Joe Biden: The Great Divider-In-Chief

Photo Credit: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

By The Editorial Board

Democrats often claim that Republicans can’t move on from Donald Trump, but if one thing was clear from President Joe Biden’s national address last week, it was that Democrats can’t, either.

Neglect the fact that the president used the Marines as a prop for a political speech, and put aside the fact that the aesthetics of the event were some of the worst in American history. Mr. Biden’s words, just by themselves, warrant the ire of anyone who actually cares about ‘norms’ in political discourse. 

Within the first few moments of the speech, Mr. Biden had already – in pure campaign fashion – taken to name dropping Mr. Trump and the “MAGA Republicans,” the former president’s loyal fanbase. And Mr. Biden proceeded to do so more than once, referring to them  as “extremists” and “threats to democracy.” 

His conflations of ‘extremists’ with ‘people-who-support-ideas-I-don’t-like’ was evident from the beginning. “MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards — backwards to an America where there is no right to choose,” accused Mr. Biden. So if a person is pro-life, a view that has been mainstream within the Republican party for four decades, he or she is an extremist threat to democracy and an enemy of the state? It sounds like it.

And then, of course, there were his attacks on election denialism. “They [the MAGA movement] refuse to accept the results of a free election,” Mr. Biden complained, while deeming such people as dangerous extremists. The president’s attack is disingenuous, to say the least. His own White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has denied both the results of the 2016 presidential election and Georgia’s 2018 gubernatorial election. Mr. Biden endorsed noted election denier Stacey Abrams in her rematch bid against Brian Kemp and says no word of the 67 percent of Democrats who believed, contrary to any evidence, that the 2016 election was stolen. Democrats also spent a whopping $44 million boosting election deniers in GOP primaries this summer, believing they are easier to run against. If Mr. Biden wants to condemn people who don’t accept election results, then he should do so, but cherry picking and ignoring when his own party does it is incredibly dishonest. 

As if that wasn’t enough, Mr. Biden proceeded to say that, “MAGA Republicans do not respect the constitution. They do not believe in the rule of law. They do not recognize the will of the people.” This is true of some Republicans, and they deserve criticism. But the ones to levy this criticism cannot be Mr. Biden and his Democratic Party, who have spent the last two years refusing to abide by the very constitution and principles they purport to support. 

Last year, Mr. Biden issued an unconstitutional executive order extending the eviction moratorium after admitting he didn’t have the power to issue it. He mandated that OSHA enforce a federal vaccine mandate without any valid legal or constitutional basis. Just last week, he spent a trillion dollars usurping all legislative authority to hand his voters student loan relief. And don’t forget about the time the majority of the Democratic establishment refused to condemn the BLM riots in summer of 2020. Vice President Kamala Harris even tweeted out a bail fund for rioters in the midst of it. 

Does Mr. Biden really have the temerity to deem his political opponents as the sole violators of these norms?

Attempting to save face, Mr. Biden stated that, “Not every Republican, not even the majority of Republicans, are MAGA Republicans. Not every Republican embraces their extreme ideology. I know, because I’ve been able to work with these mainstream Republicans.” So, according to the president, every person who opposes his agenda because they rightfully see it as harmful to the country are extremist threats?

Mr. Biden’s incapability to tolerate opposing viewpoints and his inability to represent all Americans, even those not on his side, demonstrates undeniable hypocrisy. He cannot lecture Americans about “preserving democracy” when he is clearly not attempting to do so himself.  

One address isn’t going to solve our country’s extreme division, but it could at least set us on a brighter path toward unity. Instead, Mr. Biden took to the podium to declare that the 74 million Americans who voted for Mr. Trump, and those who oppose him more broadly, are anti-democratic threats to the republic.

Last week’s speech re-iterated the broader trend for the current president: Deflect criticism, act like the people he’s condemning, and inflame tensions by gaslighting the public. The American people deserve better than the near-octogenarian catastrophe of a president they currently have. 

Omicron Should be Reason to Celebrate

Seamless tile editable vector news headlines about the coronavirus outbreak
Photo Credit: New York Post/Getty Images

By The Hesperian‘s Editorial Board

The Covid-19 variant we’ve been waiting for since the start of the pandemic almost two years ago has finally arrived. Dubbed Omicron, the new strain originating from South Africa is highly contagious – up to 70% more transmissible than Delta – but is far less severe than previous strains. For the young and healthy, it’s essentially a cold, and for those who are elderly or extremely high risk, there are three doses of a shot and antiviral pills available to prevent severe illness and death. 

A rational society would realize that Covid will never be fully eradicated, but unfortunately, we don’t live in such a world. Instead, we find solace in granting social and institutional accreditation to those who are most hawkish regarding Covid policies, without recognizing that a new strain, one that is far more transmissible but less virulent, is actually a good thing.  

