UPDATE: University reacts to controversial video of professor

A video recording of a USC political science professor, released Wednesday by higher-education watchdog site Campus Reform, has drummed up controversy and national attention regarding opinions expressed in the classroom. The university responded Friday with a statement affirming faculty members’ right to express their views.

The video shows adjunct professor of political science Darry Sragow using derogatory terms when criticizing Republicans and conservatives in a fall 2012 class focused on election law and election finance.

During the video Sragow refers to Republicans as “losers,” “stupid” and “racist.” In one segment, he also calls California Republicans “irrelevant and clinically depressed.” The video is approximately 16 minutes long, comprising clips of Sragow’s lectures throughout the semester.

Tyler Talgo, a sophomore majoring in political science and a former student of Sragow, recorded the clips. Talgo said he recorded Sragow to expose alleged unprofessionalism and to highlight the importance of creating a positive learning environment for all students.

“This is about a really important issue which is to help protect academic freedom and students’ freedom to reason and comprehend things for themselves and it helps to contribute to an academic and honest setting,” Talgo said.

Sragow did not immediately respond to a request for an interview, but he has openly defended his actions.

“While I am very candid and direct, I never say anything unless I am willing to have it repeated with attribution,” Sragow said to Fox News. “If he thought he was playing a dirty trick by taping me, it lacks creativity and the effort deserves maybe a C-plus.

“If this student was offended, he knows perfectly well that I encourage an open debate and active student participation in my classes. He could have challenged me.”

Elizabeth Garrett, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, responded Friday to the video by highlighting the importance of the faculty’s ability to express their opinions but also the need for careful judgment.

“Faculty members are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subjects, and they also have the responsibility to exercise critical self-discipline and judgment in transmitting knowledge,” Garrett said in a statement (see full text below).

But Garrett also asserted that the faculty has the freedom to express “unpopular positions” in a public setting and stressed the university’s support of this freedom.

“Statements made by our faculty members are not endorsed by the University; indeed we sometimes profoundly disagree with the statements. Nevertheless, we firmly protect their right to express those views,” Garrett said.

However, Talgo said he believes professors can positively contribute to classroom discussions without having opinions play such a large role.

“It’s the professor’s role to empower students with information and facts and meaningful discussion,” Talgo said. “They should encourage students to believe for themselves and give them a more meaningful education whether you’re a liberal or conservative.”

According to Talgo, the video was sent to the media relations department of the university on April 4.

“We asking [the administration] to give us a response within 24 hours,” Talgo said. “It went for a whole week and we contacted them multiple times.”

National and local media alike, including KTLA and Fox News, have covered the story.

Currently, the university has not taken any actions against Sragow. It is also unclear whether Talgo breached university policy by secretly recording Sragow’s lectures.

Updated on April 12 at 7:05 P.M. 

Sragow continued to defend his actions on Friday in a statement to the Daily Trojan. He characterized the claims he made in the video as “a wake up call for the Republican Party” and emphasized the need for two political parties in California.

“If the Republican Party in California doesn’t broaden its appeal, within the next few years there will be more independent voters in California than Republicans,” Sragow said in the statement. “We need two strong parties in this state.”

In the statement, Sragow admitted he could have used different words, but affirmed his general argument.

“I stand by the substance of my remarks,  but regret the offense caused by my choice of words,” Sragow said. “My language became an unfortunate distraction from an important discussion about the future of the California Republican Party.”



Full statement from USC Provost Elizabeth Garrett:

“Regarding a video clip of excerpts from a part-time teacher’s lectures in a political science elective class, at USC we strive to hold ourselves to the highest standards of rigor and professionalism in our classes.  There are established faculty processes to determine whether a course meets those shared standards.  Our faculty endorse, through our Faculty Handbook, the principles that academic freedom in teaching is fundamental and that it carries with it duties correlative with rights: faculty members are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subjects, and they also have the responsibility to exercise critical self-discipline and judgment in transmitting knowledge.
“The freedom to take unpopular positions and the freedom to express those positions publicly are at the foundation of what it means to be a faculty member of a university.  One of the most important principles of an academic community has been that academic inquiry and discussion be free from censorship or undue outside control.  Statements made by our faculty members are not endorsed by the University; indeed, we sometimes profoundly disagree with the statements.  Nevertheless, we firmly protect their right to express those views.”


172 replies
  1. sad day
    sad day says:

    Hateful lecture, pathetic.
    Ask for your money back.
    There should be zero tolerance for this.
    Hate……really “sick in he head” stuff……sad

  2. Daily Trojaner
    Daily Trojaner says:

    Putting aside for the moment Prof. Sragow’s political leanings, he seems to assume students can’t draw their own conclusions from information available. Could he not have put up charts or a power point presentation that would encourage his students to weigh for themselves how the two predominant parties in American politics present their ideas, the efforts each employ to control their message and affect outcomes, where they get their funding to the extent such information can be found, how the demographics of specific geographic locations impact voting outcomes, and potential impact of changes in voter identification laws, etc. I am less disappointed in Prof. Sragow’s statements than I am in his methodology. His students deserve more.

    • USC parent
      USC parent says:

      Daily Trojaner,

      Professor Sragow could have provided a didactic compilation of charts and graphs, but his students would have been asleep or checking their Smartphones. He very likely had already provided the information you suggest to students or referenced where it could be found. Bear in mind this video was but a snapshot of the course and likely taken out of context with the totality of the course material and presentations.

      These students will never forget this lecture and the fact that the information presented comports 100% with the analysis of the Republican leadership. Also, instructive was the the folly of feeding lecture material to a highly polarized segment of the general public evidenced by comments here, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachman, Todd Akin, Tea Party members, faux news entertainers, etc. The motivations of releasing the video to Fox News has been appropriately questioned by other students.

      Those that believe global warming does not exist and the earth is flat just do not seem capable of responding to the underlying issues Profesor Sragow so vibrantly presented, rather fall back to their own inarticulate spewing of fear, hate and gross misunderstanding.

      • Daily Trojaner
        Daily Trojaner says:

        I agree there is a political segment among us for whom objective information is all too readily dismissed in favor of wishful thinking about what was or what should be. I also agree that releasing snippets of Prof. Sragow’s statements to Fox News seems more an exercise in self-aggrandizement by the student that did so than a statement of protest by that student. Nonetheless, it is preferrable for professors to encourage a lively and robust exchange of ideas and conclusionary statements like Prof. Sragow’s discourages that.

        • USC parent
          USC parent says:

          Daily Trojaner,

          From student comments I read, Professor Sragow is interested in and encourages an exchange of ideas. I assume, perhaps incorrectly, this animated snippit from a lecture is but one tool in his professorial tool kit.

          I am discouraged to see many posters who won’t or can’t accept and engage Sragow’s message which is the same as the Republican Party leadership. Absent discourse and a smear campaign of nasty name calling in comments here is so counter to open inquiry in a university.

          One of these comments is hopeful–accusing USC of becoming liberal like an Ivy League university. There may be a grain of truth to the comment in that the academic environment/ quality of students and faculty has risen dramatically in the past decade or so.

          • sad day
            sad day says:

            Hate and you know it! You were caught doing something very bad…..teaching hatred.
            Now you have spent weeks trying to cover it up with a bunch of nonsense. Hate, it’s ugly,
            It’s pathetic, and its really sad that it has come to this.

            P.S. why are you so jealous?

  3. USC parent
    USC parent says:

    I am truly amazed and embarrassed by the responses (some bizarrely repetitive) of this handful of parents and alums who seem to posess little ability to recognize the diaster the once proud Republican Party has become. There is also no sense of the marked conflict of open inquiry in a classroom and the extreme political polarization in our society.

    The mainstream Republican elite leaders voiced identical concerns as Professor Sragow. Perhaps expressing your rage to your own party leaders might help remediating the widely acknowledged irrelevance the Republican Party has become, as well as the racism, sexism, and anti-intellectualism rampant in segments of the Republican Party–and in comments here.

    Two bright spots: it is clear there has been a huge leap in intellectual acumen with recent and current USC students. The contrast between the broad grasp of the Sragow issue by most current students posting versus those from years past is striking. secondly, we only remember and value those professors who made an impact. Sragow is at the top of the list.

