I was listening to the radio this morning and got very interested in this story. At first, I thought I couldn't tie it into my blog, but then I realized it has several things to do with what my blog is about. The first is academia, and the second is censorship.
Even before I knew I would be working in academia, it drove me nuts to know how liberal academia tends to be. You can smeer feces on a statue of Jesus and call it art, you can burn American flags, you can claim to be Native American when you're not, you can sleep with your students, and you are usually protected by the administration. Yet voice one conservative opinion and you're in a lot of trouble.
There is an upper-level human resources manager from the University of Toledo that has just been fired for writing an editorial saying the Gay Rights movement does not have anything to do with the Civil Rights movement since being gay is a choice. She is African American, but I'm not sure that is a central issue. She was not representing the University of Toledo in her editorial.
I strongly disagree with what she says. I don't believe that being gay is a choice. For the first time in my life, I am fairly close to a gay couple. I had no idea it was that hard to be gay in our society, and I would happily go to their wedding if they were allowed to have one. If only all heterosexual relationships could be such beautiful examples of love and partnership as theirs is, the world would be a better place.
However, I believe that as I have the right to say this, she has the right to disagree. In the video, she seems like a well-educated, intelligent, reasonable woman. She says as a human resources person, she has hired homosexuals and heterosexuals without discrimination. She believes that others have the right to disagree with her and she respects their opinion. If her practices at work were discriminatory, then she should be fired in a heartbeat and no human resources department should ever hire her again. But that does not seem to be the case. She simply stated her opinion, and for that she was fired.
I suppose I can't help showing my political beliefs in this blog. I am very liberal on certain issues such as gay rights, women's issues, and the environment. Yet there are many that I am very conservative on, such as welfare and education. I'm a libra, I can't pick one side or the other and go through life struggling for balance!
I wish Ms. Dixon luck in her fight to protect free speech. It would be a scary blow to academia if she loses.