16. USD Prof Explains Wokism to Police, Tries to Take Away Their Guns
We have acquired a copy of a proposal that Dr. Lehmann submitted and read to the USD Faculty Senate on October 7, 2020. The proposal – which we have made available here – asks the faculty senate to “prevent USD police from carrying firearms.” (Previously, Dr. Lehmann had taken the same proposal to the Vermillion town council, in an effort to disarm the town’s police. It was rejected.)
Why should our police officers be deprived of their firearms? Dr. Lehmann explains in his proposal:
Here Dr. Lehmann delivers the standard Woke line: There are two groups in society, the privileged (Whites, men, etc.) and the marginalized (Blacks, women, etc.). The privileged people are all racists and oppressors. The marginalized people are all victims. To maintain power, the privileged people have created armed police forces for the sole purpose of “keeping the marginalized in their place by intimidation.” (This will likely be news to USD’s police officers, who probably see their firearms as tools that are used to defend people on campus, regardless of their race. Also, what does Dr. Lehmann believe the many non-White police officers across the nation do with their firearms? Are they also using them for racial intimidation? Are they just pawns of the White power system?) And so, Lehmann argues, the privileged racist people – for whom he seems to feel he is a representative and a moral leader of sorts – must give up their “privilege” by taking police officers’ firearms away. That way, the marginalized (for whom Lehmann also seems to feel he can speak) will feel safer.
But might not some minority students, staff, and faculty also want the “privilege” of being defended by armed police officers? If so, Dr. Lehmann would likely have no way of knowing about it. According to faculty senate meeting minutes (available here) and an additional document we will be releasing in the future, he did not consult people of color on campus to any significant degree before submitting his proposal on their behalf.
According to Dr. Lehmann, police disarmament is also required by USD’s new 2020-2026 Strategic Plan, because it promises “to create an inclusive and supportive environment for all.” (Here we see more evidence of what “inclusiveness” and other Social Justice codewords often mean on campus: maligning Whites, police officers, and anyone else unlucky enough to be declared “privileged,” radical policy measures most people don’t want, and, in general, a quest for total Woke domination of the University and everyone in it.)
But don’t the police actually need guns for legitimate reasons? No – not according to Professor Lehmann:
Elsewhere, Lehmann claims that the idea that law enforcement officers need firearms is an “unfounded assumption” reinforced by “powerful weapons and police union lobbies.”
These do not seem like careful or serious arguments. School shootings (such as this one) have been halted when police officers used their firearms to disable the attackers involved. Are those not examples of officers using guns to “prevent violence?” Are we really going to tell police officers that they must charge crazed gunmen carrying only pepper spray and tasers because that’s what Wokeness requires? Lehmann argues in his proposal that USD police officers don’t need their firearms because they have never used them while on duty. What kind of argument is that? Should you throw out your fire extinguisher and remove the air bags from your car just because you haven’t used them recently? How do we know campus police won’t need to use their firearms in the future?
Meanwhile, Lehmann’s rather definitive claim that “the research shows that guns do not prevent violence but cause violence or an escalation of violence” turns out to be based on two sources of rather questionable quality. The first cited source is a fairly weak study from five decades ago. The second is an article from a journal dedicated to leftwing criticism of the police called Critical Criminology. This article itself explains that it was written for the express purpose of “attacking the police as an institution” and, ultimately, abolishing law enforcement and capitalism itself. This would not generally qualify as rigorous, unbiased research. It is, however, consistent with the quality of evidence now used by Provost Hackemer and other Woke activists to justify major policy directives at USD.
It is reasonable to have a discussion about police reform or the pros and cons of different styles of policing. However, Lehmann’s proposal doesn’t offer anything like that. It just skips right to: “prevent USD police from carrying firearms.”
You would think that a proposal with so many serious flaws would be rejected, even at the now-Woke-dominated USD. So how did the Faculty Senate respond? Well, the senate did decide against immediately moving forward with Dr. Lehmann’s proposal – in part because the USD student government was overwhelmingly against it. However, that has not been the end of the matter, as we will explain in a future article.