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“If they don’t like having me in the building, they can leave … but I’m not going to leave”

“If they don’t like having me in the building, they can leave … but I’m not going to leave”

My re-appearance on The Daily Signal Podcast looking back and forward at the ‘cancel culture’ directed at me: “right now it’s a little bit quiet, but I think it’s probably a little bit of calm before the next storm.”

I was invited back to The Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal Podcast, hosted by Virginia Allen, to revisit the ‘cancel culture’ events at Cornell Law School directed at me starting last June, 2020.

I first appeared on The Daily Signal Podcast on July 1, 2020, when events were fresh and in progress, so this was a chance to bring events forward, to assess where things stand, and to look to what the future may hold.

You can listen to the audio (also below) and read the transcription at The Daily Signal, Law Professor Speaks Out After Being Shamed for Writing Honest History of BLM.

The interview is almost 30 minutes. You’ll either find the interview riveting and spellbinding, or you’ll view it as 30 minutes of your life you’ll never get back.

My portion starts at the 7:40 mark (scroll below to listen on this page or click here to jump ahead in a new window]:

Partial transcript (full transcript at The Daily Signal):

Allen: Well, obviously, it’s so encouraging that you do still have a job that students, even though they were being pressured by these 15 student groups to boycott your class, your classes were full. Students wanted to get your perspective to hear what you had to say in your classes.

But obviously, that kind of situation, it takes a toll on anyone when you are put in this position of being attacked from all sides. And like you say, there’s individuals who you thought were your friends who are not even coming to you to ask for your perspective, but are running straight to the paper.

How do you feel like this whole situation impacted you personally?

Jacobson: Well, I don’t want to downplay the stress. It was extremely stressful because I didn’t know how it would play out when it first started. And I’d seen these other professors who even if they didn’t get fired, were really turned into pariahs on their campuses, couldn’t walk alone because students would harass them, had protesters outside their houses.

There was somebody at University of Central Florida where they actually showed up at his house to protest. So I didn’t really know, but I will tell you, it was extraordinarily stressful for a while. …

I think it would have turned out differently if I didn’t have job protection….

I think that my situation is, I don’t technically have tenure because clinical faculty at Cornell University, regardless of which school they’re in, cannot have tenure. So at the law school, I have something that the American Bar Association requires, which is called “job security reasonably equivalent of tenure.”

And what that means is, presumptively renewable, five-year contracts. That’s the equivalent of tenure, where your contract rolls over for another five years unless they have good cause to not renew it.

Mine is up in a year and a half and I am fully expecting that fight and that battle because I think a lot of the faculty members who signed this malicious statement against me are going to try to sabotage me. So it’s not over by any means. But right now it’s a little bit quiet, but I think it’s probably a little bit of calm before the next storm.

Allen: Did any of your colleagues or the dean or even any of the students that had spoken out against you, written those emails, did any of them come to you and say, “Hey, maybe I still agree with what I wrote, but I should have at least talked with you first”? Or was there any sort of attempt to reach out and say, “All right. We do kind of see your side and maybe we should have handled it a little bit differently”?

Jacobson: Not a one. Not a single person.

Allen: Wow.

Jacobson: And the dean has caught a lot of flak. The National Association of Scholars wrote a scathing open letter, demanding that he retract the statement against me. As far as I know, he’s not responded to that.

The faculty who signed the letter were excoriated by professor Jonathan Turley in a column at his website over the summer, which got many, many thousands of shares. It went semi-viral in which he completely excoriated them for damaging, not just free speech in a technical First Amendment sense, but the ethos of free exchange of ideas that’s supposed to take place in higher education….

Of course, I’ve been completely vindicated substantively on the Black Lives Matter movement since then….

* * *

Allen: Great. So, why stay? Why do you feel that you want to continue to fight to be a professor and that conservative holdout at Cornell?

Jacobson: That’s a good question. I think the answer is rather simple: I want to leave on my terms when I want to leave. And I have no plans to leave right now. I had no plans to leave right now and I don’t see why I should be forced to change my life because they are so intolerant and they are so malicious.