  4. Eric Turner
    Eric Turner says:

    People: this is hate speech directed at white people and at white men in particular.

    So . . . let me hear you stand up for someone’s right to direct hate speech at white people but not at anyone else.

    Step up, dingbats!

  5. Josh
    Josh says:

    I am a (formerly) proud alumnus (class of ’90). I will not be giving one dime to USC. No donations, no football tickets, no gear…nothing. The same goes for my family – who have been ‘SC fans since the 60s. Sragow is a racist and USC should be better than this. I thought that it was better than this. This politically correct attitude that amounts to indoctrination was supposed to be for the other guy-not Trojans. Sorry to say, until my alma mater changes its attitude-I am done.

    • sad day
      sad day says:

      I think we are all done until the University acknowledges that it is not ok to “hate” on one group of people.

  6. NJ Dad
    NJ Dad says:

    Who’s next to join the faculty, Bill Ayres and his Weather Underground pals? Saul Alinsky would be proud.

  7. Clinton Abrams
    Clinton Abrams says:

    These are shamefully reductionist and willfully ignorant comments. What is being defended here is anti-intellectualism and that, as a current USC student, is extremely disappointing. I cannot believe a professor would speak in such an offensively myopic manner.

    • sad day
      sad day says:

      Myopic and hateful.
      Uniforms and whistles will follow.
      The “old, white. republican can not be trusted” .
      It is hate speech and we ALL know it, including the USC faculty.
      It is hate and Sragow should go.

      • William Buttrey
        William Buttrey says:

        Shortly after the 2012 elections, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) urged Republicans to “stop being the stupid party” and move away from “dumbed-down conservatism.”

        And from Former US Senator (R) and presidential candidate Rick Santorum — “We will never have the elite, smart people on our side”


        That’s gonna leave a mark.

  8. Sam Bluefarb
    Sam Bluefarb says:

    For those USC alums who no longer will donate to USC. There is a more “healthy” alternative

    “I long ago altered my living trust so that nothing would go to any department of my universities other than the Med Schools…to such depths have these formerly great institutions fallen.” — from my e-mail to Mr. Sragow. (ccs to the USC President)

    Sam Bluefarb

    BA, UCLA; MS, MA, USC; PhD., UNM

  9. Eric Turner
    Eric Turner says:

    While Sragow is truly a sad advertisement for USC, sadder still is how the online national media has mostly refused to cover the story. Aubrey Plaza crashing the MTV Movie Awards stage has gotten far greater coverage than Sragow. God, what a weird world we live in. Maybe someone from USC’s Journalism School will step up to say “stop the madness?” Hmm. Unfortunately, I doubt it.

    USC students, listen up: you’re being spoon-fed hatred of white people by your liberal teachers. Most of them hate white people because they hate competing with them, and well, because it “sells,” in fact it’s one of the most tried and proven Hollywood script formulas around . . . just one example . . . we could talk about slavery and I could mention that slavery in Africa and South American historically has been orders of magnitude larger than it ever was in the U.S., and that African countries led the way in selling off their own people, but I’m not sure many would listen as Hollywood has already indoctrinated you on how to think on that tragic subject . . . and they don’t talk about that “other” side of the story much. But the lesson, if I understand correctly, is that if you’re white, you need to hate yourself every time this subject is brought up, and once you’ve embraced that anguish . . . again . . . break out your wallet to make the sick feeling go away . . .

    Fyi, I’m politically Independent and subscribe to views on the left, right, and in the middle.

  10. retired1
    retired1 says:

    Hey USC — give us, the alumni of decades ago, a call or drop us a line looking for MORE donations. Listen while we chew you out for supporting this vile twerp masquerading as a teacher. He has a right to his views but to present them in THIS way is totally inappropriate. Do yourselves a huge favor: Fire this fool before you lose more support!

  11. Susan Salisbury
    Susan Salisbury says:

    What a sad day for U. S. C. Yes, he is just one professor, and apparently a part time adjunct at that. It is the University’s reaction that makes it sad. Count me as one more alum who will not contribute until this guy is gone. Beyond that, I am sad that U. S. C. like so many other institutions, has become a haven for wealthy elites where middle class students and students from poor families either have to take out financially crushing student loans or beg for grants. My mother and some other alums I know actually worked their way through USC. With today’s tuition rates that is impossible. To me, there is a relationship between those two facts. USC has become a cocoon for the wealthy liberal elites who do not have to live with the consequences of their failed liberal policies. And the university apparently is assiduous in protecting them. It, along with the Ivies, is simply becoming irrelevant to real life.

    • sad day
      sad day says:

      The wealthy, trust-fund liberal elites are all over the University. No one else will hire them.

  12. hypocricy
    hypocricy says:

    What’s sad is that some of the younger commenters here have been so innundated with victim politics that they don’t even realize how clouded their thinking has become. Add that to the brash youthful hubris and you’ve got a very dangerous combination. I’m looking at you MG…

  13. BB
    BB says:

    Ms. Garrett,
    I agree that people have the right to express their views and opinions in the classroom. I am glad to see that you support your professor in doing this.
    My question to you is, if he had substituted any other race or description other than old (ageism) white (racism) men (sexism), would you have handled the situation differently?
    As a white, republican and older alumni of USC, i was extremely offended by this mans remarks that (according to standards of today) would have otherwise landed him in the unemployment line had he used any other race in his opinions.
    Please tell us all in an open letter that you would have still supported this professor had he said something like, Black liberals are stupid or old hispanic women are greedy, and I will know that not only are you consistent but a person of integrity.

  14. sad day
    sad day says:

    Please inform the Dornsife family that their “graciously donated $200,000,000” gift is teaching hate to young adults!
    No critical thinking, no hope, nothing but hate.

  15. USC Parent
    USC Parent says:

    Beyond whether you agree or disagree with Prof. Sragow’s opinions, you see his general teaching style in the video. I don’t know how anyone could stay awake for a full lecture listening to this guy drone on and on with his boorish delivery. I went to an Ivy League school and never had to endure anything that robotic….and I was an engineer! In the least, USC should attract more dynamic speakers than this guy.

  16. Don C. Whitaker
    Don C. Whitaker says:

    A couple of comments about Prof. Sragow’s unbridled comments at his class. Listening to the comments they in so many ways were spouted as facts and not opinion. I graduated from USC in 1961 and I will admit that when I entered at 17 and I was in such a class hearing a professor give this kind of spiel, I probably would have accepted it as fact and not his opinion. Hopefully students today are more worldly and see through his vitriol. Would love to see him debate an expert that could stand up to his questionable facts but he probably would choose to pick on lesser informed victims. The response by Provost Garrett certainly didn’t smooth out my anger on hearing the hatred shown by Prof. Sragow. The irony here is that Prof. Sragow is a chaired professor by the Dornsife family who graciously donated $200,000,000 to USC last yr. Looking up the family’s political contributions for 2012, they were all for republican candidates if I read them all correctly. Wish someone contacted this gracious family and ask how they felt about this democratic operative bitting the hand that feeds it?

    Secondly, one USC parent posted that he has friends that have left CA for one of the nine income tax free states and they are “greedy” for doing so. I lived in CA for 66 yrs before I moved to NV three yrs ago and certainly think I paid my “fair share” over these yrs but chose to move when I saw continued budget deficits brought on by union pension demands and spending based upon unrealistic projections as occurred in 2002 when the state assummed stupidly that their capital gain revenues would continue after the dot.com bubble. Calling me greedy is a joke, how about self-preservation?

