“Neo-Nazi Murderer Lover”: Columbia Professor Under Fire After Attacking A Baruch Student On Social Media For Defending Trump

Columbia Professor Jeffrey Lax is under fire on conservative sites like the The College Fix for attacking Baruch College student Gabriel Montalvo for defending former President Donald Trump on Facebook. Lax appears entirely unhinged in the exchange and lashes out at Montalvo who at the time was a student at Queensborough Community College. To his credit, Montalvo did not call for Lax’s termination — as is often the case in college protests for those holding opposing views. However, he did call for Columbia to investigate Lax. I believe that such an investigation would also be an abuse despite viewing Lax’s postings as juvenile, hysterical, and unworthy of a professor. As will come as no surprise to many, I viewed the postings as exercises of free speech that should be protected by all academic institutions.Lax is a political science professor who is the Deputy Chair of the department.  On Facebook, he appears entirely robotic and deranged when Montalvo seeks to counter a cartoon critical of Trump’s handling of the Covid crisis.  Lax almost immediately resorts to name calling and personal attacks. He calls Montalvo a “Neo-nazi murderer lover” and says “[w]hy don’t you just drop dead, you neo-nazi enabler.” It is the type of juvenile rhetoric that we once condemned in students, let alone academics. However, it is increasingly common among academics today.Conversely, Montalvo responds in more measured terms “How ironic that the most educated person on this thread is also the most incompetent who results in playground insults. Rather than having a discussion you would rather me die? Aren’t you a political science educator? I could only hope that the students who take your course get a refund.”

Here is the full exchange:

  

The most telling statement is the last.  Before blocking Montalvo on Facebook, Lax declared “I’m too educated to think you are honest.” That smug statement captures perfectly the intolerance of many in academia today.  Indeed, it also explains why top faculties have virtually purged their ranks of conservative and Republican faculty members.  They simply declare their views to be not intellectually “rigorous” or honest. It is that easy. You then select only colleagues from the left who form an echo chamber for themselves and students on campus.

Lax’s embarrassing exchange with this student only occurred because it is not considered an embarrassment on many faculties. To the contrary, it is likely that he was showered with praise by many for his commentary. The reason such unhinged comments are increasingly being made in public is that they are common in private among academics.  In order to prove you are woke and socially conscious, academics often compete in making more and more extreme comments about Trump, Republicans, or conservative politics.  Even as the deputy chair of his department (which probably include a few Republicans or conservatives, Lax maintains a shrieking presence on social media in denouncing conservative viewpoints.

However, Lax is not accused to attacking students on campus or in his classes. He is speaking on social media as an individual and should not face investigation for such exchanges. Indeed, I have repeatedly objected to how universities place professors under investigation for months in clear cases of free speech or academic freedom. We previously discussed how these investigations produce a chilling effect on speech when administrators show little support for free speech, including a recent case at the University of San Diego.

It is rare for such unhinged postings to be investigated when they attack figures or causes on the right. We have seen how universities do not take action against those who write racist attacks on white people or sexist attacks on males. The result is not just the sanctioning of faculty for exercising free speech but the biased application of such measures based on the content of such speech. Students have also been sanctioned for criticism BLM and anti-police views at various colleges. Even a high school principal was fired for stating that “all lives matter.”  Each of these controversies raise concerns over the countervailing statements against police or Republicans or other groups.

I am admittedly a free speech dinosaur.  I believe in largely unfettered free speech, particularly for statements made off campus or outside of a classroom. I have defended faculty who have made similarly disturbing comments “detonating white people,” denouncing policecalling for Republicans to suffer,  strangling police officerscelebrating the death of conservativescalling for the killing of Trump supporters, supporting the murder of conservative protesters and other outrageous statements. We previously wrote about academic freedom issues at University of Rhode Island due to its Director of Graduate Studies of History Erik Loomis, who has defended the murder of a conservative protester and said that he saw “nothing wrong” with such acts of violence.

