Tech Professor's Controversial Article on Supporting the Troops - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Virginia Tech Professor's Controversial Article on Supporting the Troops

Posted: Updated:

Mickey Johnson is Vietnam-era Veteran who runs the "Support the Troops" Facebook page followed by more than 300,000 people.

Johnson posted a link to the controversial article written by Virginia Tech English professor Steven Salaita. The tenured professor wrote an article titled "No, thanks: Stop saying ‘support the troops.'"

The subtitle of the article: "Compulsory patriotism does nothing for soldiers who risk their lives – but props up those who profit from war." Salaita went on to say that "[s]upporting the troops is a cheerful surrogate for enabling the friendly dictators, secret operations, torture practices and spying programs that sustain this terrible economy."

"I've got a problem with what he says, but I have a real problem with him being a teacher at a state-supported institution," said Johnson. "He's very anti-American, in my opinion."

"I don't understand what the big problem is with giving support to those who are doing their job," said Ronald Postell, a freshman in the VT Corps of Cadets. "I was told by upperclassman, cadre sergeants, that there would be some professors that didn't really respect what the military is doing right now, that you should try and just stay on a neutral ground with them, but it definitely does surprise me."

Virginia Tech has been inundated with phone calls and emails and they're sending this response to people saying that in no way do his opinions reflect the university's.


"I'm a U.S. Navy Veteran and it's not very comforting, and rather hurtful, some of the things he said," said Larry Hincker, the VT associate vice president of university relations. "The institution does not share the opinions of this professor. I believe our university community does not share the opinions of this professor. The institution very strongly supports our veterans and our U.S. military and that this professor has a right to say what he wants to say however much we might disagree with him."

"We want people to continue to support our troops regardless of what this instructor, professor is saying," Johnson said.

There are people supporting Salaita on social media defending the article.

We tried to contact the professor but haven't gotten a response. He tweeted today: "First person to find a quote where I say I hate America or the troops wins an introductory primer on reading comprehension."