How much are universities trying to control speech?
There’s a very troubling incident from Fordham University in New York City, that involves China, Black Lives Matter and gun rights.
According to the Washington Examiner, Fordham senior Austin Tong has been disciplined by the University for violating university regulations on bias and for threats and intimidation.
What did he do?
Tong’s offenses were two Instagram posts. The first was a picture of slain retired police Capt. David Dorn with the caption, “Y’all a bunch of hypocrites,” referring to the Black Lives Matter movement. The second was an image of Tong holding a legally acquired firearm and the caption, “Don’t tread on me,” along with a hashtag referencing the Tiananmen Square Massacre, posted on the 31st anniversary of the event.
Tong, who immigrated to the United States from China as a child, is being forced by Fordham to write an apology letter and will be banned from entering campus without university permission for his senior year. He’ll also be forced to finish an implicit bias course.
Dorn was killed by the riots in the wake of the killing of George Floyd and in the name of the BLM. China killed hundreds of people in the Tiananmen Square Massacre on June 4, 1989 trying to suppress a massive protest of the government.
Here are the two posts in question:
I am APPALLED at @FordhamNYC’s response to Austin Tong’s posts on David Dorn’s death & Tiananmen Sq. Massacre. anniversary.
Yet another university pandering to the left.
Too often Conservative students are reprimanded but those making threats are not. It’s time to change that. pic.twitter.com/n2rbUpctJy
— Michaela Marmorato 🇺🇸 (@mrmarmorato) July 17, 2020
How is anything he said or did bias or threats and intimidation?
The school doesn’t seem to be able to really explain it. They claimed in a letter to him that he was being investigated for “Violation of University regulations relating to bias and/or hate crimes,” “threats/intimidation” and “disorderly conduct.”
The only explanation they gave was that he made posts “related to current racial issues in the country” and “political issues in China, including one in which you were holding an automatic weapon.”
Now, how ridiculous, but also how scary is this? The only thing he apparently did was say something that someone didn’t like in a social media post and he’s being punished for having the “wrong” political opinion, daring to make a critical and true comment about the BLM. Perhaps even scarier, the University appears to not only be carrying water for radical leftists, but for China itself, going after him for being critical of China for killing people in the Tiananmen Square Massacre. It’s also not an “automatic,” it’s a legally owned semi-automatic rifle.
Imagine coming from a Communist country like China here to the land of freedom and then being subjected to not only this political nonsense but even “re-education” so he will “think right” not unlike what happens in Communist China. Why is a New York University sounding like they’re acting on behalf of the Chinese?
Here was Tong’s response to the punishment and he’s now suing them.
— Austin Tong (@realaustintong) July 14, 2020
“America is under attack,” Tong said. “Americans are being silenced. I hope to use my punishment as a milestone and reflection of the Constitutional crisis we are facing today as a society. Coming to this country as an immigrant, one would think that America is a nation of law and free speech. Yet that is no longer the case. I was forcibly silenced, faced verbal and assaulting harassment from mobs, and subjected to Soviet-style interrogation and punishment by a Jesuit university that claims in its own code of conduct, that it protects “freedom of expression and the open exchange of ideas.”
He’s engaged Foundation for Individual Rights in Education to help him fight the punishment.
After 3 days, @FordhamNYC has arrogantly ignored media & us. No more waiting. I’ve decided to sue Fordham. Seeing all of your msgs, I know now that this will be a fight for many not one. Please donate to this fundraiser and we’ll get the fight started ✊🏼🇺🇸 https://t.co/JK0UdaMQVU
— Austin Tong (@realaustintong) July 17, 2020
Scary stuff to force group think. You wonder why you have socialists and radicals being produced from universities? Good for Austin Tong for taking a stand, I see a bright future for this young man.