The nation is in turmoil, yes.  With protests, disease, and unemployment everywhere, the students at the University of California Los Angeles want to add one more segment of society which should be without jobs: professors who refuse cancel exams after the death of George Floyd. 

Anderson School of Management professor Gordon Klein did not allow minority students to skip taking final exams, as a student requested, during “these trying times.” Klein responded thoughtfully, with a quotation by Martin Luther King, Jr. which said that people should be not treated differently based on their skin color.  Here’s a snippet of his email:

“Thanks for your suggestion in your email below that I give black students special treatment, given the tragedy in Minnesota,” Klein wrote. “Do you know the names of the classmates that are black? How can I identify them since we’ve been having online classes only? Are there any students that may be of mixed parentage, such as half black-half Asian? What do you suggest I do with respect to them? A full concession or just half?”

It’s a challenging and thoughtful response, of course, which is sometimes too much for students at elite colleges to handle.

Preet Bains, a UCLA senior, started a petition demanding that Klein be fired.  The language of the petition read: “We ask for your support in having Professor Klein’s professorship terminated for his extremely insensitive, dismissive, and woefully racist response to his students’ request for empathy and compassion during a time of civil unrest.”

The Free Beacon has more:

In a separate email to his entire class, Klein said that outside events, including personal hardship, do not necessarily relieve students of their responsibilities. He pointed to his daughter, who suffered a severe illness and lost close friends to suicide during her time at UCLA. Those personal hardships did not interfere with fulfilling her course work, according to the professor, who did not return a request for comment.

“Some students have asked that the final exam be delayed or changed or waived altogether. Life deals all of us challenges and I have no doubt that many of you are facing some now. In a perfectly fair world, I would be able to take these individual factors into account and perhaps modify the terms in our course syllabus, but my understanding of university rules is that, with rare exceptions, I should not,” Klein said.

That sounds like a reasonable, loving response.  He explained himself and also challenged the students to consider how adversity should – or should not – affect their lives.

 I hope this time of turmoil allows us to develop more steel in our national spines, not a stronger sense of entitlement and victimhood.  Hopefully, UCLA has the courage to withstand this pressure from students who lack the wisdom to understand the ramifications of their demands.

With all that’s going on in the world, we don’t need to add to the injustice.  This professor doesn’t also need to be bullied by his students or fired by an institution which is supposed to value free thinking.

Image Credit: CampusGrotto

Hat Tip: FreeBeacon

About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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