As my experience at Stanford in November abundantly illustrated, Stanford and other American universities today are not centers of higher learning where ideas are evaluated and accepted and dismissed on their merits, but centers of hard-Left indoctrination in which dissenting views are misrepresented and ruthlessly suppressed. This professor, David Palumbo-Liu, with his ties to violent Antifa fascists, is just one of many. The entire system needs a thorough and comprehensive reform, beginning with the withholding of all federal funds from public universities that refuse to allow dissenting views a hearing.
“Antifa Thugs Find a Champion and Leader in Stanford Professor,” by John Rice-Cameron and Anna Mitchell, Stanford Review, January 15, 2018:
A new class of violent thugs prowls our streets. Donning black clothes, masks and red bandanas, the so-called Anti-Fascist movement, or “antifa,” issues threats and commits acts of violence, intimidation, and vandalism against those it brands as “fascists.” The group represents one of the most extreme elements in the intensifying political turmoil of the past few years.
Fringe figures, such as white nationalists, are by no means the only target’s of antifa’s violence. At college campuses across the country, antifa has disrupted lectures by mainstream conservatives and libertarians, often brutally assaulting event organizers and attendees. At UC Berkeley, in February, 2017, antifa caused $100,000 in damages in an attempt to derail a scheduled appearance by Milo Yiannopoulos, violently punching, kicking, beating, and pepper spraying Trump supporters. At the University of Utah, antifa operatives stockpiled firearms and viciously attacked attendees of Ben Shapiro’s campus lecture. The Department of Homeland Security and FBI have designated these actions by antifa as “domestic terrorist violence.” Like other recognized terrorist organizations, antifa is a non-state entity that employs violence against civilians to advance a political agenda.
And yet, an antifa ring-leader, David Palumbo-Liu, holds court on Stanford’s campus. Palumbo-Liu, a professor of Comparative Literature, is certainly no stranger to controversy, as he is one of the most prodigious anti-Israel academics in the country. Palumbo-Liu is a staunch advocate of the Boycott, Divest, Sanction (BDS) movement against Israel and has praised the website “If Americans Knew,” a site extensively associated with Holocaust deniers and white supremacists.
While many students understandably take offense at Palumbo-Liu’s extreme views, he certainly has every right to promote his ideas in the classroom. However, Palumbo-Liu recently took his extremism beyond the realm of ideas. In August 2017, Palumbo-Liu, along with Purdue University professor, Bill Mullen, founded the Campus Antifascist Network (CAN). The group was founded to serve as “a big tent” for “anyone committed to fighting fascism.”
Palumbo-Liu and Mullen can mince words all they want: their organization is undeniably a chapter of a terrorist group, championing the same kinds of violent resistance that have muzzled free speech across the country. CAN aims “to build large, unified demonstrations against fascists on campuses when they come.” According to Mullen, CAN’s purpose is to “to drive racists off campuses.” Given the paucity of self-proclaimed “fascists” on college campuses, antifa has decided to designate anybody with whom they disagree — namely, Trump supporters and conservative speakers — as would-be totalitarians. Thus, this group’s objective is not a noble fight against fascism and tyranny, but rather, the violent intimidation and forcible silencing of right-leaning students and faculty. On campuses across the nation, antifa has targeted, physically intimidated, and assaulted College Republican activists. All in the name of tolerance!
Do we really want to bring this type of vigilante thuggery to Stanford by enabling a professor who promotes it? Palumbo-Liu’s Facebook page is filled with antifa propaganda. He has posted a number of photographs on his page from an August 27 incident at Berkeley, during which masked antifa brutally assaulted attendees of a peaceful pro-Trump rally. Palumbo-Liu has a history of encouraging violent and militant leftist tactics, including by his own students. In 2015, Palumbo-Liu congratulated several of his students for taking part in an anti-Israel protest that caused car crashes and blocked traffic on the San Mateo Bridge for an hour, allegedly preventing a 3-year-old child in medical distress from reaching the hospital. Apparently, inconveniencing and injuring people on their commute is how Palumbo-Liu and his anarcho-leftist pupils intend to win hearts and minds.
Moreover, given Palumbo-Liu’s extensive connections to the most extreme elements of the anti-Israel movement, is it unreasonable to assume that pro-Israel students will soon be on the receiving end of antifa’s violent outbursts? Antifa’s intent to intimidate pro-Israel students is in plain sight: on the anti-Israel hate-site “Electronic Intifada,” Bill Mullen, who worked closely with Palumbo-Liu to co-found CAN, wrote “we need to de-Zionize our campuses.” William Jacobsen, Director of the Securities Law Clinic at Cornell Law School, has been tracking the BDS movement for years. In Jacobsen’s words, “The teaming of the BDS and Antifa movements is the single most dangerous development I have witnessed in the many years I have been covering campus BDS. Antifa will give BDS even more muscle to intimidate and threaten those who oppose the BDS agenda.”
The antifa movement is a violent domestic terrorist movement. Contrary to popular usage, there has not been a true re-emergence of “fascism” in America. The fascists in Nazi Germany and Mussolini’s Italy wanted to “kill democracy and establish a dictatorship,”, a mission which clearly has nothing to do with the Trump agenda. While there has arguably been a resurgence in hate groups in America, using the label “fascists” to describe Trump supporters is a shamefully dishonest excuse for antifa members to commit appalling acts of political violence against the right at large. Antifa thugs who use domestic terrorist tactics to silence their political opposition act uncannily like the Brownshirts 80 years before them….
Read the rest here.