Vanderbilt University’s Philosophy Dept. Offering Anti- Police Course.. PHIL213

“The Vanderbilt Philosophy Department has a long and distinguished history of excellence and innovation in Philosophy” Well, here goes that history down the tubes. As of Jan 2015, the Philosophy Dept. is offering a course titled “Police Violence and Mass Incarceration”, surely to be a hit with those that believe police are evil and un-necessary. While I understand the concept, and certainly the freedom of expression, the extreme disdain for those charged with keeping order within our society is unacceptable. Law enforcements role is not to fix what ails humanity, but rather to protect it. If law enforcement fails and ceases to exist, so will order.

honky tonk protest

The irresponsibility of offering a course at a time when the climate towards police is at an all time low with assassinations  and multiple attempts, is contemptible. There won’t be a fair, balanced conversation. There wont be police officers present to defend themselves or the laws they enforce. As the syllabus shows, it clearly is a one sided, sick agenda.  (

Below Lisa Guenther


The instructor behind this disgusting propaganda is liberal Lisa Guenther, whose writings reveal a disturbing ideology. Ms.Guenther even was part of the ” why we shut it down and what we want” rally which she signed a statement in “solidarity” with those pressing for change.  On the “Liberate Nashville” website it states:

Our demands are threefold: 1) end police discrimination in Nashville; 2) decrease funding for the “prison industrial complex” and the militarization of the police force and reinvest that funding back into the community—into affordable housing, quality education, physical and mental health care, substance abuse programs, and food security; and 3) prioritize economic equity and empowerment for people of color.

See full statement at

This “movement” really isn’t about the police. It’s about the notion of those that don’t have, wanting what others do, and in this country if you forcibly take it, its called robbery. The police arrest robbers, hence the anger towards them. Look at their demands.. it sadly comes down to “empowering people of color”.   What’s pathetic is the lack of anger within the “people of color” community, where the answer truly is.

Under the  heading “scheduled readings”, a plethora of abhorrent articles are suggested including Salar Mohandesi – “Who Killed Eric Garner?”   where Officer Daniel Pantaleo is called a murderer, and Mariame Kaba – “Whether Darren Wilson Is Indicted or Not, the Entire System Is Guilty ”  where the writer declares “We should use the occasion of the indictment announcement to gather and to continue to build power together. This is how we will win.

These are a  small sample of what this course offers. While everyone has their right to express their displeasure with the system, they do not have the right to incite or further the ideology of hate.

Is this what is becoming the norm?   Vanderbilt  states “The university is consistently ranked as one of the nation’s top 20 universities by publications such as U.S. News & World Report“.   Is the vitriol spewed by its liberal Philosophy Dept. included in that ranking?  It truly is a sad time for America.

We at urge each of you to contact your local law enforcement union representative to let them know about this course as well as contacting the Chancellor of the University, and any alumni you may know. This is not freedom of expression, it is an expression of pure hate.

Chancellor’s Office
Phone: (615) 322-1813
Fax: 322-6060
211 Kirkland Hall
Nashville, TN 37240

Cathy Hinners

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18 Responses to Vanderbilt University’s Philosophy Dept. Offering Anti- Police Course.. PHIL213

  1. A thought has occurred to me, since the US leads the world in number of incarcerated citizens, perhaps there’s something to this course. You’re making total judgements about these courses based on their names. People like you are part of the problem. Instead of crying about liberals destroying America, why don’t you open your eyes and realize that while there are many wonderful and dedicated law enforcement officers on the job everyday, there are still more that shouldn’t have access to a gun and badge. If you’re too blinded by your politics and religion to see that then you’re the one that needs to stop with the incendiary rhetoric.

    • CH says:

      Thank you for the response. I, as a retired police officer find the contents of the course being offered by an “esteemed” university absolutely disgusting. I am sorry you are a confused, angry white man. As you can see I deliver facts, so please get your straight.

      • irisheri says:

        Perhaps to get your facts straight why not take the course and not judge the book by the cover!!

