Donor pulls funding for UH arts after Trump protest
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Donor pulls funding for UH arts after Trump protest

  • BRUCE ASATO / NOV. 13

    A donor to the University of Hawaii at Manoa Arts Department pulled his funding after the chairwoman of the department organized a sign-painting party for an anti-Trump rally in Waikiki on Nov. 13.

A donor has pulled funds supporting art students at the University of Hawaii after the art department’s chairwoman organized a sign-painting party on Facebook to protest President-elect Donald Trump.

Chairwoman Gaye Chan says she used her personal Facebook page to invite people to paint signs together on campus.

“Regardless of who you voted for, or if at all, there will be long-term results that will negatively impact us all,” she said on her Facebook page. “People are already experiencing misogynist and racist harassment. Let’s unite by showing solidarity by attending two events tomorrow.”

Chan’s post upset donor Mark Blackburn, a Trump supporter, who said he didn’t think a chairwoman of a department should use state property to promote a political agenda.

“It doesn’t pass the smell test, in my book,” Blackburn said. “I said you know what, I don’t think this is right, and I’m going to vote with my checkbook on this thing.”

Chan didn’t violate any university policies with her Facebook post, and professors regularly participate in protests over telescopes built on mountains held sacred by Native Hawaiians, genetically modified organisms and other issues, university spokesman Dan Meisenzahl said.

“It’s a university. It’s an institution of higher education. You’re supposed to debate ideas,” he said.

Blackburn estimates he provided at least $40,000 for scholarships and programs for art students at the university over the past couple years. He invested money to start GalleryHNL, a pop-up art gallery that showcases students’ work, and has spent money on airfare to fly students and their work to galleries in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and New York, he said.

Meisenzahl said Blackburn’s direct donations to the university were closer to $14,000.

The difference in estimates could be due to expenses Blackburn incurred opening an art agency outside the university which benefited students, Chan said.

“This guy is trying to limit free speech with his money,” said Alan Ness, a graduate who obtained his masters in fine arts from the university in 2008. “The universities are already underfunded, and now this guy is just exacerbating the problem by pulling his funds for the arts because he doesn’t like what the arts are saying.”

Chan told The Associated Press she drafted the Facebook post on her own time and didn’t use any university resources. The sign-painting happened on “a piece of concrete in a public space that any member of the public can use,” she said.

Chan thanked Blackburn and his wife for their past contributions to the art program, adding that she has no animosity toward them. She said dwindling funding for the arts have led academics such as her to try to raise funds from outside sources.

“The increasing privatization is very dangerous for public education, and it could be in this case swayed by funders who will try to redirect what our educational mission is,” she said.

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    • This will hurt students more than tenured faculty. That is the unfairness of it. But look…if you want to see misuse of state property to subsidize mindless propaganda, check out the horrible Hawaiian “Studies” Dept. That has been a scandal for years but the UH would not dare touch any of it. The PR dude is a real hypocrite. And he knows it.

        • I disagree, I respect Allie for her fortitude in saying what she thinks, and many times makes very valid points.
          Obviously, there are times when this is not true, but, again I appreciate much of her ideas albeit sometimes over the top.
          What she has not learned to date, the remaining 10 years at UH will clue her in.

        • Oh come on. The most horrible thing? Please explain what Allie did that was so horrible? At least she gets involved when not studying or working.

        • I agree gonegolfin, I think it is good that the young participate in these discussions. Don’t always agree with her but her points are generally well thought out. I am just surprised she is still here and not protesting with the tribes over the oil pipeline. Wasn’t there a call for all native Americans to join in support?

        • ….and the most horrible thing to come out of the forum are those posters who believe everything they read.

        • IRT: Gonegolfin. Dude let me enlighten you so that you can no longer post ignorant comments. Allie is a HE and not a SHE. Allie is a HIM and not a HER. You are respecting someone who is being untruthful and, most likely, a paid flamer for this site. Do you not know that HE creates a lot of internet impressions that the SA sales people use to sell ads?

        • Freedom of Speech, of the Press, and of Expression is enshrined in the First Amendment of our Bill of Rights. This trump supporter is trying to squelch one of our great freedoms. Thank you allie,you do make thoughtful posts, though I may not agree with you.

        • I have made comments before but I always see the name of ALLIE so can somebody enlighten me and tell me who the heck is ALLIE…i see her name popping up all over the place in the local blogs or comment section with people criticizing or supporting her or him or who ever it is….is she a UH grad or what ever…….just wondering for my own curiosity…thanks.

