Yesterday, I posted the account of one of my children who followed another student at George Washington University as she tore down flyers of the Hamas hostages from poles around campus. The vandalism near our law school is occurring across the country as activists seek to prevent others from expressing their views on the war. When I posted the GWU incident yesterday, I noted that this is behavior that has been reinforced by faculty members who have engaged in violent and destructive conduct for years targeting pro-life and other causes. One such incident involved an adjunct professor at City University of New York. Callen Zimmerman is also accused of shoving a person confronting her on her actions.
The videotape below shows Zimmerman ripping up flyers of the Hamas hostages. When a couple of people object, she tells them to “go colonize somewhere else.” The incident follows videotapes of students ripping down such flyers across the country, including one such incident at George Mason University.
Zimmerman was listed as teaching a course on the Stony Brook University website, where she is studying for a PhD in “Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies.” The bio stated that “Callen Zimmerman explores intricacies of material culture and queer experience, as fashion freak, educator and maker.”
As I have previously written, these recent incidents are little surprise for many of us who have been critical of the growing intolerance for opposing viewpoints on campuses for years. Many of these faculty members are part of a radical chic that has been the norm in hiring.
Universities are increasingly awarding degrees in activism, often taught by faculty who blur any distinction between academics and advocacy. Other faculty members have taught by example in destroying displays of opposing views. Universities have often done little to counter such faculty vandalism.
This year, Hunter College Professor Shellyne Rodríguez was shown trashing a pro-life display of students.
She was captured on a videotape telling the students that “you’re not educating s–t […] This is f–king propaganda. What are you going to do, like, anti-trans next? This is bulls–t. This is violent. You’re triggering my students.”
Unlike the professor, the students remained calm and respectful.
One even said “sorry” to the accusation that being pro-life was triggering for her students.
Rodríguez continued to rave, stating, “No you’re not — because you can’t even have a f–king baby. So you don’t even know what that is. Get this s–t the f–k out of here.” In an Instagram post, she is then shown trashing the table.
Hunter College, however, did not consider this unhinged attack to be sufficient to terminate Rodríguez.
That of course is the point. She is a professor and was teaching these students that they do not have to allow others to speak if they oppose their viewpoints.
This has been going on for years.
Fresno State University public health professor Dr. Gregory Thatcher, recruited students to destroy pro-life messages.
At the University of California Santa Barbara, professors actually rallied around feminist studies associate professor Mireille Miller-Young, who physically assaulted pro-life advocates and tore down their display.
Despite pleading guilty to criminal assault, she was not fired and received overwhelming support from the students and faculty.
She was later honored as a model for women advocates.
Rather than put up their own flyers with their own views, the faculty and students destroying the flyers of Hamas hostages reflect a view that they are entitled to silence others. They view free speech as preventing others from reading or hearing opposing views. That is also a lesson that has been taught by faculty members for years. Academics like former CUNY law dean Mary Lu Bilek even insisted that disrupting a speech on free speech was free speech.
Notably, some of the faculty who are objecting to the intolerance and threats on campuses in these recent incidents have been silent for years as their colleagues have been targeted in such campaigns over conservative, libertarians or dissenting views. These incidents show how such silence has only emboldened and expanded the anti-free speech movement in higher education.
Warning: Foul language