'I want the entire world to burn until the last cop is strangled': One year later, a professor's anti-cop posts still have repercussions
A GoFundMe page reveals that a professor who made a series of anti-police statements in 2020 was allegedly forced out of his job due to the backlash.
Campus Reform covered the controversy at the time, reporting on the professor's now-deleted Facebook post that he wanted 'the entire world to burn until the last cop is strangled.'
In October 2020, Nathan Jun was under fire at Midwestern State University after he wished for every policeman to be strangled with the “intestines of the last capitalist.”
Jun served as the Coordinator of the Philosophy Program and taught "Asian Philosophy and Religion," "Philosophy of Race and Racism," and "Ethics" at the Texas institution.
At the time, Campus Reform reported on Jun’s controversial comments, noting his support of ANTIFA. The social media post from September 2020 quoted the philosopher Denis Diderot, who said, “Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.”
One year later, Acadia University instructor Jeffrey Sachs posted a lengthy Twitter thread Oct. 5 supporting Jun near the anniversary of the controversy.
For a full background on Jun, see this article from last year in the Chronicle. The gist is that during the height of the George Floyd protests, he took to his personal Facebook page to harshly criticized police. What followed was month after unremitting month of hell.
— Jeffrey Sachs (@JeffreyASachs) October 5, 2021
In a now-deleted Facebook post from 2020, Jun wrote, “I want the entire world to burn until the last cop is strangled with the intestines of the last capitalist, who is strangled in turn with the intestines of the last politician.”
Despite tenure, Jun says he was “compelled” forced to resign in August 2021 as the result of last year's controversy.
“I served as Professor of Philosophy and Coordinator of the Philosophy Program at Midwestern State University from 2008 until I was compelled to resign my tenured position in August 2021,” reads the GoFundMe legal fund attributed to Jun.
In August 2020, Jun posted an update on the GoFundMe site, asking for more charity due to MSU’s “ongoing recalcitrance.”
Jun also received support in 2020 from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a civil liberties non-profit.
Adam Steinbaugh, Director, Individual Rights Defense Program at Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, told Campus Reform, Jun’s “extramural speech is protected by the First Amendment. It was rhetorical hyperbole, not a true threat or incitement.”
The First Amendment permits professors to speak as private citizens, Steinbaugh said, “including political speech in vigorous, argumentative, unmeasured, and even distinctly unpleasant terms."
“That's what protects the rights of faculty on the right and the left whose speech invokes themes of, or appears to endorse, violence.”
As Campus Reform reported in 2020, “The university defended the professor's right to free speech but said it has sought the counsel of the Texas attorney general.”
Campus Reform reached out to MSU and Jun for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.