        • This Trump thing is ridiculous. Again I voted for Hillary but all this cry baby stuff needs to stop cause there ain’t anything you can do about it so move on. Hamilton sucks too, how would you like to take your family to see a play and get harassed, and they talk stink about Trump people give me a break.

        • Freedom of speech sure but don’t cry when political supporters pull their donations it’s their rights to do so too. Free speech screw the funds no cry.

        • 2008 UH fine arts grad Alan Ness avers, “This guy is trying to limit free speech with his money. The universities are already underfunded, and now this guy is just exacerbating the problem by pulling his funds for the arts because he doesn’t like what the arts are saying.”

          The putrescent stink of entitlement such as emitted by this flatulent snowflake is an example of the reek now wafting from many a college and university campus.

          I do fervently hope our 45 th POTUS will successfully encourage Congress to resurrect the House Un-American Activities Committee to shin the klieg lights of televised hearings into these snake pits of treason masquerading as institutions of higher learning.

          Goodness knows a revived HUAC would soon find itself in a target rich environment.

        • I am grateful for the UH taking in a legitimately indigenous Mandan American. I had scholarships and I am appreciative of the many wonderful donors who enhance academics at our university. And yes, I have the right to tell the truth. The world needs it.

        • The Hawaiin communities I know are wonderful. They are a very diverse lot. Thousands are devout Christian. Hawaiian “Studies” at the UH wants everyone to bow low before their hatred of the USA and free markets. Most Hawaiians disagree with that approach. Oddly, UH Hawaiian Studies is heavily subsidized by the public they hate so much.

        • Allie, I agree with you on this point. The Hawaiian studies program is deeply problematic and this Art program is obviously problematic in the same way. The faculty keeps costing the school money due to its loudmouthed staff. The Hawaiian Studies teacher that cost the school millions in a lawsuit filed by a former student that can now never have to work in his life and now an art teacher who just screwed her students out of scholarship money. I would have liked my kids to take art at UH but I bet that money could be better spent and used at Chaminade University Art Dept.

      • “”if you want to see misuse of state property to subsidize mindless propaganda””

        Maybe they should cut funding for that program and the arts

        The people who supported Shillary supposedly advocate acceptance and tolerance, but apparently are sorely lacking it themselves.

        • Thanks. The public just needs to be aware of what they are paying for at the UH. Most Hawaiians, and I teach for a leading Hawaiian-serving school, deeply resent the fraudulent practices of the UH Hawaiian Studies Dept. UH faculty deplore it and laugh it off. Maybe. But it is costing the public plenty.
          Most Hawaiians are Christians, are loyal citizens of the USA and just want a better life for their children. They should be heard as much as a few pampered, ill-educated ideologies on the public dole.

      • serves the program RIGHT! Finally! Allie it’s UH faculty at fault, there’s no one else to blame like you Liberal Democrats are at good at blaming everyone else except yourselves! “smh”

        • Student body President should demand a cut in Faculty pay to make up the loss of donor money. You Democrats play the Pied Piper’s tune and your student followers reaped your bad actions. No common sense

      • TRUMP WON So put on your big girl panties and help make America great again. I can hear the crying Dems all the way to the mountains. I will also pull my funding as I don’t support your Clinton foundation ethics

        • drumpf lost by over 2 million votes.
          So stop lying about how he won.
          the archaic electoral college, voter suppression that disenfranchised legal voters and other tactics including some very dubious vote counting such as in Wisconsin where one district reported a greater vote count then registered voters is a glaring example when they “corrected ‘ it drumpf lost about 10,000 votes so the thuglicans didn’t win they stole it.
          So much for supposed christians. what happened to biblical injunction that the neds can never justify the means?
          Hypocrisy is what thuglicans have instead of principles. lies instead of honesty and a raw lust rather then maturity.
          Where were these complaints when whack job conservatives ( forgive the redundancy) were demanding government money for nutcase speakers at universities around the country.

        • Boots, virtually everything you stated could also be a description of the democrats. Perhaps you should step back from your party loyalist position as you may see all of the flaws that exist in both parties.

        • What is false.
          That Hillary won the popular vote by over 2 million votes?
          no that is fact.
          Show where I am wrong. You can’t. so just resort to your usual thuglican mantra of lies and insults.
          Reality seems to be a false concept for thuglicans.
          Just like honor, honesty, humanity and reason.
          thier mantra is money, lies, power, lust, hypocrisy and degradation.

