Last week, we asked readers what they thought about Fresno State University Professor Dr. Lars Maischak's comments about Trump. We also asked if it's possible for Americans to have polite discourse any longer, and whether social media contributes to the nastiness?
Here are some of your responses:
Michael Hopson: That kind of rhetoric is just irresponsible especially for an educator with students looking up to him.
Allie Simonson: You definitely can't blame social media for people being stupid...people were stupid long before social media existed...now it's just more evident.
Rey Rubalcava: It's not ok to threaten anyone on social media, but I guess it's not illegal, this was more about inciting, so yea not good, but both sides engage in this type of language, so let's not kid ourselves
Jeffrey Schneider: Was he being literal or rhetorical? Even still, I've said similar things and I'm not under investigation. I would argue that he's saying that trump should be removed from office and charged with crimes, not actually hanged in an execution. It's not really a threat if it's rhetorical. You also need intent. I say I want to kill my sister all the time, but until I actually make actions to do something, it's not a crime.
Debbie Jackson Raven: A right does not mean he should spew hate speech. Our world is volatile enough. Maybe heading up marches better suits him.
Kristin Bettencourt: I think all educators if followed on social media by students, should keep their opinions to themselves. I also believe they should keep their opinions to themselves in the classroom. We had two children in elementary school who knew more about politics and who should win the election, based on the opinions of their school teachers. To hear some of the opinions that were being shared on campus was unacceptable. I'm all for free speech, but let's be respectful of the context in which you share. This is what we teach our children. How are they suppose to learn to be an individual if they are being swayed by someone's opinion?
Jeff Medlin: Freedom of speech does not guarantee freedom from consequences. Lars Maischak openly called for the hanging of the POTUS, a bullet to the head of those he considers racist, and the death of two republicans for each person that may be deported. Such statements from anyone in a position of authority, such as a college professor, can and should be considered a call for violence. The conduct of anyone in his position must be held to strict scrutiny and he should be particularly conscious of how his opinions are interpreted in the public arena. Lars Maischak has proven he is not capable of serving as a role model and should no longer be given the opportunity to do so.
Tom Foster: Actions have consequences. Teachers are supposed to be neutral and inspire students to come to their own conclusion.
Mike Monteiro: This has nothing to do with free speech... you can say whatever you want and face the consequences of what you say.