Profane Professor · 09 September 2004

By Bradley Alexander | September 9, 2004

I am a sophomore at the University of Georgia, currently majoring in History. I have a particular interest in Western Civilization so I was naturally interested when I heard that a course entitled "History 4400: History of the World Wars" was being offered this semester. This class is taught by Professor John Morrow. The first day of class was on August 19. Professor Morrow entered the classroom and immediately launched into what can only be described as a 90 minute tirade which began with the comment, "For those of you who have had me before you know I haven't changed one damn bit."

In a delivery laced with profanity, he explained that if we didn't like his language we should drop the class. A student had reported him to the vice president of student affairs before, he informed us, and insinuated that through his influence he was able to have the vice president fired. He then explained that if he ever saw the former VP in the halls that "his ass is mine." From this beginning, Professor Morrow proceeded to tell us that he "hated George Bush" and that various members of the Republican administration were "chicken shit" (a phrase he repeated several times).

Next, Professor Morrow launched into a series of conspiracy theories involving President Bush. He stated that the President was able to escape service Vietnam due to his father's influence, and was deliberately trained to fly on a jet that was no longer used in combat. When a student raised the possibility that this was just a coincidence, Morrow stated, "I don't believe in coincidences."

Morrow also claimed that the Bush administration had lied extensively about the war in Iraq and said that the only reason were in that country was to steal oil. According to the professor, these were credible facts. Next he began explaining that there were indeed never any chemical weapons in Iraq. When I questioned him about how Saddam gassed his own people he responded , "What! We kill innocent people all the time." This atmosphere certainly was not conducive to the "open flow of ideas" or the "free expression of opinions." There were only two dissenting voices including me in the class. Several people agreed with Morrow and the rest sat in a state of amused shock.

The Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure of the American Association of University Professors states, "Teachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject but they should be careful to introduce into their teaching controversial matters which have no relation to the subject." Professor Morrow certainly doesn't teach by this standard.

The Georgia Legislature recently debated the usefulness of an Academic Bill of Rights which would demand fairness in the classroom. In other words, it would demand that students receive an "education not an indoctrination."

David Horowitz at the Center for the Study of Popular Culture and Students for Academic Freedom poses this question: "Do professors feel so impotent that they have to hector a captive audience of students who are placed in their professional charge and over whom they exercise enormous institutional power? Does it not occur to them that inflicting their partisan viewpoints on students whose education has been put in their trust is a form of harassment and a betrayal of their professional obligations? And if they do not, even in this limited but instructive setting, how do they teach their actual courses? How do they insure that their students will get an education and not an indoctrination?"

I would say that John Morrow doesn't have a clue, or perhaps more accurately he understands perfectly and really doesn't care.