Albert Ponce

Updated: Mar 15, 2020

After a public lecture on race and politics in the United States in October 2017, Albert Ponce, political science professor at Diablo Valley College, was harassed and threatened. His lecture was strategically edited, then circulated around right-wing news outlets.

Ponce himself has spoken out against his and others experiences: threats to their physical safety, job security, and academic freedom. NPR's Anya Kamenetz reported in April 2018 that Ponce and his colleagues are "urging the board of governors of his community college's district to adopt a resolution in support of academic freedom, making clear that the colleges will stand behind its scholars no matter how provocative their work, as long as they are grounded in research and evidence." In a later July 2018 interview with Salon's Chauncey Devega, Ponce described his experiences in detail. He called the attacks against him a "blitzkrieg" as the talk circulated quickly through the right-wing "outrage machine." He stated: "[The right-wing networks] hit all the key people to have me fired. But at least I had some assurances from the college President and other administrators here on my campus."

However, Emma Whitford of Inside Higher Ed reported in August 2018 that Ponce's case now demonstrates how college administrators are split on how to handle harassment against faculty. In mid-August, Ponce received yet another threat to his physical safety. Faculty in the English and social science division of the faculty senate passed a resolution that urged Diablo Valley President Susan Lamb to "publicly denounce any such threat to faculty, staff or students." Lamb responded that her public denunciation would only escalate the situation, and therefore declined to do so.

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