MTSU to Hold ‘Non-Partisan’ Seminar on Voter Suppression, Despite Left-Leaning Tendencies of Event Organizers


Middle Tennessee State University officials are scheduled to hold an event Tuesday designed to teach students about what they assert is a problem with voter suppression.

MTSU officials also said the event is non-partisan and will not sway any student toward any one political party.

The two people scheduled to oversee the event, Armani Eady and Sekou Franklin, however, seem to have a lot of hostility toward U.S. Republican President Donald Trump, at least going by their respective Twitter accounts.

According to an MTSU press release, the event will “prepare students on how to take an active role in monitoring election irregularities” during the upcoming 2020 elections.

The Tennessee Star asked university officials if they would give a speaking position to one or more people who disagreed with Eady’s and Franklin’s point of view — for the sake of balance?

MTSU assistant political science professor Sekou Franklin, the event’s lead organizer, responded in an email to The Star Monday afternoon

“Our work is non-partisan.  Yet, voter suppression is real and voting rights writ large is a constitutional protection addressed by the 14th and 15th amendments, as well as the ‘one-person, one-vote’ principle, all of which have been adjudicated in the courts,” Franklin wrote.

“There is no debate about this issue unless one is being excessively partisan and ideological or intent on reducing voter turnout.”

The MTSU press release about the event listed voting rights organizer Armani Eady as the planned guest speaker. The press release said Eady got her undergraduate degree at Loyola University and currently works as an election protection organizing fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Eady’s Twitter account was public when The Star looked at it Monday morning.

By Monday afternoon, however, it was protected and closed off to the public, meaning no one could see them other than her followers.

The Star saw and screencapped several of Eady’s tweets before she or one of her associates closed her Twitter account off to the public. In many of the tweets, Eady seemed to comment during and about last week’s State of the Union address.

In one tweet, Eady told Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to “rip that paper up sis,” in response to Pelosi tearing up a copy of Trump’s speech on live television.

In other tweets she wished for Pelosi to “flip or a table or something” during Trump’s speech. Eady also accused Trump of criminal behavior and mocked his physical appearance.

Franklin, meanwhile, on his Twitter account, blasted U.S. Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander for voting not to call witnesses during Trump’s impeachment.

There are other events going on at MTSU that seem to favor left-leaning politics.

As The Star reported last week, MTSU officials have started what they call a 10-week lecture series about climate change “from a variety of academic perspectives.”

Climate change skeptics are unlikely to speak.

People who admire environmental activist Greta Thunberg and believe in man-made climate change, however, will have a platform.

As The Star reported last year, an MTSU music professor apparently went off script during his guest lecture at Belmont University and played the song “F**k Donald Trump” over the loudspeaker.

Belmont, of course, is a Christian school.

Joseph Morgan was the MTSU professor in question.

As reported in 2018, MTSU hosted a left-wing academic who told a room of about 200 students about a network of conservative and libertarian forces supposedly out to undermine democracy.

During her lecture, that woman, Nancy MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, also disparaged the religious right and Tea Partiers.

As reported in 2018, members of MTSU’s Political Science Department published a post on their official Facebook page that came across to many people as a political endorsement for a Democrat.

The voter suppression event is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11 in Room S118 of the Business and Aerospace Building, 1642 MTSU Blvd. The event is free and open to the public, according to the MTSU press release.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Armani Eady” by Armani Eady and Sekou Franklin is by Sekou Franklin.







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