The highly biased positions taken in past cases should not tempt us to yield to temptation and demand the same treatment for faculty like Lax. Faculty and students need to be afforded the freedom to engage in our public debate outside of school, even when they do so in obnoxious or offensive ways in the view of others. Lax shows an embarrassing lack of judgment, objectivity, and civility. However, he has every right to expose his true self on social media. Indeed, social media helps expose such blind rage and bias in such moments. If he shows the same intolerance and anger in class, Columbia should take immediate action. Until then, he has every right to make a complete fool of himself.

43 thoughts on ““Neo-Nazi Murderer Lover”: Columbia Professor Under Fire After Attacking A Baruch Student On Social Media For Defending Trump”

  1. Turley is very onesided pointing out how rightwingers are fired, silenced, etc for their exercise of speech.

    He has remained silent, however, re the firing of an AP reporter who while in college posted pro-Palestain commentary. BTW, the reporter is Jewish.

      1. To JFeldman the term “Jew” is wrongly reserved only for Zionists; Feldman lies and claims these anti-Zionist Rabbis are not Jews: https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt14bsxdg

        Feldman: if _od gave Israel to the ancestor’s of today’s Israeli Jews, why did _od forget to give them a signed deed? I want to analyze _od’s signature!

        If Jews need Israel for security why do OVER 50% live outside Israel?

        Why was George Washington wrong in his Farewell Address when he forbade “permanent foreign entanglements,” which perfectly describes the US relationship with Israel? (“Permanent bond” per HRC and Jesus Obama.)

        Why is anyone surprised at the constant threat of war when the US and League of Nations enshrined modern Israel (as a Jewish homeland) by threat of force in the middle of the Arab ME?

        Why does the US give $5B annually to one of the richest nations extant. Considering Israel buys so many US made weapons, why is this MIC handout so great?

        Feldman please number the multiple holocausts claimed by The Sun and NYT from 1915 through 1938, so we can always refer to the correct one by it’s number. It’s hard to keep track of so many holocausts! https://ravnagaldr.wordpress.com/2014/02/06/transcribed-six-million-jews-in-newspapers-from-the-period-1915-1938/

        I ask for a friend.

  2. Professor Turley, did you say, “UNHINGED?”

    The road rage movie starring Russell Crowe who insanely goes after “Rachel” who fails to tap her horn politely in traffic and puts in motion the end of the world scenario. Democrats constitute the character “Tom Cooper” with severe TDS who violently and relentlessly pursues Donald Trump, as the relatively innocent and unsuspecting “Rachel.”

    Democrats can’t stop themselves from commandeering the government and no laws are enforced against them – including laws against the Obama Coup D’etat in America and election theft. The inmates have taken over the asylum and it’s long past time for corrective action.

  3. Speaking of Neo-Nazis…

    Darren, please ban Ben Marcus for life for being the malign, erroneous, fraudulent, uncivil, hysterical, incoherent, non-productive, counterproductive and vacuous troll that he is.

  4. Of course he should be investigated by the university. Words have meaning, they have intent, and his words are troubling, especially for someone entrusted to teach our young people. He can say whatever he wants, but there are always repercussions when you say things certain things, attack students they way he has. This idea that you can say whatever you want, no matter how offensive and free speech should protect any and all consequences is simply mystifying. That being said, is the university does investigate we can all rest assured they will do nothing to their beloved professor. Now, on the other hand if he was a right-winger.. he’d be out of a professorship.

  5. I’m also a free speech supporter. However, growing up I was taught that the right came with responsibility.

    Professor Lax is Deputy Chair of his department, and in theory an adult. His exchange shows a lack of self control, extremely poor judgement and a total lack of professionalism. He is a perfect example of what is wrong with academia and why so many have lost respect for institutions of higher learning.

  6. The Left can’t debate a conservative on facts. This is why they unerringly go to ad hominem. If they can portray their opponent as evil or subhuman, they can try to avoid any real sort of debate.

    The Socialist far Left movement has long painted political dissidents as evil. Calling capitalists fascists was a means to promote the anti-capitalist movement. After all, how could they argue with the fact that capitalism has lifted more people out of poverty than any other system? How could they argue with Socialism impoverishing people every time it’s tried? With the hundreds of millions killed? How could they answer that socialism requires a form of slavery? The government owns the product of everyone’s ideas and labor. Everyone is poor except for the government ruling class. It’s straight out of Animal Farm. Meanwhile, capitalism is freedom. You own your own ideas and labor.

