Zumbrunnen then shifted the conversation to academic freedom, saying the UW system “encourages instructors, like me, to create an atmosphere in and out of the classroom in which students can express themselves and participate.”
âWe work hard at UW-Madison to defend the concept of free speech and take seriously any allegation of bias or mistreatment for expressing an opinion,â he said. âTalking about race and racism, assessing individual prejudices and systematic prejudices, or oppression, is hard work, and it is necessary work in our world. ”
Despite the challenges, Zumbrunnen said UW-Madison is able to put in the effort and continue the âfearless sifting and winnowing of ideas until we get to the truth.â
Ahead of the meeting, Senator Lena Taylor and Representative LaKeshia Myers, both Democrats from Milwaukee, issued a joint statement, saying they did not like “the addition of speakers like Chris Rufo, who has publicly deducted his desire to turn discussions of systemic racism into a salient political issue with a clear villain. ”
“Translation,” Taylor said in the press release, “Black people who want an honest conversation and an assessment of the impacts of slavery and their allies are the bad guys.”
She encouraged the committee to prioritize the truth, rather than listening to the naysayers who she says dirty matters of race, diversity, inclusion and equity.