Editor’s Note: FAU (Florida Atlantic University) professor James Tracy infuriated the public last year with conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook massacre and the Boston Marathon bombing. In each instance, he claimed the events may not have happened and were perhaps staged using crisis actors.
He caused more suffering among the families of the victims and he encouraged this irrational thought among his students.
A search of the faculty directory shows that Dr. Tracy still works at the university. His bio states that he “teaches courses examining the relationship between commercial and alternative news media and socio-political issues and events.”
Dr. James Tracy
Writer Caren Besner responded to the article back in May and her thoughts are still timely so we decided to repost them here.
by Caren Besner
FAU Professor James Tracy offered his opinion on the recent events that occurred in Boston in the Sun Sentinel on April 24 2013. The professor previously opined on the earlier happenings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. His comments cast doubt on whether the two events actually occurred.
FAU was quick to distance itself from his rhetoric, while the American Association of University Professors just as quickly came to his defense; citing the protection of academic freedom.
Conspiracy theories, ideological bents and social or political agenda’s are nothing new to many of our academicians. One need only be reminded of Professor Ward Churchill’s description of the victims of the World Trade Center collapse as “little Eichmann’s.”
While the vast majority of our university professors tend to be to the left of the political spectrum, most of them try to minimize mixing their ideological views with their professional responsibilities.
There are others however, who use their title and position to intimidate and coerce students who do not subscribe to their way of thinking.
Some conservative students have come forward to attest to this academic blackmail, citing the threat of lower grades in the course if they do not “toe the line.”
Is this the “academic freedom” the American Association of University Professors stands for?
No one denies that a college professor or for that matter, any teacher, has a right to his or her political beliefs. But when they use their title, position, and authority to intimidate, coerce, or threaten students into accepting their ideology and marginalizing those who do not, they have crossed a line.
Our college campuses have long been bastions of far-left rhetoric, but some of this has now spilled over into our lower grades: elementary, middle, and high schools. This has been encouraged in some cases by like-minded school or campus administrations, which offers tenure to individuals who have a known far left slant.
The elevation of Kathy Boudin to a tenured professorship at Columbia University is one such example.
Boudin, a member of Weathermen, helped to plant bombs in NYC with the objective of killing police, judges or any other individuals they took an exception to. Boudin was also a major figure in the infamous Brinks Robbery, which resulted in the deaths of three innocent people.
Her defenders say she has served her time, paid her debt to society, and is ably qualified for the position. They claim she was motivated by only the purest of ideals; to help minorities, the down-trodden, and oppressed.
If you can accept this as an explanation; then Charles Manson and Sirhan Sirhan should be immediately released and offered tenured professorships at one of our ivory-league universities. After all, Manson was only trying to ignite a race war between blacks and whites — a war which blacks would win, thereby achieving the goal of freedom and equality. Sirhan Sirhan, for his part, only killed Robert Kennedy because Kennedy was a staunch supporter of Israel. Since the far left of today has embraced the anti-Israel mantra, declaring it an “apartheid state” and calling for its elimination, Sirhan Sirhan must be viewed as a man way ahead of his time.
Our constitution guarantees the right of free speech to anyone who chooses to exercise it. But with the right of free speech is the implicit understanding that there are limits to that right. After all, we do not have the right to yell, “fire” in a crowded movie theater.
This tacit implication should extend to those in certain positions of power and authority, who use their positions to advance their own ideological agenda’s, especially our teachers and professors in whose hands we entrust our most precious commodity: our children.
This article was first posted in the Sun-Sentinel
Caren Besner is a retired teacher and resident of Boynton Beach.