A study recently released from South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases found that people infected with the new variant are 70% to 80% less likely to be hospitalized than any of the earlier strains. This data follows similar findings from research conducted in the U.K. and Scotland, which also points to a substantially lower risk of hospitalization from Omicron. Other research from South Africa informs us that less than 2% of those infected with Omicron were admitted to the hospital during the second week of the wave, compared with 19% during the same week of the Delta surge. It’s worth noting that only 26.6% of eligible South Africans have been fully vaccinated, compared to 61.9% in the United States; we can rest assured that symptoms will undoubtedly be less severe in countries that have higher vaccination rates. 

The groundbreaking South African data should be at the forefront of news coverage regarding Omicron, but positive developments have virtually gone unreported by mainstream outlets. 

Journalists aren’t the only ones ignoring the truth, however. The scientific establishment continues to turn a blind eye towards other new, encouraging data, which suggests that people infected with past strains of Covid still have a decent level of protection against Omicron. 

In a Dec. 14 article from The Atlantic, Alessandro Sette, a professor at La Jolla Institute for Immunology, insists that Covid T-cells (which are long-lasting memory cells that people build after being naturally infected with a virus) should be effective in fighting Omicron. Mr. Sette states, “the capacity of the immune system to limit the spread of the virus would still be preserved.” 

But, of course, the media and lockdown fanatics insist on more school shutdowns and restrictions, resulting in a panic that is spreading faster than Omicron itself.

A Dec. 17 New York Times piece with the headline “As Virus Cases Surge, New Yorkers Feel a Familiar Anxiety” is no exception. “I’m going to go home, I’m going to stay home and just keep to myself,” said a 62-year-old resident from Queens. “​​It’s [Omicron] literally all I’ve been thinking about. I’m really heartsick and worried,” said a 36-year-old teacher from Manhattan’s New School. 

Not to be outdone, the ever-so-clever Dr. Anthony Fauci has called for indefinite masking on planes and the barring of unvaccinated family members from holiday plans, and Dr. Leana Wen – the physicist who spends every waking moment on CNN advocating for crackdowns – has supported restrictions solely on unvaccinated people

Soaking in the surrounding panic porn, various schools across the country – including Chapman University – have wrongly decided to go remote once more. Chapman will hold classes online for the first week of interterm and spring semester, while also requiring that students test negative for Covid twice in the span of a week before returning to in-person instruction. In a Dec. 29 email to staff, faculty, and students, university President Daniele Struppa stated, “…we feel this is the best current course of action to limit the spread of COVID-19 while remaining committed to the resumption of in-person instruction.”  

During the week of Dec. 20, there was an 81% increase in school closures, even though Covid has never posed a risk to the youth, and many younger kids are now approved to be vaccinated. 

But reality has a very different message for public health officials and their lackeys in the schools and media: the number of active Covid cases does not matter because no amount of vaccinations or lockdowns can eradicate the virus; what does matter is the number of deaths and hospitalizations due to the virus (although the latter is not always accurate because many people go to the hospital for alternative reasons and then test positive for Covid).   

Therefore, there is no point in mandating booster shots, lockdowns, and masks, because there is no stopping Covid transmission. The best solution is to simply return to our pre-pandemic normal and allow Omicron to run its course. It will certainly not be the last variant, and the sooner Americans can ditch the fear promoted by the panic-driven media and embrace Covid as an endemic virus we all have to live with, the better off we’ll be. 

A strain of a virus that so many will get but that few (on a percentage basis) will die from is not something to be feared, it’s something to be celebrated. Unfortunately, what has basically become the equivalent of the common cold is now the wedge between civilized society and the continuation of normal life.

Chapman Refuses to “Follow the Science” With New Mask Mandate

Credit: Chapman Newsroom

By The Editorial Board 

The start of the fall semester at Chapman University is rapidly approaching amid the new Delta variant of COVID-19. Unfortunately, the school is again implementing strict, unnecessary, and overbearing mask mandates on students – including on those who have been vaccinated or have recovered from the virus – instead of providing students the educational environment they have been deprived of for the past 18 months. 

After a year and a half of “Zoom University,” it is time for Chapman to stop taking positions at odds with science and instead allow its students to decide their own risk tolerance when entering the classroom.

In an email sent to the student body by Dean of Students Jerry Price on Aug. 13, Chapman allowed vaccinated individuals to forgo its mask mandate by only “strongly recommending” that they wear one indoors. It was good news that the university recognized the efficacy of the shots’ artificial immunity and left students with the choice as to whether they wanted to comply with the recommendations. 

However, in the statement written by Mr. Price, there was no mention that those who have already contracted the virus – and have therefore developed natural immunity – could also opt-out of the mask mandate. Instead, he only stated that masks would be required indoors for unvaccinated individuals.

Nonetheless, on Aug. 17, only four days after Mr. Price’s email, the Office of the President released a contradictory statement revealing that Chapman consulted an infectious disease expert, Dr. Dan Kelly, who recommended that all individuals mask indoors.

Chapman has repeatedly admitted to prioritizing the recommendations of the CDC and California government when drafting health guidances for the last 18 months. However, on this occasion, not only did the school opt to take advice from a single individual, but they ignored the entities they unquestioningly trusted for the last year and a half.

