Prof tries to keep anti-Trump course secret, fearing backlash

Amber Athey
Investigative Reporter

  • A new course at the University of California, Santa Cruz examines the rise of Donald Trump in the context of white supremacy, patriarchy, and Islamophobia.
  • The instructor, however, only agreed to speak with local reporters anonymously, saying he fears a backlash for teaching an anti-Trump course in the current political climate.
  • A new course at the University of California, Santa Cruz examines the rise of Donald Trump in the context of white supremacy, patriarchy, and Islamophobia.

    “Social Justice, Institutions, & Power: Origins of Trumpism” is a new 5-unit course being taught this spring by graduate student Bob Majzler. The course fulfills the university’s “American History & Institutions” general education requirement, and currently has 17 enrollees.

    "If there is any backlash...I'll say it is to be expected."   

    [RELATED: OSU offers course on ‘African American resistance’ to Trump]

    The class will analyze the the rise of Trump through “power structures such as capitalism, media, white supremacy, militarism, patriarchy, Islamophobia, and two-party politics” and will also teach students about “oppositional liberation movements.”

    Majzler recently spoke about the course with KION 5/46, a local CBS affiliate, but was only willing to comment anonymously because he says he fears that teaching a course critical of Trump could elicit a negative reaction in the current tense political climate.

    He reportedly went on to describe the class as a safe place for students to express their feelings about Trump, explaining that this requires keeping a low profile so as not to provoke controversy.

    Some UCSC students praised the class, arguing that it will help student with “life decisions” and allow them to be “educated about the issues.”

    [RELATED: Berkeley course explores ‘cognitive dysfunctions’ of Trump]

    “I think everyone should have the right to be educated about the issues,” Isaiah McCole told KION. "I mean, that's just going to improve people's decision making skills for future elections or just life decisions. So it's disappointing to hear that there's rumors of backlash."

    "If there is any backlash for the students who are taking the class or the professor, I'll say it is to be expected," said Joanna Beltran Giron. "It is to be expected, and right on for the people who are actively choosing to take this class."

    Dr. Costanza Rampini, another professor at UCSC, wrote on Twitter that the course made her “proud to be slug,” referencing the school’s Banana Slug mascot.

    Campus Reform reached out to Majzler for comment but did not receive a response by press time.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @amber_athey





    Amber Athey

    Amber Athey

    Investigative Reporter

    Amber Athey is an Investigative Reporter for Campus Reform. She graduated from Georgetown University with a B.A. in Government and Economics, and is currently a member of the 2016-2017 Koch Associate Program. 

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