During the George Floyd riots, Weber State University criminal justice professor Scott Senjo posted tweets that displeased the school’s bosses. Senjo apologized, resigned, then rescinded his resignation. Weber State then placed him on leave and now announces that Senjo is “no longer employed at the school.”
North of the border, University of British Columbia board of governors chair Michael Korenberg “liked” tweets by Dinesh D’Souza, a tweet wishing Donald Trump a happy birthday, and a tweet critical of Black Lives Matter. The Antifa-affiliated “UBC Students Against Bigotry,” protested Korenberg’s “likes” and he duly resigned, issuing a groveling apology and a statement that he supports Black Lives Matter.
In such a totalitarian environment, it might be instructive to focus on a university professor who made statements of utter depravity yet managed to keep his job with the full approval of the administration. This takes us to Davis, California, a short stretch down Interstate 80 from the state capital of Sacramento.
On January 10, 2019, convicted criminal Kevin Limbaugh gunned down Natalie Corona, 22, a rising star in the Davis Police Department. The community hailed Corona as a hero who paid the ultimate price for her service. Thousands of people, including police officers from across the country, attended a memorial for the slain officer.
Over at UC Davis, on the other hand, one professor openly supports the murder of police officers.
That would be Joshua Clover, a full professor of English and comparative literature, whose publisher Verso Books describes him as a Communist. Born in Berkeley in 1962, Clover is an alumnus of the prestigious Boston University and the Iowa Writers Workshop. He once bagged an NEA grant as well as the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets.
Nick Irvin of The Aggie, the UC Davis student newspaper, heard that Clover supported the killing of police officers and began poking around in Clover’s Twitter account. Irvin found tweets such as this from November 27, 2014: “I am thankful that every living cop will one day be dead, some by their own hand, some by others, too many of old age.” And this from December 27, 2014: “I mean, it’s easier to shoot cops when their backs are turned, no?” And in a January 31, 2016 interview, Clover found, “People think that cops need to be reformed. They need to be killed.”
Irvin contacted Clover to sound him out on Natalie Corona. The Communist prof replied, “I think we can all agree that the most effective way to end any violence against officers is the complete and immediate abolition of the police,” and he did not walk back any of his statements about wanting cops killed. Local media were soon all over the story.
The Sacramento Bee found that in 2015 Clover told the SF Weekly cops “need to be killed.” After Davis police weighed in on Clover’s “vile hatred,” the Bee sought a response from the campus Communist and critical theorist. “On the day that police have as much to fear from literature professors as Black kids do from police, I will definitely have a statement,” he said.
The UC Davis administration condemned Clover’s statements and found it “unconscionable that anyone would condone much less appear to advocate murder.” Clover was reported to be on “medical leave,” but at no point did UC Davis bosses take action against their cheerleader for cop killers.
“We have not received a complaint of conduct that may be in violation of the Faculty Code of Conduct,” Provost Ralph Hexter, UC Davis’ chief academic and operating officer, told the Davis Enterprise. “If we received such a complaint, it would be reviewed in accordance with our policies.” In all likelihood, nobody brought a complaint against Clover, who remains a full professor.
Some police officer, perhaps a colleague of Natalie Corona, surely wants to call out this pampered, pasty-faced poltroon. In a climate of hatred for police, and calls for the defunding of police departments, any such officer would likely be fired. Police can’t be blamed for holding back, so this writer proposes a pay-per-view event with professor Clover and his own self.
That’s a terrific matchup, and as Michael Corleone might say, some cable outfit might like an event like that. ESPN is so starved for action they are showing old Eagles concerts from the Inglewood Forum. This writer will even offer free promotion.
The campus Communist gets a chance to practice class struggle in real-time, and take affirmative action to maximize the contradictions. Clover can bring his thesis, I will present the antithesis, and we’ll see how the antithesis works out. As Bryan Brown told the gutless informer in “Breaker Morant,” “any time, mate.”