INDIANAPOLIS — A private college in Vice President Mike Pence’s home state of Indiana is facing backlash after offering a “Trumpism & U.S. Democracy” course that described the president in class materials as a purveyor of “sexism, white supremacy, xenophobia, nationalism, nativism and imperialism.”
Now officials at Butler University in Indianapolis are doing damage control after conservative news outlets picked up on the description of the fall class, which also indicated students would discuss and “potentially engage” in “strategies for resistance” to President Donald Trump.
“As a result of the recent media coverage, the University has been the recipient of numerous concerns about the course,” Butler Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Kathryn Morris wrote in a letter posted to the school’s website. “Just as I support this course, I would support a course that is complimentary of the President. Butler offers a variety of courses that tackle controversial topics. Like any University, Butler should — and does — promote an environment of critical inquiry and engagement on controversial and unpopular topics.”
Campuses have been a hotbed of activism since Trump’s election. That includes efforts to block speeches by provocative figures tied to the alt-right, a fringe movement that helped propel Trump into office and uses internet memes, message boards and social media to spread a hodgepodge of racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny and xenophobia.
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But Indiana has been comparatively placid. While students at Butler first started registering for fall classes last month, the course description — which has since been edited to remove the incendiary verbiage — didn’t garner much attention until former Indiana state Sen. Carlin Yoder, a Republican, tweeted it out on Tuesday.
By Thursday, the university was receiving considerable…