    As long as capitalism is underpinned by a limited government with strong individual rights, then it’s the most free and prosperous economic system on the planet.

    The hatred of Trump, Trump supporters, and Republicans in general isn’t rational. The only rational complaint is that he’s rather rude, but Democrats harping on it is absurd given that this professor’s behavior is indicative of the general trend. If a conservative tries to talk politics with a Democrat, they’ll statistically resort to name calling immediately. But they have a problem that Trump is rude? So they make up things, like the “fine people” comment. Rude just isn’t going to get it done, and too many Democrats might put two and two together with the rhetoric in their own party.

    The cognitive dissonance is pervasive and chilling. I mean, how do the same people ignore a year of Democrats across the country rioting, burning, looting, seizing entire city blocks in sedition, and threatening to destroy the country unless their demands are met, including to defund police, but focus on one small group of people who broke into the Capitol building in protest, and posed in Pelosi’s office? Apparently they didn’t kill the Capitol police officer. It was wrong. They should absolutely be charged with trespassing and with any other law they broke. Everyone condemned it. But they weren’t trying to overthrow the United States government, and it’s insanity to claim they did. Why are looters bailed out, or not charged, but someone without a criminal record who trespassed in the Capitol building Jan 6th still in jail? Why is the law applied unequally, depending upon politics of the offender?

    Do you remember when Democrats stormed the Capitol and the Senate Offices during the Kavanaugh hearings? That was “fighting the good fight”, but when it’s to protest the 2020 election and question voting integrity, it’s sedition. Throw them in an oubliette.

    If questioning an election is treason, then what do you call it when Democrats question every single time Republicans win an election? Remember all Al Gore’s lawsuits? The Hanging Chad? Remember when Democrats claimed Trump “stole” the election?

    Are there any Democrats out there who have thrown off the brainwashing? Is there some kind of deprogramming guide here? Because every time I’ve brought up these facts to Democrats I know, they just change the subject.

    1. OK, Karen S. First of all, you, as a Trumpster are not “conservative”. You are a member of the cult of personality–a follower of narcissistic former reality television host who has never succeeded at anything in his life. Secondly, there’s no “Left” involved in opposing Trump. True conservatives such as George F. Will, Bill Krystol and an increasing number of Republicans oppose Trump because he is a chronic, habitual liar. Since you learned the phrase “ad hominem”, you beat it to death. You think it proves you are sophisticated and well-read, but it just proves the opposite.

      You also repeat the endless excuse for Trump put out by alt right media, for those who are offended by his braggadociousness and arrogance: that his only “flaw” is that he is rude, but one of his saving graces is that he “tells it like it is”. No, Karen. That’s not the issue, and Fox & Friends doesn’t get to define the grounds for opposition to Trump. Let me help you out here: Trump is a chronic, habitual liar about everything, from the pandemic, which resulted in a slow response and unnecessary deaths and illnesses, the long-term effects of which we won’t know, what he likes to take credit for as his “accomplishments”, like the successful economy inherited from Barak Obama that began to falter even before the pandemic, his failures, like lying about Mexico paying for the wall, his siding with a murderous dictator, Putin over the word of the American Intelligence Community, but the biggest whopper of all, the one that is still tearing apart this country, that has cost millions, if not billions, is THE BIG LIE.

      The BIG LIE is premised upon Trump’s mental illness: his immaturity and narcissism. No matter what the quantum of evidence, no matter how many recounts, re-recounts, signature matches, or certification by Republican election officials, no matter how many lost court challenges due to lack of any evidence, he simply cannot lose. His ego can’t handle it, so he keeps on lying. The absolutely terrifying aspect of THE BIG LIE is that there are so many dumbasses like you out there who believe it, despite the lack of proof, despite the fact that all evidence proves Biden won fair and square, despite the fact that the majority of Americans: 1. didn’t vote for him in 2016; 2. never approved of him in 4 years’ time; 3. he was predicted by every poll, including Fox’s polls, to lose; 4. the economy plummeted due to his lack of leadership and not having any idea what to do; 5. the pandemic got out of control while he was lying about Hydroxychloroquine, ingesting bleach and putting lights inside the human body. Most Americans saw Trump as the flashy, lying narcissist that he is and wanted no part of him. Now, he’s gotten Republicans to try to fake up evidence of bamboo in paper ballots to prove they came from China and aren’t legitimate. In Arizona, a red state, do even you Trumpsters believe that Republican election officials would accept hundreds of thousands of ballots that somehow arrived from China?