  17. Suzi
    Suzi says:

    In your statement you state, “faculty members are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subjects, and they also have the responsibility to exercise critical self-discipline and judgment in transmitting knowledge.” Sragow clearing did use neither Self-discipline nor Judgment when he decided to state, “Republican’s are stupid and racists”. He is insulting many of USC’s colligates and alumnae.
    As an alumnus and current parent of a USC student, I truly appreciate the Universities stand on our professors having academic freedom in the classroom. But what was clearly happening in Professor Sragow classroom was indoctrination. I have been very proud of USC for not having that type of professor with in the faculty. I have always felt that USC is a great University because they let their Professors have academic freedom, but at the same time allow the students to have freedom of opinion and thinking. I agree with many of the parent’s comments made about the Daily Trojan’s article, that feeling expressed about hateful nonsense and the fact that the administration is not mortified by these statements is concerning. I too am deeply disappointed that this shallow, prejudice, intolerant professor is tolerated and protected. I hope that USC expresses to their professors that Sragow’s behavior is unacceptable. Every classroom should be a safe place for a variety of viewpoints and discussions, not indoctrination.

    • sad day
      sad day says:

      I am not giving another dime to this school. This USC classroom was neither safe nor offered a variety of viewpoints. Watch the video, its so over-the -line and everybody knows it.
      Furthermore, listen up, his pot belly will cost the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of dollars in chronic care over hie lifetime. Those taxpayers are YOU, those who are in college TODAY!
      So, this guy is ruining your future by teaching hate AND making YOU, the current college student, pay his medical bills in the future under the Affordable Care Act which he wanted!
      Bet he did not teach that in class…no, he left that part out.
      You, the current collage student, will have to work your ENTIRE LIFE to pay for this guy;s chronic care bills AND probably his retirement.
      Your generation was lied to. I am so sorry.

  18. Melissa Montoya
    Melissa Montoya says:

    Darry Sragow was not doing anything wrong. Don’t like free speech, find another country to live in where your free to never question or confront.

    This Tyler Talgo kid is such a riot! He gets all mad at his political science professor for ranting about how backwards Republicans are and tries to make himself feel better by being an attention whore. What a sad little boy. I hope he outgrows his republicanism soon, or he is going to be burdened with all that ignorant myth based reasoning and become further indoctrinated. Poor thing.

    • sad day
      sad day says:

      This is so awful. This is not free speech. What this really did was open my eyes to how many professors and employees at USC who truely hate “old white people”. i had no idea. So sad.
      I had no idea the level of hatred at the university towards others who might not think exactly like them.

    • BB
      BB says:

      Why should he find another country? I think this country is great.
      It would be better however if we didn’t have all the darn illegal immigrants from that country south of us Montoya. (Thanks for letting me share my free speech)

  19. Steve B.
    Steve B. says:

    The truth hurts doesn’t it. I am a fairly old white guy who is a liberal so not all of us believe the conservative way.
    Many of my friends lean to the good side of the political spectrum being raised in the fifties/sixties. USC has
    loosened up politically from the dark ages when I attended the university. Any of you fools can’t complain when
    the school lets Anne Coulter have center stage to espouse her dribble.

    • sad day
      sad day says:

      Dear “being raised in the fifties/sixties,
      Have you enlighten the current student body that they are going to be paying your medical bills via the Affordable Care Act starting 2014 and paying your social security forever…..i wonder if this generation will “loosened up politically” once those bills start rolling in.
      Get to work kids, there is ALOT of baby boomers!

  20. Akita
    Akita says:

    If a political science professor cannot express his or her views, then why bother. It is the nature of political science that the professor may have views that some people take offense. Deal with it folks.

    • Melissa Montoya
      Melissa Montoya says:

      Nope. But the kid may have violated rules, by secretly video taping. He should have followed protocol and asked the professor if he could record the lectures. As the professor has expressed in every interview since, he did not say anything during the lectures that he has not been recorded saying before. He is not ashamed of portraying an accurate representation of the world.

      • Ben
        Ben says:

        Accurate? So, all republicans are stupid loser racist old white men?
        Fiscal conservatism due to the fact that our government is bankrupting this country = stupid loser racist and the last refuge of old angry white men?
        Most liberals would never sign up to be a part of that kind of hate speech.

      • sad day
        sad day says:

        Wow, an adult going after a “kid” for possible violations related to videotaping. This is so awful!
        This is 1930’s black-listing techniques to intimidate the opposite view. Shame on all you!
        Teaching hate, indoctrination, what next….matching uniforms and whistles?
        This is hate and you know it.

  21. USC Mom w/ Greek Son
    USC Mom w/ Greek Son says:

    I have been in touch with people in the highest levels of the USC administration. They were admittedly blind-sided by the parent and alumni rage over Mr Sragow poor choice of words. Several large pledged gifts have apparently been rescinded over Mr. Sragow’s comments and SC’s own published statements on the matter. Expect a new press-release in the near future over this matter which they hope will calm the situation.

    Despite Mr. Sragow hate speech, my family forgives him and wishes him the best in his future endeavors!

  22. Changes our plans
    Changes our plans says:

    So sad to see such hate in a classroom. It has all been eloquently expressed here, but this has caused our plans for graduation gifts to the school. So glad our son is done, not sure when USC became Berkley.

  23. USC is Lost
    USC is Lost says:

    To those defending Sragow, the issue is NOT about his point of view. It’s about the lack of professionalism, hate filled stereotypes, and inappropriate language.

    The issue isn’t about expressing different points of view or freedom of speech.
    Differing opinions isn’t even close to the issue here. Not even remotely in the ball park.
    It’s the manner in which those “opinions” were delivered and the language and hatred that was used to deliver them. Not to mention teaching students lies and calling them “facts”. Teaching a class using 1-sided lies, and using language such as that should not be tolerated at an academic institution that wants to maintain a shred of credibility.
    The issue is about being incompetent at performing the duties of a college professor, and bloviating offensive words about other groups in a lecture that students are paying money for.

    If those words were used to describe any other race and group besides whites and republicans, he’d be fired on the spot.
    This statement by the Provost is like asking USC Trojans to respect the beliefs of white supremacists because they are entitled to their own opinions and beliefs too and should be able to express them. Or Muslim jihadists that want to nuc Washington. These examples are much more extreme, but do convey the issues with employing a hate monger.
    I’m sorry, but there is a line in the sand and this “professor” crossed it.
    This display was highly unprofessional and is unbecoming of a school that I would ever hold in high regard.

    As a USC alum I am deeply saddened by this and will no longer support or donate any money to this school.

  24. USC parent
    USC parent says:

    I am delighted to see that USC truly had made it to the ranks of a great university which challenges students to think critically.

    It is fascinating to read some of the comments of earlier graduates, especially the repetitive ones lacking any degree of acumen, to see just how far USC has come.

    Go Trojans. May your ascent to greatness continue throughout the 21st century!

    • sad day
      sad day says:

      He was teaching hate and you know it. He was teaching young adults to hate. it’s awful.
      SC, fire this bigot!

  25. Joe B.
    Joe B. says:

    I’m supposed to believe that this prof, who insults and maligns people with my political beliefs, who calls Republicans angry, stupid, racist losers, who thinks Republicans are a bunch of old, irrelevant SOBs, I’m supposed to believe he wants to dialogue with me? That he cares what I think? And, this is the key point, that he won’t let his very negative opinion about my beliefs and my party affect the way he evaluates my performance? And this from the people always complaining about chilling effects. Please. I’m not that naive. I’m with the previous poster, I can’t wait until the next alumni fundraising call to tell USC to condemn this inappropriate behavior or count me out.

    • sad day
      sad day says:

      And he is not educating, just ranting. I kinda wanted my kids to go to USC, not after this. He is not qualified to be a professor.

  26. Oil on water
    Oil on water says:

    If the six little words shown in parentheses were included in the provost’s statement, it would have helped to sooth hurt feelings.
    “Statements made by our faculty members are not endorsed by the University; indeed, we sometimes profoundly disagree with the statements. [This is one of those times.] Nevertheless, we firmly protect their right to express those views.”

  27. MG
    MG says:

    To all the self-proclaimed angry old white men on here who are flashing their wallets in protest and using withheld donations as a bargaining chip in this debate (i.e. implying that the outcome here is to be negotiated by money instead of rationality): shame on you for instantiating Professor Sragow’s views.

    • sad day
      sad day says:

      No, everyone is totally turned off by the hate speech. its hate, its violent and it should not be tolerated. The intolerance for anyone who has a difference of opinion. To say, “we will allow you to live here….” this is REALLY scary stuff. ALL OF US should be very concerned with Darry Sragow’s intolerance towards anyone who is not like him or doesn’t think like him. Nothing he said is confusing, its hatred…and we all know it.