It’s disappointing to witness yet again Chapman backtracking on its students, especially after repeatedly stating which health authorities it would follow throughout the pandemic. Chapman has blatantly and contradictingly ignored those authorities when drafting its recent decrees and instead followed the opinion of one epidemiologist to determine the weighty restrictions on university students and faculty.

Not to mention, Chapman’s mask policies are needlessly strict and will not be effective. Dr. Michael Osterholm, the epidemiologist who served in the Biden administration’s transition COVID-19 task force, has stated that “Many of the face cloth coverings that people wear are not very effective in reducing any of the virus movement in or out.” 

While Chapman is offering students N95 masks on request, the vast majority of students will opt to bring their comfortable cloth masks. Chapman makes no distinction between the two in its mandate.

Just as puzzling is the fact that Chapman’s twice-per-week testing requirement for unvaccinated students does not account for students who developed natural immunity from a prior COVID-19 infection. The university and its so-called health “experts” should acknowledge that natural antibodies offer stronger, more permanent protection than a vaccine.

A recent Israeli study found that natural antibodies are 6.7 times more protective than the antibodies generated from a COVID-19 vaccine. Therefore, Chapman should begin checking for prior infection when drafting its health guidance. If students have recovered from the virus, then they should be indefinitely exempt from masking and testing, no matter how much time has passed since they were infected. 

Disregarding the naturally immune is another instance of Chapman ignoring the science that it claims to follow.

The CDC reports that for the week of Aug. 14, the rate of hospitalization for those aged 18 to 29 was 3.1 per 100,000 – hardly enough to warrant panic. While cases and hospitalizations have risen in Orange County over the last month, the 7-day moving average of deaths from COVID-19 is a mere 3.3 out of a population of over 3 million

In a county so populous, a daily death count that is this low does not justify Chapman’s needless, panic-driven health measures. Moreover, 66 percent of county residents have gotten at least one jab, including 81 percent of seniors. 

The Chapman community – which is 95 percent fully vaccinated according to Chapman President Daniele Struppa’s last email – poses absolutely no threat to those in the county, nor vice versa.

If Chapman’s goal is to get the remaining students, faculty, and staff vaccinated, then it needs to set up proper incentive structures that convince individuals to get it. However, mask mandates and encouraging vaccination are inversely proportional. That is to say, nobody wants the vaccine if they will still suffer from the same overbearing restrictions.

This is because students will either start to believe vaccines are ineffective if students who have the shots still have to mask, or they will think that masking is a substitute for getting vaccinated. 

Every student and faculty member at Chapman has the opportunity to get vaccinated. At this point, if someone has chosen not to get the shot, it is a personal choice, and that person has to bear the risks associated with contracting COVID-19.

Unvaccinated people pose no threat to the vaccinated. The death rates from COVID-19 (no matter the variant) are infinitesimally small if someone has been vaccinated. As columnist Marc Thiessen stated in the Washington Post, “vaccinated Americans are more likely to die from a lightning strike than COVID.”

What is frequently not discussed – but is perhaps just as important as the spread of the virus – is the psychological harm placed on students who have to continue sacrificing their learning because of restrictive measures. Students have been unable to experience necessary human connection. In addition to the forced isolation, they must wear masks if they wish to come on campus – increasing deindividualization, which further makes students feel isolated. Due to this, there is likely greater mental health damage placed on students. 

So much for prioritizing the “safety and wellbeing of Chapman’s students, faculty, and staff.”

Since there are readily available and effective vaccines that anyone can get, the trade-offs from universal masking become net-negative. 

However, not all measures taken throughout the pandemic with regard to schools have been unreasonable. In March 2020, the lockdown orders concerning schools were justified, not because the data supported them, but because no one had any data available, and state and local officials had a duty to err on the side of safety. But we are now still reacting to a worst-case scenario when the new data greatly contradicts it. 

After all, the chief incentive for getting vaccinated is a return to normalcy. Chapman, unfortunately, is only exacerbating the lack of normalcy with these needless restrictions. 

If someone is worried about COVID-19, then they can vaccinate, wear masks, and social distance to their heart’s desire. If someone has a different level of risk tolerance, then they should rightfully do with their body as they wish. This would be consistent with the science, which states that both natural immunity and vaccines are effective, commonly-used cloth masks are ineffective, and overbearing restrictions are bad for everyone’s health – especially college-age adults.

It’s time for Chapman to follow the science and stop prohibiting its students and faculty from making their own choices about health and safety.

The Bullies at the Panther Still Have Not Calmed Down

By The Hesperian’s Editorial Board

This editorial serves as a response to The Panther, who recently accused our publication of many horrendous acts, such as “actively putting faculty at risk of criticism.” (Yes, they really denounced us for that.) This is our response:

On Monday, April 19, The Hesperian published a comprehensive report about certain Chapman faculty members’ willingness (or lack thereof) in calling for an investigation into the disgusting racism of their colleague. For those readers who do not know: Chapman professor Liam O’Mara sent an image of a KKK hood to black political commentator, Candace Owens. Klan hoods have always been associated with racial intimidation and lynchings of black Americans, which is why O’Mara’s racist tweet was interpreted by Owens and many others as a racial threat. 

