s power he’s doing something that catches him up here he doesn’t want to do that he’s doing that because we have power and we work and we percolate in communities all over this country and that power percolates up and it registers and it registers in congress and it registers elsewhere and it registers when cabinet members and assistant secretaries who go places and they hear this and they see that and they read this in the paper and they see shanty towns put up and broken down and whatever else and students getting arrested all over the place. There’s a powerful movement that’s been going on and they have to respond to that…”
If you want educate yourself and know more about how the world really works here you have a great lecture by Parenti which I recommend everyone to watch!