      He has had a bad reputation for not paying his bills, for cheating contractors, for flaunting zoning ordinances, for being racist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic (per actual witnesses, like Michael Cohen) and for generally being disliked in New York. You might want to look up how he intentionally screwed with the MOMA historic preservation people when demolishing the Bonwit Teller former department store building that had art deco bas relief sculptures that he said he would donate, allow to be removed and taken to the MOMA. He intentionally had them torn off the building and smashed, just to show them who’s boss. He constructed the gaudy, ugly gold Trump Tower on the site, where he’s afraid to return because there are subpoenas waiting for him.

      You are a true Fox disciple, too. Now, all of a sudden, when there was opposition to Kavanaugh’s nomination, that was “storming the Capitol”, but when the Trump Army actually did storm the Capitol, armed with bear spray, using Trump flag poles to beat Capitol police and smash windows to stop the peaceful transition of power and “fight like hell or you’re not going to have a country any more” on Trump’s command, that was just a “protest”. That is exactly the Trump apologists’ current argument, and it is absurd. Did you forget they had plastic zip ties, that they constructed a gallows and chanted “hang Pence”? How about urinating and defecating in the Capitol building, stealing Pelosi’s laptop, and defacing the memorial to John Lewis? In a true test of Republican fanaticism, Pence’s own brother, Greg Pence, voted against a full Congressional investigation. Trump told them to “fight like hell or you’re not going to have a country any more”. What did that mean? It’s not a protest.

      Where do you get off calling protesters “Democrats”? Unlike the Trump, who did instigate the insurrection at the Capitol to try to prevent certified votes from being acknowledged, the protesters and looters are NOT Democrats, nor was their conduct instigated by Democrats, who have consistently condemned it. That just part of your irrational hatred that you learned watching Hannity, et al.. The issue is not “conservatives v. Democrats”. The phrase “cognitive dissonance” applies to you–you cannot absorb facts. You are the one who is brainwashed. Here’s the truth, Karen: people won’t discuss politics with you because you cannot absorb facts or carry on an intellectually honest discussion because your beliefs are faith-based, not fact-based. You are a Trumpster disciple and believe whatever lies you heard on alt-right media. I’ve tried talking with people like you in person. Facts don’t faze people like you, who have been programmed to believe the lies and drivel put out by Fox and engage in constant whataboutism, just like you learned from Hannity, Ingraham, Levin, et al..

      1. Hey, Dingbat – President Trump is a multi-billionaire who won the presidency his first time out. Unlike the criminals in the Democrat Party, Trump actually works for a living and has business acumen to the nth degree. Let me explain how the Dems do it: 1) Enter the White House with a net worth of $800,000, 2) Purportedly “write a bestselling book,” which few actually buy, 3) secretly take kickbacks and bribes from the cartels and others to do their bidding, 4) say the money came from book sales, and 5) leave the White House 8 years later with $40M and buy a $14M home.

        Did you know that Obama came to San Jose, CA – the tech capitol of California – and spoke publicly? Mark Meuser, then running for office in California, stood at the entrance and counted the number of people who attended. Open to the public, he counted 900. Yep – 900 people in a liberal city came to see the former president – the one with the HUGE book sales and $40M to prove it.

        If the Dems were not such a bunch of druggies and potheads, they might realize it is wrong for corrupt officials to leave the borders of this country open so illegals can pour in here, hiding the drugs among the crowd. So get on back to your bong, sweetheart, and leave the Trump supporters to their love of America. You’ll never understand unless you sober up. zombie.

  7. Professor Turley,
    I do not think you are a free speech dinosaur. Free speech does not work that way. We are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights–free speech being one of these. It is eternal.

    However, I think there might be some additional nuance regarding this particular individual.

