Jason D. Hill

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Jason Damian Hill is a Jamaican-American professor of philosophy at DePaul University in Chicago.

Childhood and career[edit]

Hill was born and grew up in Jamaica.[1] He describes himself as "mixed race" in Caribbean terms, but "perceived as being black in America."[2] He immigrated to the U.S. in 1985 when he was 20 years old,[2][1] and eventually became a U.S. citizen. Hill has written extensively about his journey to the United States, most notably in his last book, We Have Overcome: An Immigrant's Letter to the American People. Hill, a gay man, has credited Ayn Rand's work with helping him come to terms with his homosexuality, especially as someone who grew up in Jamaica, a country he describes as "the most homophobic culture in the world."[3]

After coming to the United States, Hill earned a PhD in philosophy at Purdue University[4] and eventually became a professor at DePaul University, where he teaches courses on ethics, political philosophy, and American politics. With regard to his intellectual principles, he has stated he is committed to moral foundationalism, moral universalism, and the absolutism of reason.[5]

In addition to his academic publications, Hill has written opinion pieces for Salon, The Federalist, and The Hill, among others. He has also made appearances on national media on a variety of occasions, which included interviews on Fox News and NPR.[5] He is also president and CEO of the Institute for Immigrant Assimilation.[5]

Politically, Hill has defined himself both as a conservative Democrat[6] and as a conservative independent.[7]

Opinions and beliefs[edit]

On racism in the U.S.[edit]

Hill has written that he has experienced racism, but does not consider himself a victim, stating that "you encounter racism, you deal with it, address it and move on." [2] In his most recent book, We Have Overcome, he responds to Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between The World and Me, arguing that Coates' book "reads primarily like an American horror story and, I'm sorry to say, a declaration of war against my adopted country [the U.S.]."[8] He has argued that the U.S. left promotes victimization of people of color and immigrants, telling them that "they are incontrovertibly oppressed by whites, that there's a new form of oppression since Donald Trump became president."[2] He argues that it is not "resurgent racism" that has emerged after Trump's election, but rather "moral hysteria and hyperbole on the part of a far left that wants to paint racial minorities as helplessly under the yoke of white oppression."[2]

On Chicago street violence[edit]

In an opinion piece published in The Hill in May 2018, Hill addressed Donald Trump to ask him to suspend the Posse Comitatus Act and deploy troops to the city of Chicago to address gun violence. In this piece, Hill describes Chicago as a city "under siege" and gangs as "terror cells" and "nihilistic institutional organizations that invade the sphere of civilized life." Gang violence, he argues, makes a mockery of President Trump's power over the nation, writing that "the potency of [Trump's] presidency is ridiculed when thugs and barbaric criminals take it upon themselves to establish lawless fiefdoms, usurping the law and order on which [the U.S. Republic] was built and upon which its continued existence depends, as they kill innocent lives."[9] Hill asks President Trump to save Black and Brown lives by "unleash[ing] those troops" in the city, "not to instill fear, but as the insignia of urban civility and order." [9]

On higher education and liberal arts colleges[edit]

On the subject of higher education and U.S. universities, Hill has argued against the academic freedom of leftist professors and scholars, stating that they cannot be argued with and should be "shut down".[10] In an article published in The Hill under the title "A Professor's Call to Shut Down Our Nation's Universities", Hill argues that U.S. colleges are "becoming national security threats" and should be defunded, disbanded, and rebuilt "with conservative principles--that is, values advocating individualism, capitalism, Americanism, free speech, self-reliance and the morality of wealth creation."[11] He states that leftist academics are "waging a war against America and teaching our young people to hate this country", and that they represent "the gravest internal threat" to the U.S.[10]

On gay marriage[edit]

On the subject of gay marriage, Hill defends the rights of same-sex couples to marry, though he critiques the gay community for its failure to abide by the values of traditional marriage. In an article titled "Loveless, Narcissistic Sex Addicts: A Gay Man Critiques His Community", Hill argues that gay marriage will be "a colossal waste of time, a hopeless undertaking doomed for failure" for as long as gay men in the U.S. continue to choose "open relationships and polyamorous dalliances", stating that "most gay men are sexual addicts."[12]

On Palestinians, and response[edit]

On April 16, 2019, Hill published an article in The Federalist in which he argued that Palestinians should be stripped of their right to self-determination and of their right to vote. In his article, Hill argues that Israel has a moral right to annex the West Bank, and to either contain or expel Palestinians from their land. Hill argues that "not all cultures are indeed equal": Jewish culture is morally exceptional and should be given "unconditional space for the continued evolution of [Jewish] civilization."[13] Other cultures, he argues, are "abysmally inferior and regressive based on their comprehensive philosophy and fundamental principles--or lack thereof--that guide or fail to protect the inalienable rights of their citizens."[14] In this article, Hill also states that the U.S. should pay reparations to the State of Israel, and that Israel's use of violence against Palestinians is morally justifiable and the sole responsibility of Palestinians themselves.

