“we further urge the administration to critically examine the views of the individuals they intend to employ”
I have been chronicling the saga of efforts to get me fired and denounced at Cornell Law School because of blog posts I wrote critical of the Black Lives Matter Movement as it originated, developed, and plays out now:
- There’s an effort to get me fired at Cornell for criticizing the Black Lives Matter Movement
- Cornell campus climate “so far beyond political correctness”
- Jonathan Turley rips Cornell Law faculty letter against me: “It is the antipathy of the intellectual foundations for higher education”
- Thank you for your support in this time of cultural purge
But I have not yet covered an effort to boycott my class.
Earlier this week, the Black Law Students Association circulated an email statement to the Cornell Law School community repeating many of the false and misleading accusations against me that I have covered in earlier posts.
But it went beyond that. They refused my offer to debate their representative and a faculty member of their choice, issued a call to boycott my course, and demand the law school screen faculty hires for ideological purity (emphasis added):
Although the law school recently released a statement regarding Professor Jacobson and his blog, we further urge the administration to critically examine the views of the individuals they intend to employ. Faculty members who challenge students to debate them on the motives of those fighting to preserve Black life are clearly more interested in amplifying their own agendas than engaging in thoughtful and reflective discourse. Professor Jacobson has claimed no expertise nor any specialized training on matters of race and racial justice, rendering any future discussions on the matter entirely unproductive. We are not interested in subjecting ourselves and our community members to dialogue that reinforces the false dichotomy of “right” versus “left” when it comes to our humanity.
By mentioning BLSA by name on his blog and suggesting that we are somehow the cause of some unwarranted vitriol he is receiving, Professor Jacobson invites a hostility that we cannot ignore. Accordingly, the BLSA Executive Board will refrain from participating in the Securities Law Clinic that Professor Jacobson supervises. As the course selection period approaches, we encourage our membership and our allies to reconsider studying under an individual whose views perpetuate hatred towards their fellow students. Thinly veiled racism under the guise of “intellectual diversity” has no place in our law school.
Open debate, having your views challenged in an environment that allows a give-and-take, and taking courses from professors with whom you might disagree politically, apparently is the latest thought crime.
Now that effort to boycott me is being amplified by the Cornell Law School chapter of the National Lawyers Guild (a left-wing national legal group), according to a tip and document I was given, Here is an email reportedly being circulated trying to organize the boycott (emphasis added):
Dear Student Leaders,
I am reaching out on behalf of the National Lawyers Guild regarding a letter we would like to send to the student body concerning Professor William Jacobson.
We hope that everyone has had a chance to read the powerful statement the BLSA executive board sent on Monday regarding Prof. Jacobson. We support their statement, and hope to amplify it in one, unified campaign.
As many of you know, Prof. Jacobson has written a number of racist and inflammatory blog posts regarding the movement in defense of Black life over the last week or so. We have conferred with leadership at BLSA, and would like to circulate the letter linked below to the student body, encouraging them to refrain from taking his classes. While Jacobson has the right to write as he likes, the student body has the right to choose whether they are comfortable being instructed on the law by a person with these views.
You can review the letter here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iVkozW_uXFfh_aVbocI2Y35r3L_a8YZg94-In78T5Iw/edit?usp=sharing
In the interests of protecting individual students, we are only seeking group signatories, not individual signatories. We would like to circulate this letter to the student body tomorrow, June 18. Please let us know if your group would like to be a signatory by end of day.
If you have any questions or concerns please let us know!
National Lawyers Guild
This is not about my writing on the issues, which they misrepresent and distort in the statement they plan on circulating. I’ve offered to debate people on the history and trajectory of the Black Lives Matters Movement, and how much of what takes place under that banner has other goals. That offer of debate has been rejected. What are they afraid of from an open exchange of ideas?
With the slogan “Silence is Violence” being used at the law school, there will be enormous pressure for student groups to go along. Not to do so would be deemed an act of “violence.”
This is an attempt not just to scare students away from my course, but to scare students away from speaking their minds, and to create a faculty and student purity test.
I have received numerous emails from students telling me I have a lot of “quiet” support at the law school, but that students are afraid to speak out for fear of career-ending false accusations of racism. I deeply appreciate the expressions of support, and I understand why you cannot speak out. You don’t want to be subjected to the type of smear campaign to which I have been subjected.
This toxic atmosphere didn’t need to take place. At a time when the law school desperately needs an adult in the room, so to speak, we have faculty and a Dean who denounce me.
This isn’t activism, it’s anti-intellectualism.
I don’t think it will work, and there will be a backlash. The students I’ve encountered over the past 12 years have been, for the most part, curious, intelligent, and willing to consider other viewpoints. Some of them, having long-since graduated, I consider friends. The students are why I keep doing this, and why I will keep doing this.
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