    “Lax shows an embarrassing lack of judgment, objectivity, and civility. However, he has every right to expose his true self on social media. Indeed, social media helps expose such blind rage and bias in such moments. If he shows the same intolerance and anger in class, Columbia should take immediate action. Until then, he has every right to make a complete fool of himself.”

    He should probably be reprimanded by his colleagues and perhaps his superiors. As a professor at Columbia, he represents the school and is, in part, charged with upholding its reputation. His lack of professionalism inside and outside its walls reflects badly upon the university. It’d be like a religious person behaving well at church and then acting like a jerk out and about in the community. They just sullied their church or religion with their actions. He has every right to behave as he did, but his superiors and colleagues also have every right to call him on it. John McWhorter is a far better representation of Columbia. He is an academic and a gentleman.

    1. Prairie Rose,

      “ . We are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights–free speech being one of these. It is eternal.”

      LOL! If that were true blasphemy laws wouldn’t exist. Our “creator” didn’t like free speech. In fact said “creator”. Punished those who exercised free speech, free thought, a nd, individual freedom. The punishment? An eternity in hell.

      You got killed of you criticized god or Jesus. Freedom of speech, a god given right? Yeah right.

      1. That is not the meaning of the commandment against blasphemy. It is about not doing evil in God’s name and thus misrepresenting Him.

        It’s somewhat along the lines of libel and slander, in some ways, except on a cosmic scale. In some ways it is also akin to betrayal, since He created the life in the person blaspheming. Betrayal landed Brutus at the center of Hell.

        1. Prairie Rose, blasphemy is always defined as anything that insults an idea of religion. Anything critical of god is deemed evil by those who use blasphemy as a tool to silence others.

          Freedom of speech is not a god given right. Nowhere in the Bible does it clearly spell out that freedom of speech is an eternal right.

          If it were true criticism of god or religion wouldn’t be punished as blasphemy.

          1. Svelaz,
            I think that is a mistaken definition. It isn’t just criticism. It specifically relates to those who do evil in God’s name.

            Regarding blasphemy, Dennis Prager notes, “When an irreligious person commits evil, it doesn’t bring God and religion into disrepute. But when a religious person commits evil in God’s name he destroys the greatest hope for goodness on earth — belief in a God who demands goodness, and who morally judges people.”

            Regarding the freedom of speech, you are correct that it is not clearly spelled out. However, it can be derived through analysis and consideration of the text. The world itself was begun with God speaking it into existence. The value of individuals speaking difficult but True words, especially to those in power, is reemphasized repeatedly. Abraham criticized God by asking, “Will not the Creator of all the earth do what is right?” Job, too, questioned Him, as did Moses. Esther spoke up to the king to decry the plan to annihilate the Jews. The prophet Nathan criticized KIng David through a story, helping him see the error of his ways. Jonah did not want to speak out, but he did eventually. In the New Testament, Jesus spoke Truth and would not sacrifice his integrity, would not take it all back, to save his life.

            In the Jewish tradition, it is my understanding that all the rabbinical arguments, for and against, for different subjects are preserved, asserting the value of opposing views.

            I will have to think about this more to round it out better, but I do need to start supper and get out to my garden.

  8. Everyday, it feels more and more that conservatives need to do something in order to save the 1st Am and the concept of free speech for all, no matter who is trying to suppress it. The concept of free speech, not just the 1st Am was a cornerstone of democracy embraced by most of the founders, until some of them became presidents who were criticize, and they then thought stuff like the alien and sedition act and the Logan Act were good ideas. Hamilton thought that everyone knew they had the right of free speech and thought adding anything to the Constitution about the right of free speech would be wrong bc then people might have thought the right of free speech would be narrowed and make it look like the govt granted free speech, rather than an inherent right of all. Now the left likes to suppress speech using the argument that “private business is not subject to the 1st Am.” So Hamilton was right, people are treating free speech as a right given by the government, this narrowing the idea of free speech.

  9. ” … Lax’s postings as juvenile, hysterical, and unworthy of a professor. ”
    *************************************
    Exactly the kinda guy you want teaching your kids. You know the ancient Greeks were onto something with those charges against Socrates.