      • Trojan
        Trojan says:

        Those targeted in his speech will call this hateful because it is a direct swipe. Fine, but I think it’s belligerent and immature to regard what is obviously political RHETORIC as an injustice so atrocious that it takes complete priority over the injustices he alludes to, such as voting fraud and systemic racism (issues none of the poor victims here have ventured to discuss). Perhaps if you were empathetic to the severity of those issues you would be as angered and jaded as he is.

        Don’t take a Trojan for a fool – the stereotype that old white people are racist is no exception to the truism that stereotypes come to exist for a reason. Racism was normative not long ago, and insofar as those around during that time are alive and well, racism continues to be alive and well. For some perspective, remember that slavery was eradicated from this country only 150 years ago (Emancipation Proclamation 1863), and that racial segregation was legal until 59 years ago (Brown v. Board of Education 1954). This is 1-2 generations back – think about whose political interests were being served when these disgusting social practices were lawful. Furthermore, the residual effects of that magnitude of systemic oppression and abuse are discernible to this very moment, and you expect empathy for those still benefiting from the distribution of wealth resultant of these atrocities because they were verbally abused by a liberal political science professor via a YouTube clip? Since we’re all so sensitive and politically correct now then, I think it’s time to give African-Americans reparations for all their ancestors’ unpaid labor.

      • USC parent
        USC parent says:

        sad day,

        Could it be the degree of anger (number of comments, HATE in caps) and dogmatism “everyone is turned off”–not so) you display is just what the professor is referencing? Universities offer a sanctuary for the expression of thought, just as the student videoing had an opportunity to do in class. Sacrificing free speech by feeding a video to the polarized masses is more a commentary on the student than the professor. True, this is no faux news material or anything Sarah Palin or Michele Bachman would endorse. Everything the professor said has been written about extensively and is common knowledge, albeit difficult for some to accept gracefully.

        Now, if the professor were running for the presidency of the United States and making a clear slur against 47% of the American population to curry favor with 1% in a private political fund raiser and not a political science class, such a video can be and was most appropriate.

          • sad day
            sad day says:

            There is no expression of thought, just hateful speech.

            The sad fact is the baby boomer generation has not saved a dime in retirement and they have not taken care of their health. Their solution? Let the generation who is in college right now pay for their retirement and their health-care costs. But that is a tough sell so they distract the conversation.This should be the topic in class, Why should this generation have to pay for the baby boomers who have not taken care of their health? For example, the professor’s pot-belly will cost the american taxpayer hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. Why should those of you in college today have to pay for that? The current generation in college is being asked by these baby boomers to support them. those of you in college now will have to work harder, and much longer. i feel sorry for your generation. These baby boomers are taking advantage of you and they do it by moving the topic. A very old technique.

  28. sad day
    sad day says:

    Let it be known that Mr Darry Sragow goes WAY back with the Democratic party “elite”. He is a true insider, working closely Dianne Feinstein, Alan Cranston to name of few….but what has changed his intolerance for anyone who as a difference in opinion from him. it’s very 1930’s and its really scary…..

    • USC parent
      USC parent says:

      sad day quote from above:

      “The sad fact is the baby boomer generation has not saved a dime in retirement and they have not taken care of their health”.

      Well, sad day, I am a wealthy early retired baby boomer–the proverbial self-made man AND an Ironman triathlete. Meet me at the next tri-race finish line and I’ll listen to your repetitive Bachmanesque rant.

      • sad day
        sad day says:

        So what you are saying is that the system WAS NOT broken but you decided to fix it anyways. yea right.
        The pot belly will cost a couple thousand bucks in chronic care. i work in the private sector in los angeles, my company along with many other companies now measure BMI of their employees because of the new health care law. When you give control to the government you lose something, thats called freedom.
        But how do you get the younger generation to support a boomer generation? Well, you DO NOT EDUCATE them, you just teach HATE. This is a very clear example.
        There is no educating going on in this classroom, nothing these young adults can use to further their lives. No hope, No positive outlook for the future, so sad!
        Why? because its about hate and you know it.

  29. USC parent
    USC parent says:

    I am dismayed and confused by many of the comments posted. The Republican party has released its soul searching review following their stunning defeat in the recent election and stated they have become irrelevant. They acknowledge the white bias and to some extent the anger of the extremists and Tea Party faction. What the professor said comports perfectly with the Republican self-appraisal.

    So I ask you angry posters, “what exactly was said you are so angry about and how does it differ from the Republican party’s recent self-assessment?”

    As far as pulling your kids, USC has become a highly ranked university. It is no longer the glory days Greek party school it was a generation ago. Perhaps some kids no longer fit in.

    • sad day
      sad day says:

      No, this was NOT an academic look as to how the republican party is out of date. this was HATE SPEECH.
      No, this was NOT an analysis of how the republicans lost the election, this was HATE speech.
      Angry posters? Why? he has stated he would like to hurt us….yea, that can make people angry.
      he stated he will “allow” us to live in California….please turn the mirror and look at yourself.
      as far as a “highly ranked university”….was that critical thinking I saw on the video? No, it was HATE speech.
      “glory days of Greek party school”? thats weird at best….must everyone be like you?
      this is HATE…..and you know it.

      • USC parent
        USC parent says:

        sad day,

        What was said that differs from the Republican party’s own published self-appraisal of being irrelevant and needing to embrace minorities, change positions on immigration, etc., i.e be “less white”. You know, appeal to the “47% who don’t pay taxes”

        Do you even know what your party concluded following their defeat?

        And please, no angry slurs towards me!

        • sad day
          sad day says:

          This was NOT analysis, this was HATE, and you know it. To teach young adults to hate is so terrible. there was no critical thinking, no discussion, To teach hate…..this should not be tolerated. Teaching hate towards any certain group of people is so awful.

          • USC parent
            USC parent says:

            His analysis is identical to the Republican Party’s post defeat. Are you suggesting the Republican Party is teaching self-hatred? Please review the Republican Party’s self-analysis before maligning the professor further.

          • sad day
            sad day says:

            No, there was NO analysis on this video. no “review”, no “discussion” regarding the republican party. Darry Sragow held a captive audience and preached hate. So awful. He stood up there and preached hate. To hate another person’s religion, to hate another person’s wife.

        • USC parent
          USC parent says:

          Sad day,

          Please review below excerpts from the Guardian referring to the Republican Party as that of “old, angry white folks” and the reasons for the comment. USC’s professor anticipated the defeat and provided accurate reasons for it–quite incisive critical thinking. I don’t see the justification for your rage and desire to “kill the messenger” as the messengers are all around you and the other enraged posters. The question I have is how have you missed the message for so long?


          Republican right weeps over Obama’s victory – then begins internal civil war
          The clash between diehard conservatives and modernisers will dictate the fate of a party which increasingly seems to appeal only to angry, older white Americans

          Paul Harris in Pella

          The Observer, Saturday 10 November 2012 07.39 EST
          Jump to comments (686)

          At an election night party in Las Vegas, Mitt Romney supporter Alicia Hayes, left, is comforted by her mother, Karen, as they learn of Barack Obama’s victory Photograph: David Becker/Getty Images
          The town of Pella, Iowa, looks an almost too perfect vision of smalltown America. Surrounded by a chessboard of prosperous farmland and with a bustling town square, lined with shops bearing the surnames of its first Dutch settlers, Pella feels like a throwback to a different age.

          But beneath its attractive exterior last week one could find some ugly sentiments on election day. “Obama is a Muslim,” said Shirley Schutte, 75. Was she sure about that? “I am. I am not sure he even should have been there [in the White House]. He has been a disaster.”

          Such a fervent belief is not typical of most Republican voters, whether in Pella or anywhere else in America. But it is not hard to find. One poll in Mississippi even found some 52% of likely Republican voters suspected President Barack Obama was a follower of Islam. Neither has the party leadership done too much to discourage equally outlandish ideas, such as Obama being born in Kenya. From business mogul Donald Trump to top elected officials, Republicans have carefully crafted a message of Obama as a radical “other” hoping to transform America in some dangerous way.

