24 May In-the-News Update [Issue: Basic Freedoms]
A California history professor at Madera Community College claims he was suspended after bringing “anti-woke” chocolates to a campus open house. Professor David Richardson shared parody chocolate bars labeled with “she/her” pronouns for nut-less bars and “he/him” for bars with nuts. A staff member allegedly took offense, but Richardson chose not to engage in a confrontation. However, he was surprised when a school police officer delivered a notice of administrative leave, barring him from campus and his school email. He is being investigated for allegedly creating a hostile work environment based on gender. Richardson believes his resistance to the school’s promotion of transgender ideology contributed to the suspension. He had previously undergone diversity training following a complaint of “mockingly misgendering” a colleague. Richardson claims that academic standards have weakened, and freedom of speech has been stifled due to the emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion. He expressed concern that dissenting viewpoints are not tolerated, comparing it to the “Red Scare” era. Other faculty members privately agree but fear reprisals for speaking up. Madera Community College declined to comment on the professor’s suspension.