Academic Freedom Is Ultimately Tied to the Right to Vote


Cecil Canton, my colleague on the CBC Executive Committee, has passed along this “Weekly Commentary” from Jesse Jackson, Sr., about the erosion of voting rights in Alabama. Very ironically but very predictably, once the Supreme Court ruled that the states subject to federal monitoring under the Voting Rights Act had moved beyond the need for such oversight, their state governments have quickly resurrected many of the strategies that they had employed to suppress the African-American vote during the Jim Crow period.

And as Cecil states in his e-mail, “Clearly, as academics we justify protecting what we do by saying that we teach our students to be able to more effectively participate in our democracy. If that is true, then we need to be first in the fight to protect the most essential part of that democracy: the franchise! Especially in those places where it is most under attack and for…

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About martinkich

I am a Professor of English at Wright State University's Lake Campus, where I have been a faculty member for more than 25 years. I have now served multiple terms as the President of the WSU chapter of AAUP, which now includes all full-time instructional faculty, and as the Vice-President of the Ohio Conference of AAUP. I have also served several terms as an at-large member of the Executive Committee of AAUP's Collective Bargaining Congress. In addition to serving as co-editor of the Academe blog, I am also a member of the editorial board of Academe and have been a guest editor for an issue of the magazine on collective bargaining strategies. As co-chair of the Ohio Conference's Communication Committee, I began to do much more overtly political writing during the campaign to repeal Ohio's Senate Bill 5, which would have eliminated the right of faculty to be unionized. I have sustained that activism, and at the risk of stating the obvious, I have very much enjoyed contributing to the Academe Blog and to our chapter blog. I also maintain several other blogs to which I have re-posted, by topic, my posts to the Academe blog, as well as some other items.

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