      • When I arrived to teach at the U of H Art Department, the first thing that struck me was how racist the faculty was. This was and is a reflection of how organized Hawaii is along racial lines. Chair of the department picked this up growing up in Hawaii and its a bias that automatically dislikes a Republican, or anyone not a liberal local Democrat. She is a social justice warrior not a professional artist. There is a big difference. It’s not a First Amendment issue. Blacky is no saint either.

      • Here we go again with shibai from an utterly clueless millennial. “This guy is trying to limit free speech with his money,” said Alan Ness, a graduate who obtained his masters in fine arts from the university in 2008. “The universities are already underfunded, and now this guy is just exacerbating the problem by pulling his funds for the arts because he doesn’t like what the arts are saying.”

        No Alan, he is not trying to limit free speech as you mistakenly think. He is exercising his rights to donate money as he feels appropriate. Just as you do not like Trump and protest, he doesn’t like Trump protesters so pulling his funds is his protest. Deal with it and the consequences of your actions.

        As we have seen over and over and over, America’s weakest generation in college and on the job. We should be instituting spaying and neutering for all clueless people.

      • It is nonsense to say the students were participating a free speech event. The indoctrinated students were encouraged by their indoctrinator to participate in an event to express the anti-Trump views the of indoctrinator, Chairwoman Gaye Chan. It was completely one-sided. It would have been free speech if Chan had encouraged the students to express their personal views of the election on canvas or signs without telling them it had to be a protest against President-Elect Trump.

  • using state facilities where one is employed, most likely using state owned materials, paint and resources to reinforce the liberal indoctrination of gullible youths and students.

    priceless.

    oh, wait, it cost $40,000.

    it’s the dawn of personal responsibility and consequences for one’s actions.

  • Actions have consequences. Sadly, the students will suffer more than anyone else. Hopefully, faculty and staff at UH will consider this in the future as the “free and open exchange of ideas” applies to all. Just because one person feels a certain way, doesn’t make it right, wrong, good or bad. There will be others who have different view points.

    I don’t necessarily agree with the donor in pulling the funding, however it is his right to do so. The department head should have been able to foresee that there may be folks who have different political viewpoints and may react unfavorably to the way/place she organized her political function.

  • It’s probably pretty common for people to go through the same stages that I went through. When I was in college I was pretty liberal to the point of occasionally participating in protests, no doubt influenced by professors. After going out into the real world I eventually have become more conservative as I witness my taxes being squandered by our governments. I had one honest professor who told the class that he tried to make it in the private sector but quit after a few years as it was too hard. Many of professors live in an insulated environment and have become out of touch with the real world. And, we let them instruct our children.

    • Yup and same for many (not all) who are employed by the government. The private sector can be challenging. However very rewarding, but it takes a special person to be successful in the private sector.

      • I had an America Hating UH professor. Hated him and the class but needed the grade. I’m pretty sure he was a card carrying communist that I had sworn to defend my nation against. UH and all public universities need to do some housekeeping and rid themselves of this scum.

        Teaching the youth in our schools to hate the country they live in is not a productive way to run a country or be involved with a society.

    • And the reason why Hawaii private schools, DOE teachers, UH professors and administration, business professionals and pretty much all parents in Hawaii strive to send their kids to private school then go to a mainland college. It is expensive to send their kids to private school and then mainland college but they know it is worth it to give their kids their best chance in this world. There are always exceptions as the really gifted and motivated will overcome adversity and eventually reach their potential or with the extreme problem kids, doesn’t matter where you send them, they will fail but for everyone else this story is just one more piece of evidence of why UH is in the lowest tier. Keep politics OUT of UH and focus on the students education. And for someone to compare politics on campus between UH and Berkeley as similar, yikes, that is like saying UH football is very “similar” to Alabama football. Both have players with jerseys, helmets and use a football but beyond that there is NO comparison.

  • It’s Blackburn’s money and if he chooses not to donate because of Ms.Chan’s political activism, too bad. Get placards from Open Society Foundation off shoot or funding?

    • IRT Cojef, it would be very special if Mr. Blackburn donates his funds to the College of Tropical Agriculture, Dept. of Plant Sciences now that the 9th Circuit Court has ruled against the Counties banning GMO’s, so the University can continue its outstanding basic research on GMO’s.

