Joshua Cover is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at UC-Davis and a self-declared communist who promotes the murder of law enforcement officers and sees life and property destroying riots as a legitimate means of political expression.
Clover is the author of “Riot. Strike. Riot.: The New Era of Uprisings.” He chooses to see riots as a positive good and has stated that they deserve “an adequate theory.” He praises “moments of shattered glass and fire” because they interrupt “the grim continuity of daily life.”
While most Americans proudly use the phrase “from sea to shining sea” to portray the great promise and opportunity of the American nation, Professor Clover takes something entirely different from the phrase. “When you hear the phrase ‘from sea to shining sea,’ you would be forgiven for shivering at the destruction it signifies,” he has written. “It comes with shivers because it arises from actual historical experience. It is a lyrical phrase that also means massive, brutal dispossession because that’s how it went down; without that dispossession, no sea to sea, shining or otherwise.”
Clover is also an extreme cop hater who has called for murdering police officers. In a 2015 interview with SF Weekly he stated “People think that cops need to be reformed. They need to be killed.” He echoed these thoughts on twitter, writing “I am thankful that every living cop will one day be dead, some by their own hand, some by others, too many of old age #letsnotmakemore” and “I mean, it’s easier to shoot cops when their backs are turned, no?”
When asked about these comments in 2019, Clover refused to backtrack. “I think we can all agree that the most effective way to end any violence against officers is the complete and immediate abolition of the police,” he said.
He justifies his views by arguing that the role of police is “fundamentally anti-black, fundamentally white supremacist” and “fundamentally in defense of capital.”
The police oversee commodity,” he said in an interview with Mother Jones. One of their main historical functions is making sure that property stays property… We live in the United States where there’s a history of chattel slavery, of making humans the property of other humans, and in that sense, the police, as keepers of property, are always going to be the keepers of a racial order. In that sense, the police role in making sure property stays property is fundamentally anti-Black, fundamentally white supremacist, at the same time that it’s fundamentally in defense of capital.”
Clover is correct only in the sense that a key function of the police is protecting private property and the rule of law—key tenets of American law and society.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Clover is also extremely hostile to the Jewish state of Israel. He has called Zionism an “eliminationist nationalism” and stated that “Israel is not a people.”
He has stated, apparently without irony, “I hold the simple idea, as a communist, that centralized, authoritarian states are not a very good way to organize society and so I hope it will be uncontroversial if I say that Israel should be ended.” Given that every self-declared communist country to exist in human history was ruled by an authoritarian despot, and that Israel is run by a democratically elected legislature, such musings are the height of absurdity.
In the same article, Clover defended Palestinian terrorism and violence against Israel: “we must always be on the side of rock-throwers both imagined and real. Not so as to forge a new state where there was none, but, where the state is preserved by constant and absolute violence, to instead bring it to an end.”
Professor Clover’s endorsement of the murder of law enforcement officers, his denigration of America and its principles, and his defense of riots over the rule of law demonstrate why he belongs among the Top Ten America-Hating Professors.