          Yet far from exiling Obama outside the US mainstream, many experts, now including leading conservative figures, believe the Republican party itself is being pushed into the political wilderness. The Republicans increasingly look like the party of angry, older white people. People like Schutte. And that does not work in America any more.

          As Republicans sifted through the wreckage of the Mitt Romney campaign, they saw collapsing popularity among fast-emerging ethnic groups, such as Hispanics, and key social demographics, such as young people. In an economy struggling with 7.9% unemployment, where more than half of voters believed the country was heading in the wrong direction and against an unpopular incumbent, the once fiercely effective Republican party machine only managed to craft a devastating defeat.

          Some say the reason is a simple failure to change in an America that is becoming less white and more socially liberal. “They look a lot more like a political party of the 1950s than a party of the 21st century,” said Professor David Cohen, a political scientist at the University of Akron in Ohio. “They are at risk of being irrelevant.”

          Some in the party know it. Even though the corpse of the defeated Romney campaign is still warm, a bitter fight has started to break out over its meaning in Republican ranks. On one side are the modernists, who understand that the party cannot afford to be seen as a backwards-looking ghetto for white voters. On the other are the nativists, angry at a crippled and ineffective immigration system, who believe that only a true message of pure conservatism will save the day. It is a battle for the soul of the Republican party and the first shots are being fired. “I think it is going to be a war. I really do,” said Larry Haas, a political commentator and former aide in the Clinton White House.

          Last week the Romney campaign in the key swing state of Iowa held a “victory” party in the capital, Des Moines. Right in the American heartland, in the very state that gave birth to Obama’s presidential ambitions in 2008, the great and good of the local Republican party gathered in a downtown hotel ballroom to celebrate their side’s expected win.

          But shortly after the local TV station announced Obama had won Iowa – in the end by a hefty six percentage points – Fox News said that the White House also would remain in Democratic hands. The mood of the almost entirely white gathering of several hundred rapidly deflated. Some headed to the exits. One woman muttered angrily to her companion: “It is the dumbing down of America.”

          This is the side of the Republican party that has dominated its internal politics for four years. It is a party that almost seems to exist in its own vacuum of rightwing thought. Infused with Tea Party radicals, it has backed hardline immigration laws in states such as Arizona that many Hispanics see as racist. It boasted two Senate candidates who made tone-deaf comments about rape that cost them otherwise easy victories. It is still male-dominated, yet finds time to take hardline ideological stances on female contraception and abortion. This is the party that appears implacably hostile to gay Americans even as last week four more states held ballots on gay marriage and all voted in favour. “Does social conservatism continue to be a albatross around the neck of the party?” said Professor Gerard Alexander of the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

          But it is not just social issues. On economics the Republican party plays host to a powerful and vocal wing of libertarians who wish to slash and burn government spending. They cling to a conservative world view that has forced previously extreme stances – such as abolishing the federal Department of Education and returning the dollar to the gold standard – into the heart of Republican thought. Not even the vast amount of cash that Republican big money operators poured into the 2012 race was able to have a major impact. Of the top 10 Senate candidates that political guru Karl Rove’s American Crossroads group spent the most on, just one resulted in a Democratic defeat. Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson backed eight candidates – including Romney – with around $60m over the whole election cycle. None of them won.

          To many observers, the Republicans are turning into a party that cannot win office. It has been dominated by the punditocracy of Fox News and the enormous influence of rightwing media stars such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. It believes it does not need to change, but must maintain ideological purity and run a true conservative candidate. In Romney it sees the failure of a moderate who did not really believe the conservative values he had to espouse to win his party’s nomination.They point out Obama’s victory was built on a superior ground game, which turned out its base. They can even say Obama only beat Romney by 50% to 48% – a sliver that only grows large in the undemocratic electoral college.

          Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer has emerged as one of the leading lights of this message. “The answer to Romney’s failure is not retreat, not apeing the Democrats’ patchwork pandering,” he thundered. “No whimpering. No whining. No reinvention when none is needed. Do conservatism, but do it better.”

          Limbaugh was more blunt. “I went to bed last night thinking we’re outnumbered. I went to bed last night thinking we’d lost the country,” he told listeners as Romney went down. But perhaps Fox News host Bill O’Reilly – for many fans the very incarnation of the average white man – was the most blatant: “The white establishment is now the minority … it’s not a traditional America any more.”

          But many are lining up on the other side of the trenches. Indeed, even Krauthammer acknowledges the party has a serious problem with Hispanic voters, who now make up the fastest-growing part of the electorate and went for Obama by some 70%. These are people such as Texas senator Ted Cruz and Florida senator Marco Rubio, who has already announced his intention to visit Iowa this month, effectively firing the first shot of the 2016 campaign. They also include former Florida governor Jeb Bush, whose last name is still a political handicap but whose Hispanic wife, half-Hispanic children and fluent Spanish are a major asset to dragging Republicans out of their white corner.

          As such figures rise, and perhaps bring with them a greater sensitivity over issues such as immigration, they will strike a blow for the reformers and the party’s makeup will come to better represent the wider American public. Yet it might not be that simple. In an economy still struggling with high joblessness and the threat of renewed recession still looming, convincing some of the party’s stressed base might not be easy. “The backroom people in the party look at the numbers and know they have a problem. But it is another thing to convince the base,” said Professor Shaun Bowler, a political scientist at the University of California at Riverside.

          Neither is it as easy as just shifting the ethnic tone of the party’s public image. Many Republican activists say that Hispanics – who often display a strong social conservatism around Roman Catholicism – should find a natural home in the party. However, many also bring with them a profoundly different sense of the role of government. The hostility many in the Republican party express towards government programmes can be just as off-putting to many Hispanic voters as their opposition to abortion and gay marriage might be attractive.

          It is not likely to be an easy process. Some believe Romney came close enough to victory to allow an even fight in the coming Republican civil war and thus ensure a protracted and painful debate that will stretch on for years. What the party really needed, some think, was to have nominated a died-in-the-wool ultra-conservative in 2012 such as Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich who could have led the party to an overwhelming defeat, forcing the reformist wing to triumph. But the selection of Romney denied them that piece of creative destruction, even though the party has now lost the popular vote tally in five of the last six presidential elections. “They are still maybe at the early stages of denial,” Bowler said.

          Democrats are largely celebrating the prospect of this fight. The glee among the liberal left has been unrestrained, ranging from serious political pundits, such as MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and film-maker Michael Moore, to the viral popularity of an internet site showing photographs of sad Republicans on election night called “White People Mourning Romney”.

          • sad day
            sad day says:

            Teaching hate to young adults is so terrible. He wasted these students time. they have a bright future. Sadly, this professor wants to change them so they hate a certain segment of society. SICK! This video demonstrated no critical thinking, no intellect, just HATE and its awful.

          • Dan
            Dan says:

            Romney was a terrible candidate for the GOP.
            The negative reaction was overdone. The GOP won house seats in many of the states Romney lost b/c he was a bad candidate for the GOP.
            You need to look at the House to better understand if the party is lost or not.
            Furthermore, the House will likely swing to the right much more so than present in 2014.
            Only 3 times in history has a second term president gained more seats in the house during midterms. And the stats aren’t in Obama’s favor as of present in other metrics.
            The GOP is doing just fine, and will likely win the presidency in 2016 after the next stock market big dip do to a lack of QE once tapered off. The economy is the preeminent issue right now and Dems don’t care about it at all.
            Hikes in taxes have historically had negative effects on the economy, something that JFK, Clinton and EVEN Obama have attested to themselves. You see a decrease in the tax revenues-to-GDP ratio after tax hikes.

  30. Old White GOP Guy
    Old White GOP Guy says:

    Hey Liz Garrett,
    How about putting your prior Common Cause Board of Directors experience back in your USC on-line biography so that everybody knows where you are coming from on this controversy?