    • Yes they do. Now it is up to the Donald to deliver. I won’t hold my breath. I believe we will be in for some tough times. Hopefully in 2 years the whites who voted for the Donald will have waked up as the economy falls like a lead balloon. Generally happens with republican presidents. Economic downturns plus a huge increase in red ink.

      • I didn’t hold my breath for any president… They both are the same thing… Gangsters. Plain and simple.. Gangsters.
        Obama Shove health care down our throut, Trumps gonna shove something our way either we like it or not…

        • I don’t know if there is a “gripe against whites” however there is a consensus that the Caucasian vote in the US, and in KEY swing states is what got Trump elected over Hillary. It is also accepted that a single person’s vote in the US is NOT equal to another single person’s vote. For example, all the voters who voted for Hillary in California and Hawaii are not equal to to voters who lived in States like Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, etc. Trump won the electoral college but Hillary got more individual votes. Bush2 defeated Gore the same way in the past was well. Even though the percentage of Caucasians in the US is decreasing, the electoral college does NOT take into account for the growing non-Caucasian voters who tend to live concentrated in only a handful of states like California or to a much lessor extent Hawaii.

          I have NO personal gripes, I just hope Trump pulls federal funding for the useless, special interest money pit Oahu rail project and he finds the insurance problem by using free market forces with regulations against price gouging or monopolistic health insurance and hospital practices to make health insurance reasonable. Trump can focus the feds for the true gap group who cannot afford health insurance and not like Obamacare that forced the entire insurance industry to follow a federal mandate, and like pathetic Pelosi said, “you have to pass the law to find out what is about”

        • Inverse, do you really think that a person’s skin color should be a determining factor in the way they vote? I think it’s the way democrats have treated “people of color” in the past, but is it the right approach going forward? How about treating everyone like an independent adult instead?

      • Not all “The Whites” voted for the Trumpster. If you are really worried about this country try not to label people and vote for parties like the Green Party or the Libertarian Party and take back some of the power from either one of these failed institutions who do not look out for anyone but corporate interests. The Democrat party is funded by big pharma and the Republicans by the Military industrial complex. Both parties have overlap and neither one look out for any of us. It is just political posturing and general bs. The very liberal folks out there and the very conservative ones too; you are my countrymen and I want us all to focus on getting things right not name calling. Lets take the power back to the people and away from these two parties.

  • Mark Blackburn did the right thing by pulling funds supporting art students at UH. The event organized by Chairwoman Gaye Chan was not a free speech event; it was a partisan political event to protest President-Elect Trump. Students who participated, whether they wanted to or not, were expect to go along to get along with the Chairwomen. One can only imagine the grade students would receive if they painted signs supporting Trump.

    • Agree — assuming that Mark Blackburn would have also pulled his funding if the protest had been pro-Trump. Profs can protest all they want, but as Ronin006 says, they shouldn’t drag students with them. Critical thinking is an emphasis in the UH System, and an essential criterion is objectivity and fairness. There’s no room for bias of any kind in classrooms.

  • Wah, wah, wah Mr. Blackburn, go take your ball to another school !! YOU are a typical Trump supporter, narrow minded, unable to grasp the concept of Free Speech unless YOU agree, and ignorant. Even President Elect Trump has DEMONSTRATED his words are not necessarily what his policies will BE !! Are you gonna take your support away from Trump when he DOES NOT defeat ISIS in 30 days, or build a YYYUUUUGGGGEEE Wall paid for by Mexico ??

  • Yeh you’ve drunk the koolaid. I wonder if you will be trying to kill everyone that goes after Hillary and the corrupt treasonous Clinton foundation in the coming year.
    And all the officials that take money away from Sanctuary cities that promote anarchy and illegal acts.

  • Glad the university did this. Trump represents the worst of society. Artists have always expressed their views on political and social matters.

    Too bad for the loss of funding; but, it seems the donor is about as thin-skinned as his president.

  • Does anyone else find it ironic that someone is holding a sign that states, “Love Trumps Hate”? Over the past couple of weeks all we’ve witnessed has been the Left’s hatred of Donald Trump, that has included destruction of private property and violent protests. What happened to the Love? Only available to your choice? I’ll admit he wasn’t my choice, neither was Clinton, but I’m open to giving him a chance.

