Pressure Mounts on IL University after Canning Salaita



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I can't imagine such an angry

I can't imagine such an angry, foul-mouthed and bombastic anti-Semite teaching impressionable young men and women in a college setting. The university did its professional duty in letting him go. Maybe he will grow up and learn to express himself in a more professional manner in the future.

Ranselaer more than 2 years ago

Salaita's tweets and cursing

Salaita's tweets and cursing were made outside of the workplace, so Kathryn Tuggle's article does not apply. Also, Salaita appears to have had a contract, which he accepted, taking him out of the "employment at will" status that, unfortunately, most American workers are in. So it doesn't apply in this respect either. Further, the free speech of an academic or teacher should be given far greater leeway than someone who, for example, says "fuck you" to an order from his or her boss. Finally, Salaita's would be employer is the University of Illinois, a public institution where free speech has constitutional protection, unlike if he were a private sector employee. While I do not condone some of his statements, Salaita has also spoken up against anti-Semitism, and certainly strong criticism of Israeli and Israeli policy does not make him, or anyone else, in and of itself an anti-Semite.

Debsman more than 2 years ago

Does anyone really think or

Does anyone really think or care that maybe Professor Salaita's offer letter was rejected because of foul language and not his stance? Most workplaces fire employees for the use of bad language. Tidbits for consideration below. I work for an "at will" state and paid by a state university. Anyone losing a job is unfortunate, but it is somewhat gratifying to see a bit of equality in this process. The administration employees, service workers, etc. working at higher education institutions often chafe at how academia is treated. Rightly or wrongly, Professor Salaita got a glimpse of real world employment.

Watch Your Mouth: Cursing in the Workplace Could Get You Fired
by Kathryn Tuggle Published August 02, 2012 FOXBusiness

“A new study by shows that 81% of employers believe cursing brings an employee's professionalism into question.

The study showed that 64% of employers think less of an employee who swears repeatedly, and 57% said they are less likely to promote someone who using curse words. A further 71% of employers said that swearing shows a "lack of control," while 68% says swearing demonstrates a "lack of maturity." Perhaps most interestingly, says spokesperson Jennifer Grasz, is that 54% of employers said that swearing made their employees appear "less intelligent."

"It's all about perception, and cursing does influence how managers view people," says Grasz. "If it's a one-time thing, it's not going to be a big deal, but if cursing becomes a pattern, then it starts to show a lack of intelligence and can show that you're someone who doesn't have the ability to handle a tough situation."”

Say THIS at Work. Get Fired? The f-word means you're fired!

“The survey also found that 81.2 percent of senior executives find a foul-mouthed colleague unacceptable to work alongside in the office. “

“Of managers who have terminated employees for office etiquette offenses, the top five most common causes were: Bad language (38.4 percent)”

Fretboy more than 2 years ago

How can Illinois possibly

How can Illinois possibly hire someone who writes that Zionism has made "antisemitism honorable." It is simply impossible for Illinois to hire him despite his contributions to American Indian Studies.

Garden Maven more than 2 years ago

He did not say that Zionism

He did not say that Zionism makes "antisemitism honorable." He tweeted 'Zionists: transforming "antisemitism" from something horrible into something honorable since 1948.' I know that people make a big joke about academics and their "scare quotes" but they do in fact alter the meaning of that sentiment in an important way. Salaita had several other tweets that put what he means by "antisemitism" (in quotation marks) into context, i.e. not deplorable acts of hatred against Jews (which he has denounced), but political speech that is labeled 'anti-Semetic' when it is it in fact anti-Israeli policy. It is true, some people believe that Jews=Israel, and rhetorically attacking the latter (be it the state, the IDF, government institutions or decisions) automatically implies attacking the former (a race or ethnicity or religious group of people who have faced and do face oppression). But just because some people believe this, or that some people identify the two (Jews/Israel) to be indistinguishable, does not make it true, and certainly it is not true for all Jews (see any number of Jewish activist campaigns that speak out against the Israeli government). But it is actually quite problematic, and in my opinion, detrimental for any number of groups but including Jews as individuals in their respective countries, to have no option for voicing dissent or condemnation of the State of Israel without being labeled as "anti-Semetic" or "self-hating." Salatia is denouncing the rhetorical move of Zionists to equate anti-Israel sentiment with anti-Jewish hatred. Now, one can certainly argue that this is an unfair categorization of Zionism, since there are in fact Jews who identify as Zionists who do NOT participate in those kind of discursive smear-campaigns, and one could criticize Salaita for reducing Zionists to one hostile body. This is however a far cry for being anti-Semetic, or saying anti-Semetic things, and you certainly cannot make a case to violate someone's academic freedom because of an "unfair characterization" of anything. All of us make 'unfair characterizations' all the time, and the correct response to such statements is to argue why they are unfair. In order to argue against them (thereby actually elevating everyone) such utterances cannot simply be punished and made "unspeakable."

There is a really thorough article about the content of Salaita's tweets, here:

Betty Cook more than 2 years ago

Tough call. Those twitter

Tough call. Those twitter comments are a bit beyond the pale. Very unprofessional and juvenile.

Patrick G more than 2 years ago

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