A Michigan Technological University professor has been caught on audio delivering a scathing critique of a conservative student group, the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF). The professor, Dr. Carl Blair, reportedly launched into a tirade against the organization during a class lecture following the group’s Freedom Week project.
As part of their Freedom Week activities, YAF constructed a mock Berlin Wall on campus to mark the 34th anniversary of its collapse. However, Dr. Blair dismissed the act as “childish” and “stupid,” even going so far as to label the group as “homophobic, dumb, racist twits.” He did not hold back in his criticism, stating, “For those of you who weren’t aware of it [YAF’s Freedom Week activism project], good. For those of you who were aware of it, it was childish, stupid, homophobic, dumb, racist twits. That’s the polite version.”
In the audio, obtained by the Young America’s Foundation, Dr. Blair also suggested that some faculty members were hoping the YAF would be censored, thus allowing them to claim victimhood. “Because there are, quite bluntly, certain faculty members who are hoping…the students will be censored for this. Because then they can go off and say and pretend ‘Oh we’re victims, you’re restricting our, you know, freedom of speech…”
The YAF, which has previously faced backlash on college campuses for criticizing communist and socialist governments, also shared a video of a protester vandalizing their mock Berlin Wall. This incident, coupled with Dr. Blair’s comments, prompted a response from the organization. They asserted their commitment to free speech and expressed their belief that First Amendment protections should apply to all worldviews.
Michigan Tech responded to the controversy affirming their commitment to freedom of speech and academic freedom, guided by the Chicago Principles. They also emphasized the importance of maintaining an environment of respect and civility, particularly within classrooms.
Dr. Blair’s remarks have stirred considerable controversy, with the professor himself standing by his words when contacted for comment. The incident underscores the ongoing debate over free speech on college campuses across the United States.