      • Old White GOP Guy
        Old White GOP Guy says:

        Try this link:
        You will need to drill down in the website to find how Common Cause is anti-big corporation and anti-big conservative media networks (read Fox News).
        Redistribution of wealth is another of their major objectives.
        As an exercise for the reader, I put forth this challenge: try to find anything on the website that that mentions limiting the power of big unions. There is plenty of Sragow’s ideology present, albeit considerably more polished.
        Garrett was a member of the Common Cause Board of Governors a few years ago. Google her name and Common Cause for confirmation.

        • sad day
          sad day says:

          You should teach the political science class! You have demonstrated a depth of knowledge in a subject matter that Darry could never do. He could only rant about hate. You would be an excellent guest speaker because you would challenge the students to critical think ideas that they might not have been exposed to. Please submit your resume.
          And thank you for sharing your knowledge!

          • sad day
            sad day says:

            Dear Old White GOP Guy,
            Thank you for actually teaching something below,
            Could you expand on the topic of “wealth was built legitimately through participation in a free market system”.
            Also, Melissa seems to have missed class.
            Thank you Professor

          • Old White GOP Guy
            Old White GOP Guy says:

            Great Melissa. It sounds to me that you are a proud Trojan and have a very optimistic view of life. I liked that website too as it provides one input to the process of critical thinking.
            Did you accept my challenge to find mention of labor unions on the website? As an added incentive, I promise you that it does.
            Here is another website to aid the critical thinking process:
            It is a nice big corporation. Please do some critical thinking based research and post the results if you find answers to the following questions:
            1) Did the corporation’s success result in substantial funding of student scholarships for the immediate area surrounding USC?
            2) What evidence do you see on the USC campus of benefits from this corporation’s success.
            3) Do you think this corporation rightly deserves to and is worthy of participating in political power process?
            I await your response and hope you like the above website too.
            Go Trojans!

          • Old White GOP Guy
            Old White GOP Guy says:

            Times up/Keyboards off.
            The answers are:
            1) No, not this corporation. The gift was unrestricted. However, the Mork Family (Energy Corporation of America) did gift the university and specified scholarships to the community surrounding USC. There are many other donors with corporate based wealth: Viterbi, Qualcom; Marshall, Marshall Industries; Kaufman, Kaufman and Broad etc.
            2) David Dornsife’s $200M gift to USC was from wealth built through Herrick Steel Corporation
            3) Yes, given that this wealth was built legitimately through participation in a free market system

  31. Connie Mesch
    Connie Mesch says:

    Sragow was once an activist campaign manager in the Democratic vineyards. Sorry to see he has given up the hard work for the easier role of an “activist professor with campaign experience.” USC has several of these folks wondering around the halls of Annenberg. Law, and Dornsife.I I wouldn’t object if there were Conservatives also chosen for these adjunct positions, but it is unsettling to hear tht Liberals are networking throughout the campus. As a woman who worked professionally for 35 years I was particularly offended by his personal slurs on Mrs. Ann Romney. For this he should apologize.

    • sad day
      sad day says:

      His personal slurs against Mrs. Ann Romney really scared me too! I am a woman who has been working for 20 years and I am still working. His hatred was so ugly. This was no opinion, we have experienced true hatred.

    • sad day
      sad day says:

      Furthermore, this is not “liberals” networking throughout the campus, these are “hate-based” people networking throughout the university, just like we saw in Germany in the 1930’s.

      • USC parent
        USC parent says:

        So sad day,

        How did your horse do in the Olympics?

        What exactly is hate filled about stating Ann Romney is out of touch with the average American and seems like she belongs at a country club…at least one with members with horses in the Olympics?

        • sad day
          sad day says:

          Because that is not what Darry said, and you know that.
          Oh please, sticks and stones will break my bones…..

          Now, back to topic, this is HATE and that is why you have come forward to try to move the discussion. this is HATE and you know it!

  32. W. McGillivray '39
    W. McGillivray '39 says:

    As an alumnus who used to have pride in the University, I am totally ashamed of the administration for

    hiring and defending that ignorant bigot. Sragow. Don’t bother to send me any requests for money

    as long as he is on the faculty.

  33. sad day
    sad day says:

    This is HATE speech and everybody knows it.
    What’s next, rounding up all the “old white republicans” for the “safety” of the community and putting them in prison so the community is “protected”.

    George Orwell where are you? This University needs you !

  34. Jarrard
    Jarrard says:

    As an ALUM who formerly had pride in his university, I am totally ashamed of the administration which defends this
    idiot Sragow. Don’t bother to send me any requests for money as long as he is on the faculty.

  35. PRG
    PRG says:

    The guy is allowed his own opinion, you don’t have to agree. He is provoking thought and he does make some interesting points. If as a student you don’t agree, then challenge him. I don’t see the problem.

  36. College
    College says:

    I can’t decide whether the professor’s comments are more or less offensive than the University’s blithe reaction. While I am (unfortunately) not the least bit surprised USC is home to a liberal professor who would choose to make such inflammatory and biased comments, I am surprised–if not shocked–that the University has chosen to turn a blind eye. Had this professor’s remarks been directed towards a minority group rather than wealthy, white Republicans–does anyone seriously believe he would be permitted to continue teaching here? Today’s double standard with regard to political correctness and tolerance is farcical.

  37. Warren H. Ballaster, Jr.
    Warren H. Ballaster, Jr. says:

    The real problem is a professor with a huge ego and even worse 70s porn mustache.

  38. Scott
    Scott says:

    I am paying $65,000 per year for my son to be fed this hateful nonsense? The fact that the administration is not mortified by these statements is telling. Shame on USC. I am deeply disappointed that this shallow, talentless knave is tolerated and protected. The university is taking a major step backward by keeping this jerk on staff. Substitute “African-American” for “white” in his rant and try to defend him.

  39. C.W. Davis
    C.W. Davis says:

    Sragrow should be promoting the Republican party instead of maligning it. He obviously doesn’t care that California is in deep financial trouble and that people and businesses are leaving the State in droves because of the way the Democrats run the State. Be careful Darry, your pension maybe in jeopardy.

    • USC parent
      USC parent says:

      Hey C.W. I am old, wealthy and white and do note some of my friends are leaving the state, not because how the state is run, but purely for greed. They are leaving for states with no income tax.
      This profesor said nothing that the Republican leadership has not said about the current irrelevancy of the Republican highjacked by Tea Party folks–most of whom are angry.

      Hard to hear the truth I am sure or have your kids learn the truth about you, perhaps?

  40. Ron
    Ron says:

    When a professor uses such hatefilled language to describe a large category of people, it cannot help but cause members of that category in his classroom to feel marginalized. Sragow may claim that he welcomes being openly challenged in the classroom, but if a member of a group demonized by a professor can see that the professor so vehamently hates the members of the category to which the student belongs, that student can have a reasonable fear that if they spoke up to defend the group the professor is demonizing, that might cause the professor to judge the student accordingly which might bias the professor in assessing the student’s academic work.

    In short, if Sragow really believes Republicans are all stupid, a Republican in his classroom may not want the person grading his work and assessing his academic skills to think he’s stupid and hence would be more likely to shut up about his Republican point of view. Thus, such hate filled demonizing actually would have a chilling effect on classroom discussion. It would be more likely that the only people who would speak out would be people who agreed with the professor or at least wanted to be perceived as doing so.

    Such hate filled language used to describe entire classses of people thus is a threat to free discussion in the classroom. And whose intellectual journey is more important in the classroom: the professor’s or the students’?

  41. WHOME
    WHOME says:

    Prager 20130412 – 01 Throwing away the Dough

    Prager H1: USC political science Prof. Darry Sragow slanders republicans in the worst way. Dennis takes calls from parents worried about their kids in school… offers Sragow to come on the show in exchange for equal amount of time in his class.

    • sad day
      sad day says:

      Wait a minute, this guy is known for doing this AND he has been asked by Dennis Prager to come on his show? So, the university must have known about this guy……the university should be held accountable.

  42. USC is Lost
    USC is Lost says:

    The issue isn’t about expressing different points of view or freedom of speech.
    Differing opinions isn’t even close to the issue here. Not even remotely in the ball park.
    It’s the manner in which those “opinions” were delivered and the language and hatred that was used to deliver them. Not to mention teaching students lies and calling them “facts”. Teaching a class using 1-sided lies, and using language such as that should not be tolerated at an academic institution that wants to maintain a shred of credibility.
    The issue is about being incompetent at performing the duties of a college professor, and bloviating offensive words about other groups in a lecture that students are paying money for.