Credit: liamomaraiv/Twitter (the tweet has since been deleted)

The 159 faculty in question were reached out to specifically because of their willingness to condemn another professor, Dr. Eastman, for his controversial conduct just a few months prior. We thought that those same faculty would be equally zealous about demanding that their racist colleague be held accountable… We were obviously mistaken.

One of the professors we reached out to refused to comment on O’Mara, and instead encouraged the Panther Newspaper to write an article attempting to bomb our report. Perhaps he was opposed to our article because it was going to expose the 159 faculty members’ uncharacteristic silence as racial and political hypocrisy. It should be noted that the 159 faculty members’ public statement condemning Eastman was mysteriously deleted after The Hesperian reached out to them. Local activist professor Tom Zoellner was the moderator of the page. (An archived copy of the now-deleted statement signed by the 159 faculty can be found here.)

In an apparent effort to beat our publishing date, The Panther eagerly contacted Hesperian columnist Justin Buckner last Wednesday.

Buckner’s answer was apparently not satisfactory, so The Panther contacted Hesperian editor Abbey Umali. 

Umali’s response was also apparently not satisfactory, so The Panther sent her an additional 19 long-winded questions. Umali exhibited great courtesy in, again, responding to their email, explaining that these additional questions would all be answered in our upcoming report.

The Hesperian had responded to The Panther’s request for comment THREE TIMES. The Panther never published any of those responses. Three times The Hesperian reiterated to The Panther’s editor-in-chief that no signatures were “forged,” nor were any signatures going to be used without “affirmative written consent,” as clearly stated in the original email to faculty. 

On Monday, April 19th, after The Hesperian had published its report, The Panther chose to ignore our responses and our report, instead electing to publish a futile hit piece called “The Hesperian needs to resign,” which was undoubtedly their attempt to imitate our past editorial headline, “The Bullies at The Panther Should Calm Down.” It was in our editorial that we questioned why The Panther will write so many articles denouncing the Chapman administration and yet continue to operate with the administration’s money. We correctly noted that this was contradictory behavior for “a self-proclaimed independent Chapman student newspaper.” 

We at The Hesperian do not blame just The Panther for being misinformed, because it was an activist professor who deliberately misrepresented our email to them. Perhaps The Panther’s uncharacteristically speedy reporting is due to the same professor desperately wanting their article published before ours. If so, we find it remarkable that one professor can so easily weaponize a student publication as his own propaganda tool. 

While it took The Panther zero days to report on the Hesperian’s report, it took them 20 days to report on O’Mara’s racist tweet, and only after The Hesperian called out the blatant hypocrisy of The Panther in our April 2 editorial, “Chapman Professor Sends KKK Hood to Black Woman. Why Doesn’t Chapman Care?” Why was The Panther so intensely interested in Eastman (they published 15 articles about him) and so intensely disinterested in the racist conduct of O’Mara, even after it was reported on by multiple large news outlets? It is a troubling question that we doubt will be answered.

In The Panther’s editorial, they describe our reporting as “inflammatory.” Many readers were left wondering which part of our report was “inflammatory.” Was it when The Hesperian quoted faculty in their own words? Or when we paired their statements on Eastman with their statements on O’Mara? 

The Panther’s editorial also accused The Hesperian of “blackmailing veteran academics at Chapman into heeding [The Hesperian’s] request to investigate O’Mara.” This puzzled many readers as well. Did The Hesperian “blackmail” faculty by giving them an option to not have their names on our letter? Additionally, every faculty member we named in our report gave permission to be quoted.

The Hesperian also gave the professors every opportunity to explain themselves. Nearly all of them refused to. How is that blackmail? The reason why the vast majority of the 159 did not attempt to explain themselves is because there is no good explanation for their moral inconsistency. The faculty painted themselves into a corner with their blatant hypocrisy. That’s the point. That is our story. It is not blackmail nor inflammatory to reveal that fact.

The Panther also falsely stated that The Hesperian tried to “threaten” faculty and “provide [them] an ultimatum” in our April 14 email. As we state in our recent report, “The 159 faculty members were specifically solicited to co-sign the ethics inquiry request because of their prior involvement last December in co-signing a statement denouncing John Eastman, the former dean of Chapman’s Fowler School of Law.” These faculty had voluntarily and publicly inserted themselves into public controversy already. They made themselves available for media inquiry. 

In fact, The Hesperian had contacted the exact same list of professors a week before (April 8) requesting “a brief statement for The Hesperian Newspaper in response to O’Mara’s public racial intimidation of a black woman.” Not a single professor was willing to condemn O’Mara’s racism. So, we sent out our April 14 email because we wanted to be fair and balanced. We wanted to present their side of the story. We made clear to them that we were willing to publish whatever they say. We sincerely wanted to know their explanations, yet these faculty members thought that we were somehow trying to trap them. 