Why should I have to do that? Why don’t they leave? If they don’t like having me in the building, they can leave if they don’t like it, but I’m not going to leave. I’m not going to leave voluntarily. And if they do try to interfere in the renewal of my contract in a year and a half, I will take them to court over it.

* * *

If you remember, there was something within Washington, D.C., where a woman was sitting at a table and there’s a very famous short video clip and photos of a group surrounding her, screaming at her while she’s sitting at the table at this restaurant, and pointing their fingers inches from her face. And that to me epitomizes what it’s like to go through this.

And the reason they were doing that is she refused to, essentially, pledge allegiance to the Black Lives Matter movement on the spot when she was sitting there at a restaurant.

When you have that, when you’re going through that, it’s really, in many ways, an out-of-body experience. And it is very hard to keep your head in those situations. Fortunately, I did.


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Thank you for standing up, not just for yourself but for justice. It must be so tempting, occasionally, to just give in and give them what they want, in return for some peace and quiet, but “Once you start paying the Danegeld you never get rid of the Dane”.

    Ben Kent in reply to Milhouse. | December 24, 2020 at 1:27 pm

    When truth becomes a problem – you know liberty is at risk. In the interview you said that they did not dispute the facts about BLM’s Marxist agenda – they are angry that you shed a light on it.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Milhouse. | December 24, 2020 at 1:47 pm

    Some people will never give in, it is not in their nature. One may grudgingly accept defeat in one battle, with every intention of extracting a win, and imposing consequences over the long term.

As Cousin Eddie is wont to say, “Illegitimi non carborundum”

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | December 23, 2020 at 9:46 pm

Psalm 46:10

“Be still and know that I am God…..”

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | December 23, 2020 at 9:59 pm

Psalms 1

1Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

2But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

3And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper…

I’m on Twitter for about five real people and @ASmallFiction but recently I found a particularly good pearl in the sewage flow that I must share. And it relates.

“If you can’t control your own emotions, you’re forced to control other people’s behavior.
That’s why the touchiest, most oversensitive and easily upset must not set the standard for the rest of us.”
— John Cleese on Twitter

Professor stealing the election will embolden them I have no doubt as soon as it if finalized. Pray you have the strength to keep fighting.

For most of us, it’s the creepiness of discovering how tenuous our friendships have become. Every day is walking through a minefield not knowing the magic word that will trigger a friend to transform into a hate-spewing zombie. Every day is the day where our lives might be changed forever for the bad.

Making that point to some people has at least softened them up a bit and made them rethink the cost of their politics. I don’t want zombies for friends, even “conservative” zombies. I want friends who stand for the same principles I stand for regardless of politics and are willing to fight for them. This won’t go away unless at some point we stand our ground together and fight. This is how we cut through the political for and discover who our true friends are.

    Political FOG, not “for”.

    When confronted by the PC crowd making accusations, I’ve found it’s revealing and entertaining to keep pressing for explanations. Challenge them. Ask why they say those things, why there’s a problem, what the problem is, why we can’t legitimately have our own points of view, and so forth. Either they see your point and examine themselves (rare but it happens), they yell louder and further embarrass themselves, or they just walk away in a glorious huff.

    Why? In what way? How is that true? Who says, and under what conditions? Perhaps most entertaining, what about my words are you afraid of?

    Keep your cool and ask the six basic questions. You win.

      Those confrontations are pointless. No one wins. I try turning the conversation to problems most of us agree on regardless of politics. Like the endless lockdowns here in CA. Like how it is impossible to have an intelligent conversation with most people, most importantly our “friends” and family.

      Just getting people to acknowledge the creepiness of life today is a win. Hopefully, it triggers an awakening that allows us to get past the political divide.

      We will never win until the moral people among us, people of intellectual integrity and personal courage stand up to those of all political to the point of risking death and demanding our rights to disagree. Only after winning on that point can we have those political arguments that divide us today. It’s about people of integrity and courage prevailing over the politics. That is what gets us through the dark days, having the courage to believe in the goodness of humanity.