    If those words were used to describe any other race and group besides whites and republicans, he’d be fired on the spot.
    This statement by the Provost is like asking USC Trojans to respect the beliefs of white supremacists because they are entitled to their own opinions and beliefs too and should be able to express them. Or Muslim jihadists that want to nuc Washington. These examples are much more extreme, but do convey the issues with employing a hate monger.
    I’m sorry, but there is a line in the sand and this “professor” crossed it.
    This display was highly unprofessional and is unbecoming of a school that I would ever hold in high regard.

    As a USC alum I am deeply saddened by this and will no longer support or donate any money to this school.

  43. Old White GOP Guy
    Old White GOP Guy says:

    Sragow and Garrett are leftist liberal extremists woven from the same cloth.
    Notice that she didn’t say that this is one of those situations where she “profoundly disagrees” with the racist statements he made.
    No more contributions by me to USC until this guy is removed from the faculty.

  44. K
    K says:

    I can’t wait to see USC on my call ID, looking for money. That poor student on the other end will hear..no dime until I see that professor is no longer at the university.

  45. TK
    TK says:

    I’m another alum, and an old, white republican with a PoliSci degree. I’m saddened (and maddened) to see this kind of narrow-minded idealogue given a forum by my alma mater. I’d feel the same way if Glenn Beck were spouting his venom in an SC classroom. Professors should be free to speak their minds, and universities should be free to send them on their way if their minds are, as in this case, incapable of producing worthwhile thought. Constant, no-holds-barred, partisan vituperation is intellectually lazy, but the best that some people can manage. The two worst places for those people to be are in government, and at the front of a classroom.

  46. Dmilligan
    Dmilligan says:

    Shame on USC. This professor is academically lazy, vile, and simply filled with hate. He is not worthy of the title Professor at USC. He represents the worst in academic freedom and his continued employment denigrates a fine, less fine today, institution. Nothing will change at USC unless the Alumni stop writing checks. Every dollaar given to USC supports this man’s employment. Alumni – are you going to stand for this?

  47. K
    K says:

    USC Garrett, can I say very disappointing. the poly sic professor is an embarrassment to the university. Is that all you can hire for a professor? He can’t even discuss, educate, debate with any intelligence. You want to be so much like the Ivy League.Call your alumni constantly looking for donations and that is what my money will get. That professor was so amateur, there are better high school teachers than that piece of work. As an alumni I am so disappointed in you taking the high road.

      • John
        John says:

        The school supports Darry Sragow’s inappropriate language, hate filled comments about different groups, and unprofessionalism.

        This isn’t a freedom of speech issue. Sragow represents USC and is responsible for teaching USC’s students. He is an employee of the University and is responsible for behaving in a professional manner around his students. Students that pay top dollar to be educated.

        USC’s non-reaction is a passive endorsement of his words and statements. Sragow is a representative and employee of the University. If any employee of any business or organization misbehaves or engages in inappropriate conduct they are held accountable because they represent that business or organization.

        His conduct is clearly inappropriate in a classroom setting. It’s interesting that the University is going through great lengths to protect Sragow.

  48. Tommy
    Tommy says:

    As an alumni of the Dornsife School, it saddens me to see such a wild display of unsubstantiated bias and non-critical thinking from a supposed professor. When I was a student, I had several very liberal professors but I didn’t even know their politics because they taught critical and useful lessons on applicable subjects that were more meaningful than partisan politics. This supposed professor sounds like a bitter old man that’s angry at the world and will accept any audience willing to listen to him blather about politics. Cable news programs aren’t as brief or non-critical as this and they’re far cheaper than an education at USC! Get it together Provost Garrett, you’re a world class research facility leading the competition among schools on the Pacific Rim — and this is what you’re offering?

  49. ken NYC
    ken NYC says:

    And btw, this isn’t a first amendment issue. There is no threat that the government is going to censor him. This is a standards issue. This guy represents USC. This is viewed as acceptable code of conduct by the school? Really? employees are terminated for lack of professionalism all the time. You would think that this guy was an embarrassment to the University. Apparently not.

  50. KJM
    KJM says:

    I’m very disappointed in the Provost’s defense of this horrible excuse of an “educator”. There is a clear difference between having unpopular positions based on factual new information (e.g. “yes, we have always thought the world was flat, but you see, the curvature of the earth seems to indicate that… “) from those based on emotion and personal agendas. This professor clearly created an environment of intimidation and ridicule towards those of opposing viewpoints. I am alum and hereby withholding any further support of my alma mater.

  51. MG
    MG says:

    The professor could have been more tactful in his language, but I applaud his honesty. We are all in competition for power, and there are no rules in competition beyond those imposed by law. That’s an appropriate lesson for a political science lecture. Being raised in utter poverty by a battered single mother and then later mingling with the power elite as a student at USC, I am very much in touch with the power dynamics this Professor is describing, and I am more than anything perplexed that these things continue to be controversies instead of truisms. To the student who taped this – cry me a river. Leave your insular and realize that the injustices he is outraged about are infinitely more offensive than anything said in this video.

    • WHOME
      WHOME says:

      competition for power? by propagandizing young minds with racist and bigoted thoughts? at $50,000 a year? And what about abuse? every person who has gone through college knows there’s an unspoken line you don’t cross if you want to get a good grade.

      • MG
        MG says:

        “Propagandizing” is extreme and implies that USC students are blank slates with no critical thinking abilities. Also, favoritism in grading is a completely separate issue that was never implicated here.

        • WHOME
          WHOME says:

          Well, sadly, our youth were blank slates until the public school system got a hold of them. And favoritism in grading (unfortunately) does not have to be implied, most of the time it’s a given. (speaking from experience)

        • retired1
          retired1 says:

          Buy a clue, MG — USC students — in fact, ALL students, ARE blank slates — sadly they’ve already been indoctrinated by the far left by the time they leave high school.

          This so-called professor already had the agreement of probably two-thirds of the class when he spewed his venom. Must’ve been a real fun-filled bash-fest there.

          No wonder the student who taped Sragow’s rants did not challenge him in class. To do so would only have resulted in bad grades for the student. I applaud his attempt to notify the school of what was taking place and hope they change their tune where this Sragow character is concerned. If USC accepts this from Sragow,, it is undoubtedly accepting it from others who ‘teach’ at the school. NOT ‘cool,’ USC………not ‘cool.’

          • MG
            MG says:

            By your reasoning, all students are blank slates exclusively by virtue of being students. Thus, on graduation day, all these susceptible babies instantly become wise adults with strong convictions about objectively valid morals. Ingenious!

            The truth is that had the student expressed LOGICAL objections to the Professor’s stated positions, perhaps this objective exchange we’re all wishing for could have taken place. Instead he posted a video online – how productive. It truly shows that he is a young insecure sophomore. I would wager he is also a passive-aggressive roommate.

            I think it’s funny that everyone is amplifying the Professor’s tactless language and meanwhile I don’t see anyone attempting to recreate the Professor’s argument in logical form in order for it to actually be criticized for its content instead of its choice in words. Hint: replace the word “white” with “Caucasian” and then proceed.

            …of course I’m being sarcastic because unfortunately even those who have strong critical thinking abilities will be easily clouded by emotion. It’s just the human way.

    • marvgoux
      marvgoux says:

      “Applaud his honesty”? Sragow is a nothing more than a cowardly classroom bully.Why doesn’t he go on O’Reilly and Hannity where he would have to defend his kook ideas and couldn’t intimidate them with the implied threat of retribution? It’s because he likes having the deck stacked in his favor. He has an inherently superior position to his students and knows it. He can punish any student that defies him with the grade he gives them in his subjectively graded class. Sragow abuses his position with his racist hate rants that should be saved for drunken post classroom bull sessions at the 901 Club. Perhaps abuse by a male authority figure is normal and to be expected by you because of your sad dysfunctional upbringing. I would expect this unprofessional conduct at fucla but it has no place in a classroom and especially at USC.