In response to his article, a coalition of DePaul students started an online petition to the administration demanding that DePaul censure the content of Hill's argument; that he apologize for his dehumanization of Palestinians; and that he attend racial sensitivity training.[15] In response to student protests, President Esteban sent an email to the DePaul community defending Hill's right to academic freedom and freedom of speech, while stating that Hill's views were his own and that he did not speak for the university.[16] President Esteban refused to censure or take any action against Hill as a result of his views.[17][18] Following student protests, the university organized events regarding the content of Hill's opinion piece and the students' response to it, including a forum on the Middle East and freedom of speech, and a gathering between students and faculty to share perspectives on the impact of Hill's piece and on the university's response. Additionally, a resolution to censure Hill's article was discussed and approved by DePaul's Faculty Council.[19]

Hill has spoken against those who have censured and protested his article, and especially against DePaul students, on social and national media. Responding to a supporter's tweet on May 20, Hill referred to student protesters as "impotent children", as evil, and as bullies: "Evil is impotent because it only has the pretense of destruction. It cannot create. Bullies remain so once you capitulate. David, at 19 I was an investigative journalist in Jamaica breaking up mafia rings. These children are just that: impotent children."[20] Likewise, in an earlier tweet published on May 11 referencing a small walk-out at DePaul's forum on Middle East and freedom of speech, Hill wrote: "Intimidation by thugs/moral cowards chanting like pseudo rappers about me hiding is all amusing. AT [sic] 19 I was an investigative journalist in Jamaica busting up a mafia ring--these children and their antics are just that--children at play. Finals are coming up. FInd [sic] the library."[21]

Books[edit]

Nonfiction[edit]

  • Civil Disobedience and the Politics of Identity: When We Should Not Get Along (Palgrave Macmillan, July 2013)
  • Becoming a Cosmopolitan: What It Means to be a Human Being in the New Millennium (Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group, 2000/paperback, 2011)
  • Beyond Blood Identities: Post Humanity in the 21st Century (Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group, November 2009)[22]
  • We Have Overcome: An Immigrant's Letter to the American People (Bombardier Books, July 10, 2018). Spiked describes We Have Overcome as "Part memoir, part call to intellectual arms, it is above all a defence of the American Dream and a riposte to those keen to celebrate minorities’ identities, while painting them as the victims of white privilege." [2]

Fiction[edit]

  • JAMAICA BOY IN SEARCH OF AMERICA (KDP Publishers, July 8, 2013)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Wood, Skip (22 October 2014). "Saying 'no' through Civil Disobedience". Prairie Public Radio. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "An immigrant's American Dream; Jason D Hill on identity politics, multiculturalism and why he's not a victim of white oppression". Spiked. 11 December 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Jamaican, gay and Ayn Rand made it OK: My amazing "Atlas Shrugged" love story". Salon. 2014-04-25. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  4. ^ "Jason D. Hill". dePaul.edu. DePaul University. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  5. ^ a b c "About". Jason D. Hill. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  6. ^ Culture (2016-05-16). "Loveless Sex Addicts: A Gay Man Critiques His Community". The Federalist. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  7. ^ "Prof: 'I'm being censored because I've taken a very positive pro-Israeli stance'". Campus Reform. 2019-05-02. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  8. ^ Hill, Jason D. "An Open Letter to Ta-Nehisi Coates". Commentary. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  9. ^ a b Tolliver, Sandy (2018-05-24). "Mr. President, please send the troops to Chicago". TheHill. Retrieved 2019-06-04.
  10. ^ a b Tolliver, Sandy (2018-07-16). "A professor's call to shut down our nation's universities". TheHill. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  11. ^ Chasmer, Jessica (25 July 2018). "DePaul professor slams liberal colleges as 'gravest internal threat to this country'". Washington Times. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  12. ^ Culture (2016-05-16). "Loveless Sex Addicts: A Gay Man Critiques His Community". The Federalist. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  13. ^ Affairs, World (2019-04-16). "The Moral Case For Israel Annexing The West Bank—And Beyond". The Federalist. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  14. ^ Affairs, World (2019-04-16). "The Moral Case For Israel Annexing The West Bank—And Beyond". The Federalist. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  15. ^ Conboy, Benjamin. "Student groups demand apology after professor's 'Islamophobic' article". The DePaulia. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  16. ^ Fink, Jenni (22 April 2019). "DePaul Students Demand Professor Apologize for 'Immoral Conduct' After Pro-Israel Op-Ed". Newsweek. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  17. ^ Conboy, Benjamin. "Fallout from DePaul professor's 'Islamophobic' article continues". The DePaulia. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  18. ^ Harris, Samantha (2019-05-03). "As DePaul students and faculty condemn professor's views, administration stands by free speech, academic freedom". FIRE. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  19. ^ Richardson, Valerie (7 May 2019). "DePaul professor ignites free-speech uproar with unabashed pro-Israel views". Washington Times. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  20. ^ Hill, Jason D. (2019-05-20). "Evil is impotent because it only has the pretense of destruction. It cannot create. Bullies remain so once you capitulate. David, at 19 I was an investigative journalist in Jamaica breaking up mafia rings. These children are just that: impotent childrenhttps://twitter.com/DavidNJ/status/1130578014931161090 …". @JasonDHill6. Retrieved 2019-06-04. External link in |title= (help)
  21. ^ Hill, Jason D. (2019-05-11). "Intimidation by thugs/moral cowards chanting like pseudo rappers about me hiding is all amusing. AT 19 I was an investigative journalist in Jamaica busting up a mafia ring--these children and their antics are just that--children at play. Finals are coming up. FInd the libraryhttps://twitter.com/SPavls/status/1126134799670829059 …". @JasonDHill6. Retrieved 2019-06-04. External link in |title= (help)
  22. ^ ""Saying 'No' Through Civil Disobedience" with Jason D. Hill (book interview)". Institute for Philosophy in Public Life. 10 August 2004. Retrieved 8 May 2019.

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