BAMN

REMOVE JANET NAPOLITANO as President of the University of California!

April 10 Immigrant Rights March on Washington

“In naming Janet Napolitano, the Regents have made a tragic mistake. They are sending a terrible message about the future of the University of California and the future of public education in our country. Given the pressures that critical thought, the independence of science, academic freedom, and intellectual creativity are under at this time, the UC President should be a great educator or researcher with a history of defending academic freedom and diversity.”
     – Online petition to remove Napolitano

BAMN has launched a mass campaign to REMOVE Janet Napolitano as President of the University of California and to replace her with a great educator who champions public, democratic education.

Do the following:

SIGN THE PETITION!

Napolitano is the WRONG choice for President of the University of California

Replace her with a great educator who will champion public, democratic education

WHEREAS:

  1. In naming Janet Napolitano as President of the University of California, the Regents have made a tragic mistake. They are sending a terrible message about the future of the University of California and the future of public education in our country.
  2. Given the pressures that critical thought, the independence of science, academic freedom, and intellectual creativity are under at this time, the President of the University of California should be a great educator or researcher with a history of defending academic freedom and diversity.

    Napolitano is nothing of the kind.

  3. Historically, the University of California is a crowning achievement of one of the world’s greatest systems of public education. Today, that great achievement is under relentless attack. The President of the University of California should be someone with an established history as a champion of the democratic norms of public education.

    Napolitano is nothing of the kind.

  4. Napolitano’s history has featured the roles of opportunist politician and mass deporter. Napolitano went from being governor of Arizona, the nation’s most immigrant-bashing state, to the head of the Department of Homeland Security. As head of Homeland Security, Napolitano presided over the largest wave of deportations in American history—some two million people, mostly Latinas/os “yearning to breathe free,” shipped back to poverty and terror under Napolitano’s auspices.
  5. Napolitano’s role as mass deporter should disqualify her from serving as the head of the University of California, a system of campus communities in whose student body, faculties, and work force international students and scholars, immigrants, and undocumented people form an integral, indispensable, and growing part.
  6. The naming of Napolitano as President of the UC sends a chilling message to all these members of the UC community: they are not welcome, they are to feel under constant threat, from the top of the system down.

    This message alone should disqualify Napolitano from serving as President of the University of California.

  7. As governor of Arizona, Napolitano carved out for herself a national reputation as a spokesperson on the “dangers” of immigration and “illegal immigrants” and as a Democrat who was a hard-liner on immigration and border security. Thus, the appointment as head of Homeland Security.

    As a Democratic governor, she opposed some Republican attacks on immigrants and supported others. She was, in effect, a “moderate” immigrant-basher. As an opportunist politician, Napolitano courted and received the political support of the single most notorious anti-immigrant and anti-Latina/o public official in the US: “Sheriff Joe” Arpaio.

    The messages sent by these aspects of Napolitano’s public record alone should disqualify her from serving as President of the University of California.

  8. Since everyone understands that attacks on immigrants in America are primarily a matter of attacks on the growing strength and pride of America’s Latina/o population, the choice of America’s leading deporter as University of California President inevitably sends a message of disrespect and fear to the UC’s thousands of Latina/o students, teachers, researchers, and workers and to the Latina/o communities of California, to whose future the UC system is vital.

    This racist message of disrespect and fear alone should disqualify Napolitano from serving as President of the University of California.

  9. It is common knowledge that in recent years, the top administrators of America’s leading universities have been chosen, not primarily because of academic or intellectual leadership qualifications, but rather because of their supposed ability to attract large sums of money from giant corporations and wealthy individuals.

    It will be presumed that this concern, and not any other, motivated the choice of Napolitano.

    But any supposed advantages of the choice of Napolitano as a fundraiser are vastly outweighed by the damage done by the chilling message of fear in the naming of the US’s largest deporter to such a sensitive and important position of educational and intellectual leadership.

  10. Napolitano, as head of Homeland Security, was responsible for the expansion of domestic spying, including the creation of a network of spies on the peaceful protesters of the Occupy movement. Her appointment as President of the UC must be seen, as well, as a message of fear directed toward the UC’s student protesters, whose history of struggle has been an essential factor in making real the UC’s promise of diversity, intellectual freedom, and egalitarianism.

    In reality, the choice of Napolitano is certain to poison and polarize the political atmosphere on UC campuses, as the UC President herself inevitably becomes a lightning rod for protest as a symbol of the very threats most students and faculty members regard as most endangering the qualities of campus life they cherish most.

    This alone should disqualify Napolitano from serving as President of the University of California.

  11. It follows that the choice of a figure such as Napolitano as President of the University of California does not only represent an insult to the Mexican-American and Latina/o population of the US, but is also an insult to the people of Mexico in particular and of Latin America generally.

    This alone should disqualify Napolitano from serving as President of the University of California.

  12. The essentially secretive process by which the choice of Janet Napolitano as President of the UC was made has resulted in a terrible and tragic mistake. The inappropriateness and dangers of this choice dramatize the need for the genuine democratic involvement of students, teachers, and affected communities in the future, in place of the tokenism of the essentially behind-closed-doors process of the past.

THEREFORE, WE THE UNDERSIGNED CALL FOR:

  1. The replacement of Janet Napolitano with a President of the University of California who will be a true intellectual and educational leader and a champion of the highest priorities and most important values of a great university: intellectual freedom, critical thinking, human creativity, diversity, and the principle that quality public education is essential to the fundamental democratic right of equal educational opportunities for all;
  2. A fully democratic process in the choice of the next President of the University of California, a process which fully and meaningfully represents and empowers the students, teachers, researchers, and all the communities the University is meant to serve.

SIGN THE PETITION

Oakland Technical High School senior Edgar Sanchez confronted Napolitano on her inappropriateness to lead the University of California given her deportation record. Napolitano was flustered and avoided the question: