Law Prof. Jonathan Turley Condemns Cornell Professors for Shutting Down Black Lives Matter Criticism

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 6: Jonathan Turley, chair of public interest law at George Washington University, testifies during a Federal Spending Oversight And Emergency Management Subcommittee hearing June 6, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Members of both parties raised questions about a lack of Congressional oversight of military …
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George Washington University Law School Professor Jonathan Turley criticized his colleagues in a blog post last week for shaming those that have voiced criticisms of the Black Lives Matter movement. A group of professors at Cornell Law School shamed Professor William Jacobson last week over a series of Black Lives Matter criticisms that appeared on his legal blog, Legal Insurrection.

According to a blog post published by Turley last week, law school professors around the nation are chastising colleagues that have decided to voice criticisms of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Breitbart News reported last week that Cornell University Law School Professor William Jacobson was targeted by his colleagues over content that appeared on Legal Insurrection, a conservative legal blog founded by Jacobson in 2008. Several Cornell professors signed onto a letter that chastised Jacobson for printing criticisms of the Black Lives Matter movement on his site.

In his blog post, Turley criticized the professors behind the letter, suggesting that the Cornell professors that signed onto the letter were far too eager to smear Jacobson’s site as “racist.”

Not a word about academic freedom or free of speech;  not a suggestion that critics of these protests could have anything other than racist motivations.  It is the antipathy of the intellectual foundations for higher education.  Rather than address the merits of arguments, you attack those with opposing views personally and viciously. That has become a standard approach to critics on our campuses.  Unless you agree with the actions of the movement, you are per se racist.  It is a mantra that is all too familiar historically: if you are not part of the resistance, you are reactionary … or, in this period, racist.

Turley expressed concern over Jacobson’s claim that there has been a campaign to have him fired over the recent content published at Legal Insurrection. Turley noted that Jacobson’s experience as a conservative academic is not unique. Turley argued that conservative and libertarian academics have been increasingly harassed by colleagues over their viewpoints.

I am unfamiliar with Jacobson’s writings.  Once again, however, the merits of such arguments are immaterial. What is disturbing is the effort to silence Jacobson because he holds such opposing views.  This letter coincides with what Jacobson says is an effort to get him fired.  That would not be unexpected. Conservative and libertarian academics are increasingly being subject to discipline or harassed by their Administrations in the hope of getting them to leave faculties.  Moreover, many in the BLM movement use equally inflammatory language but are rarely called out by Administrators, students, or faculty.  Why cannot both views we treated as enriching the debate on a campus, allowing sharply different values to be heard in a pluralistic academic environment?

Breitbart News reported in 2017 that Turley was warning Americans about the rise in censorship on college campuses. Turley argued that leftist activists would engage in “security fee censorship.” Under this tactic, activists make it exorbitantly expensive for universities to provide adequate event security by threatening violence prior to the event’s scheduled date.

Stay tuned to Breitbart News for more campus updates.

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