Robert Jensen is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Texas, a radical who opposes the war in Iraq, American military reprisal for 9/11, even minimal precautions to protect U.S. borders, any semblance of capitalism, and any restrictions on race-based preferences in hiring or education. He regards the war of Islamic radicals against the West in general and America in particular as a justified war against imperialism.
In a recent article on Web publication Alternet, Jensen dismissed U.S. efforts to bring democracy to Iraq and claimed, all evidence to the contrary, that America’s real intention is hegemony over the Middle East. He endorsed and supported Ward Churchill’s analysis of 9/11 (Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens) on CommonDreams.org, Z-Net, and Counterpunch. He rejoiced in the fairly minimal setbacks the U.S. has experienced in Iraq, referring to the war as a “Defeat for an Empire” in an article posted on CommonDreams. He has urged that “God condemn America, so the world might live.” He condemns Israel’s efforts at self-defense, referring to its “brutal occupation of Palestine.” He has criticized Michael Moore’s film Fahrenheit 9/11 as being “too conservative.” On racial matters, he is narcissistically flagellant on the subject of “white privilege,” a posture that he can use to mount attacks on merit-based hirings and school admissions, and even the economic system itself. He recites Ward Churchill’s erroneous claim that the U.S. intentionally infected Native Americans with diseases such as smallpox (as has long since been demonstrated, Lord Amherst, an English general, considered doing this in 1763; that it was done by American forces has passed into leftist dogma, without foundation). Racism, for Jensen, is something we can “never forget.”
Jensen is a member of the radical Nowar Collective and the Third Coast Activist Resource Center. The Nowar Collective boasts among its stalwarts such leftists as Rahul Mahajan and Zeynep Toufe: Mahajan is a staunch critic of U.S. efforts to contain terrorism and assist the growth of liberal democracy, while Toufe has condemned the U.S. war in Iraq and the growth of capitalism across the globe.
Jensen’s academic performance at Texas has come under fire by his colleagues as well as those outside the university. He has been accused on the Professor Watch List created by the Young Conservatives of Texas, a student organization, of using his Critical Issues in Journalism class as a forum for indoctrinating students into socialism and a denunciation of “white privilege.”
In an introduction to a recently published collection of his speeches, Jensen, expressing his contempt for America, writes: “Citizens of the United States are citizens of the empire—not an empire in exactly the same fashion as the Roman or British versions, but an empire all the same, reaching for global domination through the use of military and economic power. The consequences of this imperial project have been grim for many people around the world—those who have been the targets of U.S. military power; those who have lived under repressive regimes backed by the United States; and those who toil in economies that are increasingly subordinated to the United States and multinational corporations. Scratch the surface of U.S. rhetoric about its quest to bring freedom and democracy to the world, and one finds the suffering of the people who must live with the reality of U.S. foreign policy.”
Jensen is the author of the book Citizens of the Empire: The Struggle to Claim Our Humanity, a harsh critique of American post-9/11 policy, the War on Terror, and the Bush administration. He has also authored Writing Dissent: Taking Radical Ideas from the Margins to the Mainstream (2001). He co-authored Pornography: The Production and Consumption of Inequality (1998), and co-edited Freeing the First Amendment: Critical Perspectives on Freedom of Expression (1995).