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Why Is a White Supremacist a Professor at Cal State University?

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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150 comments

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6:58PM PDT on Sep 20, 2013

thanks for the article - happy my children do not attend CSULB. shocked that the CSU would hire anyone with these beliefs

6:48PM PDT on Sep 20, 2013

thanks for the article - happy my children do not attend CSULB. shocked that the CSU would hire anyone with these beliefs

3:14AM PST on Nov 21, 2012

Hate, stereotyping and discriminatory attitudes have no place in education or educators.

These unacceptable attitudes are irrational, limiting and affect the perceptions of the professor - and potentially from there of his students in general - to students of the types categorized as 'lesser' or 'evil' in his estimation.

It is insanity to have persons holding such discriminatory beliefs in a position of authority over students influenced by their teachers - and those among his denigrated groups marked by him as well.

Where has America's sense and sanity gone, that it can be argued by some that hate speech,paranoia and discriminatory attitudes in university professors and elsewhere are 'free speech' issues, in total violation of all human rights and ideals?

Professors are supposed to to be informed and open-minded, not paranoid, anti-scientific promoters of hate!

2:48AM PST on Nov 20, 2012

Thanks for the article

2:00PM PST on Nov 19, 2012

In a truly free country where freedom of speech is genuinely embraced this man's right to voice his opinion, regardless of how offensive, must be respected. I am diametrically opposed to Kevin McDonald's ideologies. But to claim some how that he should not have a certain job or position, or even be fired solely because he chooses to exercise his right to free speech is simply wrong. Not only wrong, but unethical.
The REAL way to get rid of him is to expose his writings to students prior to their signing up for his classes. Mount a soap box at the College! Show and discuss samples of his literature to students waiting to enroll in his class! If no one signs up, he has no job! If you want to get rid of this man, do so by exercising YOUR Rights - Not by suppressing his!

1:51PM PST on Nov 19, 2012

They may not be able to fire him. But they can assign him no classes, no grad students to mentor, and let his spend his days in a tiny office, writing more rantings with no credibility. Btw, he is clearly sexist, too, going on about the reduction of influence of "white males", counting women among those who have, by getting the vote, weakened them.
If they can't fire him, leave him clearly the isolated kook no one in the university believes in or respects.
Or prove his original research broke rules (like making up data) and fire him for not actually earning his Ph.D. I think that's allowed.
Also, the way his anti-Semitism began sounds like he may have a paranoia problem. Could the university require a mental health screening for him?

12:16PM PST on Nov 19, 2012

Strange that they would allow a person like this to teach our children.

7:05PM PST on Nov 18, 2012

Some people should not be allowed to teach. This man has no wisdom to impart to anyone and should keep his nauseating, poorly informed and hateful garbage to himself.

6:33PM PST on Nov 18, 2012

OMG

2:30PM PST on Nov 18, 2012

No one commenting here has encountered a Klansman. None ever have witnessed a lynching. No Jews are being chased up and down 5th Avenue by American cossacks, hot for their blood. It's hard to face, I know - but we're just not that into you.

In this country, counterintuitive nonsense holds that freedom of expression must be withheld from some in order to protect it for others. This case is perfect specimen of its ugly mechanics: An "advocacy group" no one's ever heard of makes an accusation, and MacDonald instantly is our latest social heretic. Media cooperation will power along the kangaroo proceedings. As usual in such farce, attempts will be made to force from him a groveling apology, then he'll be summarily fired. His dread crime is not sufficiently adoring Jews, and doubting all white gentiles epitomize pure evil, while every jerkwater, blowfy "culture" is noble and eviable - troublesome stoning of women and backward tribalism be damned.

Identity politics is an unfortunate reality, and as we become more and more a minority, white gentiles will resort to this idiocy. Just like everyone else, temptation to brainlessly self-aggrandize and gas-bag about our imaginary wondrousness will be too tempting to pass up.

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches ancient Greek, Latin and Classics at Saint Peter's University in New Jersey.... more
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