A history professor at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas told her students that President Donald Trump is to blame for the Las Vegas country music festival shooting that killed 58 and wounded more than 500 – alleging that he frequently incites violence.
“Despite no known political association nor motive for the shooter, Winkelmann was sure that the tragedy – which occurred just five miles away – was related to Trump,” Townhall reported.
She attempted to take credit for predicting that Trump’s presidency would spur such killings.
“When he got elected, I told my classes three semesters ago, ‘some of us won’t be affected by this presidency, but others are going to die,’” Winkelmann recounted to her students, according to Townhall. “Other people will die because of this.”
The leftist professor then held the president responsible for pretty much every threat, attack and murder in the United States that has taken place since his inauguration.
“I don’t know whether these events would have inevitably happened whether or not he got elected, but he has the same rhetorical powers every president has – to encourage or discourage,” Winkelmann added. “So far, all he has done is to encourage violence.”
She also brought up a number of comments that Trump made addressing the violent clash that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this year, alleging that his words sparked violence and accusing him of equating “right nationalism” with “anti-racism.”
“[Trump has] threatened nuclear violence against North Korea, and other places,” Winkelmann told her students, according to Campus Reform. which also obtained a video of her rant. “[W]ords – especially coming from someone who is the President – have consequences.”
Called out by students
Not all of Winkelmann’s students shared her ultra-leftist, anti-Trump views.
Some students were not very happy with Winkelmann’s politically motivated comments.
“[Professor Winkelmann’s speech was a] politically-driven rant [to convince students that] President Trump somehow incited this violence,” one student told Campus Reform on the condition of anonymity.
The professor’s political grandstanding from the lectern was deemed extremely inappropriate and unwarranted.
“We just experienced one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. History,” the student continued. “It’s a mile [sic] away, and we don’t know what happened, we don’t know why it happened, and we’re pushing political agendas, and that’s what this is about – taking advantage of the situation for political belief – when we should be uniting … healing as a community,” the student remarked.”
Instead of inviting thoughtful debate, it was argued that Winkelmann merely attempted to indoctrinate students by telling them what to think – not how to think.
“At every chance the president got, he condemned this violence,” the student asserted. “The professor is taking away from the dialogue that should be happening to attack the president. Professors are in a position of trust, and they’re abusing it to promote their political ideology or agenda. I think it’s dangerous when you blame the President for a massacre, and basically shut down students who disagree.”
Another one of Winkelmann’s students also chimed in, noting that her outburst following the mass shooting was expected.
“[T]his professor had previously made comments in opposition to Trump,” a second anonymous UNLV History 407 student informed Campus Reform. “I think it is despicable that a professor at an institute of higher learning – one that is located in the same city in which this attack occurred – would use her platform to spew such hatred and divisive rhetoric.”
Breeding more tension
One local publication, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, indicated that Winkelmann’s remarks about Trump only polarized the classroom over the incident, causing students to engage in shouting matches with one another.
In fact, the instructor has already received a backlash, which has spurred her to address her invective words and accusations.
“The comments have since been criticized by both the university and the White House,” Fox News reported. “Winkelmann has also issued an apology.”
UNLV Spokesman Tony Allen would not formally denounce Winkelmann’s words, but he did say that they were not carefully or wisely chosen in the midst of the city’s grieving process.
“While we respect academic freedom in the classroom and the right to free speech, we believe the comments were insensitive – especially given the series of events this week and the healing process that has begun in the community,” Allen proclaimed, according to Fox News.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders thoroughly rejected and condemned everything that came out of Winkelmann’s mouth during her classroom rant.
“It is sad she is teaching students such divisive, inaccurate and irresponsible rhetoric,” Sanders commented, as reported by Fox News. “She should be ashamed of herself, and the university should look into it. What a terrible example to set for students.”
In order to curb much of the outrage, the besieged professor told the local paper that she wishes she had reconsidered unleashing her attack on Trump in the classroom so soon after the shooting tragedy.
“This week has been very difficult for members of our community, and we have allowed students space in our classes to discuss how they have been affected and to openly convey their feelings,” Winkelmann said, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I regret that my comments caused more pain during this difficult time. Emotions were running high and I wish I would have been more thoughtful in how I directed the conversation.”
The executive board of the UNLV College Republicans issued a strong rebuke against Winkelmann.
“The UNLV College Republicans are extremely disappointed by Professor Winkelmann’s choice of words while speaking in regards to this horrific and unexplainable event,” the conservative campus group declared, according to Townhall. “To suggest that President Trump was in some way culpable for what transpired last weekend, which occurred less than five miles from our campus, is abhorrent, and divisive. We sincerely hope that the administration and professors of UNLV will let the community heal, and promote unity in this time of tragedy.”
Copyright American Family News. Reprinted with permission.