By David M. Greenwald
A series of anti-trans emails from Sacramento City College math professor Robert Crawford has prompted a “full investigation” according to a statement from the College’s PIO.
Kaitlyn Collignon, Communications and Public Information Officer from Sacramento City College, told the Vanguard, “Sacramento City College and the Los Rios Community College District take any accusations of discrimination or harassment very seriously.”
She added, “We are beginning a full investigation into the incident and communications in question, and will take all appropriate steps to protect the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff.”
The series of emails that the Vanguard saw began in response to a Fall Ethics Symposium that took place last week end at Sacramento State entitled “The Ethics of Providing Health Care.”
An announcement was sent over the Sacramento City College Faculty and Adjunct Faculty listservs.
Replying to the listservs, Crawford on Saturday using his campus email said, “We should stand against castrating boys and we should imprison any doctor who cuts off healthy girls breasts. This is an evil that we should all be against. No childs fantasies about being the opposite sex/gender should be entertained. Let the kids grow up and figure out who they are without being bullied into radical surgeries and hormone blockers. For Christs sake, stop this madness.”
Another faculty member responded, “No, we shouldn’t be against it in every case, nor is it evil. You’re wrong. There are some young people who DO know they were born in the wrong body and know who they are and who they want to be.”
This prompted Crawford to respond in a series of emails attacking transgender people, transitioning, another faculty member, and COVID vaccines.
In one email, he said, “Tell me how they know they are really the opposite gender? They’ve never had the body of the opposite gender so how do they know this? I’ll wait….”
He then attacked a faculty member in the Sociology Department claiming that she “plays for the other team.”
He wrote, “She’s a double agent parading as a union rep when in fact she helped the admins coerce the pseudo vaccine on people who didn’t need or want it, and didn’t help our faculty members when they were being fired for not taking it. I suggest we vote for new leadership that isn’t compromised by his/her own Leftist/tyrannical ideology.”
He then returned to the issue of transitioning and wrote, “With all the people detransitioning and hating their parents for allowing them to butcher their bodies in their naivete as youths, we need to look far more skeptically at “doctors” and others who would encourage radical surgeries and puberty blockers onto children. Follow the money.”
He later added, “Its also time to admit that the vax mandate was unnecessary as the pseudo vaccine doesn’t prevent spread of Covid, COVID is not a threat to our 20 something students, and that this tanked our enrollment and hurt our reputation as an institution that is supposed to respect science and freedom of choice. The powers that be that initiated such draconian measures on staff and students should be held accountable for their tyranny and irrationality!”
The Vanguard reached Robert Crawford, who stood behind his emails.
He told the Vanguard, “Feel free to publish my comments as they are. I stand behind them 100%. God is my witness and judge in this life not the latest fashions. I am called to speak up for the innocent and defend them.”
While the college has pledged a full investigation, it is unclear just what they can do.
UC Davis Law Professor Ash Bhagwat told the Vanguard that, had he been addressing the communications to students, “that would be really problematic because presumably he might have transgender students, and I don’t see how he could do his job if he’s saying bigoted things towards students who would then feel like they, they wouldn’t get a fair shake from him.”
He said that “you can’t punish people just because they engage in bigoted speech.” At the same time, “Where things get complicated is the fact that he’s using the community college’s email system.”
He added, “The problem becomes, if you are known to hold bigoted views and you’re a professor, you arguably become incapable of doing your job because the group that you’re, you’re biased against, why would students from that group ever feel comfortable taking your class.”
When asked about a hostile work environment, Bhagwat noted that, while he is not an employment law expert, there could be a claim under Title VII for discrimination.
“Hostile work environment is a Title VII claim for discrimination. But you have to be discriminated based on a protected category,” he said. “Being offended is not being discriminated against based on a protected class.”
The college did not comment further and the Northern California ACLU did not have anyone available for comment.
While the email string that the Vanguard saw began last weekend, other emails have reportedly been sent a year ago prompting complaints.
One recipient was adjunct faculty member Christina Gifford.
She told the Vanguard, “This is a man who is so aggressive about this issue that he responds to unrelated email threads to rant on the topic to the entire faculty. As an educator who has trans and non-binary students, it sickens me that they could be subject to his hateful rhetoric in his classroom.”
Gifford added, “If you replace ‘transgender’ with Jew or African American, his comments would be atrocious. I don’t see why this is any different.”