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University of California Santa Cruz

Cali Prof Assigns ‘Donald Rump’ Essay



Students in UC Santa Cruz professor Ryan Coonerty’s constitutional law course have a pretty interesting essay prompt this semester. The professor lays out a hypothetical situation in which a group called Students for Offensive Speech invites a “controversial reality TV star” named “Donald Rump” to the school, according to Campus Reform. Students have to pretend they are general counsel for the school and cite case law to back up their analysis of the situation.

Rump’s show “will feature music with offensive lyrics, strippers, and anti-immigrant speakers,” according to Coonerty’s prompt.

OK, first of all, putting aside the fact that what is and is not offensive is entirely subjective: no group is going to call itself Students for Offensive Speech. And then “anti-immigrant speakers”? It should come as no shock that Coonerty used to be a Democrat mayor when he conflates legal and illegal immigration.

The essay prompt, which is worth 30% of students’ final grades, continues: “Rump’s show undoubtedly include[s]offensive material and has been known to target women, minorities, and the disabled. It is rumored that he will be handing out the names, photos, and addresses of student leaders and faculty who are outspoken in their support for transgender, Muslim, and undocumented communities.”

And here’s where we slip from bad parody into fabrication. When has Trump doxxed students and professors who support these groups? This really just seems like projection on the professor’s part: most of the high-profile doxxing I see today comes from the left, like Antifa posting Tucker Carlson’s home address or CNN threatening to doxx the dude who made that GIF of Trump slamming them in a wrestling match.

Now I don’t want to bash Coonerty too hard because he apparently had his students read The Coddling of the American Mind, discusses free speech issues in the classroom, and says conservative students really like his course because it’s even-handed. All I’m saying is I haven’t seen too many essay prompts vilifying Obama and Hillary…where’s that kind of diversity?


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