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Marxist professor fired for ‘enraging’ woke mob warns ‘identity politics’ are a diversion

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A Marxist professor who was recently fired from her university in Canada after “enraging the mob” explained to Fox News Digital why she believes identity politics have destroyed left-wing political thought by distracting from economic problems.

Frances Widdowson taught economics, justice and policy studies at Mount Royal University (MRU) in Calgary, Alberta, from 2008 until she was fired last December after more than 6,000 people signed a petition calling her a “racist professor” and demanding her termination.

Professor Frances Widdowson
(Credit: MOUNT ROYAL UNIVERSITY)

Widdowson, who said MRU “began to take on an ideological character” in 2016 with the rise of “wokeism,” stoked outrage among students and faculty in 2020 when she said BLM activists had “destroyed MRU” to such an extent that she “doesn’t recognize the institution anymore.”

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Widdowson described herself to Fox News as “a historical materialist, which comes out of the theoretical side of what would be called Marxism; so, a left-wing person.”

“I see many of the problems being faced by people as due to economic circumstances, not all these identity politics claims that are currently being made by trans activists, Black Lives Matter activists, gender feminists and so on,” she explained, adding that BLM is an example of what Thomas Sowell called “race hustlers.”

A protester waves a Black Lives Matter (BLM) flag during the demonstration in Los Angeles, California.

A protester waves a Black Lives Matter (BLM) flag during the demonstration in Los Angeles, California.
(Stanton Sharpe/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images))

The professor said she believes identity politics are “a diversion to distract people from focusing on the class-based nature of inequality, which actually is rooted in a lot of the developments that are happening in late capitalism.” She sees trans activism especially as a symptom of late-stage capitalism intended to divert enormous sums to the pharmaceutical companies.

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Describing trans activism as “the most extreme totalitarian element of wokeism,” Widdowson said the campaign against her began to mobilize when she organized a debate in March 2019 between trans activist Julie Rei Goldstein and Meghan Murphy, a person critical of trans activism, to discuss whether trans activism negatively impacts women’s rights.

Spectators display their support toward transgender and non-binary people during a Trans March in Toronto, Ontario, on June 21, 2019.

Spectators display their support toward transgender and non-binary people during a Trans March in Toronto, Ontario, on June 21, 2019.
(Anatoliy Cherkasov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Following the debate, Widdowson said a lot of professors started to argue that trans people at MRU were saying their humanity was being denied.

“And that really put a target on me as someone who was a person who was engaged in hateful and discriminatory type of speech,” she said.

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“We are entering into an increasingly authoritarian phase,” she said, warning that more and more people are conflating speech with violence. “People really need to take notice of what’s happening. And I guess the universities were the first sign that we were in serious trouble.”

When reached for comment about Widdowson’s firing, a spokesperson for MRU told Fox News Digital that “the university unequivocally supports academic debate and will always defend the rights of faculty related to academic freedom.”

“However, academic freedom does not justify harassment or discrimination,” the spokesperson added.

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