After gunman Stephen Paddock targeted a country music festival in Las Vegas on Sunday, killing at least 58 people and wounding hundreds of others, UNLV assistant professor Tessa Winkelmann addressed a History 407 class attempting to make sense of it all.
One of Winkelmann's culprits in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history? President Donald Trump. As Campus Reform shows in this video:
"When he got elected, I told my classes three semesters ago, some of us won't be affected by this presidency, but others are going to die," Winkelmann said. "Other people will die because of this. [...]
“I don’t know that these events would have inevitably happened whether or not he got elected, but he has the same rhetorical powers every president has, to encourage or to discourage,” she went on. “So far, all he has done is to encourage violence.”
Campus Reform provided an anonymous student's reaction.
“We just experienced one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. History. It's a mile [sic] away, and we don't know what happened, we don't know why it happened, and we're pushing political agendas, and that's what this is about, taking advantage of the situation for political belief, when we should be uniting, healing as a community,” the student said.
“At every chance the president got, he condemned this violence. The professor is taking away from the dialogue that should be happening to attack the president,” the student continued. “Professors are in a position of trust, and they're abusing it to promote their political ideology or agenda. I think it's dangerous when you blame the president for a massacre and basically shut down students who disagree.”
Unfortunately, this is common fare at American universities. A Fresno State adjunct professor was fired for tweeting “Trump must hang.” Essex County College's Lisa Durden, also an adjunct professor, was dismissed after defending a Black Lives Matter group's decision to ban whites from attending a public demonstration. An Orange Coast College student was punished for filming a professor espousing radical views on campus.
A second anonymous student also provided reaction to Campus Reform about Winkelmann's rant.
“I think it is despicable that a professor at an institute of higher learning, one that is located in the same city in which this attack occurred, would use her platform to spew such hatred and divisive rhetoric,” the student said.
Campus Reform reports it reached out to Winkelmann for comment but had yet to receive a response at the time of publication.