The People Behind the Professor’s Watchlist Are Worthless, Gutless Cowards

I’m not feeling nuanced about this. My rage is in its “blunt object” phase.


This morning I checked my email and found that an old friend and coworker had found himself on a watchlist of professors.

The group promoting the watchlist claims that they’re sticking up for conservative students who feel discriminated against. (No, I’m not going to link to your webpage, you worthless shitstains. My readers know how to google.) Since this group’s actual methodology seems to involve “trolling campus newspapers for stories in which a professor states an opinion we don’t like,” I’m not going to take that claim seriously. In my experience, conservative students who complain of discrimination are generally butthurt because they lost an argument in public. You can ask my more conservative students whether they thought I was too hard on them. Most of them got As.

You watchlist guys are savvy, I’ll give you that. Universities have become mini-corporations, and like all corporations, they’re afraid of customer complaints. They’re less likely to care about abstract non-monetizables like “free speech” and “academic excellence.” They’re scared of controversy, which might damage their “brand.”

But let’s talk about markets, since that’s the only reality people like you seem to know.

Enrique Neblett, who’s on your watchlist because he studies the physiological impact of racism on black people (something you guys want to ignore so that you can keep inflicting it), is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met in this line of work. His research is respected by his peers, because unlike you, he knows what the hell he’s talking about. But let’s forget about that: students like him. On the stupidest, most populist, most “free-market” metric possibleyes, I’m talking about—he’s a good teacher. He has a 4.6 and a chili pepper, for God’s sake. (For the record I had a 4.9 last time I checked.) This means that his students like him so much they’ll go out of their way to signal to other students that he’s a good guy, and that no students dislike him enough to give him a truly bad review, even though RMP basically exists to invite bad reviews.

You guys like markets, don’t you? Your whole epistemology is “the customer is always right,” isn’t it? Well, your great god Market has spoken. Students like Dr. Neblett as much as I do. And I doubt they’d like you nearly as much. So shut the fuck up.

You worthless, pusillanimous dipshits. Your cause can’t win the argument, so you try to scare people with this secretive McCarthyist drama-queen bullshit. Well, if you’re threatened by Enrique Neblett, whose main weapon is “knowing what the fuck he’s talking about” and “being good at his job,” maybe you aren’t the great menace to democracy that I thought you were. I’m beginning to think you’re pretty soft.

Come to that, maybe you’re not as savvy as I thought, either. As I scroll further down your list, I find, to my considerable amusement, the most right-wing guy in my MFA program, an evangelical Christian conservative who spent three years telling everybody in every workshop that they lacked standards and character. He was our David Brooks. His name was Matt Boedy, and now he teaches rhetoric and composition, and he’s on your list because he wrote an op-ed about not wanting concealed-carry on his campus. You morons can’t even shoot straight.

Matt, if you happen to read this, I’m genuinely proud of you. This time, you’ve got people pissed off at you for a great reason. And when this becomes an open fight, when they stop hiding behind thinktanks (“wingnut welfare”) and anonymously compiled lists, we’re going to kick their asses. It won’t even be close.

One response to “The People Behind the Professor’s Watchlist Are Worthless, Gutless Cowards

  1. Well, David Brooks has more character than me. Thanks for the blunt post – on both my past and present. I appreciate it.

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