Also, we do not have to coddle grown faculty members. They know just as well as anybody else what is legal and what is allowed under Chapman’s code of conduct. It was common sense that their name would not go on the letter if they did not give their consent. If we did do that, then there would have been legal ramifications for us. We still graciously responded to many professors assuring them of the obvious.

The ridiculous handwringing by some faculty (and their lackeys in The Panther) is a red herring meant to distract from their obvious hypocrisy. It is not accurate nor justified. 

We did not publish a lot of faculty names that we could have published. Many of these professors have been shameful, yet we elected to not shame them. The Hesperian has pursued this story with objectivity, fairness, and courtesy.

To the propagandists at The Panther, 

You, and the vast majority of the 159 faculty, are upset because you do not know how to justify your racist hypocrisy. So, you instead invent strawman arguments.

What kind of newspaper does not even cite our news story? It seems cowardly to try to prevent your own readers from having all the facts. So much for a publication that claims to be “storytellers of fact, not propaganda.” Your demand for us to “get off [your] campus” is exactly what we would expect from bullies who loathe different opinions.

You are free to disagree with our views and what we choose to publish. That is the beauty of freedom of speech and the press. We have faith that our readers will see through the red herrings, look at the real issues we have addressed, and support our missions to raise awareness of racism that was hypocritically swept under the rug, and our ultimate mission to promote intellectual diversity at Chapman. 

Chapman Professor Sends KKK Hood to Black Woman. Why Doesn’t Chapman Care?

Credit: @liamomaraiv/Instagram

By The Hesperian‘s Editorial Board

On January 13th, Chapman University forced (er, we mean “forcefully asked”) Dr. John Eastman into early retirement. What was Eastman’s ghastly crime? It was a technicality; Eastman (like many professors at other universities) used his school email for official business. This was the equivalent of convicting notorious murderer Al Capone for tax evasion… Eastman’s real crime was that he was a conservative lawyer representing (then) President Donald Trump as a legal client. 

Fast forward a couple months, and liberal Chapman professor Dr. Liam O’Mara responded to a black pundit’s tweet by himself tweeting a picture of a KKK hood. Apparently, the fact that the pundit was conservative commentator Candace Owens was somehow supposed to justify the intentional, hostile intimidation of a minority by using racist imagery, deliberately evoking thoughts of discrimination, lynchings, and worse. 

Credit: liamomaraiv/Twitter (the tweet has since been deleted)

Of course, anyone (who is willing) can recognize the difference between these two professors’ political activities. One professor took on a prestigious client and represented him in court, while the other professor tried to intimidate a black woman into silence via the use of violent, white supremacist imagery.

Can you guess which professor attracted more outrage from Chapman’s students, faculty, and community?

Of course, in this upside-down world of outrage porn, the actual act of racism was somehow completely ignored (or, perhaps, secretly condoned). 

What dark secret did O’Mara know about the Chapman leftists that he could openly attack a black woman so racistly and know that the leftists would not “cancel” nor attack him? If John Eastman (or any other “conservative”) had shared that racist image of a KKK hood, then O’Mara and the Chapman leftists would have called for the transgressor to lose their job and be ostracized from society. But somehow, O’Mara – this white person of privilege – knew he could get away with it.

Liam O’Mara, this part is for you…

You got off easy. You wouldn’t have shown the same graciousness (nor deliberate indifference) which you have received. Don’t you forget that. 

To the rest of the Chapman University community, what we are seeing are harsh punishments for trivial technicalities, and no accountability for those who commit blatant racism. 

This is not a conspiracy. This is the reality. 

Where is the Black Student Union? Chapman Latinx? Where are the virtue-signaling students? The self-righteous professors? The “horrified” parents? All of the people who felt that Chapman was “unsafe” as long as Eastman continued to be employed there? Where is the Pathetic Panther Newspaper? The Panther published over 15 articles about Eastman, but not a single article reporting on Professor O’Mara’s racism. Where is the “journalistic integrity” they pride themselves in?

Was all of your “outrage” really dependent upon the political beliefs of the perpetrator? If so, then that is utterly pathetic. 

To Chapman President Struppa, why have you been silent on this issue? You betray free speech when you take down a movie poster and “release” John Eastman, and then you again betray free speech for not punishing O’Mara’s virulent act of racial intimidation (which is NOT protected by the First Amendment).

You won’t even release a mere statement condemning O’Mara’s shameless racial bigotry.

President Struppa, the buck stops with you. You must regain control of our university. Former Chapman President Jim Doti would not have tolerated the campus’ hostility nor your pitiful indecision. He would have stood up for free speech, and immediately condemned real racism. 

This pattern of promulgating racial division on campus in order to further political agendas is corrosive to our Chapman community. The people who have the power to stop it, refuse to do so. Why? Because they recognize the political expediency afforded to them in taking advantage of the unspoken (yet wholly obvious) double standards for different campus individuals and groups.

The Hesperian denounces all acts of racial intimidation and bigotry, as well as the incitement of racial division in order to pursue political goals. 

We call for Chapman to have an honest, inward examination of itself. The school must derive a solution that allows all students and faculty to be treated fairly, equally, and honestly.

