Marquette University, a Jesuit school in Milwaukee, plans to host radical communist activist Angela Davis for a lecture Wednesday night.
The lecture is part of a series of "inclusive conversations" the school is hosting in order to confront the challenges of racial inequality. "As a Catholic, Jesuit university committed to social justice," the university's website reads, "we seek to energize our campus and engage all Milwaukee's communities by asking, 'What is your freedom dream now?'"
Davis is most renowned for her career of radical leftist activism, involving leadership stints in both the Black Panther Party and Communist Party. Today, she continues to proclaim that "capitalism is the most dangerous kind of future we can imagine" telling the Los Angeles Times recently, "as long as we inhabit a capitalist democracy, a future of racial equality, gender equality, economic equality will elude us."
Davis is notorious for landing on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list in 1970 for fleeing police after she was charged with purchasing the murder weapon used in a courtroom shootout in 1970.
At the Women's March in January, Davis called on activists to become "more militant."
"Those who still defend the supremacy of white male hetero-patriarchy," she said, "had better watch out."
Her views on abortion and marriage openly contradict Catholic teachings. Nevertheless, Marquette is touting Davis as a "living witness to history" and featuring her remarks as a "distinguished lecture." Davis' speaking fee has previously been listed between $10,000 and $20,000.
This doesn't reflect a broader openness to controversial ideas at Marquette.
In January, I reported that university employee Chrissy Nelson had been actively working in her official capacity to obstruct conservative author Ben Shapiro's on-campus lecture sponsored by the school's Young Americans for Freedom chapter. Nelson implicated her superiors in the plot as well.
After being exposed, Marquette brushed the issue off in a brief statement, claiming to handle the issue "internally."
The school's College Republicans chapter declined to condemn Davis this week, rightfully noting their respect for free speech. Bafflingly, a group spokesman told the Marquette Wire, "Plenty of conservatives I know consider themselves feminists or in support of feminist movements, so I can say with certainty [protesting the lecture] would not be on our agenda."
Hopefully this reflects ignorance of Davis' shamelessly radical anti-capitalist worldview. If not, it's a poor reflection on the state of conservatism at Marquette that a College Republican chapter believes promoting Davis' brand of communist intersectional feminism, a philosophy that is utterly incompatible with the full spectrum of conservatism, is more important than questioning its school's decision to embrace it.
Marquette, of course, is a private school. Furthermore, hearing from people like Davis exposes students to the radicalness of contemporary liberalism, allowing them to better shape their own perspectives on important issues. But Marquette's intentions, revealed in their gushing descriptors, are the real cause for concern.
At Jesuit schools around the country, progressive understandings of social justice are pushed on students as unimpeachable doctrine. Marquette's decision to host a radical communist as a "distinguished" lecturer on the topic speaks to the proliferation of that trend.
In a statement to the Washington Examiner, Senior Director of University Communication Brian Dorrington wrote, "To provide you with context, Marquette University launched a year-long series of events this fall called the Marquette Forum to address local and national racial justice issues. With the recent civil unrest in our city and widespread hate crimes reported across our nation, we value this important dialogue, and we are committed to engaging in respectful and open conversations on the most important social issues in our community."
Dorrington declined to answer questions regarding Davis' speaking fee or whether the university plans to host any right-of-center speakers as part of its "inclusive" Forum.
Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.