Need we even ask the standard “what if” question about how this sort of thing would be received were the ideologies reversed?
“Michael Reinoehl is the guy who killed the fascist in Portland last week. He admitted it and said he was scared the cops would kill him. Well, now the cops have killed him,” [University of Rhode Island history professor Erik] Loomis wrote in the September 4 blog post. …
In the comment section of the blog post, one reader challenged Loomis by writing, “Erik, he shot and killed a guy,” referring to Reinoehl.
Loomis responded by saying, “He killed a fascist. I see nothing wrong with it, at least from a moral perspective.” He further added that “tactically, that’s a different story. But you could say the same thing about John Brown.”
Even with the armor of tenure, a conservative version of Erik Loomis would have trouble keeping his job after such a comment, yet as it is, the matter has yet even to be taken up by the local mainstream news media.
Of course, Loomis’s support for the murder of political opponents isn’t going entirely unnoticed in Rhode Island. Republican state Representative Brian Newberry asked on Twitter, “why are our (thinly stretched) tax dollars paying for this man to teach (or do anything else) at URI? Would the President or Board care to comment?”
Most people who object will simply shake their heads and reduce their likelihood of supporting the university or considering it for themselves or their children. When budget season comes around, many might not even remember why pleas for more taxpayer money seem less appealing to them this time around.
Between this incident and the other gone-national progressive story at URI, about removal of a 70-year-old mural because it is too faithful a reflection of an earlier era, I can’t say I’m very interested in updating my contact information as the university keeps asking me to do. I’m also all the more confident that my eldest child made the right decision and went somewhere else for college.
Featured image: Erik Loomis’s official photo and a video still taken moments before the shooting of Aaron Danielson. (The victim and a friend are walking down the street to the left while the shooter prepares to emerge from an alcove to the right.)