Bust Hysteria: An Example of History Repeating Itself

Chapman’s busts defaced in 2015
Photo by Reddit/TheRealLouisWu

By The Hesperian‘s Editorial Board

The recent racial strife on Chapman University’s campus came quickly and without much warning. After George Floyd’s tragic death, Chapman students quickly mobilized to increase racial, intersectional, and historical awareness on campus. Students turned their attention to the busts of historical figures on Chapman’s campus and sought to have multiple busts removed for alleged past misdeeds. Though, The Hesperian has discovered that controversies surrounding the campus busts are a fairly cyclical event. And, because of its cyclical nature, the Hesperian Editorial Board feels confident in predicting how this current crusade against the busts will turn out.

For context, a Chapman Newsroom article explained why Chapman University has busts in the first place: 

“Since 1994, Chapman has maintained a tradition of honoring endowed chair gifts with this unique method of donor recognition. When an individual, family or organization funds an endowed chair (a permanently endowed faculty position), they select a renowned figure representing the field of study supported by their gift. Another private donor – usually a friend of the chair donor – pays for the creation and casting of the bust.”

After a bit of research, we at The Hesperian have found that this pattern of controversy surrounding the busts did not start in 2020, rather in 2011. “Bust Hysteria” has coincided with every presidential cycle for nearly the past decade. 

2011: The earliest controversy that we could find was when the busts of President Ronald Regan and George P. Shultz were stolen from the campus, according to Chapman Newsroom. Due to the busts’ location in the middle of the campus in high-traffic areas, Chapman Public Safety concluded that the busts were deliberately targeted. Fortunately, the bust of Shultz was found in a garbage bin in Huntington Beach, but the Reagan bust apparently was never found and Chapman University had to recommission an artist to make it.

2015: The busts of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Milton Freedman, Ayn Rand, and Albert Schweitzer were defaced with caution tape and posters accusing the historical figures of “racism,” “homophobia,” and “neo-liberalist ideology,” according to Campus Reform. The posters were placed by students, and Chapman’s spokeswoman, Marry Platt, confirmed that they had identified the perpetrators, but no disciplinary action would be taken. The students later came forward and demanded that Chapman University condemn the racism of the busts, add a bust of liberal icon Dolores Huerta, and enact “mandatory diversity training” for the university. 

2020: Again, the Ronald Reagan bust was an obvious target of a new class of crusading students. In addition, the busts of Albert Schweitzer, Margaret Thatcher, Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand were also, once again, under attack. Over 700 individuals had signed an angry petition calling for the removal of the aforementioned busts. Their reason to remove the busts? Students feel oppressed when walking by the busts. 

The petition predictably called for the “oppressive” busts of conservative icons to be replaced with busts of liberal icons such as Angela Davis, Malcolm X, Harvey Milk, Nelson Mandela, Princess Diana, John Lewis, Cesar Chavez, James Baldwin, and Dolores Huerta. This recent episode of anti-bust demonstrations coincided with national demonstrations and riots that aimed to remove statues of historical figures.

The petition stated, “We believe the removal provides not only a display of allyship, but also a hopeful opportunity for educating students on the ways these historical figures abused their power to mistreat others.” Markos Buhler, the Chapman student who created the petition, said in a written statement to The Hesperian, “This petition was started in order to make Chapman’s campus a more inclusive and safe environment for all students.”


The crimes cited by the petition were, in our opinion, very trivial and opinionated. Depending on an individual’s perspective and willingness to bend the truth, the same type of “crimes” could be applied to any bust on campus. Even Chapman University president, Daniele Struppa, refused to cede to the students’ demands, saying in a campus-wide email that “with rare exception, it is difficult not to find controversial aspects in most of these figures.” 

For example, the crime committed by Milton Friedman, according to the petition, was that he believed capitalism would eliminate racism (which it largely has). For evidence of Margaret Thatcher’s crimes, the petition cited the Labour Party as a source on Thatcher, which is a bit like citing the KKK as a source on Martin Luther King Jr.

Of course, these extremist students’ purity tests are so intense and unrealistic that not even the greatest civil rights icon in American history can meet their standards. If Milton Friedman can be “cancelled” for genuinely believing that capitalism is good, then surely Martin Luther King Jr. should be “cancelled” for his horrible treatment of women

As previously stated, the petition demanded a bust of Malcolm X. Why would these students want a bust of Malcolm X when he said that white people are “a race of devils?” Additionally, Malcolm X’s Nation of Islam believed that all races were inferior to black people.

Of course, these activist students don’t actually care about racism, otherwise they would be against this. They only like the racist Malcolm X because he is a leftist icon. 

These activist students’ approval of Malcolm X – in combination with their condemnation of benign figures like Milton Friedman – proves that these student activists are entirely motivated by politics rather than a sense of justice. Additionally, these students want to replace the current busts only with people who align with their leftist ideological viewpoint, regardless of whether or not the people were actually “good” or “moral” in their lives.

This crusade against Chapman’s busts is entirely political and has nothing to do with justice. These students do not hate these historical figures for moral reasons. These students hate these historical figures because they had different political opinions. 

