University dismissed tenure professor critical of identity politics

Tenure’s professor, known for his opposition to “awakening” and identity politics, was fired from college shortly before Christmas. She says it happened during a campaign to fire her for her view.

Francis Widowson, an associate professor of economics, justice, and policy research at Mount Royal University (MRU) in Calgary, was informed of her dismissal on December 20.

Mr. Widowson states that MRU, like many other universities and various disciplines of society, has embraced “totalitarian identity politics.”

“Identity politics [has been] Around for quite a long time. But more recently, they have begun to argue that they need to accept claims by a particular identity. If you do not accept it, you are considered a repressive person and you really need to prevent them from speaking or being pushed out. Of college. And that’s basically what happened to me, “she told the Epoch Times.

“So in my case, when I criticized the various ideas related to awakening, it was said to constitute hatred, harassment, and denial of the humanity of different groups.”

MRU states that it is not possible to comment on why Widdowson was parted because of private personnel issues. The professor also states that the case has been arbitrated and it is not possible to reveal specific details of her firing at this time.

Widdowson, who has been working at Mount Royal since 2008, is a board member of the Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship and a core member of the MRU faculty group Rational Space Network. A base approach in education. “

She says. “I was never a popular person, [at MRU]It was recognized that he had his own place and was able to ask questions and criticize various policies. “

However, after the murder of George Floyd, who was arrested in Minnesota in May 2020, the transition to awakening “has completely gone astray. [and] Things have become much more extreme in terms of censorship attempts and preventing me from working in college, “she says.

After Widdowson commented in September 2020 Western Standard Articles The Black Lives Matter movement “destroys” MRU’s culture, leading to a petition to dismiss her because she “no longer recognizes the institution” and has won over 6,000 signatures. did.

The petition demanded that Widowson “end because of her racist remarks” and “racist behavior.”

“There was a campaign by about 30 teachers trying to fire me,” she says.

However, she said she had never opposed the fight against racism, but against the promotion of critical race theory (CRT) and the claim that people must agree to it.

“What was happening was that many groups argued that these holistic types of initiatives should be brought in, such as compulsory anti-racist training, and systematic people. When challenging the idea of ​​racism, this was claimed to be itself a racist, “she said.

“To make matters worse, this is alleged to be in fact a violation of the law, to criticize the ideas proposed by people in a particular group.”

The CRT has reduced human history to “oppressors” (whites) and “oppressed” (everyone else), just as Marxism reduced history to a struggle between “bourgeois” and “proletaria”. Redefine as a struggle between. Proponents of the CRT state that this theory shows how prevalent systemic racism is. Critics say that the debate about systematic racism is error-prone and contains a totalitarian element of coercion and suppression of opposition.

Indigenous peoples problem

Widdowson has been studying and writing on indigenous issues and policies for over 20 years.

She has written two books on indigenous issues. Her 2008 book, Abolishing Indigenous Industries: The Deception Behind the Cultural Preservation of Indigenous Peoples, is the basic economic and cultural issue facing indigenous peoples for decades of current policy. Claimed that the foundation could not be dealt with.

In her 2019 book, Separate but Unequal: How Parallelist Ideology Conceals Indigenous Dependency, she analyzed the concept of parallelism. This is the general view that indigenous cultures and broader Canadian societies should exist “country-to-country” separately from each other. He argued that the relationship, and the pursuit of this idealism, distorted the Canadian understanding of indigenous-non-indigenous relationships.

She edited the book “Indigenizing the University: Diverse Perspectives” published in March 2021. This book provides a diverse perspective on how current efforts affect indigenous and non-indigenous peoples and the university as a whole.

“In fact, to me, indigenous peoples are anti-indigenous peoples, because they deny the quality education that indigenous peoples are eligible for,” she said. “If people really took the time to read my work, they would find me very worried about the situation of the indigenous people.”

Widowson, because of her view of indigenous issues, her life at MRU has been around for the past five years, especially after the publication of “University Indigenousization,” which directly criticizes MRU’s indigenousization initiative. It is said that it has become more and more difficult.

“The fact that I published the book and retained the views I’m making has led many of my colleagues to create a toxic workplace for me,” she said. rice field.

In an e-mail statement to The Epoch Times, MRU said it would not provide specific details regarding the dismissal of Widowson, but “clearly supports academic freedom and always undergraduate rights related to academic freedom. I will defend it. “

“But academic freedom does not justify harassment or discrimination,” the statement said.

“Mount Royal employees have the right to work in a respectful and harassment-free environment. Collective agreements and MRU policies outline the process for resolving workplace behavioral issues and decisions are always made. It will be done according to strict due process. “

Mr Widowson said her union is arbitrating the proceedings and she will demand a return.

“I’m not doing anything wrong …. I don’t know why I should show regret to protect myself from being smeared with many faculty members and anonymous groups that appear to be student-led.” She said.

“I keep all the documents that have happened since 2016 and all of them will be published in the arbitration, so the general public can start to understand the terrible situation that is happening at Mount Royal University. I can do it.”

Isaac Theo


Isaac Teo is a Toronto-based Epoch Times reporter.