Leftist professors at the University at Buffalo are trying to incite students against tomorrow night’s YAF lecture featuring Michael Knowles, according to a mass email thread obtained by the New Guard.
Professors in the gender studies and theater departments sent emails to multiple university distribution lists, erroneously accusing the popular Daily Wire commentator of promoting “genocidal anti-trans hatred, misogyny, and homophobia.”
Associate Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies, Christine Varnado, wrote, “This invitation is a very calculated use of our institution and our campus as a public platform from which to advance genocidal anti-trans hatred, misogyny, and homophobia.” She added that the university would be “a loving space while this inexcusable, harmful event takes place.”
The Gender Institute, English Department, LGBTQ Faculty Staff Association, and Global Gender and Sexuality Studies Department have all issued statements in solidarity with “trans and queer students”. The Gender Institute also delivered a letter with over 3,700 signatures to the university’s president – which may sound significant but is actually a relatively small portion of UB’s massive student population.
Several student organizations are planning peaceful protests outside of the event, and tabling events and an outdoor dance party of “joyful rebellion” will take place throughout the day. Campus Wellness services will be available for students who feel “isolated or traumatized” by the event.
The next day, on Friday, March 10, the Gender Institute is hosting a lunchtime Zoom forum on “Free Speech and Transgender Rights.”
Arial Nereson, director of graduate studies, forwarded the thread to the university’s graduate teaching assistants and encouraged them to share the information with their students.
Varnado urged faculty and students to be watchful and stay connected with others as they consider if/how/where they want to engage in these events on Thursday. “Take good care and stay strong this week,” she said. “Fuck fascism and fascists, everywhere.”
The professors’ call for solidarity and opposition against Knowles and conservative beliefs creates an environment where only one point of view is acceptable, effectively shutting down any meaningful dialogue or exchange of ideas. By painting Knowles in this light, the professors are not only misrepresenting his views but also attempting to dehumanize and silence him and the students who share his common-sense beliefs.
This type of behavior goes against the principles of free speech and academic freedom that universities should uphold. It is essential to foster an environment where all perspectives are welcomed and diversity of thought is championed.