  • David Lassner the UH president sent a letter out to all faculty concerned about an increase in intolerance and harassment. Not sure what he is trying to say. You be the judge:

    To our UH System ohana:

    Many within our statewide UH community are concerned and disturbed after last week’s national election and uncertain over the directions our nation may take. It is at times like these that we need to remember and recommit to our core values.

    We will not permit intolerance or harassment based on race, religion, immigration status, national origin, gender, LGBTQ+ status or disability. We take pride in being our nation’s most diverse university. We stand for aloha.

    If you encounter intimidation or harassment around you, please report it to your campus authorities. If you feel threatened or experience difficulty coping, request help from your campus support staff or other qualified professionals. I’ll be working across the system to identify and communicate how we can better support those who may need assistance on our campuses.

    This election revealed stark divisions among peoples’ views of problems and solutions. Now is a time for us to listen to one another. We achieve mutual understanding through the thoughtful and respectful exchange of viewpoints. We stand for free speech and free expression.

    Many have expressed frustrations over the uneven impact of the economic recovery. But fewer seem to recognize that higher education is the single most important solution to equipping those who have been left behind. We stand for accessibility and excellence in higher education.

    Our work is the foundation of a more positive, safe and successful future for our students, our communities and our planet. We will achieve success through our steadfast commitment to our core values and our support of one another.

    Aloha,
    David Lassner

    This message was sent on behalf of Office of the UH President.
    Please do not reply to this message.
    It was sent from an address that cannot accept incoming email.

    Announcement ID number: 1479227398-23554
    Announcement distribution:
    – All faculty, staff, and students at all campuses

  • Freedom of speech! Freedom not to agree ! Pay for your own supplies. Gather at the chairwomans home if she wants to organize. Poor art dept. Chairwoman should have thought about consequences. Haha

  • “This guy is trying to limit free speech with his money,” said Alan Ness, a graduate who obtained his masters in fine arts from the university in 2008. “The universities are already underfunded, and now this guy is just exacerbating the problem by pulling his funds for the arts because he doesn’t like what the arts are saying.”

    Limit free speech?? What in the world these kids and professors are learning in school today? You dont do protest on things because it was not in your favor…
    That’s what voting is… Welcome to the Adult world where You are accountable for your actions… Blackburn has every right to pull the plug on whatever he wants… ITS HIS MONEY!!! Right or Wrong put it aside… ITS HIS MONEY. He can do whatever he wants with it.. So don’t call Blackburn like his the wicked witch of the east…

    Not a Trump fan either…

  • Maili Elementary School Art Department could use the donation if you need some where to donate Mr. Blackburn. Thank you from a parent with his daughter in the art department.

  • Maili Elementary School Art Department could use the donation if you need some where to donate Mr. Blackburn. Thank you from a parent with his daughter in the art department

  • What happened to freedom of speech and expression. This is an institution of higher learning. People, don’t patronize Mauna Kea Galleries – let’s see how turn about is fair play

  • What a great learning experience for the entitlement generation. It’s your right to do whatever you please and freedom of speech lets you say whatever you want. These idealists will condescend on anyone in disagreement. Ironically that is the definition of a bigot and sometimes justice is done in a way you never see coming.

  • “Chairwoman Gaye Chan says she used her personal Facebook page to invite people to paint signs together on campus.”

    If she had invited people to paint signs at her home, no problem. The use of State facilities or supplies (like UH property or a UH letterhead) to promote a political ideology is wrong and David Lassner should speak up about this.

  • “It’s a university. It’s an institution of higher education. You’re supposed to debate ideas,” he said. Debate is fine but to seems to be more leaning towards a political protest. As the University has gone “left” so has my support for donation requests (i.e. Schindler School of Business, routine calls for support, mail outs). Perhaps it may be best for the University’s Administration consider that many “…doesn’t like what the (liberal) arts are saying.” and stand up and support those of us who are moderates. Per Chan’s comments, perhaps she can now coordinate a promotional initiative to make up the shortfall… something that the private sector is often tasked with. Just saying… 🙂

  • Only the beginning. Censorship will occur. At first casual liberties will start rolling back. No one will really notice. How can they? The stock market is up and keeps going up, the dollar is strong, America is fine. Behind all of this immediate gratification for the very wealthy, policies will spring up to steal personal rights, freedoms, and democracy like a thief in the night. Of course, it also begs the question if too much freedom, too much entitlement, has gotten us to this very spot.