      Milhouse in reply to DSHornet. | December 24, 2020 at 9:53 am

      Try that with some of the morons on our side of politics, who are just as bad. Such as some of the frequent commenters here, who repeat the most ridiculous claims as if they were established truth, just because they happen to be politically useful at that moment. And for whom the most important criterion for judging any piece of evidence, or taking a stand on any issue, is whose ox is gored.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Pasadena Phil. | December 24, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    What happened is TDS shows you who the fair weather friends are, and who are steadfast, real friends.

doing right is often not easy. still the right thing to do.
be strong. be safe.

The cowardice on display in the ranks of college administrators is appalling and it appears the more “prestigious” the school the more cowardly the behavior.

Stand strong Professor. An army of Cornell alumni are behind you.

The left never rests. they beleive they are on a moral crusade. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis: they oppress with the permission of their own conscience.

They feel good about their tyranny, their intolerance, their hypocrisy. And the alleged adults running our Universities are simpering cowards. They are the ones I despise the most.

A Warning to Bill’s Tormentors at Cornell:

I’ll be praying for you Prof.!

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.””
‭‭Joshua‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

I admire Prof Jacobson for his courage to stand up for the truth and for the right to speak the truth against power. I never felt like I was in a strong enough position at my college to stand up against the PC Mob.

I just kept my mouth shut. That is clearly the message that the Dirty 21 at Cornell intend to spread among the faculty there. Either go along with what we say and do, or there will be consequences.

Colleges and universities need far more courageous people like Jacobson to defend free speech against the powerful elites. Otherwise, they seem destined to become centers of re-education that enforce the currently popular Groupthink.

I would encourage all alumni to let their colleges know how they feel about the importance of free speech. I was donating my RMDs from my IRAs to the college, but this year the college broke their friendly ties with the local police department, which was the final straw.

I told the college President that my RMDs would no longer go to the college until they had re-established ties with the police and had removed the unconstitutional language from their policies that had earned a red rating on FIRE’s website. That won’t influence the Pres to re-think the policies, but if 20 or 30 of us did that, it would have a major effect. And as alumni, we are insulated from most of the venom from the PC Mob.

Whether or not you leave is entirely your call, and I would respect your decision whatever it might be. I wrote the same thing here about the Gibsons, and to the Gibson’s directly.

I realize the stress of having the mob show up at your house. One of my employers, a family-owned investment bank, owned one of the largest laboratories that tests drugs on animals, a necessary part of the drug approval process. They went after the employees, and “stickered” my house while I was on vacation. That was MUCH more stressful than I ever would’ve imagined — and we weren’t even there.

As an aside, one of those nutcases sent me an e-mail in which they suggested testing new drugs on the mentally retarded. “Thanks for that idea, Dr. Mengele,” I replied.

So, while I completely understand and sympathize on the stress front — oh boy, do I ever — I do hope that you can stick with it and fight these people to the bitter end. They are ruthless, vicious, stupid, and thoroughly self-righteous, and you have boatloads of courage to do what you have already done.

I don’t necessarily agree with everything you post, and certainly not with some of the more unhinged comments here. Hey, it’s what people who think for themselves do: They agree with some things, disagree with other things, listen to all of it, and defend dissent — in the manner of Voltaire.

So hang in there as long as you can, professor. Your fight is everyone’s fight. This matters.

There are at least three levels to take action:
First, the Trump Administration took Executive Actions to address the imposition of Critical Race Theory and mandatory “anti-racism” indoctrination by federal contractors (including colleges) on their employees. Some people advocate that this should be enacted into law on both the state and federal levels:
Second, there are proposals before the Cornell Faculty Senate to adopt a new Policy on Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech and Expression
Third, there is a nation-wide search for a new Law School Dean and one can argue that a selection criteria should be commitment to a diversity of ideas and Academic Freedom.