Princeton lecturer compares Trump supporters to Germans indifferent to Holocaust

A Princeton University lecturer compared pro-Trump Americans during the COVID-19 era to Germans indifferent to the Holocaust.

She also said that "successful women" in "men's careers" like Margaret Thatcher are a "betrayal to feminism."

A creative writing professor emerita at Princeton University, Joyce Carol Oates, compared supporters of President Donald Trump to Germans who were indifferent during the Holocaust. While Oates holds the title of “professor emerita,” she is listed as the instructor of a spring 2021 seminar at Princeton, titled, “The American Dream: Visions and Subversions in American Literature.”

In response to a tweet about the COVID-19 death toll, Oates stated, “for many pro-T***p Americans, the pandemic is like the Holocaust to many Germans: they knew what was happening but adjusted to living with it in indifference or, in some cases, profiting from it. only if affected personally do people seem to care.”

The tweet to which Oates responded came from Washington Post correspondent Philip Bump who shared an article headlined, “America’s 250,000 covid deaths: People die, but little changes.” Along with the article, Bump added the caption, “The number of people just shrugging at all of this is baffling.” The next day Oates shared his post and added the caption comparing Trump supporters to indifferent Germans during the Holocaust.

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Oates has also stated on social media that younger generations will think that one of the requirements for a GOP career is to orient yourself with white nationalism and pretend to be against abortion.

“Younger generations will think nothing more is required for a lucrative career in GOP politics except to accept donations from wealthy corporations & special interests, align oneself w/ white nationalism, & pretend to be pro-life,” she tweeted.

She has also asserted that Trump is a criminal who shouldn’t be pardoned for his crimes, although she doesn’t specify what crimes he’s committed.

“Why should any criminal be pardoned for any crimes, particularly if he shows no remorse & will not make restitution? a disproportionate number of Black men are in prison for committing .0001% of crimes T***p has committed. Why should he be treated w/ such fawning solicitude?,” Oates tweeted.

Oates also shared an article headlined, “On not meeting Nazis Halfway” by Rebecca Solnit, in which Solnit indicates that hostility is an important resource for the right.

Oates added the caption to her post, “absolutely true. sympathy, understanding, tolerance – are for one side only. the other, the illiberal, is always to be courted, exactly like an abusive husband whose wife is counseled to placate him.”

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She also criticized Margaret Thatcher and compared her to conservative politicians who aren’t concerned about the people. 

“Chilling to revisit the Thatcher years in ‘The Crown’ – this cruel stern woman who’d married a wealthy man daring to suggest that anyone could ‘get ahead’ in the UK despite budget-slashing austerity. so much like our rightwing US corrupt politicians’ indifference to citizens,” she tweeted.

Oates continued to add that successful women “who succeed in ‘men’s’ fields” like Thatcher are a “betrayal” to feminism. 

“Women like Thatcher who succeed in ‘men’s fields succeed because they channel the worst, most stereotyped features of men: aggression, cruelty, indifference to the suffering of others. these are not feminist victories but betrayals.”

Oates is also a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley and taught “Short Fiction” courses in 2019. 

When asked for comment, UC-Berkeley Assistant Vice Chancellor for Communications Dan Mogulof said, “when acting in their private capacities, University employees—not to mention temporary faculty members---have the same rights and responsibilities as any other member of the public, including freedom of speech, as guaranteed by the Constitution.”

“The University does not have or seek the legal ability to sanction employees based on their political beliefs. At the same time, individual employees, including faculty, do not speak for or represent the perspectives and positions of the University, its colleges, or departments. Our values are clear: The University supports and believes in Free Speech, academic freedom, and diversity of perspective,” Mogulof added.

Campus Reform has reached out to Oates and Princeton University for comment but did not receive a response.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @mn_turn