  • “THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES BY STATE OFFICIALS AND STATE EMPLOYEES VIOLATE
    THE STATE ETHICS CODE:
    1. Using state time, equipment, supplies, or state premises for campaign activities or campaign purposes.
    4. Using state computers or e-mail accounts for campaign purposes.
    6. Using one’s state position to give unwarranted advantages or preferential treatment to campaigns.”

    so, since her Facebook account was the source of the campaign invitation, was the professor’s Facebook page ever maintained or accessed via her state computers; were supplies from the art department used (why the proximity to the art department); is the professor using her position as state employed professor in organizing her gullible students into an anti-trump campaign?

  • Blackburn does not understand academic freedom–or the First Amendment for that matter. He is free to deny more donations–peanuts, in my opinion–but so are teachers on their own time free to express themselves. Blackburn’s actions fit, though, because his baby Trump does not understand such basic concepts, either. Today, Donald is upset at the humor directed at him–Blackburn better get ready–but he’ll have to get used to it. But I digress. . . .

    • Just as well Blackburn has his freedom to choose to donate or not to donate…it’s not a given. Likewise Chan has her choice to exercise her First Amendment right. As I commented earlier now you simply use your initiative and find and exercise alternatives to make up the $ shortfall.

    • Pray what the first amendment has to do with this controversy? People disagree politically all the time. You express your opinion; I express mine. I give money to those I agree with; I don’t give money to those with whom I disagree. That’s the political process, that’s the American way.

  • I give to a number of recipients including educational institutions. I give because I believe in their missions and visions. I believe that, in the long run, they accomplish good. I’m sure that I may not always agree with how they use my contributions but I trust that they will make good decisions in the broad term. I do not want recognition for doing so and I certainly would not stamp my little feet every time I disagreed. (btw: $40K is fairly small potatoes in that kind of giving.) I don’t want to be on Boards of Directors, I don’t want people to know my name. I want kids to develop themselves and to be successful; even when that disagrees with what I might think.

    I can’t imagine what would impel a donor to become involved with such a public disagreement. Was he “paying” for only the “right kind of Art?” Good riddance. I need to speak with my accountant.

  • There are so many right wing trolls here. 1) listen to what trump has said and look at who he’s appointing — he’s a racist and a hate monger 2) if you live in Hawaii and don’t like immigrants then maybe you should move to somewhere like Kentucky, 3) Blackburn only donated 14k not 40k and that was over years –small potatoes 4) he can take his money and shove it– he was basically donating to tie his personal art gallery to up and coming local artists so that ostensibly he could represent their works. Conflict of interest?? 5) a lot of the profs at UH are super liberal but they have represented interests like fighting against the Japanese internment, fighting against low frequency sonar which kills whales and other Marine life, and preserving the Hawaiian language and culture.– if that’s what liberals do then we need them and leave the conservative side to the “businessmen” like blackburn 6) the prof used her PERSONAL FB page and the people met in a public place and used private materials– no misuse of public funds. So overall this is a non story — small time donor was pissy because people have their own opinions and he thinks he should own them because of his donations. Lame.

    • klasless ..Where you been? Can you say President Trump? I know it’s hard but you can do it. Absolutely every decision made by Trump will be loudly protested. Any sign of weakness will simply invite more. Trump should approve Keystone in his first week in office.

      • Your comment is awaiting moderation.

        klasless ..Where you been? Can you say President Trump? I know it’s hard but you can do it. Absolutely every decision made by Trump will be loudly protested. Any sign of weakness will simply invite more. Trump should approve Keystone in his first week in office.

      • Klastri has been in mourning since Hillary was buried in the landslide by which he repeatedly said she would win. I think he was buried along with Hillary and it took him two weeks to dig out from under it.

  • Blackburn didn’t approve of the art dept. chairwomen to “use state property to promote a political agenda.” All the dept. chair has to do is prove it wasn’t state supplies (paint, paper, brushes, etc.). I can understand if Blackburn is contributing funds to the art dept. to fund the student’s projects and get upset with the dept. chair who decides to use these supplies for her personal agenda.

    • Maybe he’s looking at the whole picture and making some logical assumptions about what was really going on…The University staff member held the event on the university campus. The event was entirely political and completely one-sided–If there is a Trump supporter among her friends, it’s clear they are not invited. What are the odds that she never mentioned this event in the classroom? If I found myself donating to a group, and the group’s leaders started holding events that I would be completely uncomfortable attending (regardless of whether it was their “free time”)…I’d stop donating also. Why make anything more out of this issue?

