Students taking a class at Georgetown University on the political aspects of the AIDS epidemic were allowed to earn class credit for attending an anti-Trump “teach in” and rally for the Georgetown sanctuary campus movement.
The course syllabus for “The Cultural Politics of HIV in the US and South Africa,” notes that students taking the class are required to attend one event outside of school to celebrate World AIDS Day, and provide the instructor with a short essay on how the event reflects the course’s themes.
This year, though, Professor April Sizemore-Barber gave students the alternate option of attending Georgetown faculty’s Teach-In for Radical Hope: Sowing Seeds of Liberation, a forum where social justice-minded staff and students gathered to discuss “how we should move forward with the Trumpism and the complicit nature of bigotry embedded institutionally.”
One student in the class forwarded their “invitation email” directly to Campus Reform.
The student noted that he “felt obligated to attend the teach-in” because the other options required travel or a donation, which he couldn’t afford. The teach-in was on campus and free to attend, even if he didn’t really want to learn how to “channel all the anti-Trump rage into a pro-Liberation rhetoric that moves people into action.”
According to Campus Reform, the walls at the event were papered with social justice posters promoting Black Lives Matter and claiming, “No Human Being is Illegal.” The event itinerary was a packed, enriching schedule of leftist propaganda and forums led by local campus activists and “community organizers.”
Students at the event also managed to capture audio of the speakers, who railed against Donald Trump and his supporters, who they claimed were, “normalizing and vocalizing and promoting this hatred and violence…. that’s been happening forever in America.”
But when it came to real solutions for strategic resistance, according to attendees, the campus activists were woefully adrift—as much as they wanted to counter things like “microaggressions,” “misgendering” and “abelism” in American society, doing so might require them to speak to an actual Trump supporter, and, according to them, that’s how we got Nazis.
“There’s a sentiment like, ‘oh well he’s in the presidency and we have to work together…’ he has literal, literal, white supremacists on his cabinet..,” one campus leader opined. “That’s what they tried to do with Hitler and it didn’t work…they tried like ‘oh we’ll give him this and we’ll give him that and let him do this’ and then WWII and the Holocaust.”
Fortunately, although group facilitators approved of things like shutting down roadways and protesting, they drew the line at any violence against the incoming administration, but only because “some people can’t afford to do that illegal shit.”
Campus Reform‘s inside man left partway through the day, after tiring of the rhetoric.
Fortunately for the student, Professor Sizemore-Barber will likely fill in the blanks. According to CR, this is just the latest in a string of incidents, which include two post-election class periods devoted to excoriating Trump, a “comforting” feminist get-together to calm student anxiety, and an emailed fact sheet on how to endure Thanksgiving with your Republican relatives.