Thursday on Fox News Channel’s “The Kelly File,” Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz offered a reaction to the recent string of college campus protests, including at the University of Missouri and the so-called “Million Student March” that took place earlier in the day.
The Harvard professor described these protests and their unwillingness to accept a “diversity of ideas” as a “curtain of McCartyism” and “the fog of Fascism.”
Transcript as follows:
KELLY: Joining me now, Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor and Yale Law School graduate who himself has experienced a tense experience on a college campus recently. He’s also author of the new book “Abraham: The World’s First (But Certainly Not Last) Jewish Lawyer.”
Great to see you, Professor. So —
DERSHOWITZ: Thank you.
KELLY: So, let’s — all right. I think the viewers know where I stand on this. I’ve made it very clear. However, let me take the position of a young woman we just saw. We have rules and corporations that say, you can’t talk a certain way and work here. They say why can’t we have those same rules on college campuses? You can’t talk that way, you can’t say those things. Because this is an institution, this is a place where you shouldn’t have to be subjects to that.
DERSHOWITZ: Well, this is the same people who claim they’re seeking diversity. The last thing many of these students want is real diversity. Diversity of ideas. They may want superficial diversity of gender. Superficial diversity of color, but they don’t want diversity of ideas. We’re seeing a curtain of McCarthyism descend over many college campuses. You know, I don’t want to make analogies to the 1930s but we have to remember that it was the students at universities who first started burning books during the Nazi regime. And these students are book burners. They don’t want to hear diverse views on college campuses.
When I went to speak at Johns Hopkins University, there were protests. It was said that because I won’t acknowledged that Israel commits crime against the Palestinians, I am, quote, “harassing students” and violating the ethical standards of John Hopkins University. By expressing my opinion, I am harassing students. This has become a very serious problem not only in American universities, but in universities around the world, as well. And it is influencing and having a terrible impact on the education of students.
KELLY: You have spent your life in a court room and on college campuses, on one in particular, and it is an elite institution. When you go to college, you know, as my 100-year-old ‘nanna’ would say, at least it was when I went to school, you go and you express your freedom and you find your — it’s young adulthood and you want to do all sorts of things and you don’t want anybody getting all up in your business. But now, now, they’re demanding that the school get all up in everybody’s business and the freedom has to stop when it comes to words.
DERSHOWITZ: No, it’s the worst kind of hypocrisy. They want complete freedom over their sex lives, over their personal lives, over the use of drugs. But they want mommy and daddy, and dean and president to please give them a safe place, protect them, from ideas that may be insensitive. Maybe we’ll make them think. But it’s a double standard. Look at what’s happening at Hunter University, city university of New York. Students for Justice in Palestine have issued a petition saying Zionist administrators are causing high tuition in the school. Zionist administrators, you know what they mean by Zionist, they mean Jews.
DERSHOWITZ: Blatant anti-Semitism, nobody says a word. When I spoke at Johns Hopkins University, some of the protesting students, the same students who were talking about safe places, painted a Hitler mustache on my posters. No concern about that. It’s an absolute double standard. It is free speech for me, but not for thee. And universities should not tolerate this kind of hypocrisy, double standard and college administrators have to start treating students as adults and talking back to them.
KELLY: Where is the spine? As somebody who’s been on academia, where’s the spine of this administrators?
DERSHOWITZ: They’re all afraid. They’re all afraid. After Larry Summers got fired from Harvard. After the President of Missouri gets fired, college administrators don’t want to have to confront students. Or if you’re going to be a college administrator or a professor, if you have tenure, you have to speak back to the students.
DERSHOWITZ: You have to call these things what they are. Double standard, hypocrisy, bigotry, McCarthyism and the fog of fascism is descending quickly over many American universities. We have to fight back against these students.
KELLY: Yes. The duty to educate doesn’t walk out the door just because things get tense and uncomfortable.
KELLY: Professor Dershowitz, thank you for being here.
DERSHOWITZ: Thank you.
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