The activist students’ real, authoritarian message to students and faculty was clear: Just as we can remove busts of conservative figures, we also have the power and the inclination to remove you from this campus if you dare to profess similar conservative viewpoints.


In contrast to what these activist students believe, we are not actually the first perfect generation in world history, who is infallible and can look at historical figures and condemn them wholly for behavior that was acceptable in their time. Nobody is claiming that these historical figures were perfect, but neither were Martin Luther King Jr. nor Malcolm X. These activist students fail to make that distinction. 

So, Chapman students should stop acting like their heroes are uniquely perfect, or like they are the first ever perfect, infallible generation. It is misguided to judge individuals on their worst faults rather than on their greatest achievements.

The busts are a figure of Chapman and are there to educate students, faculty, and visitors on the influential people that came before them. As we stated in an earlier editorial, the purpose of a university is to create an atmosphere of open expression and intellectual inquiry. By removing the busts, these students are removing the purpose of the university.

Fortunately, Chapman University has a record of refusing to take down the busts, and we believe that Chapman will maintain its record. The busts will not come down any time soon, though we can likely expect another episode of “Bust Hysteria” during the next presidential election.

In a statement to The Hesperian, SGA President Philip Goodrich said, “I agree that certain busts on our campus represent a problematic past but I also agree that it is important to preserve history and promote intellectual diversity. It will be far more beneficial for our community to focus on deeper institutional changes.”

We agree. Taking down the busts will make no progress, and will actually hurt Chapman’s ability to promote intellectual diversity. If Chapman wants to become more “diverse,” then there are better (or, at least, less harmful) ways to achieve that goal. 

In regard to the busts, The Hesperian Editorial Board hopes that these students open up their minds and realize that there are – have been, and will be – good people in the world who should be honored and remembered, despite them having different political opinions.

The Bullies at The Panther Should Calm Down

From the Editors

After a long search, Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden announced on August 11 that Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) was chosen to be his running mate. The day after Biden’s announcement, a tenured professor and former dean of Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law, Dr. John Eastman, wrote an article questioning Sen. Harris’ eligibility for the vice presidency. The fact that Senator Harris was born to a foreign national mother and father (Indian and Jamaican respectively) prompted Dr. Eastman to question whether Harris is a “natural born citizen” of the United States, as defined under the Twelfth and Fourteenth Amendments. The Panther, Chapman’s school-funded paper that traffics in the politics of personal destruction, was quick to label Dr. Eastman’s citing of constitutional theory as “hate speech.” Based on this classification – in addition to their insinuations of racism – they called for immediate action to be taken by Chapman’s president, Daniele Struppa. 

In The Panther’s August 16 editorial, they questioned, in regard to Dr. Eastman’s article, “Where is the line between free speech and hate speech?” And, in The Panther’s August 24 editorial, they again described Dr. Eastman’s article as racism hiding behind the front of free speech. This is not the first time The Panther has lashed out at Eastman. In November of 2018, they published an article on Dr. Eastman, where they quoted a Chapman English professor labeling Eastman as “xenophobic.” 

Of course, Dr. Eastman’s argument was not rooted in racism whatsoever, rather in constitutionality and national security. Dr. Eastman explains that under a different (and arguably more accurate) interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment, Sen. Harris would not have been considered a U.S. citizen because her parents were not U.S. citizens at the time, thus disqualifying her from holding office as either vice president or president, according to the Twelfth Amendment.

On August 17, President Struppa, in response to demands for censorship and condemnation of Eastman’s article, sent a mass email titled Chapman’s Commitment to Diversity. “The strength of a university comes in its commitment to free speech and to academic freedom. We cannot simply pick and choose when to support free speech, despite the personal views of the president, provost, dean or any university administrator. Indeed, if anyone in a position of authority were to publicly criticize faculty work, it would create a dangerous chilling effect on the culture of academic freedom that defines a university.” It is admirable that Struppa acknowledged that the purpose of a university is to foster an atmosphere of open expression and intellectual inquiry, and not the place where a vocal minority should be able to publicly shame and intimidate dissenters into silence.

In response to Struppa’s statement, The Panther’s Editorial Board wrote, “At this point, we as students are drifting further away from having any sort of interest in associating with Chapman. We’re ashamed and embarrassed. We’ve resigned to our broken undergraduate memories. We’ll just roll over, keep our heads down and go through the motions to finish off our degrees. And once we enter the workforce, we’ll try to prove we’re more than the institution we graduated from.” If the members of The Panther are so ashamed of the administration’s conduct, why do they continue to operate with the funding of the very same administration? Wouldn’t the logical conclusion be to move towards operating independently from the administration and distance themselves as much as possible?

Political discourse should be free from all ad hominem attacks, and that includes name-calling. Labeling someone “racist” or “xenophobic” is not a thesis. It is a personal attack and a convenient way to sidestep an argument. Unfortunately, shaming, rather than substantive arguments, has always and will always be the main strategy of the progressives at The Panther.

