University’s attack on student’s free speech is affront to Brandeis’ legacy

By Abraham H. Miller

The dramatic event often rips away the thin gossamer of protection that keeps a corrupt institution from exposure to the antiseptic of public outrage. Such an event is occurring for the second time in 2014 at Brandeis University.

Daniel Mael, a Brandeis student and professional blogger on the site, took to the Internet to expose fellow student Khadijah Lynch’s raw hatred for the New York Police Department, America, and the “Zionist” institution where she is getting an education and serves as a student leader and adviser to impressionable younger students. Lynch, until the exposure of her hateful invectives, was a student representative of the African and Afro-American Studies Department.

Mael didn’t have to use much of his well-honed journalistic skills. Lynch’s Twitter account provided a storehouse of live ammunition. Here is Lynch in her own words, as Mael recounted them:

“I have no sympathy for the nypd officers who were murdered today.” 

“lmao, all i just really dont have sympathy for the cops who were shot. i hate this racist [expletive] country.”

“the fact that black people have not burned this country down is beyond me”

“a social justice themed institution grounded in zionism. word. thats a [expletive] fanny dooley.”

The Zionist reference is to Brandeis, an institution rooted in Jewish ideals and named after Louis Brandeis, the first Jewish associate justice of the Supreme Court, a man whose work for social justice became legendary and who established the right of privacy in a famous Harvard Law Review article. 

That someone like Lynch could emerge as a student leader at the institution says less about the ideals that once shaped it and more about what Brandeis has now become—a force not for the ideals of Louis Brandeis, but for the hatred espoused by a Khadijah Lynch. It is precisely that antipathy toward America, police, and Zionism that makes her a student leader, for it reflects the ingrained themes of a politically correct instruction and its so-called identity studies departments, a problem that transcends Brandeis.

Brandeis attracted national attention in April 2014 when it withdrew an honorary degree from leading human rights advocate Ayaan Hirsi Ali over her criticism of Islam. When Brandeis President Frederick Lawrence claimed that Ali was consulted about the action, Ali went before the nation’s media and vigorously denied Lawrence’s assertion. Ironically, Lawrence is an academic expert on the First Amendment.

Predictably, the Brandeis activists are not attacking Lynch. Her hatred, and probably her vulgarities, resonate with their own ideology. The effete, politically correct academics are calling for Mael to be expelled. Mael is being accused of everything from cyber bullying to harassment, if not crimes against humanity, for the audacity of publicizing Lynch’s tweets. 

At a time when America is mourning two slain New York police officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, some people have unfortunately vented their anger and threatened Lynch. By the twisted logic so prevalent in the identity curriculum, Mael is being held responsible for these threats.

By the same logic, would Lynch be held responsible for the next policeman that takes a bullet?

Lynch and people like her represent what our universities have become, a corruption where leftist activism and ideology triumph over any pretense of reason. Identity departments do not teach, they preach. Serious students try to avoid these programs. Consequently, universities have instituted diversity requirements, making these courses compulsory, and also creating an artificial need for people to teach them. 

Lynch’s partisans would like to see Daniel Mael drawn and quartered on the campus green, and Frederick Lawrence, Brandeis’s arbiter of the First Amendment, has conspicuously retreated into silence. Far be it for him to make a statement on behalf of Mael’s right to exercise his First Amendment rights, for to do so would upset the campus leftists.

Decades ago, when oil spilled from a Union Oil platform in the Santa Barbara Channel, the sociologist Harvey Molotoch observed that along with the oil spilled a bit of truth about power in America. So too, at Brandeis, the episodes involving Daniel Mael and Ayaan Hirsi Ali speak to not only how Brandeis works, but also how American universities generally work.

If your child is an average student without a flare for the sciences or engineering, just remember the same politically correct, bad education is available at commuter schools for a lot less money. It is totally unnecessary for you to spend $60,000 a year for your children to learn to hate America, police, Zionism, and free markets. That education is widely available and at prices it deserves.

Abraham H. Miller is emeritus professor of political science at University of Cincinnati.  His commentary was distributed by