Virginia Tech's distinguished professor of English, Nikki Giovanni, has built a reputation as a "renowned poet," even though many of her so-called poems feature violent themes and contain words that are not acceptable in civil discourse. She specializes in diversity, post-modernism, feminism and multiculturalism.
Giovanni appeared last year at a public celebration to open Cincinnati's new Fountain Square. She used the occasion to call Ken Blackwell, then the Republican candidate for Ohio Governor, an "SOB", and when challenged, simply repeated the slur. (Note: Nobody suggested giving her the Don Imus punishment.) Did Cho take a course from professor Paul Heilker, author of another peculiar piece called "Textual Androgyny, the Rhetoric of the Essay, and the Politics of Identity in Composition (or The Struggle to Be a Girly-Man in a World of Gladiator Pumpitude)"?
Or maybe Cho preferred the undiluted Marxism espoused by English instructor Allen Brizee, who wrote: "Everyday, the capitalist system exploits millions of people. ... Our role in the capitalist system makes us guilty of oppression!" Victim Ross Alameddine (one of the students who was tragically killed) sat a few feet from Cho for months in a class on "Contemporary Horror." The students in this class were required to keep what were known as "fear journals."
Cho was a frequent user of eBay. He bought and sold many books about violence, death and mayhem, including several books he had used in his English classes.
Other books Cho sold on the eBay-affiliated site Half.com included books by three authors whose writings were taught in his Contemporary Horror class. He sold "Men, Women, and Chainsaws," "The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Takes of Horror and the Macabre," and "The Female of the Species: Tales of Mystery and Suspense."
At the campuswide convocation to honor the victims, professor Nikki Giovanni read what purported to be a poem. On behalf of the English department, she declaimed:
"We do not understand this tragedy,/
We know we did nothing to deserve it."
Maybe others will render a different verdict and ask why taxpayers are paying professors at Virginia Tech to teach worthless and psychologically destructive courses.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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