Our Role as Printers and Editors

By Ryan Marhoefer

Many of our readers may be asking themselves why a couple of strapping young lads decided to make a new student newspaper for Chapman University. A better question to ask is: “Why hasn’t anybody done it yet?” Chapman is sorely lacking in quality journalism. If one were to pick up a random issue of The Panther Newspaper, pretentious political pontificating with predictable platitudes is sure to be found without much effort. It really just grows burdensome for us individuals who want to love The Panther, but they just keep making it so damn hard! So, we decided to publish The Hesperian in all the ways that The Panther is not. 

Firstly, The Panther Newspaper is published by authority. It is subject to the stranglehold of its superiors in the Chapman University administration. It is the university that ultimately decides whether or not to fund the flailing newspaper. On the other hand, The Hesperian is entirely independent. We are NOT published by authority. We are a publication that will not be corrupted by threats of reduced funds nor offers of favors done by the administration.

Secondly, the purpose of a university is to create an atmosphere of open expression and intellectual inquiry. While The Panther may only publish ideas from the left to the far left (what they view as a diverse spectrum of ideas), The Hesperian will be in the business of publishing all ideas. The jobs of printers are not to act as vehicles of propaganda, rather to provide a platform for which all people can express all differing opinions. Unlike The Panther, who has refused nearly every student’s op-ed with a right-of-center viewpoint, we refuse to sacrifice the virtue of free expression for any and all students, faculty, and community members. 

Thirdly, It is not just professors who influence the views of students. The opinions of our brainwashed peers at The Panther invariably play a significant role in shaping the perceptions of the student body as well as the surrounding community. The Panther obviously has an agenda to use our tution to spew leftist and hateful propaganda. In stark contrast, The Hesperian is not in the business of being propagandic. We want to foster healthy discourse between all viewpoints. Period.

Fourthly, The Hesperian will not stand for libel. The Panther Newspaper has tried to deprecate students, demean faculty, defame the university, and demonize huge groups of Americans. They have tried to leverage their platform to destroy lives. It’s irresponsible and wrong. The Hesperian refuses to stoop so low.

Benjamin Franklin, the greatest printer of them all, once eloquently wrote, “Printers are educated in the belief that when men and women differ in opinion, both sides ought equally to have the advantage of being heard by the public; and when Truth and Error have fair play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter.” The Hesperian is, above all, devoted to two things: 1) Publishing high-quality articles free of zealotry and whining, and 2) A source and platform for all viewpoints. If you love us, then please contribute. If you hate us, then please contribute. If you’re indifferent, well, we just hope you enjoy the show.

Ryan Marhoefer is a senior business student at Chapman University. He is the co-founder and co-editor of The Hesperian. Yes, he is graduating this Spring, so you can breathe a sigh of relief. 

First Letter From the Editors – 4/1/20

Your founders of The Hesperian

From the Editors

Those looking for information and rigorous and original writing focused on Chapman University, have been left wanting by the current offerings. Often, it is the weekly email from Dean Price that informs the student body of events on campus, and these events only receive further coverage if they fall into one or more fashionable categories in politics or popular culture, fall into that category of things which are fashionable to oppose, or if something goes terribly wrong. That is why we founded The Hesperian, and today we shall touch upon the topics that will be covered this week in our very first articles.

First, at the beginning of 2020 at Chapman, a moron said some stupid, racist things in a class, and this, according to the amateur priests of Our Most Woke Inquisition, happened because Chapman is Very Racist. This is silly, and embodies the Agency Detection Bias that one can only find among Twitter users, conspiracy theorists, and members of right-wing militias. It is an urge that says that all threats are orchestrated by someone or something that must be defeated for everything to be okay. And that fight against shadows demands that you participate, because it is “the right thing to do.” Arguing with these shadowboxers is often just a great way to waste time, but we do have one article from a former Black Student Union (BSU) member about her own experiences with intolerance at Chapman, and does much to reveal its diffused and complex nature.

On the topic of complexity, we have Chris Moore, who writes about the need to embrace complexity in policy, government, or otherwise, and how plans or systems that do not account for the mass variety of human experiences, and their decentralised interactions, are not just prone to failure, but dangerous. Oh, how wonderful it would be if inequality or corruption were actual systems or people that could be found and defeated, or simply legislated and protested into oblivion. All Americans, regardless of almost all ideological persuasions, have sought to be heroes in a just fight, yet we can simply point to the endless recurrence of these issues, and the recurring impotence of state-enacted solutions, to show that accusations against “structures,” whose existence is often based upon the accuser’s own political views, are but shadows of a nightmare.

Finally, The Hesperian’s cofounder, Ryan Marhoefer, has a column explaining our views and goals with this publication. We have been fortunate enough to have been provided with a local roadmap on how to not operate a newspaper, and we have taken those lessons to heart. Combined with confidence, curiosity, and supportive friends, we believe we are filling a vast hole in Chapman’s demand for a quality publication. We are more publishers than writers, and we will always be students, not pretend-journalists, and, ultimately, seek to deliver a publication that we enjoy reading.