J. Thomas Perdue is a guest columnist and is a Senior at the University of Georgia studying journalism. He is Editor in Chief of The Arch Conservative. AllOnGeorgia has obtained permission to publish Perdue’s column posted on July 31, 2018 to the Arch Conservative. These are the views of the author and not necessarily those of AllOnGeorgia.
Brian Kemp received the Georgia GOP’s nomination for governor last Tuesday, Charles Davis, Dean of Students at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication tweeted kind words to his former high school classmate. However as we all know, civility towards Republicans can be an offense most heinous in the realm of higher learning, and accordingly, the outrage Cheka came knocking.
Professor Davis, who has served as Grady’s dean since 2013 (and done an admirable job in his tenure), was coerced into removing his tweet, in which he declared
“I went to high school with GOP guv candidate @BrianKempGA. Politics be damned. He is a nice guy, always was. Kind to a fault. He’s a friend, always has been, and will be when we’re old(er) and grey(er). That’s how all this should work, people.”
Just three days later, following online flagellation and accusations of racism and unchecked privilege, Davis removed the tweet and apologized.
One would be hard-pressed to find a more cordial way to congratulate someone (and later apologize about it) but it seems even that won’t satisfy the outrage mob this time around. The tweet in question is truly as benign as it gets. Furthermore, the fact that Davis took the valuable time to type out, “Politics be damned,” implies that he does not agree with Kemp’s politics, but still has the decency to pump an ounce of kindness into the often callous realm of politics.
Unfortunately for Professor Davis, the den of vipers is only satisfied upon complete disavowal of the non-Leftist. Among these vipers and keyboard warriors was none other than Athens Clarke-County commissioner-elect and socialism apologist, Tim Denson. Denson was quick to jump on Davis’ tweet as an example of white privilege gone wild, and pressed his impotent rage in a Twitter conversation with the dean, even after Davis had apologized. Because apologies to the mob always fall on deaf ears. How reassuring to observe our county’s elected officials engage in online browbeating and bullying of one of UGA’s most qualified faculty members.
Some Twitter users, supposedly of right-wing persuasion, have followed up the Leftist mob by further lambasting Professor Davis for issuing his apology. While bowing to mob outrage can be a slippery slope in any setting, Davis was no doubt blindsided by his newfound compromising position. It would be helpful, however unlikely, for the supporters of free speech who aired their grievances to Davis to keep in mind how the mob comes after you, especially considering the locality of this particular mob’s ranks.
These events are especially disheartening considering Davis’s position as Grady’s dean, as well as how his students know him. The Grady College’s curriculum, while certainly not without fault, never misses an opportunity to emphasize the importance and value of freedom of speech and healthy discourse. The backlash against Davis’s tweet simply reinforces something that more Americans are becoming aware of every day: that there is intense societal pressure against speaking one’s mind, which on certain topics and in certain settings, crosses the line into fascism. Regardless even of that, anybody with eyes, ears, and a student card knows there is not a hateful bone in Charles Davis’s body. Any student of Grady can see tangibly that he loves his job and his students, and it’s a sad day at the gulag when someone with his character and demeanor finds themselves faced with the full fury of politically correct intolerance.
That’s not the way it should work, people.