    • Tucker Blane says:

      There are many wonderful and dedicated LEOs out there who do a fantastic work. But it’s the vast minority (~1%) that we hear about for misconduct. There are roughly 700k police officers to protect over 300M people in this country. Out of that 700k, only about 7000 are dirty.

      Look at teachers for a second as I think it’s a fair comparison.
      Some teachers have been found to either be having sex with, or raping, some of their students. But we don’t say all teachers are pedophiles and perverts. So why do we automatically assume that every cop out there is a racist, fascist, and abusive pig who is only looking to get someone in trouble? Why should the 693,000 good cops out there get a bad rap for the 7000 dirt bags?

    • Anonymous says:

      you need to get a life and find out what being an American really is all about.

  2. Brandon says:

    Perhaps they should read Hearts Beneath the Badge by Karen Solomon to give them a little perspective…

  3. nancsue says:

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I am extremely disappointed in Vanderbilt.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Everybody has to make money. Hate she got free advertising

  5. Anonymous says:

    You probably need to look at Vandy a little deeper…The philosophy and divinity schools have much deeper issues than this.

  6. jeffery fizer says:

    While employed at Vanderbilt this liberal nonsense is one of the reasons I chose not to persue my Masters at Vanderbilt but a more conservative university.

  7. Popeye Th. Sailor says:

    It has little to do with liberalism or conservatism. It has everything to do with hate mongering and anarchy.

  8. A University that preaches anarchy needs to be shut down. They are not responsible enough to teach our children.

  9. Stephen Krogh says:

    I’m not sure I see the concern. Is the issue here that the course considers the very possibility of police brutality, or is it that the examples it is going to use are not cases of police brutality? Or, is the concern the timing of it all (this last one is the only one, so far as I can tell, that is made explicitly in the article).

    I ask, because I assume no one here would think that merely raising the specter of police brutality is tantamount to hate speech, nor would I think anyone here would deny that there are *some*, though assuredly comparatively very few, cases of police brutality in America (or really anywhere where the police are human). Further, we would surely agree that even someone who incorrectly calls an act a case of police brutality isn’t engaging in hate speech, unless we’d consider every misjudgment of the matter a case of hate speech. And because this post is clear on the concerns regarding hate speech, and the purportedly generally vile content of the course, I imagine there has to be something more going on than merely the fact that a course of the sort exists at all.

    I may well have missed something here, however. Lord knows it wouldn’t be the first time! Any clarifications that might be offered would be great!


  11. Anonymous says:

    Stephen Krogh: Well put. I don’t see where the hate speech is. I await clarifications.

    To Linda Johnson Wills: You may have to refine your definition of “teaching anarchism” to propose shutting down a school–pretty much any major research university, conservative or liberal, secular or religious, has at least one class that teaches anarchism. Furthermore, your argument is a straw man. The course does not teach anarchism; at least it does not purport to teach anarchism. Furthermore, “anarchism” is way too broad a term. You need to state which type of anarchism you are against.

    To CH: Whether you find the title of the course or its subject matter appalling, and whether you are or were a police officer, is immaterial to the issue at hand. You made a scathing assertion and no cogent argument, thereby reaffirming Patrick Salyard’s point.

    To Anonymous: about the deeper problems in Vandy’s philosophy and theology departments — you are right about the philosophy department (from an academic standpoint), but I can’t speak for the the theology department. Vanderbilt’s philosophy department can start making people take more logic courses, and some more analytic philosophy would be nice.

  12. Jan says:

    Well, I think you might be a little quick on the draw here. If there is nothing wrong with what the police are doing, then you should not be bothered this class at all. If public sentiment is wrong about the police, it’s just wrong.

  13. Jan says:

    Of course, if there is something she might say that has some credibility to it, then I can understand why you would want to keep that hidden. It’s been my experience that nothing is so threatening to an agenda than the truth. A well-educated person who knows their constitutional rights? Yeah, best to keep them quiet.

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