      • MG
        MG says:

        That’s an interesting assumption, but my dysfunctional upbringing actually made me more anti-authoritarian, libertarian, and critical. Hence my success in spite of it.

        I am neither defending this Professor’s choice of words nor denying that retribution is a possibility. I certainly wouldn’t use that language as a USC professor, but above all else I would champion critical inquiry over dogmatism. Classes here are expensive and we expect quality. What I applaud is the content of the Professor’s claims. I think it’s important to highlight and interrogate the systemic racism that plays out in social power dynamics. Politics is about representation, about competing interests, about money, about domination, about competition for power. Sragow is explaining the methods employed by the dominant political figure – the wealthy white male – to retain political power. It turns out that this is done in a series of nasty ways that 1) can be fact checked and 2) anger Sragow to the point of compromising his professionalism.

        I wish those crucifying this guy would move past his poor choice of words and instead discuss the logical content of his stated positions. Until you do that, you are criticizing HIM instead of his POSITIONS and that ad hominem garbage is of no use to anyone.

    • sad day
      sad day says:

      You have “mingling” with the power elite as a student of USC? Oh please, what “power elite”? And they are on campus and in your class? You are watching way too much MSNBC. it is a university, nothing more.
      Power is earned, one EARNS power.
      Only people who cannot earn power turn to hate to try to fill the void. its an old trick.

      • MG
        MG says:

        I believe that 60% of USC undergraduates receive some form of financial aid which means that 40% of students pay full price, or nearly a quarter-million dollars. I do not watch television – I am logically justified in thinking that a family with that much disposable income falls within a high rung in the socioeconomic ladder. And actually, I did have a class with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s daughter.

        Power is also inherited through wills and trusts in the form of money.

        • sad day
          sad day says:

          oh please, “power is inherited ?”. i am so sorry that no one has ever communicated to you that hard work earns power. I have worked my entire life, I have supported my family to the best of my ability. I earned respect in my community through hard work. i earned respect of my two children by providing for them to the best of my ability. Respect and power is earned NOT inherited nor passed down. Look no further then Gov. Schwarzenegger. His life is a mess, he ruined his family. his kids have suffered. you would not want to be in their shoes!
          Success is not measured by how much “stuff” you have, its measured by what you have done in your life. That is why Mitt Romney was well-respected.
          Wills and trusts? please turn off the television. its the state and federal government you really should fear, they will take your “stuff”.

          • MG
            MG says:

            I agree that power can be earned, but power ALSO comes in the form of money. Are you really arguing that rich trust fund kids do not have a leg up in terms of power in this world? HAHAHAHA I’m sorry but I can no longer take you seriously. You are either a troll or just dumb.

        • Jess
          Jess says:

          Sorry, but MG is right. As a current student, I can attest that there are a large number trust fund babies here who couldn’t care less about their education–they’re just sliding by to make sure daddy doesn’t take away their credit cards. & after they graduate, they go work for daddy.

          • sad day
            sad day says:

            I feel sorry for both MG and Jess. Both of you are bitter and jealous of people who have more then you. Just because they have more does not mean their life is set. Your youth is getting the best of you.
            Respect is earned through hard work. You really want to go “work for daddy”, please, set some goals in your life, do something, dream big, Everyone knows who has earned it and who has not.
            Read the LA Times today, Business section, page 2. This man came to America with nothing!. He left Vietnam when the communists took power in South Vietnam. He settled in Los Angeles, couldn’t find a job, so he made his own way. He now owns and runs a 40million dollar business. he works EVERY DAY, seven days a week.
            This University has failed both of you for not inspiring you to do big stuff. you are young, do it now. learn something in college that will make your life better. STOP being bitter and jealous towards people who have more then you. Trust me, they have their own set of issues and huge problems that come with money.
            Dream big, i am so sorry this University has failed to inspire you and is preaching hate.
            Tomorrow morning in class, make them educate you, demand them to educate, and learn something that will better your future. Hate never betters anyones future.

          • MG
            MG says:

            I’m sorry but you don’t know me. I graduated from USC in 2012 and am a successful person in my own right. Judging from our exchanges on here and on your inability to even put together a coherent position, your maturity certainly does not exceed mine and it’s too bad that you are projecting your own lack of inspiration on here.

            I am not bitter and I am making my own way in this world. My claim that money is power stands independent of who I am or whether or not I even exist. It’s too bad that you can not understand the logic of that. You should do more intellectually stimulating reading than the Daily Trojan – for no amount of condescending holier-than-thou “life experience” will mitigate your inability to reason through something so plain.

          • Liz
            Liz says:

            Again, more comments to criticize an entire institution because of the comments of one or a few people. This is a funny comment section.

          • Liz
            Liz says:

            Again, more comments that denounce an entire institution because of the comments of one or a few people. This is a funny comment section.

      • MG
        MG says:

        Maybe, though as a minority I am admittedly biased against white men who are racist against minorities. Personally I think that all politicians are stupid only insofar as they believe their philosophies are objectively valid or absolutely true. The truth is that there is no “right” policy. The role of the politician is to serve as a proxy for his or her constituents, and this role exists to ensure that everyone’s interests are in some way represented in the public negotiation of pooled resources that necessarily persists as long as there is exists a body that collects taxes.

        • MG
          MG says:

          …and there is no “right” policy because not only is the composition of every constituency constantly changing, but also each individual constituent is at all times free to change their position (or remain the same, of course, which is much more common). Thus this constant negotiation must continue.

          • sad day
            sad day says:

            I feel sorry for you “MG”, this university failed you. You are so negative and filled with hate. Why are you “biased against white men”? What is that about? it’s 2013….

  52. ken NYC
    ken NYC says:

    What an absurd reaction. Does anyone believe for a millisecond that if a professor spoke in the same tone about women, blacks, Latinos, gays, etc as this guy does angry white people he or she wouldn’t be bounced off the campus in a heartbeat for violating speech codes? Where’s all the fretting over how the professor is abusing a position of power over the student? Of course these “standard” are only used to benefit liberals.

  53. retired1
    retired1 says:

    …USC may state that part-time teachers are entitled to air their views but THIS old hippie crossed the line — his so-called views are nothing but personal bias and name-calling. If I were an alum of USC I’d let them know there is NO WAY there would be further funding coming from me until their policies change.

    And if I were paying the freight for a current student, the kid would be yanked out immediately — not one more dime, USC, not one more dime!

    • WHOME
      WHOME says:

      I’m just shocked that they call this “expressing his opinion.” Did they even watch the video?
      And furthermore, it saddens me that are kids are exposed to this as being any kind of acceptable behavior.

      • retired1
        retired1 says:

        Based on the comments, below, the current ‘kids’ think it’s COOL — yeah, real cool – bunch of dummies!

  54. WHOME
    WHOME says:

    Athletic coaches have been fired for less. If you think this isn’t going to get as much media attention as sports, you could be wrong.

  55. Gabe
    Gabe says:

    This just shows we are top school as we have 60s radicals on staff. I wonder if he was part of the weather underground?

  56. EFGH
    EFGH says:

    Sragow says, “open debate and active student participation in my classes.” By choosing to do this instead of engage Sragow in discussion, Mr. Talgo chose not to exercise the “academic freedom” of which he speaks. I’ve disagreed and engaged in productive discussion with my professors on countless occasions; not once did they express any negative emotion toward me for doing so.

    • JG
      JG says:

      I understand what you’re saying. I even argued, in agreement with you, this same point with someone else. The problem though is that a young college student might believe that being subversive is going to somehow earn him (or her) a grade they didn’t want or deserve, and there’d be nothing they could do in recourse, so out of fear, some of them just put a lid on it. They shouldn’t, if you ask me, but they do and given that legally they’re adults, they’re really still just kids intimidated by the authority of the professor.

  57. EFGH
    EFGH says:

    “Oh, I don’t think I have/know what it takes to articulately defend my views against a professor who disagrees with my viewpoint. I know! I’ll record a video of him expressing his views, call it ‘suppression of academic freedom’, and send it to the media!”

Comments are closed.