‘The left is wearing the cloak of intolerance.’
Dr. Karen Siegemund, the president of the American Freedom Alliance, recently hosted a conference on leftist radicalism. “Each of us here believes in the unparalleled force for good that is Western Civilization, that is our heritage, whether we were born here or not,” she said.
Shortly thereafter, Dr. Siegemund was notified that her teaching contract would not be renewed – for defending Western Civilization.
Siegemund emailed me: “The day after AFA”s conference on the Left’s Long March through the Institutions, I was told my teaching contract wouldn’t be renewed because of my ‘widely publicized views,” she said. “The teacher who reported on this quote to the president of the school added: ‘one can deduce from these comments that… she rejects anyone whose roots are not grounded in Western Civilization.'”
“The outrageousness and illogic of this is breathtaking,” Siegemund said.
The American Freedom Alliance is a non-partisan, non-profit organization which promotes, defends and upholds Western values and ideals. AFA sponsors conferences, publishes opinions, distributes information and creates networking groups to identify threats to Western civilization and to motivate, educate and unite citizens in support of that cause.
In a California Globe interview, Siegemund said teachers at Le Lycée Français de Los Angeles, the school where she taught and had attended as a child, say right in the classroom, ‘the election of Donald Trump feels like 9-11,’ and that ‘Donald Trump is the worst thing to happen to the United States.'” Siegemund said other teachers wear #RESIST and Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign “I’m With Her” t-shirts in the classroom. “But make a statement praising Western Civilization and you’re out.”
“I don’t adhere to the Leftist agenda so I must be removed.”
Siegemund said the school administration emailed her the non-renewal termination notice. “I read my statement over and over. It’s that weird kind of leftist that turned praise for Western Civilization into a negative,” she said.
Le Lycée Français de Los Angeles is a small private school for the elite. The wealthy and the cultural elite send their children there. “Utilizing the rigors of European analytical thinking paired with the dynamism of American exploration, Le Lycée offers a unique educational opportunity to students who wish to develop the skills necessary to become serious lifelong learners. Students from all cultures and all backgrounds can benefit from the in-depth college prep curriculum we offer,” the Le Lycée website says.
One would assume that extolling the wonders of Western Civilization would be a part of “the rigors of European analytical thinking paired with the dynamism of American exploration.”
“Weekly Leadership Team meetings enable our school to rapidly respond to local and national trends and considerations and serve as an incubator for important planning sessions where Leadership Team members share ideas and develop strategies for future school development,” the website about the Leadership Team says. “These meetings are utilized as a means to continually assess our school’s relevance to our mission and stakeholders’ expectations.”
Siegemund said she could understand that at a French school, if she was “all rah-rah patriotic American,” they might have a beef. “But Western civilization? I was to the letter of the school motto: ‘Give us your child and we will give you back two children: one European and one American,’” Siegemund said.
“This was my school as a kid!” Siegemund said her parents chose the school for her because they were European. “What’s wrong with Western civilization?” she asked. “Maybe if there was bigotry in my speech, but there was no bigotry. My statement is really in line with the ideology of the school.”
Siegemund said she was aware of the leftism in the teaching ranks the school, but hoped it hadn’t become the intolerant kind, as most of the left has today.
Siegemund said the school has children who have different ideologies, and “while it turns out many aren’t on the left, they found me to be a refuge and safe place to talk. Several were even thrilled that Donald Trump was elected President, and were appalled that their teachers constantly criticized him in the classroom,” Siegemund added.
Even before the 2016 election, when speaking to students about Trump, Siegemund said she suggested “let’s see what this guy does. I urged them to find out for themselves what he was about and watch what he does.”
“I want all of my students to learn critical thinking, and to learn to be skeptical,” Siegemund said. She said she promoted freedoms and independent thought so they could grow as individuals.
“Speaking about and teaching that we are all beneficiaries of Western Civilization, including those not from America – they decided is hostile,” Siegemund said, “while other teachers wear #RESIST shirts and denigrate the President.”
Siegemund is fighting back. California and Republican National Committee chairwoman Attorney Harmeet Dhillon is representing Siegemund in a lawsuit. Siegemund said her firing violates California Labor Code Section 1101 and 1102, which protects employees from any kind of discrimination or retribution over political speech or activities outside of the workplace.
“In a rational world we imagine that we live in, they would have found this speech of mine and called me and said, ‘We loved that!'” Siegemund said. “Not only did they not do that, they didn’t even ask me in to say, ‘there is a little problem… could you explain to us what you meant.’ No, they did none of that.”
Siegmund’s supporters have launched a gofundme fundraiser on her behalf, and to make sure her work at the American Freedom Alliance is able to continue. The AFA will honor Dr. Siegemund as its 2019 Hero of Conscience August 18th.
“I get the leftism,” Siegemund said. “But it’s the intolerance that is shocking. It is astounding, the hate and the viciousness. And I lost my job.”
Siegemund added, “Donald Trump did not create the hate; he unleashed it and revealed the real chasm.”
Karen Siegemund’s gofundme is: https://www.gofundme.