  • It is nonsense to say the students were participating a free speech event. The indoctrinated students were encouraged by their indoctrinator to participate in an event to express the anti-Trump views the of indoctrinator, Chairwoman Gaye Chan. It was completely one-sided. It would have been free speech if Chan had encouraged the students to express their personal views of the election on canvas or signs.

    • Your being ridiculous. This was free speech on free time. Guess what? Intelligent, educated people don’t support fascists like Trump. Newsflash! Does that mean we now have to make sure people don’t get an education and we need to silence intelligent folks? … and 1930’s Germany ensues. But you and your boss Bob McDermott would be fine with that I’m sure.

      • Kriya, you apparently are suffering from a bad case of Three Monkey Syndrome, which seems to afflict liberals only. The students at UH are not getting an education; they are being indoctrinated by far left liberal faculty as this case so vividly reveals. Think about it for one minute. The head of the department encouraged art students to join the event to protest Trump’s election. The students did not simply decide to do it on their own. Clearly, they are being manipulated by the faculty instead of being educated on how to think for themselves. Those who do not see this certainly are suffering from Three Monkey Syndrome.

        • Not to mention that he won a majority of the votes from people making over $50K, I believe–A great many of whom are college grads.

  • The only thing more disgusting than Blackburn and his actions are the arrogance of those celebrating their own ignorant joy of this fascist openly trying to limit and punish free speech in this amazing country. Shame on you and on all your ignorant hateful supporters in this disgusting thread of comments.

  • “It’s an institution of higher learning. You’re supposed to debate ideas.” That is, until they conflict with the liberal agenda. I wholeheartedly agree. Using a state-funded school to promote an agenda doesn’t pass my smell test either. But they’ve been getting away with it for so long that they consider it as almost a birthright.

  • Neither side is wrong in this case. Chan has a right to exercise her free speech and actions (protesting) and she did it. fine. Blackburn has a right to exercise his free speech and action (deciding to not donate money to the art department) and he did it. What’s the big deal? One of the beautiful things about our country is the freedom we have to do these things.

  • The chairwoman should receive consequences for her actions. The art department really needs the money and her actions hurt the University. Unfortunately the Art Dept
    @ UH is not very good and does not need bad publicity.

  • After reading most of these comments I have come to the conclusion that the donor donated to the wrong venue. worked around the Art Department for a couple of years and you need to understand these are free thinkers and nothing is taboo. He should donate his money to the School pf Business or something mare conservative (hate that word). Too much indiendos. Chan did only one thing wrong, painting on the sidewalk, if it was a sidewalk!

  • “This guy is trying to limit free speech with his money,” said Alan Ness, a graduate who obtained his masters in fine arts from the university in 2008. “The universities are already underfunded, and now this guy is just exacerbating the problem by pulling his funds for the arts because he doesn’t like what the arts are saying.”

    Alan Ness, If you want to donate your money instead go right ahead. This guy has decided for his own reasons why he no longer wishes to donate & thats up to him. You have your master degree so obviously you’re making a TON of money….pay up..!

  • “This guy is trying to limit free speech with his money,” said Alan Ness. Actually, I don’t think that’s true. If you read what he said he wants a balance of ideas not just the liberal slant that Ms. Chan was promoting. Personally, if I had put up the money that Mr. Blackburn did I would probably have done the same thing. I though universities should be a place for debating opposing ideas but it seems that the greater representation of liberal professors and political correctness has mostly eliminated any conservative ideas. I think left-wing liberals are far more likely to limit free speech than conservatives do.

  • I don’t think anyone did anything wrong. The professor engaged in an artistic exercise of free speech in painting signs, and respectful debate is an integral part of the university experience. The donor withdrew a donation; but didn’t demand that anyone be fired or that similar conduct be prohibited. Two people had two different political views and expressed those views in two different and perfectly acceptable ways.

  • chan should be protesting in her chosen field . in .ART not politics. come on UH, consider.. the silent majority who voted …we said stop these words misogynist????these are the progressive agenda .. …

  • Donations are a gift to an institution, not meant to press personal agendas….they are supposed to be from the heart to support the institution, without strings attached.. It was childish behavior for Mr Blackburn to take his marbles back and go home because he did not like the way the game was now being played….He only managed to hurt students and himself acting so selfishly.

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