Gay conservative professor suspended for handing out chocolates produced by conservatives

Gay conservative professor suspended for handing out chocolates produced by conservatives

A gay, conservative professor at Madera Community College in California has been suspended after handing out Jeremy’s Chocolate — which is sold by the conservative Daily Wire — at an open house event on campus.

On May 8, tenured history Professor David Richardson received a letter from college officials placing him on administrative leave. Richardson had served Jeremy’s Chocolate at an open house event at Madera Community College the previous week.

Jeremy’s Chocolate was launched two months ago by the Daily Wire in response to Hershey’s Chocolate releasing an ad for International Women’s Day that used transgender LGBT activist Fae Johnstone.

Jeremy’s Chocolate bars bear pronouns “He/Him” and “She/Her.” As a result, leftists have condemned Jeremy’s Chocolate as “transphobic.”

Madera Community College spokesman Cory Burkarth refused to explain Professor Richardson’s suspension, saying it was a “personnel matter.”

Richardson says the suspension was precipitated by an exchange with a transgender staffer at the college, who demanded to be told what the “He/Him” and “She/Her” pronoun labels on the chocolate bars meant. “I … said, ‘You’ll have to ask Jeremy.’ But it was clear to me that this particular staff member was trying to pick a fight.”

Richardson said he was “taken aback” after the confrontation, and had a “deer in the headlights look” before another staff member came to his aid and defused the situation.

A week later, a letter of suspension was delivered by a uniformed police officer to Richardson’s home, informing the professor he was being placed on leave and was forbidden to set foot on campus.

“I was gobsmacked. I was floored,” he saidRichardson said that despite pressure to knuckle under to the administration, he will not apologize for handing out the chocolates: “They pulled out this old argument that ‘you have a thirty-plus year career, is this really how you want to be remembered?’ And I almost wanted to say ‘how dare you. I have done more for that college than any other single faculty member on that campus. And all of that gets wiped away, because I refuse to kowtow to violations of free speech and academic freedom?”

Richardson may end up suing the college, as he was forced to do in the past. In 2022, Richardson sued Madera Community College alleging a violation of his free-speech rights after he was ordered to take a six-hour DEI training course. This was the result of the professor allegedly using gender pronouns “mockingly,” according to Just The News.

Richardson is among several conservative community college professors in California to recently be disciplined for dissenting against progressive orthodoxy.

In April 2023, tenured history professor Matthew Garrett was fired from California’s Bakersfield College after criticizing the school’s diversity initiatives and other ideologically-tinged initiatives. The vice president of the Kern Community College’s board of trustees, which oversees Bakersfield College, compared Garrett and his ideological allies to livestock that needed to be culled, during a board meeting.

The California Community Colleges have proposed speech-chilling DEIA regulations that would enable them to get rid of conservative faculty, by penalizing faculty for not having a woke ideology. As the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education notes, “Faculty members would, for instance, have to acknowledge the correctness of certain beliefs (e.g., the role of racial and cultural identities in ‘creating structures of oppression and marginalization,’ and the harm caused by one’s ‘internal biases’) and actively promote CCC’s ideological conception of DEIA in their teaching, research and service activities, such as by ‘[d]evelop[ing] and implement[ing] a pedagogy and/or curriculum that promotes a race-conscious and intersectional lens.’

“Diversity” and “inclusion” are not talismans that overcome First Amendment rights. California courts have ruled that government employees usually cannot be punished for disagreeing with their employer’s affirmative-action or “diversity” policy. (See, e.g., Cal. Dept. of Corrections v. State Personnel Bd. (1997)).

Similarly, a federal appeals court ruled that an assistant fire chief in charge of personnel could express opinions at odds with city policy on affirmative action to a minority group, without being fired. (See Meyers v. City of Cincinnati (1991)).

Nor does the Constitution enshrine goals like “diversity” as a job requirement. The Constitution requires only the absence of discrimination in our schools, not “diversity,” affirmative action, or other things that might be seen as promoting “equity.” (See Schuette v. BAMN (2014)).

LU Staff

LU Staff

Promoting and defending liberty, as defined by the nation’s founders, requires both facts and philosophical thought, transcending all elements of our culture, from partisan politics to social issues, the workings of government, and entertainment and off-duty interests. Liberty Unyielding is committed to bringing together voices that will fuel the flame of liberty, with a dialogue that is lively and informative.


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