  10. This is a political science professor. His statements of this sort create a chilling effect in his classroom, regardless of whether he actually behaves this way in class. Which conservative student will speak up? This is different from a math professor, baseball coach, etc., whose job is not related to discussion of politics exercising their free speech rights outside their job. This person’s job is to discuss politics and government.

  11. The sort of language used by this professor is practically word for word the sort of thing being posted in the Fairfax County Public Schools Discussion Groups on Facebook, right down to the factually incorrect ad hominem attacks. These comments may be protected by the First Amendment, but who would want their child in a classroom – K-12, college, or post-graduate – presided over by a teacher or professor who behaves so unprofessionally?

    1. A lot of people apparently, and they’ll be just as surprised as the good Nazi parents were when their own children turned them in or arrested them.

  12. Professor Turley…..exactly what must a Professor do in order to justify being dismissed for cause?

    Am I mistaken when I see Conservatives being pilloried, punished, fired, and mishandled by Universities for the exact same kind of behavior.

    Not just words….but actions….gross improprieties and hideous breaches of decorum and scholastic ethics…..yet we should just turn a blind eye to that kind of behavior?

    I think not.

    As much as I respect you….were you to conduct yourself as did this latest example I would be calling for Georgetown to send you packing.

    My Momma said it right….there is no excusing bad manners.

    1. I understand how you feel, my first impulse when this happens to a liberal is to treat them like the left treats the right, but we should remember we stand for free speech no matter how ugly or hurtful. As the Supreme Court has said, hate speech is protected speech. Further I think many on the right subscribe to the general concept of free speech in an appropriate forum and that even private censorship is unhealthy. But my initial impulse is revenge.

  13. TDS continues strong.

    Just read some of the posters on this blog; they just can’t move on.

    I get a kick out of those people who stewing in their anger and resentment.

    1. Wanna know what’s really “unhinged”–the fanatical support of a chronic, habitual liar who lost an election, who cannot accept the will of the American people, and whose supporters accuse critics of this loser “deranged”. Why aren’t the counts, re-counts, re-recounts, failed attempts by Trump to bully election officials, 60+ lost court cases and the certifications, even by Republican Secretaries of State, enough to convince you that Trump legitimately lost to Biden? Why aren’t the loss of the popular vote in 2016, setting a record for low approval ratings, predictions of a Trump loss by every poll, trashed economy and pandemic enough to convince you that Trump couldn’t possibly win, much less by the landslide he claims?

      What do you have in the form of actual evidence that there were enough irregularities in the 2020 election to counter this proof? The word of someone who constantly lies? If that’s not proof of a form of mental derangement, then I can’t imagine what would qualify. The ones who are angry and resentful are the Trump disciples who not only refuse to accept the results of the election, but who refuse to get vaccinated in a pathetic attempt to deny Biden success in defeating COVID.

    1. The shoe could never be on the other foot. There is no Democratic potential POTUS candidate who is a malignant narcissist, chronic habitual liar, serial bankrupter of businesses, who has been sued thousands of times for cheating contractors and material suppliers and who is on his third marriage. More baseless whataboutism.

      GOP= Grab Our Puxxies.

  14. Lax, back no back.
    Banana fanna go fax.
    Fee Fi Moe max.
    Max!

    When the first two Hoosiers are ever the same
    You fire them both and say their lame.
    Like Trump. Bump. F in f so rump.
    Or Mary, Larry… is contrary.
    That’s why schools today smell like Hairy

  15. Speaking of Nazi’s, considering everything that has gone on under the Biden administration since January 20, “ENABLER” seems to be a prophetically ironic choice of word for Pädagoge Lax.

  16. Just yesterday we had some fool professor at UMass stating that universities were bastions of right wing thought and under right wing control. One of todays sad truths is that we are finding out how dumb educated people can be. We see statements that are banal, moronic, juvenile and completely untethered to reality made by either a gaslighting left or a truly stupid example of the new “educated class”.

    1. We could see how dumb ‘intellectuals’ were 30 years ago. And please professor, you are not a dinosaur, you are SANE. Ignore these morons that claim their devolution is some kind of leap forward and the rest of us are plebes. Trust me: the left is and has been thrusting us toward a new dark ages for some time.

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