Go Ahead, Put Me On Your Blacklist

Editor’s Note: The following post is from our partners at UWire.com. It offers a campus perspective. The following piece is a reaction to this story: The University of Toledo College Republicans are compiling a list of liberal professors who they claim have a bias against conservative students. The list will include professors who students say have let their political views interfere with the way they interact with students in the classroom.

By Professor Thomas Lingeman
University of Toledo

Dear Mr. Matt Rubin and the University of Toledo College Republicans

Though you and your organization have not defined a “liberal,” I can very well bet that I am one and therefore belong on your list. So, please include me. I am a professor at The University of Toledo. I have been teaching sculpture, design and drawing to university students since 1979.

As a liberal, this is what I have done and what I espouse:

1. I voted for Barack Obama and canvassed for him in Perrysburg, Ohio. I love my President and his family.

2. I am in favor of a national public health system that includes the public option as well as a single-payer system.

3. America needs a national public transportation system that everyone living within its borders can afford to use daily.

4. There should be at least a 20 to a 30-day waiting period, for investigative purposes by law enforcement authorities, for the purchase of any gun, with the exception of black powder muzzle loaders.

5. Evolution is proven science. T-Rex actually lived 65 million years ago. Dinosaurs evolved into birds.

6. Global warming is proven science and has been created by humans and can be fixed by humans.

7. Homosexuals should have the same rights as heterosexuals. They should be allowed to marry, divorce and raise children.

8. I watch MSNBC between the hours of 5 and 10 p.m.

9. I believe that our nation was thrust into the Iraq war by our government, led by George W. Bush, under false pretenses.

10. I subscribe to The Nation magazine.

11. I have many other “liberal” views. I do not believe I need to add more qualifications as a liberal to my profile to qualify for your — as you say it — “directory.”

I teach art; hopefully, Art with a capital “A.” I love all forms of art. I love the cave paintings of Lascaux and the architecture of Frank Gehry. I especially love the works housed in the collection of The Toledo Museum of Art (they are not reproductions). I have been encouraged, over the years, by the administration, to incorporate these works and, as a consequence, the beliefs of these artists into my teaching.

When I lecture to my students in the TMA collection, my voice intensifies and my eyes brighten visibly when I lead them to the works of Giacometti, Marini, Calder, Kiefer, Nevelson, Close and others. I also love the work of Duane Hanson, Juan Munoz, Sol Lewitt, Robert Irwin, Richard Serra, Mark di Suvero, Magdelena Abakanowicz, Tony Smith and Joel Shapiro, among many more.

I attempt to influence my students into sharing my love of these artists. By so doing, I hope they will enlarge their world view. That is my teaching! If I have crossed your line, Mr. Rubin, and the line of your organization, then you have me in your “directory.”

But Mr. Rubin, I fear your “directory,” because, historically, this information has assumed a mind of its own. The list you and your Republican colleagues have manufactured may not always find itself in the hands of someone with your profound, indeed, almost professorial, understanding of the nuances of higher education.

After you have my name, place of employment, address and whatever other information you and your fellow Republicans can glean for your “directory,” what do you intend to do with this information?


Thomas Lingeman, Professor of Art, The University of Toledo