Why Is a White Supremacist a Professor at Cal State University?
Kevin McDonald is a tenured psychology professor who teaches courses in child development, but his publications are not about topics such as ADHD or the effects of social media on adolescent development. A tenured full professor at a California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), McDonald has an extensive publishing record of anti-Semitic writings that have made him a favorite of Neo-Nazis. For years, many including the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), have asked, why in the world is he teaching at a public state university, in a part of the country known for its racial and ethnic diversity?
Following the re-election of President Barack Obama, residents from more than 20 states have signed or filed petitions requesting permission to secede from the union. McDonald has written a pro-secession piece for The Occidental Observer, which Foreign Policy calls a “prominent white identity site.” Here is a sample:
White males constituted only 34% of the electorate and this will continue to decline. It’s no accident that stocks of gun companies soared after the election, even though the stock market as a whole took a dive. What we have here is a situation in which around 70% of traditional American White men (correcting for the overly inclusive White’ category used by the media) are now pretty much officially disenfranchised in a country where they see themselves as the founding population. That’s a lot of angry White men….
It may take a while for this 70% to wake up to the reality that they are politically impotent. But it will happen. Separatist movements in the many states that are deeply red are certainly a possibility. … Is there any other realistic alternative? Apart from futile violence against the Leviathan, do White men really have any other choice?
In careful detail, the SPLC documents McDonald’s career from anti-Vietnam War activist and flower child to author of anti-Semitic writings on distinctly biased subject matter such as “how Jews are genetically driven to destroy Western societies.” It was during his years with the anti-war movement in the 1960s that McDonald says he “began to have suspicions about the motives of his Jewish fellow protesters.” After a failed career as a jazz pianist, he ended up at the University of Connecticut, where he received a master’s in biology in 1977 and then a Ph.D. in behavioral sciences for studying the behavior of wolves and of wolf-cub interactions.
McDonald was hired as an assistant professor by CSULB in 1985, published about wolf behavior and parent-child behavior and became a full professor in 1994. By then, he had started producing books with titles such as “A People that Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy.” The majority of his writing is now about “Jews and the evils of the liberal immigration policies they support.” While some faculty colleagues have been deeply, and rightfully, troubled by his anti-Semitic views, the CSULB administration has “categorically defended MacDonald’s academic freedom to express his views, but added that they ‘did not necessarily reflect those of the university,’” says the SPLC.
McDonald has won acclaim within his academic discipline, evolutionary psychology. But some highly-regarded scholars including Steven Pinker, the Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, have questioned the CSULB professor’s work on the grounds that it fails “basic tests of scientific credibility.”
On the one hand, I am not surprised that CSULB officials are refraining from taking any action regarding McDonald in the name of “academic freedom.” McDonald has tenure and the university is probably wary of being accused of impinging on free speech and even facing a lawsuit should it bring a case against the professor, not to mention some extremely negative publicity.
Still, especially given the highly diverse student population of CSULB — as well as its being a public university funded by, in part, taxpayer money — McDonald’s hateful writings warrant the university taking a much more decisive stance about him as a member of its faculty. Is it not possible that students, faculty, staff and others at CSULB feel that their freedom of expression is restricted by having someone with such anti-Semitic, white supremacist views among them?
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