Wayne State professor Steven Shaviro suspended for Facebook post

Steven Shaviro, a professor in Wayne State University’s English department, was suspended without pay after he made a Facebook post that encouraged people to kill their political opponents instead of merely protest them. 

“I think it is far more admirable to kill a racist, homophobic, or transphobic speaker than it is to shout them down,” Shaviro wrote. “When right-wing groups invite such speakers to campus, it is precisely because they want to provoke an incident that discredits the left, and gives more publicity and validation to these reprehensible views than they could otherwise attain.” 

He continued, “The protesters get blamed instead of the bigoted speaker; the university administration finds a perfect excuse to side publicly with the racists or phobes; the national and international press has a field day saying that bigots are the ones being oppressed, rather than the people those bigots actually hate being the victims of oppression,” he said.

A screenshot of Professor Steven Shaviro’s Twitter account, which is set to private amid the scandal.

Shaviro was suspended by Wayne State University without pay after he suggested it would be preferable to “kill” someone who he deems racist rather than merely protest.

Steven Shaviro was suspended over the post.
Facebook/Steven Shaviro

Shaviro pointed to the assassination of Symon Petliura, an antisemitic Ukrainian politician, and his murderer’s subsequent acquittal as evidence that this approach works. 

Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson released a statement condemning the post and announced that the professor had been suspended without pay.

Further, he said the university referred the post to law enforcement authorities.

A social media post by an English professor at Wayne State University has left him off the job, at least for now.
The professor said in the post it would be “admirable to kill” a racist speaker.
Facebook/Steven Shaviro

“We have on many occasions defended the right of free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but we feel this post far exceeds the bounds of reasonable or protected speech. It is, at best, morally reprehensible and, at worst, criminal,” Wilson wrote.

“We have referred this to law enforcement agencies for further review and investigation. Pending their review, we have suspended the professor with pay, effective immediately,” he continued.

While Shaviro has been condemned by many, he spent his academic career at the center of power rather than the fringes. MIT Press published two of his books, one of them as recently as 2021. Shaviro also holds a bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degree from Yale University.

Welcome Center and Student Service Center on November 10, 2020 at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.
The professor works at Wayne State University.
Getty Images

Earlier this month, there were two widely reported on cases of conservative speakers being shut down: the first was U.S. Federal Judge Kyle Duncan, who was appointed to the bench by President Trump and the second was activist Charlie Kirk at UC Davis. Shaviro’s comments come amid continued debate about free speech on college campuses. 

Shaviro did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

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