The private college, Butler University’s most recent class catalog has created a media frenzy, with one of the special topics courses set for the 2017 fall semester.
The course titled “Trumpism & U.S. Democracy” is being criticized as a Trump resistance class.
The catalog was released back in April, but it went viral after former Indiana state senator Carlin Yoder pointed it out late last week on Twitter,
Although the title suggests a negative connotation, the original description of the course was even more hostile.
“Donald J. Trump won the U.S. Presidency despite perpetuating sexism, white supremacy, xenophobia, nationalism, nativism, and imperialism,” according to the original course description. “This course explores why and how this happened, how Trump’s rhetoric is contrary to the foundation of the U.S. democracy, and what his win means for the future. The course will also discuss, and potentially engage in, strategies for resistance.”
The university issued a message to the members of the Butler Community where the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Kathryn Morris addressed the backlash and defended the course.
“Just as I support this course, I would support a course that is complimentary of the President. Butler offers a variety of courses that tackle controversial topics. Like any University, Butler should—and does—promote an environment of critical inquiry and engagement on controversial and unpopular topics,” said Morris in the letter. “The University would not require a student to support or oppose a particular political figure or agenda. The professor has been very transparent about the goals of the course and has provided additional context that clarifies students in the class will not be required to participate in a particular form of activism. They will be asked to engage with classic and contemporary readings—including a text by President Trump—and evaluate the rise of the President as a political and social phenomenon.”
Even though the university, which resides in the Vice President Mike Pence’s home state, defends the course, the course description has been heavily amended to appear much more objective in light of the massive criticism.
“This course offers a broad historical, political, and critical communication studies approach to understanding the rise of Donald Trump as a political and social phenomenon. The course draws from the widely circulated Trump Syllabi (per the Chronicle of Higher Education and Public Books) crowd sourced by some of the nation’s leading scholars in American Political Science and history, demography, cultural studies, sociology, and more. The course will provide context and depth for student citizens as we look to historical and current texts by renowned authors as well as read excerpts from Trump’s own The Art of the Deal. Students will potentially attend, as participant observers, campus and community events to witness ongoing responses to Trump’s presidency and campaign. To instill disciplinary diversity, the course will invite faculty from across campus to guest lecture,” reads the new course description.
Author’s note: Butler deserves the backlash from this course. The original description villainizes the president and the course appears to just be a form of liberal propaganda. This just shows how bias universities have become. Butler is ironically arguing that the university embraces “freedom of speech,” but in actuality, it depends on the point of view. This is another example of why republican and conservative students feel uncomfortable voicing their opinions on their own campuses.