A prominent Washington-based government watchdog, Judicial Watch, is describing as “political correctness gone amok” the suspension of an engineering professor for advising a student to “learn English.”
“The egregious incident occurred this month at the University of Kansas, a taxpayer-funded institution with an enrollment of 28,500 that ranks among the nation’s top public universities,” Judicial Watch said. “Situated in the northeast Kansas town of Lawrence, the school is the state’s flagship university and a premier research institution.”
The dispute developed when Gary Minden, who teaches electrical engineering and computer science, “told a foreign student who was using an online translation system on a cell phone that the student should ‘learn English.'”
The professor, in fact, is a University of Kansas alumnus who received undergraduate and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering. In the 1990s he served as information technology program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a Pentagon agency with a $3 billion budget dedicated to developing technologies for the military.
“The unidentified student evidently was not bothered over the suggestion, but others in the class were offended and an ‘hourlong discussion’ ensued in the engineering class which focuses on embedded systems. During the discussion things apparently got heated and many students in the class became very upset,” Judicial Watch said.
University officials said they assigned a different instructor while the dispute is under review.
Such political correctness is becoming more common, Judicial Watch said.
“Public elementary, middle and high schools as well as colleges have taken an extreme leftist turn on several issues over the years and Judicial Watch has reported or taken legal action in several of the cases. This includes exposing a Mexican separatist school that pushes Marxism and anti-Americanism in Los Angeles, pervasive corruption in Chicago public schools and an after school Satan club in Washington State that received speedy tax-exempt approval from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Judicial Watch is currently embroiled in a legal battle with the Berkeley Unified School District in California to obtain the records of a middle school teacher who is a national organizer for a radical leftist group. The teacher, Yvette Felarca, works at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School and is a prominent figure in By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), an organized militant group founded by the Marxist Revolutionary Workers League that uses raucous militant tactics to protest conservative speaking engagements. Felarca has been charged with several crimes, including felony assault, for inciting a riot in Sacramento,” JW said.
The Lawrence Journal World newspaper reported Minden said some students, not all, took offense at his suggestion.