In an op-ed published Tuesday, Fresno Bee editorial page editor Bill McEwen said Lars Maischak, the Fresno State lecturer who said — among other things — that President Trump must hang to save democracy, is portraying himself as a victim.
“I’m not buying it,” he said, explaining:
Maischak is old enough and presumably educated enough to know that you talk politics (or religion or sports) on social media and blogs at your own risk.
Twitter and Facebook and the rest are not places to have nuanced discussions about policies, morality or leaders – whether the subjects are abortion, Ayn Rand, Pope Francis or President Donald Trump.
There’s a reason Mom told you to never talk politics and religion at the dinner table or a party. No good can come up of it, and you could end up with a broken nose.
The same rules apply to social media. Upset certain people and on a good day, they will merely attack you and call you names. On a bad day, they might decide to embark on a years-long quest to ruin your life.
“Maischak is more than naive if he thought he could post ‘to save American democracy, Trump must hang. The sooner and the higher, the better’ and have those words disappear into the ether,” McEwen said.
One doesn’t talk about killing a president, he said, even in the abstract — regardless of one’s politics or the party occupying the White House.
Maischak has said that his words were taken out of context, but, McEwen said, that complaint “doesn’t wash because there is no other context to words suggesting that America benefits from assassination. Such words cross the line and can’t be spun into something else.”
We agree 100 percent.
Furthermore, other Maischak tweets establish that he’s no shrinking violet who made one mistake. People commenting on The Bee’s first story about Maischalk’s tweet being the subject of a Breitbart News article pointed to other inflammatory tweets. Among them:
▪ #TheResistance #ethniccleansing Justice = The execution of two Republicans for each deported immigrant.
▪ #TheResistance Has anyone started soliciting money and design drafts for a monument honoring the Trump assassin, yet?
There’s many other tweets as we noted here and here. Sadly, Maischak’s Twitter feed is no longer available to the public. It’s not known if he voluntarily deleted it, but as the saying goes, the Internet is forever, and an archived version of it can be seen here.
McEwen further said that Maischak needs to own his own words.
“Breitbart simply knocked out of the park what he had teed up,” McEwen wrote, adding:
If Maischak had stuck to analyzing Trump’s actions in a thoughtful way, perhaps providing a historical perspective on the early days of the Trump presidency, his email box wouldn’t be filled with angry missives.
And Maischak’s attempt to again play the victim card by saying Fresno State President Joseph Castro sold him out reveals the history professor’s lack of accountability.
In case you missed it, Maischak accused Castro of “allowing himself to be instrumentalized for a right-wing smear campaign” in an interview with The Bee’s Mackenzie Mays.
McEwen further noted:
Since Maischak is big on context, I will add some here.
Joseph Castro might be the best president Fresno State has ever had. He’s successfully fought in Sacramento for funding that has enabled the university to add more tenure-track professors. His administration has raised graduation rates; it’s working hard to shorten the time that students take to graduate, thus reducing their college debt load.
He networks with donors to bring in private money for new buildings and programs. And, from day one, he has stood tall for kids born in poverty and everyone else hungry to succeed.
Maischak’s claim rings hollow. It’s nothing more than desperate nonsense from a man seeking to extricate himself from a mess that he alone created.
Bingo. While I disagree with McEwen’s characterization of Breitbart, I agree 100 percent with his criticism of Maischak.
Let’s put this in perspective. Maischak isn’t your garden-variety leftist wandering the streets of Fresno nor is he a teenager issuing tweets from his mother’s basement. As a teacher, he has perhaps the most sober responsibility one can have next to raising a child.
The school also has a duty to provide a safe environment for all students regardless of religious or political points of view, and would be derelict in its duty if it fails to discipline this teacher.
That’s why I started this change.org petition asking Fresno State to fire Maischak.
As a final note, I will be discussing this issue with Fresno TV host John Malos on Wednesday between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time. We’ll provide a link/video as that becomes available.
- Fresno State prof who said Trump must hang: ‘Supporting Trump is morally equivalent to murder for hire’
- Fresno State prof who said Trump must hang, Republicans must die, blames ‘right-wing smear campaign’
- Fresno State prof doubles down, suggests a ‘death sentence’ against Trump ‘inevitable’
- Cal. prof. declares: Trump must hang, Republicans should be executed for each immigrant deported
- Petition to Fresno State: We want to see Lars Maischak fired from Fresno State for inciting violence against Pres. Trump
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