WILLIAMSBURG, IA – An adjunct lecturer in the English Department at Kirkwood Community College in Williamsburg, Iowa has been forced to resign for his political views. The college removed Jeff Klinzman from the classroom when it became aware of his support his support for Antifa.
Responding to a tweet from President Donald Trump posted on July 27 that read, “Radical Left Wack Jobs who go around hitting … people over the heads with baseball bats,” Klinzman replied, “Yeah, I know who I’d clock with a bat.”
That was too much for the college, where Klinzman had taught English since 2010. The lecturer has never made a secret of his support for the loose network of local activists who oppose neo-Nazis, white nationalists, and right-wing extremist terrorists. He reaffirmed this support in an interview with KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids.
As an adjunct lecturer, Klinzman would not have received his salary once he was barred from teaching, so he was effectively forced to resign from his position.
The college administration denies that it removed Klinzman for exercising his First Amendment rights, claiming instead that he had become a security risk. “However, when the expression of views by him or any member of our community is perceived as placing public safety in jeopardy, or hampers our ability to deliver on our mission, we will always do what is necessary in service to our students’ pursuit of a higher education,” Kirkwood College president Lori Sundberg said in a statement, explaining the college’s desire to appease angry white nationalists.
Klinzman’s comments had prompted complaints from the conservative and overwhelmingly white community. Only 1.7 percent of Williamsburg’s population is nonwhite, and Iowa County, where it is located, voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Iowa has historically been fertile ground for white supremacists. Not only does Steve King represent the neighboring congressional district, but it is a base for the Gallows Tree Wotansvolk Alliance and the National Alliance, described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “the most dangerous and best organized neo-Nazi formation in America.”
KWWL News in Cedar Rapids reports that Kirkwood College has tightened campus security.