Dr. George Yancy (l) and Melissa Click, two professors who appear on the watchlist.

Archived: Watchlist Created by Conservatives Names Professors Pushing 'Leftist Propaganda'

A group of conservatives have created an online list of more than 200 college and university professors they claim are pushing “leftist propaganda” in their classrooms.


“The mission of Professor Watchlist is to expose and document college professors who discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom,” its website states. Professor Watchlist is a project under Turning Point USA, a conservative nonprofit organization that aims to, in part, “advertise and re-brand conservative values.”

However, many of the professors on the list are not listed for their conduct in the classroom or for what they actually teach. The watchlist also relies on many sources widely considered conservative or conservative leaning as its sources, including Fox News, the Washington Times, The College Fix, Campus Reform and the Daily Caller.

Dr. George Yancy, a philosophy professor at Emory University, made the list in part due to an op-ed he published in The New York Times last year called “Dear White America,” in which he calls on white Americans to acknowledge their societal advantage due to being white and understand how Blacks living in America endure very different experiences. “I’m asking that you open yourself up; to speak to, to admit to, the racist poison that is inside of you,” he wrote.

Also on the list is Melissa Click, a former professor at the University of Missouri. According to the site, Click “forcefully removed a student journalist from a campus protest site.” In reality, during protests regarding campus racism at Mizzou, Click tried to prevent a student journalist from photographing the protests by grabbing his camera. She said to other activists, “I need some muscle over here!”

Click, who was fired, said she felt “embarrassed” by her behavior. And the interim chancellor of the university said in a statement at the time that the school is “confident [Click] does not pose any danger to any student.”

Some professors have actually embraced the idea of being on the list. More than 100 faculty members at the University of Notre Dame actually requested to be added to the list. In an open letter to the creators of the watchlist, the Notre Dame faculty members say that the professors who are on the list are “the sort of company we wish to keep.”

“We are coming forward to stand with the professors you have called ‘dangerous,’ reaffirming our values and recommitting ourselves to the work of teaching students to think clearly, independently, and fearlessly,” the letter states.

A new blog surfaced in response to the watchlist, Professor Watchlist Redux. Watchlist Redux calls itself “a website dedicated to satirizing sites that try to squelch academic freedom through intimidation, innuendo, and other sophomoric methods.”

The website also points to the divisive election that created a climate for the Professor Watchlist to be created:

“After the election of he-who-will-become 45, haters throughout the USA have been emboldened to pick on people they don’t like. This can be scary and awful for everyone. One group of haters started a website to call out and list professors who were supposedly radical and hence un-American.”

Watchlist Redux points to notable leaders and philosophers who were also considered “radical”:

“So, we professors would ask students who use such bad logic, ‘What do you mean by radial’ Wasn’t Socrates in his time, or Thomas Payne in his, or Gandhi (or MLK) radical in his Yes, indeed they were. And a good thing at that. The word ‘radical’ means ‘at the root,’ so to be a radical intellectual is to be one who gets to the root of problems. High time for more of that!”

The site’s “List of Those Past” includes Thomas Jefferson, Aristotle and Socrates. Yancy is included on the “List of Those Present” and states, “Points out what ought to be obvious to white folks but, because of white privilege, isn’t.”

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